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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Note to Our Readers

posted by on July 22 at 12:48 PM

When I took over as music editor here back in January, I naturally assumed I’d be hiring a writer, my replacement, for the music section. Well, it didn’t happen right away, but the Stranger is now bringing on another music writer, and it’s a name many Stranger readers will recognize: Dave Segal.

When I started with the Stranger, as an unpaid blogger, Segal was the music editor. In October of 2006, though, Segal was found to have committed an ethical violation, secretly allowing an employee from ad sales to write pseudonymously for Line Out and the music section (the separation of advertising and editorial is, even for the Stranger, important). As a result, Segal tendered his resignation as music editor, saying at the time that he had “made some wrong-headed decisions, for which I am truly sorry.” He continued to write for the section, most notably in his long running electronic music column, Data Breaker. In March of 2007, though, Segal left Seattle and the Stranger for the OC Weekly in Orange County, California.

Whatever Segal’s missteps as an editor, he remains an impeccable music writer—passionate, knowledgeable, diverse in his tastes—and so, after several rounds of musical chairs, we’re bringing him back as a staff writer. He’ll have no managerial responsibilities—to the point, he won’t be hiring any freelancers—but he’ll get to do what he’s best at, which is writing about music.

Best of all, no one’s getting let go to make room. Megan Seling will continue to write for the music section as well as the rest of the paper, but she’ll be transitioning to a new position that gives her more time to focus on Line Out and other exciting new serious Internet business.

Finally, a note from Segal:

As music editor of The Stranger in 2006, I made a poor decision, for which I am sorry and from which I learned a valuable lesson. Older and wiser (and chastened by 16 months of living in Orange County), I am extremely excited to be back in Seattle as music writer for The Stranger and I look forward to documenting and critiquing the developments in this fantastic music city.

Dave will be starting here in August. We couldn’t be more stoked.

RSS icon Comments


Older and wiser? Isn't the guy in his forties?

Posted by Yup | July 22, 2008 1:00 PM

Oh, this is terrific news.

Posted by David Schmader | July 22, 2008 1:01 PM

There ARE second acts in American lives.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 22, 2008 1:07 PM

Hopefully he's living off something more substantial than vitamin water these days.

welcome back, seges.

Posted by paulus | July 22, 2008 1:11 PM

Translation: the economy and music scene sucks in Cali.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 22, 2008 1:12 PM

le fuq yeah!!!!!

Posted by KELLY O | July 22, 2008 1:20 PM

Goddammit. Data Breaker sucked for one reason: Segal doesn't dance. How the fuck can you write about electronic dance music if you don't get out and shake your ass and get lost in it for hours on end? I mean sure, Kompakt turns out some great music, but give some love to the more accessible danceable stuff, too.

I really hope to read something like "DJ Swank's electrotech set last week left me sweaty and sore..." in his first pieces, otherwise it's just intellectual masturbation. He may know the players on the German labels, but that don't mean shit if the acts didn't make him dance.

Posted by NaFun | July 22, 2008 1:22 PM

Please don't give the column back to Dave! Let Donte keep it. He's actually, you know, in the scene AND knows how to dance AND has better taste in shoes.

Posted by scenester | July 22, 2008 1:28 PM

Why not hire Kathleen Wilson back? She sucked almost as bad as the current writing staff.

Posted by Dingo Rossi | July 22, 2008 1:29 PM

I am very happy to hear that the Stranger, Seattles Only Newspaper has hired another writer for the music section.

Thank you very much Al Franken for that tip on how to thwart your renunciators and detractors while never apologizing for things spoken yet never observed after remembering that citing a writer can and will be alligence given in the name of humor.

As far as cutting in to the QUIP of the moment, I'd like to say this about ANN COULTER, celebrated golden haired girl of the Republican Right.

Webster's New Twentieth Century Unabridged Dictionary defines COULTER as such:

immediate redirect to COLTER.

