Being “in and of the scene” is not a hollow slogan at HXC Magazine; it is a belief and an ideal. It is crucial for us to not only report on the goings on in the hardcore, punk and metal music scenes, but to contribute to those same outlets and people. Media is as much a tool for disseminating knowledge and awareness and for actively shaping the world as it is for simply spreading the news of the day. This is why when HXC was asked to participate in a panel on music blogging and journalism at Baruch College on April 23rd, we jumped at the chance.
At the panel, we had the humbling opportunity to speak alongside representatives from fellow music media outlets Audiofemme and Village Voice to students eager to participate in the music industry. Annie White, executive director of Audiofemme, and Linda Leseman, longtime freelancer for publications like Village Voice and LA Weekly, had some excellent insight to offer: be business-minded and include clown college on your resume. (Maybe not exactly that last part, though it did help Leseman land a job once. The point is, don’t be afraid to get a little weird.) Know your stuff. Be both a force to be reckoned with and a fun-loving fan. Walk tough lines and learn how to keep your footing. Contradictions abound but in between them is where you need to be.
Other topics we discussed ranged from how to get people to notice your writing to how to interview artists to “you’re probably going to be dirt broke for a while but that’s okay, don’t panic.” Some of the most important pieces of advice given across the board had to do more with life than journalism: Try new things that maybe terrify you; get inspired; put yourself out there; don’t be afraid to assert yourself. Each panelist had their own set of accomplishments and setbacks, but all seemed to reach one common destination of music, writing, and followed passion. When it comes down to it, if there’s one fact any professional or person anywhere needs to know it’s that we all have the power to make things happen. Work hard, try to remind yourself sleeping is somewhat necessary, and go out and be in and of your scene.