This week I spoke with another Time Out New York staffer Sophie Harris, Music Rock, Jazz etc. Staff Writer, about getting listed in the magazine [check out the interview with Jamie Falkowski, Time Out New York–The Volume–blogger]. She gave us a detailed account of the process:
How do you decide which bands to list in the magazine?
It’s a combination of things. We’re trying to accommodate for all the people in New York and all of the music being played in any give week. It’s kind of a tall order. There are a lot of musician’s who we list that we just think are great and that we think will be really successful. Other times, it’s a matter of personal taste–what we think people will enjoy. We have to make sure that we’re covering who ever is big that week, the hot ticket, even if we think they’re perhaps, not so musically delightful. We want to get a really broad spectrum in there and to uphold our reputation for spotting talent early. There always a bunch of bands that have been featured in Time Out when they were still completely unknown and there’s always satisfaction on our part when that person becomes really big. And it’s a responsibility on our part to weed out who is really good.
Who’s an example of someone who was unknown, featured in Time Out, and then made it big?
I’m thinking it’s usually like indie-folk singer/songwriters just like Regina Spektor, who’s now massive.
How do the listings get put together?
Each person in the music team, there are five people, is assigned a certain number of venues, say 15. Their responsibility is to make sure that the gigs that are scheduled for those venues are going to get listed. The way that we would do that would be certain things are sent to us via the listings email and sometimes they’re submitted to our individual emails. We also have to check the venue’s websites to see what is playing there. And we’d also double check on the musician’s website to make sure that they’re really playing at the venue. We have to keep an eye out for really exciting shows whether they’re huge or tiny long in advance so we’ve got an idea of what we’d be featuring in future issues. We always have to have an idea of what we’ll be doing months ahead.
How do you make sure that the listings are a good mix of local bands and bigger bands?
Editorially: It’s our deliberate action to make sure that we’re covering a wide range. And our readers would kick asses to keep up the broad range.
Listing: That’s our responsibility to the readers, that we’re providing them with the service that tells them exactly what’s going on. It’s not just our taste or the really big shows. It’s the broad reader taste that we look out for.