On Being a Journalist in 2014

flaunt-logo-bigRegarding the state of journalism today, may I present this email exchange between myself, and an editor from Flaunt Magazine:

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Hi Andrew —

Thank you for your kind, albeit short-notice proposal to have me write 600 words for the Art & Technology issue of Flaunt Magazine. What a shame your generosity failed to include paying me.

I’m an adult, and have been working as a professional journalist for over ten years. I’m not seeking an internship. Thus, I shall pass on your offer of a “springboard for future (paying) gigs” with a magazine that feels that the quality of the writing within its pages is worth $0.

May I remind you that you sought me out, noting that you were a “big fan” of my work. Why, then, would you assume that I’d be willing to write anything, particularly something so incredibly last-minute, for PRECISELY ZERO MONEY? What on earth would possibly compel me to spend the bulk of my day researching this artist in order to conduct a phone interview with her at 9am tomorrow morning, and then compose a 600 word story for your magazine—were it not for financial remuneration?

I’m fascinated that you find it such an honor to write for your magazine, simply because it is “internationally distributed” and “award winning;” and yet, you cannot afford to pay the people who write the copy in said magazine. What sorts of awards have you garnered? The coveted, Best Magazine at Duping Poor Writers Into Working for Free award?

How is it that you spend so much money on production that you don’t have money leftover to pay writers, but then magically DO have money (I dare ask how little) once they’re no longer “first time” contributors?

If you needed samples of my work, surely you could have found them on my web site, on the New York Times* web site, or in any of the other numerous publications for which I have written over the past decade.

Best of luck finding some poor writer to exploit, for free.

-Dan Crane

*Internationally distributed and award winning!

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On Nov 17, 2014, at 10:37 AM, andrew stark <xxxx@flauntmagazine.com> wrote:
Hi, Dan –

This Jill piece will run about 600 words. This is our Art & Technology Issue, which is one of our biggest and most popular issues of the year, to be featured at this year’s Art Basel Miami.

And Jill, although a reasonably short piece, will be one of our cover features.

Now the unfortunate fine print: FLAUNT is an entirely independent magazine, so most of our budget goes into production. That said, we typically don’t have enough to pay first-time contributors, but see this as a springboard for future (paying) gigs. However, FLAUNT is internationally distributed and award-winning, and widely regarded for its editorial and artwork, and I still hope you consider contributing.

Please let me know your thoughts, and I look forward to hearing back.
Thanks so much!

Andrew

A N D R E W S T A R K
P: +1 323 836 1046
xxxxx@flauntmagazine.com
F L A U N T M A G A Z I N E
P: +1 323 836 1000 | F: +1 323 836 0102
1422 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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From: Daniel Crane
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:03:01 -0800
To: Admin <xxxxx@flauntmagazine.com>
Subject: Re: FLAUNT/Feature

Hi Andrew,

I could probably swing that, though I suppose it depends on how long of a piece it would be for?

Also, can I ask what your rate is?

Thanks!
D

Sent from my iPhone

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On Nov 17, 2014, at 9:48 AM, andrew stark <xxxxx@flauntmagazine.com> wrote:

Hi, Dan –
Any interest in a phone interview with artist Jill Magid tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. PST?

I know it’s short notice, but that’s often the case with magazines.

Please let me know.

Thanks so much!

Andrew

A N D R E W S T A R K
P: +1 323 836 1046
xxxxx@flauntmagazine.com
F L A U N T M A G A Z I N E
P: +1 323 836 1000 | F: +1 323 836 0102
1422 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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From: Dan Crane
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:11:10 -0800
To: Admin <xxxxx@flauntmagazine.com>
Subject: Re: FLAUNT/Feature

Hey there – Just checking back in on this…any updates?
Thanks!
D
_______________________
http://www.dancrane.com
@dancranehere

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On Nov 11, 2014, at 6:46 PM, andrew stark <xxxxx@flauntmagazine.com> wrote:

Hey!

Will keep you updated as details roll in.

Thanks!
Andrew

Sent from my iPhone

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On Nov 11, 2014, at 6:38 PM, “Dan Crane” wrote:

Hey Andrew –

Good to hear from you. My schedule’s a little tight right now, so it sort of depends on where/when and number of words?

Let me know and hopefully we can work something out!

