Today is my last day at the Hartford Courant. As reported elsewhere, I volunteered for a buyout from the paper, where I’ve been the rock critic for the past 10 years of a 14-year career here.
I won’t lie: the decision to leave was an easy one. Upheavals in the media world, particularly in print (and specifically at the Courant’s parent company), make this an excellent time to seek a new challenge. If deciding was the easy part, though, actually leaving is rather more difficult, and not just because it meant cleaning up my desk (pictured at right).
The Courant is the only place I’ve worked since (and, actually, prior to) graduating from college. Before I started as rock critic a decade ago, I spent four years covering towns in eastern Connecticut as part of the paper’s state desk system (what’s up, Somers?). I’ve been fortunate during all of that time to work with truly talented journalists, doing meaningful work. I’ve had amazing, committed colleagues, past and present, who have challenged and inspired me.
I’ve also been fortunate to have a job I have truly loved doing, that has introduced me to a staggering array of new music and has allowed me to muse out loud about the ways in which music intersects with the rest of our lives. I’ve attended nearly 800 concerts over the past 10 years, interviewed hundreds of local and national musicians and reviewed countless CDs, all of which has led to fascinating conversations with readers, in person at shows, by e-mail and, since 2006, on the Sound Check blog.
That’s what I will miss. As for those new challenges, it’s too early to say for sure exactly what they will entail. I’ll continue writing for Spinner, RollingStone.com and M Music & Musicians magazine, and you can follow me at Listen, Dammit, and my self-titled website. You can also find me on Wednesdays at 4:10 p.m. on the Best New Song of the Week segment on WRSI-FM, 93.9, the River, in Northampton.
Thank you all for reading over the years. Let’s keep the conversation going.
Starting next week, Nick Caito takes over the Sound Check blog. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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