Baptism by feature

My feature-writing swan song heading into my Nieman year appears in the current issue of Fast Company (an issue filled with vibrant business writing). Take us to the river looks directly at why the big music labels aren’t dead yet, and might be getting better. It also provides an indirect glance at the future of my industry, and any other industry enduring the digital onslaught. I would love to revisit this piece in two years; I suspect it will be worth twice as much space (if we still have ‘space’ in two years). I don’t know that it will yet be a happy story for musicians, but it’s clear that the Internet has yet to prove a boon for most of them.
I like the piece, of course. It also was blessed with faint praise from the usually vitriolic Bob Lefsetz. The Billboard writer Glenn Peoples stopped short of calling it a puff piece and found some things to praise in it. (I found out about Peoples’ comments when someone I know who reads him misread Peoples’ sarcastic use of ‘fantastic’  to describe the piece, and wrote me to tell me it really was fantastic.) About what I would have done when I was a trade reporter, unconcerned by how the nuances that matter to trade writers affect the eyelids of readers who don’t care a lick about the subject.

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