Tonal recall

Fond flashbacks from the club crawl
By CHRIS CONTI  |  October 15, 2014


I am writing this prior to meeting up with Midday Records prez Davey Moore at Dusk on a Sunday night for his new podcast series, which we actually scheduled over a month ago. And when he inevitably asks, “So, what’s next for you?,” my honest reply will go something like, “Guy, I have no fucking idea.”

Not to say the heartbreaking news comes as a shock; with the ad count dwindling and the seemingly abrupt shuttering of the Boston Phoenix offices last year, we all knew the clock was ticking for the PVD PHX.

Managing editor (and longtime pickup hoops partner) Lou Papineau offered me the music column gig in 2008 and I gladly accepted; I started with the Providence Phoenix back in 1997 (shoutout to Jody Ericson!) and paid my dues via years of spot appearances in our Best issues and seasonal preview guides. Our goal was simple: to get our readers “off the couch” and out to a show and take in some of the top-shelf “homegrown product” around Lil Rhody. From there I routinely tortured him with my procrastinating while banging out features on an outdated, piece-of-shit ThinkPad from my corner office (bedroom).

Lou Pap also afforded me the chance to interview some of my all-time favorite national acts; I recall pacing my apartment for six hours prior to a phoner with Dinosaur Jr’s Lou Barlow, and an hour-long chat with a surprisingly down-to-earth MF Doom (I printed and framed an email response from Prince Paul). I also interviewed my three favorite comedians: Louie CK (disastrous), Bill Burr (twice, and a total blast), and Norm MacDonald. I thank Lou for all these opportunities, as well as Mr. Steve Brown for keeping me around and always offering kind and encouraging words whenever I saw him at our Best Music Poll parties.

I regret not pounding the desk for one final Best Music Poll last year. And while the complaints always rolled in regarding the categories, nominees, winners, etc. (this is RI — we reserve the right to piss and moan about anything), our objective remained intact — to provide well-deserved exposure to some of the state’s best musicmakers.

Flashbacks abound while skimming through the 21 pages of my features on the PVD PHX site, dating back to my first foray as a Rock Hunt judge (what up, Wendell!) at the Living Room. I covered more than 300 locally sourced artists during this time and, sadly, I have a list of artists I planned on covering by year’s end.

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