( I left out the annoying little funny marks for perfectionists and slander lawyers on purpose... it'll give us all something to laugh about later....)

as I was saying sister GOLDEN HAIR....

Colter... a knife. culter from latin culter.

{(CULL ?) hmm...this is my posit now...

should we cull her ( ANN COULTER ) from existential existance or just ask her to duet with Ben Clark from the Lashes at Karee-o-kee on Sunday... instead of a real recorded song with BONO? Ben would, might, might not like to meet her? } would she be like in the


....abridged or un-abridged sectional garrison couch? }

(definition cont.)

in the form of a blade or sharp edged wheel, attached to the beam of a plow to make verticle cuts in the soil and facillitate the work of plow shares.

( as long as Ann doesn't take up tattoo or Maori body work any time soon )

and for the FIONA APPLE lyric experts I will add this.... Ann Coulter is NOT the Model for my prow, pram or sailing vessal; nor the definative recepticle vehicle for my permeable swimsuit theorectical writings designed invitro e-mails....

That "preeety" much makes my day for contributing slogging in The Stranger as far as 'syncronistic hard quibblers' like myself like to love to love to support the

" up and coming high and mighty tort suprise toffee tart scrumpciousness of flagrant flowers and beautious fortitude, fortune, and of course the ugly truth of unfortunate misfortune".

The cute question for Stranger readers is

"What Flower did I see yesterday at the Volunteer Park"(s) special green house?"




as far as name droppers like me go.. I sent a e-mail to my Senator today about the real use of force and

" The End Of (Americas) Innocence".

....And that 'ain't' "the band", America.

Posted by daniel bennett kieneker | July 22, 2008 1:36 PM

Segal's a good writer, but it's hard to regain credibility and The Stranger seems to be rewarding him after a forced exile.

That's fine, but let me just venture a guess: You won't be bringing back Bailee Martin.

Posted by Jeff | July 22, 2008 1:39 PM

congrats dave! welcome back to the stranger (and hopefully back to seattle).

Posted by donte | July 22, 2008 1:51 PM

Mr. Segal rules. FANTASTIC writer. Great choice.

Of course, in a perfect world, I inherit several million dollars and start another magazine and hire both Mr. Segal AND Mr. Grandy at atrociously high salaries to lovingly extrapolate about their very favorite music.

In other words, great news -- and hope it means that Eric will find more time to do more features!

Posted by Chris Estey | July 22, 2008 2:12 PM

Dave dances really well in his brilliant mind, then translates his dance steps to newsprint. Welcome back, Dave.

Posted by jon.e.rock | July 22, 2008 2:14 PM

Sorry if I forgot about someone, but aren't you "transitioning" away your last female writer? This isn't the grunge era anymore -- at least half of the music audience in Seattle is women. I'm not saying that men can't write stories appealing to women, but music is a notoriously macho and misogynist industry. It also doesn't help that the music editor here insults one of the most relevant and popular new female-fronted bands in Seattle for not being "serious" enough because they sing about women's issues. [PS I don't know anyone in tacocat.]

I have nothing against Dave and hope he does well, but you could really improve your music section by seeking more diverse points of view. It's not a coincidence that alt-alt-music media like threeimaginarygirls are so popular in Seattle. Your intern Julia seems like a good writer with a fresh POV, maybe you should give her more writing tasks. [PS I don't know her either.]

Right now, I and most of my friends only read The Stranger's music section for the ads and only read the articles if something catches our eye. That's not meant to be insulting -- just hopefully constructive criticism.

But, all is forgiven if you hire daniel bennett kieneker for a weekly column.

Posted by girlgerms | July 22, 2008 2:21 PM

Girlgerms, check your reading comprehension. I never "insulted" TacocaT for "not being "serious" enough because they sing about women's issues." My critique of them was mainly that their best songs are merely cover versions, and that I'd like to see them be a little more ambitious. That is what constructive criticism looks like.

