Posts Tagged With: Piedmont Laureate

Indy Week: “The Dean of North Carolina Rock Critics”

In my 28-year tenure at the News & Observer, I was accustomed to thinking of the Indy Week as my competition. There were a few interludes when that competition was heated and not altogether pleasant — but more often than not, things stayed cordial and friendly over the years. They’ve been quite kind to my past books, as well as to my time as Piedmont Laureate last year.

Because we were covering the same turf, there was always just enough of an edge to where it felt like we made each other better, which seemed as it should be. Of course, circumstances change, and I even wrote a piece for Indy Week last year after leaving the paper (a remembrance of the late great Sara Romweber). That means I’ve had a byline in Indy Week more recently than the N&O, which I have to admit feels a bit strange.

And in the here and now, I must thank Indy Week and writer/editor Brian Howe for the extraordinarily kind coverage they’ve given “Step It Up and Go,” complete with a headline I can’t help feeling unworthy of: David Menconi, the Dean of North Carolina Rock Critics, Pens a Loving Landmark History of Our State‚Äôs Popular Music.

Holy Robert Christgau, that is amazing. Shucks, y’all — thank you. I am beyond honored.

Events at the INDY - INDY Week

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Bookin’, with hometown bookstore Quail Ridge

Bookin'

In the middle of a pandemic with the world seemingly falling apart is a rather strange, difficult and dispiriting time to be putting a book out into the world. But life goes on and so does relentless self-promotion (’cause God helps those who hype themselves). So on we go: Here is a very nice “Step It Up and Go” interview on the podcast Bookin,’ conducted by Quail Ridge Books general manager Jason Jefferies, touching on everything from Charlie Poole to “American Idol.” And we handled the logistics the way one does nowadays with pandemic protocols — via a remote interview over the phone, even though Jason and I actually live right around the corner from each other.

Speaking of remote events and such, I will be doing an online reading/discussion via Quail Ridge Books the evening of Oct. 19 (which is the book’s “official” publication date). Joining me will be my old friend, fellow Piedmont Laureate emeritus and noted author Scott Huler. And the silver lining to this online world of virtuality is that you can attend from anywhere, not just here in Raleigh. We’ll kick things off at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Oct. 19. Y’all come.

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