Thanks,
D
_______________________
http://www.dancrane.com
@dancranehere

—-

On Nov 11, 2014, at 3:25 PM, andrew stark <xxxx@flauntmagazine.com> wrote:

Hey, Dan –

Big fan of your work.

I’m an editor at FLAUNT Magazine, an international award-winning arts and culture publication based in Los Angeles.

Any interest in interviewing designer Brian Lichtenberg for our upcoming issue?

Let me know, and we can hash out the details.

Thanks, man!
Andrew

A N D R E W S T A R K
P: +1 323 836 1046
xxxx@flauntmagazine.com
F L A U N T M A G A Z I N E
P: +1 323 836 1000 | F: +1 323 836 0102
1422 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028

OK Go in Nylon Guys + their new video

I got a chance to interview Damian Kulash from OK GO for NYLON Guys just after he finished shooting their new video in Japan. If you can name a great band with a nicer, smarter, more creative lead singer, I’ll eat my shoe.

Here’s the piece I wrote.

And here’s their amazing new video:

 

Carsten Höller’s Cuckoo’s Nest

19ten-look-holler-tmagArticle
The Belgian artist’s home is literally for the birds.

When I was in Sweden I had the opportunity to meet the amazing Carsten Höller, who attempted to convince me he wasn’t a “bird nerd.” I wrote about it for the New York Times’ T Magazine.

“Beautiful, no?” Höller says, pointing to a Siberian rubythroat darting around a large cage in what was once the guest room of his Stockholm apartment. The artist, known for his playful, participatory installations — tube slides that span multiple floors, rooms with giant mushrooms hanging from the ceiling — has spent the past several years filling his personal aviaries with feathered friends acquired from Belgium, Italy, Holland and Germany.

Höller also meticulously photographs his collection, tracking each bird’s development from egg to adult. “They look quite beautiful when they are older,” he says. “But in the beginning, they look like aliens.” In addition to incorporating the birds into his 2011 exhibition at the New Museum in New York, he has been making photogravures of one-of-a-kind canary crossbreeds with the Danish artist Niels Borch Jensen. “I just don’t know where it comes from,” the former agricultural entomologist says of his obsession. Certainly not his mother: “She’s like, ‘What kind is this?’ and I say, ‘I’ve told you like a hundred times, that’s a song thrush! It’s very easy to recognize!’ ”

Go Ahead and Like This Blog Posting

I wrote a short piece for the NY Times (reprinted below) about the immensely likable Jacqueline Suskin, who just put out a new book called “Go Ahead & Like It.”  The book’s great – get one!

17suskin-crane-tmagArticle-v2A Poet’s Advice to “Go Ahead & Like It”

In our digital era of numbly clicking “like” as we impassively watch our friends’ lives scroll by on Facebook and Instagram, along comes an analog antidote: “Go Ahead & Like It,” a new art book/self-help guide by the Los Angeles poet Jacqueline Suskin. The 29-year-old is well known around town for Poem Store, a self-described “performance poetry piece” she sets up at farmers’ markets, events and weddings. To create each poem, she asks for a subject and then briskly pecks out evocative lines on a vintage Hermès typewriter in exchange for whatever amount the recipient deems it to be worth.

With “Go Ahead & Like It,” Suskin offers up a simple practice that she finds incredibly therapeutic: making lists of things you like. It began several years ago when a friend (to whom she dedicates the book) gave her a list. “It was kind of like a flirty ‘get to know me’ note,” she said. “That’s all it was, just a list of things he likes. I thought it was a fascinating concept to show someone this part of yourself, your interests, but in this really detailed way.” His original list of likes is included in the book, as are many of Suskin’s own. The project is part scrapbook — photographs collaged with a mix of type- and hand-written pieces of paper — and part how-to.

Her mission with “Go Ahead & Like It,” she says, is to help other people pause to take note of the good amongst the banal and quotidian. “To be able to look around and find beauty and inspiration in every little thing, that’s what makes me a poet,” she said. “I want to show anybody that they have that in themselves.”

“Go Ahead & Like It” ($22) is available for pre-order online.

Procreative – My New Men’s Fertility Blog

2004052000591601I just launched a blog called Procreative – all about issues related to men’s fertility. I did some crowdsourcing on Facebook to find the name. Some of my favorite submissions included: Future shot, Papa was a Frozen Load, Take a Load off Danny, The Loadown, The Father Load, You’ve Got Male (fertility issues), and…The Huffington Post.