And, WIS, the economy sucks everywhere. You're no doubt right about the OC's music scene, though.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 22, 2008 2:31 PM

While your "constructive" criticism was perhaps misread Grandy the point about the lack of female music writers still holds. A constructive criticism unto itself i would argue.

Congrats Dave.

Posted by 4th waver | July 22, 2008 2:53 PM

I wish we had more female music writers, too. The shortage is by no means the result of some discriminatory campaign on my part but simply coincidence. If you know any amazing female music writers looking for freelance work (or are one), my email's Easy peezy critical, riot grrrl.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 22, 2008 3:01 PM


at least none of my several friends who applied will hate each other. good compromise: everyone's pissed.

it would be cool if there were equal amounts of girls and guys writing, but srsly girlgerms, do you think grandy and segal are "notoriously macho"?

Posted by ndrwmtsn | July 22, 2008 3:01 PM

I won't continue arguing about tacocat because that has all been covered (even though you seem to ignore that they have a very good album which has zero covers, and have had many good songs on the Setlist podcasts, none of them covers).

It's clear from the letter and comments that there is a popular perception that The Stranger's music section has a misogynist slant. Shouldn't you be trying to fix that instead of being defensive and insulting (as you were to me, at least)? I mean, wasn't the reason Dave was fired because of a perception that he possibly caused a conflict of interest?

If you don't want people like me as readers, that's fine. I can read about music elsewhere. It's just a disappointing trend that The Stranger's music section seems to be targetting the traditional mainstream Rolling Stone music audience more and more.

Posted by girlgerms | July 22, 2008 3:03 PM

Why was Hannah Levin fired from the Stranger?

Posted by Inquire | July 22, 2008 3:06 PM

..speaking of talented music writers, anybody hear know who kathy fennesy is ? ..i mean i certainly do, but does anybody else think that she might be both qualified and available ?

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | July 22, 2008 3:20 PM

She's not local but what about Ms. Jessica Hopper? Though she is likely with that book of hers.

Also such stats should not be attributed to mere coincidence. Are all instances of sexism---socialized and or institutionalized simply coincidence? If there is a serious concern about the gender/sex gap at the stranger i would hope that staffers (especially editors) might be a bit more proactive on this front avidly seeking out talent perhaps via unexpected avenues. Maybe even inviting female musicians to contribute. These are just ideas.

Again, these are just constructive criticisms and well-meaning thought provocation.

Posted by 4th waver | July 22, 2008 3:22 PM

Drama aside, Dave Segal is one of the best music writers I've ever read. Welcome back to Seattle!

Posted by Recess | July 22, 2008 3:22 PM

awesome. hopefully this will free up trent moorman to write more about SLATS!

Posted by bing | July 22, 2008 3:22 PM

I didn't see your comment before my last one. If you're really interested in hiring female writers, you might have to reach out to them. It's difficult for women to force their way into a male-dominated field or workplace, just like most men wouldn't normally consider becoming a nurse or preschool teacher even if it really interested them. I'd suggest reaching out to the aforementioned TIG writers or the great Ari Spool if she's interested. [PS I don't know any of them either.] Even urging current female (or gay) Stranger writers to write music articles now and then would be a small step in the right direction. Plus, I'd love to see an album review by ECB.

Also, just because it's funny, The Stranger's music section now breaks the "more Daves than women" rule that indicates a definite sausage festival.

Posted by girlgerms | July 22, 2008 3:34 PM

Right you are Riz, Kathy Fennesy = Great local music writer, she wrote for Tablet and now writes for the Weekly.

It would definitely rock for The Stranger to get more female music writers, rather than hiring back old employees that willfully chose to replace objective music writing with advertwriting, that shit stunk and made people question the entire paper's ethics. It's not like this town is lacking in female music writers or music writers with less questionable ethics.

Posted by dan10things | July 22, 2008 3:36 PM

Girlgerms, let's play jeopardy!

A: Hannah Levine, Jennifer Maerz, Kathleen Wilson.

