A foray into music journalism in Minneapolis

Tom Pilcher

Like Features Editor Tammy Tran, I also worked at an internship over the summer somewhat related to writing and publishing. From early June until late August, I copy edited, typed and transcribed my way through Minneapolis and St. Paul as an editorial intern at City Pages. The free weekly paper is known as an “alt weekly,” a newspaper that’s edgier and more interested in culture than the daily papers. There are many alt weeklies around the country, but the Village Voice in New York City is perhaps the best example; Village Voice Media is also the corporate owner of City Pages.

Going into the summer, I had no idea what to expect: I landed the internship because of an Appleton connection, I interviewed for it on the phone and my first day on the job was also my first time setting foot in the offices. To top it off, I was subletting an apartment with a roommate I’d never met before. My roommate Meg ended up being wonderful, even if our apartment was a dump. But hey, the price was right.

At City Pages, I wrote primarily for the music blog doing concert reviews or previews and some music industry news, and I also did general work around the office. Perhaps the most interesting “general work” task was transcribing interviews for other writers: the two most notable were with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Bradlee Dean, a Twin Cities pastor with an anti-gay agenda.

Despite the unknowns, summer 2011 was a fun one: I saw tons of concerts around the Twin Cities, I interviewed musicians big (Frightened Rabbit) and small (a scrappy local garage band, Nice Purse), and I biked more than ever before, thanks to the stunning bike path system in Minneapolis.

After telling others about my internship, everyone asks if I’ll be pursuing a full time career in journalism, and to be honest, I have no idea. I enjoyed writing for City Pages, and I hope to keep writing about music, food and culture in general in the future, but I don’t know that I want to make it a full-time career. There’s always freelancing, and there are plenty of

other jobs out there. Plus, no one really knows where journalism is going: As the number of pages in newspapers shrinks, the number of unpaid “bloggers” rises. For now, I’m

keeping an open mind about everything, and seeing what comes around next June.