Another week, another local music story for the Las Vegas Weekly. This time around, I hung out with Left Standing before their CD release show at Wasted Space inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Sadly, the Weekly‘s space dedicated to local music coverage is limited, so I had all of 450 to 500 words in which to work. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not. After compiling my notes, I struggled to come up with a decent angle for the article, which had to be a combination interview/show review/CD preview — not something easily done in such a small space.
After letting the story “cool” overnight, I awoke on deadline day with the revelation that the article might best be served by a Gonzo-style, experiential trip through the night at the Hard Rock. I described the gyrating go-go dancers, the wobbling, drunken tourist frat boys, the individual band members and their particular tics, the basketball fans glued to the flat screens … you name it, I threw it in there. Problem was, that put me over my word count before I even finished the second paragraph.
Sigh. Such is freelance journalism.
So I ended up with a serviceable piece that hopefully did the band justice, if not the overall experience. After finding ways to squeeze stories into 200-word boxes for Six Degrees, I’ve gotten pretty good at compressing a whole lot of content into not much space. But it still doesn’t mean I like it.