Question: Who are former female music writers from the Stranger who were either asked to leave nicely or chose to get the hell out of Dodge for good reason.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by Jeff | July 22, 2008 3:45 PM

Funny, I have invited Hopper to write for the Stranger, but I think she's been busy with that book. Fennesy, as Dan points out, writes for that other paper. What other Daves do we have in the music section? Schmader?

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 22, 2008 3:52 PM

bing @ 25,

Slats is getting a column. But that doesn't make you any less of a deuche.

Posted by romance tips | July 22, 2008 3:54 PM

Kathleen Wilson was a awful drunk who couldn't write her way out of paper bag without including something about her super-close ties to her Seattle musician "friends" that she was supposed to be writing objectively about. That being said I don't see much difference in today's writing.

It's usually...Oh I went to a show, wow my friend is in the band, ok, they were the opening act, headliner is lame cause they wouldn't buy me a drink. I'm bored, going home to masturbate to the sounds of the new single put out by my friends band.

Posted by Dingo Rossi | July 22, 2008 4:04 PM

dudes, REALLY!?!?!? the stranger is sexist and needs more gay writers, to boot!?!? did you read the pride issue, which happened to also chronicle the paper's past pride issues? if there ever were a couple of alt weeklies less hung up with gender and sex issues than index newspapers (parent company of merc & stranger), i don't know about 'em. and i've written for nearly twenty publications in my day.

girlgerms, you know not of what you speak regarding segal and grandy, two of the kindest dudes around. also, hops WAS asked about writing; she's busy with her book. i know others who've been asked about writing who don't have dicks and who have other commitments. and i'm sorry, but the notion that it's male editors' jobs to REACH OUT to female writers who may just be "too shy" to "break through" is the most retarded fucking thing i have ever heard, and i've heard it before. i'm sorry, but if you want to successfully freelance for any publication, be it the stranger or cat fancy, you best have the fortitude and confidence to hustle yourself. if you don't, forget about it or work out your personal issues, because that's what they are--not societal, personal.

and, and, and, to that end? if you're a woman still using the excuse that you're having trouble succeeding/goal-reaching in any myriad of independent arts businesses in two thousand effing eight, i am sorry, because IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU ARE A DUDE OR A LADY as long as you are good at what you do, and if you don't let it matter. get rid of yr high-class problems, yo. just sayin'.

Posted by joan hiller | July 22, 2008 4:04 PM

i just realized that i started three sentences with "I'm sorry, but...". awesome. anyways, rant done.

Posted by joan hiller | July 22, 2008 4:06 PM

this is great news. suckers don't even know the half.

Posted by charles mudede | July 22, 2008 4:16 PM

I heard Slats will be writing for the food section.

Welcome back Dave!

Posted by trent moorman | July 22, 2008 4:17 PM

if i were you, girlgerms, i wouldn't be talking about the virtues of tacocat as some sort of apex of "womenhood" in the local music scene. i could name several other local bands, with females, that are playing the block party that kick tacocat's ass. would you like a list? i agree there needs to be more females in the scene, but we don't need talentless joke bands like tacocat. btw, there original songs suck. they should stick to both house parties and covers.

Posted by yuck | July 22, 2008 4:24 PM


Actually, she mentioned Cat Fancy as a freelance gig, so I'm naming her EMPRESS OF THE WORLD.

Man, I almost blew my Taco Time BBQ Chipotle burrito all over the drywall when I read that "you need to reach out to women writers" crap. Because women are so weak they can't send an email and a few clips or spec reviews? YOU are the anchor on women grizzlegerms, not guys like Eric. YOUR internalized inferiority and weakness are an insult to strong, driven, talented women everywhere. Jeez...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 22, 2008 4:33 PM

@38, I have nothing against Segal or Grandy at all! I like both of them as writers and even defended Grandy on here during the Atlas thing. Also, I only mentioned "gay" offhand because there are a lot of gay staffers at the Stranger, but I've never seen a gay POV in the music section. I also only mentioned tacocat as an example because Grandy's recent article about them was controversial because of gender issues.