I still really like Papa Was a Frozen Load, but the blog is really about a broad variety of issues related to men’s fertility. If I eventually end up using my frozen sperm to father a child, I look forward to the day when I can sing to my grandchild: “Papa was a frozen load / a vile in cold storage was him home, etc…”. Assuming I have a son. Or a kid, for that matter…

Anyway, have a look. You just might learn something!

The Swedes Invade LA! A short piece I wrote for the NY Times / T Magazine

15culture-look-swede-tmagArticleThrongs of Swedes eager to escape the land of the midnight sun are traveling to the land of eternal sunshine. Blame the obvious (weather), the logistical (Norwegian Air Shuttle’s new direct flight from Stockholm) or the sartorial (Acne Studios’ opening of a West Coast outpost); whatever the reason, Los Angeles has become a new home away from ‘Holm for many Swedish creatives. “Without fail, every single day there’s a bunch of Swedes in the lobby,” says Fredrik Carlstrom, who ensconced himself at the newish Ace Hotel while overseeing the recent launch of Austere, a nearby Scandi-centric retail showroom and event space. Come late next year, downtown L.A. will also house AYD (short for “All Your Dreams”), a Nordic-influenced members club designed by Andreas Fornell (formerly Acne’s in-house architect). AYD will boast Swedish chefs (Adam & Albin of Matstudio in Stockholm) and club “ambassadors” like the pop icon Robyn. “A lot of people are skipping New York and going straight to L.A.,” says Patrik Berger, who co-produced the Swedish duo Icona Pop’s massive 2012 hit “I Love It.” “It’s all in L.A. when it comes to pop music.”

Entertainment Weekly Premieres Ray & Remora Video for “Gold Soundz” Featuring Kim Gordon, Jeff Goldblum (and his dog, Woody), Stephen Malkmus and More!

ew-ray&remoraMy band Ray & Remora’s new video for “Gold Soundz” premiered today on EW.com. A big thanks to everyone who participated and helped out!

Directed by Snäckan B.
Edited by Ted Malmros
Shot by Snäckan B & Ruben Broman

Featuring (in order of appearance):
Kim Gordon
Mike Viola
Money Mark
Scott Shriner
Inara George
The Gold Soundz 1994 Dancers: Erica Carpenter, Stephen Patterson, Yvonne Lacombe, Erin O’Brien (with choreography by Caitlin Adams)
Jeff Goldblum (& Woody the poodle)
Stephen Malkmus

Special Thanks:
Miwa Okumura, Katrina Dickson, Lisa Milberg

Ray & Remora EP “1994” Out Today

Ray & Remora’s new EP is out today on iTunes, Amazon, and the usual outlets.

It’s called 1994, and it’s a new band I’ve started with my friend Amanda Walker called, RAY & REMORA.
The EP is all covers of songs that came out 20 years ago, in 1994. If you were a fan of indie rock in the 90’s, I think you’ll like the songs. And if you weren’t, well, check it out anyway!
Buy it now on:
iTunes
Amazon
Aeronaut Records (best place to buy if you want the CD)
1994
Track listing:

1) Like a Fool (Superchunk)
2) Gold Soundz (Pavement)
3) Say It Ain’t So (Weezer)
4) Skull (Sebadoh)
5) Feel The Pain (Dinosaur Jr.)
6) The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory (Guided by Voices)

 

Check out our video for “Say It Ain’t So”
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Ray & Remora (my new musical endeavor) premiere

RayRemora1994_7frontHere’s a link to stream a track off my new EP, Ray & Remora / 1994. The album comes out May 6th, and I’m pretty darn proud of it. It’s six songs—all covers of songs that originally came out in 1994.

Some great videos are being crafted in our video factory right this very minute. I’ll post those as soon as they are ready.

In the meantime, enjoy Pavement’s “Gold Soundz,” as recorded by Ray & Remora!

Pre-order the CD via Aeronaut Records.

Here’s a track listing:

1) “Like a Fool” (Superchunk)
2) “Gold Soundz” (Pavement)
3) “Say It Ain’t So” (Weezer)
4) “Skull” (Sebadoh)
5) “Feel The Pain” (Dinosaur Jr.)
6) “The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory” (Guided by Voices)