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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Local Music Blog Calls for Writers: BetterKnowanSFBlog

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 8:12 AM

Every Tuesday morning, The Snitch profiles one of the Bay's many cool blogs in a segment we call BetterKnowanSFBlog! This week: quit your day job and become almost famous!

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By Tyler Callister

Music blogger Nate Seltenrich used to intern at Zero Magazine where he got to interview big names like The Killers, Hot Hot Heat, Modest Mouse, and Social Distortion. But as a young aspiring music journalist, Seltenrich was frustrated by impersonal interviews with big artists who were already swamped by the media. "You get slammed into an interview slot for thirty minutes. And they're kind of withdrawn and don't have a lot invested in what you're trying to talk to them about," he says.

(Click "more" to continue)

Seltenrich discovered that aspiring music journalists may benefit more from focusing on local bands rather than chasing the big names. So he started Nascent Mag, a blog that would focus soley on Bay Area music. Now, Seltenrich is putting a call out to Bay Area writers who want to write reviews and feature stories about Bay Area bands. It would be on a volunteer basis, but it'd be an opportunity to dive deeper into the local scene, get free CD's and concert tickets, and build up publication credits.

Nascent Mag typically runs CD reviews and interviews, as well as a unique section for album cover reviews. They've covered such notable locals as The Velvet Teen, Hella, and Maldroid.

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Nascent Mag Editor Nate Seltenrich.

Seltenrich, who's 25, sees the SF music scene as very different from scenes in other cities. "People don't necessarily come here to 'get made," he says. "They come here because they're artists, or they stay here because they're artists. I think the scene is built around being an artist rather than being a commercial entity."

He says this results in a lot of artists willing to take creative risks -- maybe even be a little weird. He may be right -- some of the Bay Area's most well-known acts, like Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof, have a taste for attempting to break new musical ground.

In that same spirit, Seltenrich has some advice for young Bay Area bands trying to be successful: Don't be normal. As an editorial coordinator at East Bay Express, he frequently rifles through stacks of local band demos, and he says he's turned off by bands that sound like they belong on MTV. "It's the nature of the Bay Area," he says. "We're not looking for hits necessarily... We're just looking for creativity and innovation."

For more about local music journalism, check out our profiles of local music blogs The Deli SF, ipickmynose, or The Bay Bridged.

If you're a writer who wants to contribute to Nascent Mag, click here.

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Ty Callister

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