Joan, it sounds like you don't believe in gendered workplaces or discrimination or affirmative action, which is a different argument altogether. Even if you believe that if a woman wants a job in a male-dominated field she should have to fight for it, I think it's for the good of The Stranger's male writers, the blog, and the newspaper to have more diverse voices and a larger audience. I think that's why the Slog is such a huge success. Reaching out to people to improve your own publication is a win-win for everyone. The front of the newspaper seems to agree -- The Stranger's [female] news editor AND [female] managing editor used to work at another Seattle weekly newspaper.

Eric, I got the impression that Megan was transitioning away from being an "official" part of the music section. If not, I amend my joke to be "an equal number of Daves and women."

PS I just remembered another female Seattle music writer I like -- Abbey from Note how many great female Seattle music writers are online and already have a pretty good readership.

Posted by girlgerms | July 22, 2008 4:43 PM

@ joan

Please don't confuse my criticism with that of girlgerms. Also i figured Ms. Hopper is/was busy with her up-coming book which is what i intended to suggest in my mis-typed sentence. (above on 23)

i am not making excuses for women and the lack of self-confidence (again you may be confusing my thoughts with girlgerms perhaps @ 26) that aside it is not off the mark to say that such gaps are in part attributable to self-esteem issues as well as other more subtle ways women are excluded from such fields.

i agree on the perhaps shortage of gay writers though it feels like the stranger (of all papers) is not so horribly lacking in this regard. On that note we could take up issues of ethnicity and race. All-in-all though the issue of gender/sex seems exceptionally relevant as i really do believe that there is an roughly equal ratio of women:men reading this particular weekly. Also let us remember that women are not a numerical minority (please do not expect me to take up this conversation with regards to sexual-orientation as others are far more well-suited to address these topics).

Please note i was taking issue with Grandy using the word coincidence (above @ 18) and i would hope he might agree that such wording seems a bit dismissive at worst or perhaps merely naive. It was not an attack on his character as i have tried to make clear throughout.

Lastly, i assure you i am not writing from some high class position of privilege and you will have to just take me at my word on that one. i promise not to make assumptions about you in return.

This thread has taken on a life of it's own. i do hope that it might result in some further conversation within the stranger. Also i recall that there was a panel to a similar effect at the pop conference with a number of female contributors. Perhaps they would be a valuable resource for insights and suggestions.

Respectfully yours.

Posted by 4th waver | July 22, 2008 4:50 PM

shorter grilgerms:

you guys should personally invite female music writers to work for the Stranger, instead of, like, y'know, making them apply for the job like everyone else. otherwise you're sexist.

Posted by bing | July 22, 2008 4:50 PM

I think that's great that Dave Segal is coming back to the paper - he was a great writer who knew his shit. It was an unfortunate situation that led to his resignation (but bringing someone from sales to write under a pseudonym to hide an obvious conflict of interest does hurt the reputations of everyone who doesn't do that shit) but I'm sure this situation will work out well for everyone (most of all for readers).

Most of my favorite writers locally are women, including Hannah Levin and Kathy Fennessy, who were both mentioned above. It's funny reading this thread because I write for Three Imaginary Girls and when I tell people that I've more than a few people say they didn't even know they had male writers.

Posted by Chris Burlingame | July 22, 2008 4:54 PM


i'm gay. i contribute to the Slog and the paper pretty regularly.

i'll try to be more overt with my sexual orientation in the future...

Posted by brian cook | July 22, 2008 5:03 PM
Please note i was taking issue with Grandy using the word coincidence (above @ 18) and i would hope he might agree that such wording seems a bit dismissive at worst or perhaps merely naive.

Well, I don't know how it seems, but I mean the word quite literally—not coincidence occurring in a vacuum, but coincidence nonetheless.

i'll try to be more overt with my sexual orientation in the future...

We'd all appreciate it, Brian.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 22, 2008 5:20 PM

welcome home Dave!

