The Perfect Compliment

September 23rd, 2009

magsmall.jpgWhen I first moved to New York City, my bets were placed equally between writing for and being on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. The same could have been said of The New York Times, or MTV.

Yeah, I probably should have checked the odds. But we’re talking 1995 here. I was 24-years-old. I hadn’t read “The Spectator Bird” yet.

Well, you sort of know how it’s turned out.

I wrote for Rolling Stone Online for almost a year, interviewing Ben Folds, Ani DiFranco and Matthew Sweet at their respective zeniths. I’ve yet to grace its pages in any other capacity.

And though I’ve never written for The New York Times, I did have a moment a few years when one intrepid reporter investigated the phenomena of cover songs on iTunes

These days, I run MTV News. I’ve been on air exactly once playing waste paper basketball in an episode of “Uncensored.” I’ve been online once talking about U2.

Now, I did geat some terrific press a few weeks ago when PopCandy wrote about our “Mister Rogers & Me” fundraiser (and doubles our trailer views in two days). And over the years, I’ve received a decent amount of, well, less-mainstream press (thanks Albany Source and Waterloo Courier). Heck, legendary DJ Vin Scelsa once talked about my song, “Crash Site” for nearly ten minutes on his seminal WFUV-FM program, Idiot’s Delight.

Funny things happen when you’re not looking. Like this.

On Friday, drummer Ryan Vaughn texted Chris Abad and me, “Yo! There’s a random photo of us on page 143 of the October Esquire!”

It took me until last night to get my hands on a copy, and sure enough, there we are crossing Allen Street together amidst a phalanx of pedestrians. I remember the night well. It was just a few months ago in July. The three of us had just jumped out of the cab en route to an all-ages, acoustic performance at Rockwood Music Hall. It was a great night, one that inspired the blog post “Rock & Roll Reconsidered.”

But here’s the best part. The Esquire article is called “The Perfect Compliment.” So each of the pedestrians have complimentary captions floating over their heads. One guy’s says, “You look like a good dad.” Another young woman’s reads, “That’s one hell of a handbag.”

Mine says, “You look like you know what you’re doing.”

Given the amount of uncertainty with which I wrestle every day (like “Should I be a broke talent, or a broker of talent?”), well, it’s the perfect compliment.

Thanks, Esquire.

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