Posted by colin | July 22, 2008 5:25 PM

point taken Grandy.

i read it as the more colloquial usage of coincidence:

4. A notable concurrence of events or circumstances having no apparent causal connexion.

and not the more literal:

1. a. The fact or condition of being coincident; the occupation of the same place or part of space.

2. Occurrence or existence at the same time; simultaneous occurrence or existence.

3. a. Exact agreement or correspondence in substance, nature, character, etc.

Though these too bring interesting readings and re-readings to your original text.

Posted by 4th waver | July 22, 2008 5:43 PM

1) i do not believe in gendered workplaces or discrimination for myself, no, and that IS a different argument altogether! your situation is what you make it, not what is foisted upon you.
2) i mean "high class problem" as in, "yo, there are bigger fish to fry, like putting yr attention towards, say, darfur or helping get new glass eyes for the eyeballless."
3) to that end, i am going to go get myself some ACTUAL fried fish at six arms. y'all had that shit? double damn.
4) dave segal, i say triple congrats to you, and i will also buy you said fried fish when you get in town.
5) if you guys have further grievances in the future (not against the stranger), may i suggest:

Posted by joan hiller | July 22, 2008 5:43 PM

No, no, please settle any and all future grievances against the Stranger via Rap Master Maurice. It would be an honor.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 22, 2008 5:53 PM

Blah come on! Would you white guys pursue a job with all women or all black men or all Asians if you could get a similar job with people of similar backgrounds to you? You already answered that because you haven't! If you expect women writers to overcome obstacles that men don't have to, you'll end up with a homogenous writing staff like you have now. If any of you have BET or sassy or the Seattle Filipino Times on your resumes I apologize.

NOTE I'm not talking about the news section as they've done an excellent job with writer diversity. I'm not talking about gay male writers; I only mentioned that in regards to existing stranger writers because I imagined dan savage writing a showtune album review. Not talking about tacocat anymore. Not talking about women with low self esteem or body image issues or osteoporosis.

Shorter girlgerms: I think the stranger music section could benefit from more female music writers and there are quite a few in Seattle.

Posted by girlgerms | July 22, 2008 6:02 PM

@ joan

i agree. certainly bigger fish to fry. and i am doing my part on some of those other fronts. i just also wish that my (preferred) local weekly---some of the passive reading i do---reflected the gender demographic i see when i'm out at shows (and what i again believe to be members of the stranger's readership). i have often been curious as to why it doesn't especially now that it's music section is headed by one who seems to have some professed feminist leanings himself (Grandy i realize you are still new to the job).

i also like fish. Perhaps we could fry fish together some time. Thanks for keeping your humor in tact.

Personally i do not believe in determinism but i also do not believe that life is simply what you make of it. That seems a little too embedded in the myth of meritocracy and that whole pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps notion. It's a flux and how that flux operates is multifaceted dependent upon a number of situations and circumstances. Surely you would not apply the same tenet to those suffering in Darfur. i simply don't think it can be whittled down to mere personal empowerment. That is my opinion at least and a point raised within feminist communities especially when feminists of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds come together for dialogue.

Thanks to all participating in this tangent (though perhaps not entirely a tangent given what Segal originally left the paper for).

Posted by 4th waver | July 22, 2008 6:06 PM

While I've no qualms with Dave Segal, I'd just like to point out that Eric Grandy's post in Slog which brought me here was misleading. He wrote that The Stranger "is hiring" a new music writer. I came here expecting to see a description of what was required of potential applicants. Instead I get to read about sexism, which is fine, but doesn't help me in my quest to become the oldest freelance music reviewer at The Stranger.

Oh well. I think Megan Seling rocks and I hope she continues to write tons for your publication.

Posted by Will in 98103 | July 22, 2008 9:27 PM

I'm sure if this kind of thing (unethical behavior between editorial and advertising) happened at the Weekly/Times/PI you guys wouldn't be chomping at the bit to call bullshit on them, right?

How now brown cow?

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | July 22, 2008 10:21 PM

this is rad and totally unexpected. what!

Posted by sam e. | July 22, 2008 11:24 PM

I just pissed my pants.

Posted by Erika | July 23, 2008 3:06 AM

We already called bullshit on this when it happened, Ima. See the linked articles.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 23, 2008 9:48 AM

Does Bailee Martin get her job back too?

Posted by Curious | July 23, 2008 10:19 AM

I heard this guy lived in a Dude Zoo!!!

Posted by Waffle | July 23, 2008 10:59 AM

Dave was lost from his heard to roam the gulf of california alone like a humpback whale that had lost his way. Now Dave, aka the Humpback Whale aka Dave aka that guy from Detroit aka the motor city aka motown aka the rust belt aka 8 mile aka fucking freezing, is heading back to cooler waters to be with his coffee drinking, water proof jacket wearing, umbrella holding heard. Peace and krill be with you fine sir!

Posted by Waffle | July 23, 2008 11:12 AM

Wait do you guys really need that many music writers in Seattle? I would think one is enough. I mean how many times can Fleet Foxes really play in a week? Also Sup Pop isn't due for another anniversary for 25 more years.

Posted by Blue | July 23, 2008 11:18 AM

Welcome back Dave.
As long as Donte keeps writing Bug in the Bassbin, I'm happy :)

Posted by eli | July 23, 2008 11:57 AM

Thanks for the shout-outs, Riz, Dan, and Chris. For the record, I don't write for The Weekly, other than a 2006 interview with Brightblack Morning Light. I also covered SIFF for The Stranger last summer...but I thought y'all weren't taking on any new freelancers (at least that's what I heard Brad Steinbacher say a few months ago; I guess he was just referring to the film section). That said, I'm thrilled to hear that Segal will be returning.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | July 23, 2008 12:05 PM

@7 - Hey Nafun -- Nice seeing you be open about your feelings regarding dance music and how Dave tends to write more about forms that are pushing the boundaries of the sound, versus more accessible forms. This is exactly why I loved his column.

I think there is definitely room for a separate area of the stranger that outlines where the hot dance parties are at... SLOG?

This is a perfect example of a fairly large divide that has always existed in this city around the music. I'm guessing you haven't been to a Decibel Festival.

I'm definitely somebody who dances all night and loses himself to at least some of the music that Dave has written about in Databreaker over the years.

Perhaps you need to open up your own narrow views upon what dance music is and can be? I love and dj house music on a regular basis, but I certainly don't want to read about it. Sorry. I want to read about the "new" shit.. not what we've been ritualizing over for years on end. It's too obvious.

Posted by aronschoppert | July 23, 2008 12:33 PM

Hehe. Aron! You know me, I dig the heady shit, too. I _have_ been to Decibel Fest, and will be working it this year (thanks to a tip from Mr. Manahan).

What irked me about Dave's columns was his beam-like focus on the music-nerd factor, his implicit statement that if it wasn't inaccessible punk, glitch, or drone it wasn't worth listening to. Dave's columns had no booty, only brain. He always sounded like the guy with the expensive listening room and the collection of limited-release FAX records. Wanna get out and dance to the new party music? You'll have to look somewhere else, because Dave wouldn't know about it other than what he read in _Last Night a DJ Saved My Life_.

That's why I was so happy when I saw that Donte was writing Bug In The Bassbin, because he talks about the up and coming parties AND the headier stuff. Best of both worlds!

Posted by NaFun | July 23, 2008 1:20 PM

This is fantastic news. Dave is an fantastic writer with impeccable taste in music. Way to go Stranger! On a side not, both Eric and Donte have done an excellent job in their perspective positions covering electronic/leftfield music for the Stranger. It is my hope they all continue covering what could very well be the fastest growing electronic music community in North America.

Posted by nordicsoul | July 23, 2008 1:56 PM

Notice how all the local DJs, producers, and promoters are jumping to congratulate the new hire? Don't wanna ruffle any feathers and risk a bad review (or worse, a non-mention).

Posted by snarky | July 23, 2008 2:17 PM

oh, way to see through the matrix

Posted by ndrwmtsn | July 23, 2008 2:26 PM

Hey Eric...serious question, just curious: Was this position advertised? Or was Dave hired behind the scenes? Or was it somewhere in between, i.e. if you live in Seattle and know the right folks, you knew to apply?

I'm really just curious. I don't know where to look for job openings at The Stranger.


Posted by me too | July 23, 2008 2:33 PM

seattle sure does get it's panties in a wad over it's music writers,what's up with that?

Posted by mwand | July 23, 2008 5:35 PM


If it will make you feel any better (though I doubt it), I used to dance when I lived in Detroit in the 70s-90s. I stopped because I was mediocre and got bored with my limited repertoire of moves. I don't like to do things at which I suck.

But for a while, I was getting down (in my mediocre manner) to some of the best techno DJs in Detroit (and Richie Hawtin, too). I'm not sure if those dance moves have helped me to write about electronic music, but possibly they have. Or perhaps the statute of limitations has run out on their usefulness.

Just throwin' that out there.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Posted by segal | July 23, 2008 8:33 PM

It's not about the moves, it's about getting out there and moving to the music. If the beats don't make you wiggle your ass, they're not doing their job.

Posted by NaFun | July 24, 2008 6:58 AM

Can somebody please explain to me the ethical dilemma of an ad sales person writing under a pseudonym. Why should ad sales and editorial never cross?

Posted by Holly | July 24, 2008 7:39 AM

Again, any comments on the ethical dilemma of ad sales doing pseudonym writing? Anybody? I'm an editor for an alternative monthly...

Posted by Holly | July 24, 2008 10:55 AM

Holly, sweetie if you don't know you are in the wrong game.

See editorial is there to provide an unbiased and critical review. Advertising is there to sell ads.

If those ads could be sold with the promise (wink wink) of a favorable review then that credibility is shot.

You should ask Bailee Martin about all this, see she's not being rewarded with her job back.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by OK | July 24, 2008 11:04 AM

I, for one, am incredibly stoked to have such a great writer and supporter of the community back in Seattle. With FITS, Mr. Parks and Segal at the helm, the Stranger's coverage and support of the electronic music community will no doubt only grow more. Rock on!

Posted by Adlib | July 24, 2008 11:30 AM

Dear the Willfully Obtuse @ 27 and 71:

We learned that Dave Segal, The Stranger’s music editor, had invited Martin to contribute to the paper using a pseudonym.
There is no evidence that Martin was a profiteer or even corruptible. In print and on the paper's music blog, she didn't reward bands or clubs that bought ads; nor did she punish those that didn't. (And as an assistant, she didn't work on commission.)

Now back to your regularly scheduled mouth-breathing.



Posted by bailee. | July 24, 2008 12:12 PM

@72, not 71.

Posted by bailee. | July 24, 2008 12:13 PM

Question at 66 there, sir.


Posted by hey Eric! | July 24, 2008 11:34 PM

Who cares? The Stranger is like high school now anyway. Anyone who ever had any cred or writing ability has dropped out long ago.

Also, all the electronic crap you all listen to sucks anyway, so why even talk about it.

Posted by high school drop out | July 25, 2008 5:56 AM

i'm not really into psuedonym writing in general. i like to know where my information is coming from to better form my own conclusion about what bias might be present. i don't think doing ad sales inherently implies that you're going to write about music in a more biased way than anyone else... seems like almost all music writers tend to cover what their friends/people they know are doing more heavily than anything else. (and maybe all writers. it's tough to be educated about everything at once.) the use of a psuedonym probably made it more suspicious than it would've been otherwise.

Posted by kimberley d | July 25, 2008 2:54 PM

Dude, why are you not answering #66? Simple questions, bro.

Posted by ATTN: ERIC | July 26, 2008 1:03 AM

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