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And Now, For Something Completely Different

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Having served as The Charlotte Observer's entertainment editor for the past two and a half years, I've often picked up the latest issue of Creative Loafing and thought to myself, "What would I do if I were the editor?" Be careful what you wish for.

Last week, I moved from my old desk at the Observer to my new office here at the Loaf for a challenge that I welcome with enthusiasm and gratitude.

I'm enthusiastic because I believe Creative Loafing speaks to my people: folks who love Charlotte but can't stand in a single-file line with the status quo. You're the people who like to go out and experience new music at dive clubs or kill a few hours at Manifest shopping for obscure CDs. You'd just as soon dine at the tiny Dominican restaurant tucked into a strip mall on Central Avenue as you would the "uptown" sports bars with 500,000 TV screens. I can identify with you.

I'm grateful because John Grooms, who moves to a senior editorial position this issue, has laid a solid foundation in his 17 years as Creative Loafing's editor, setting a high bar and pulling in a range of talented writers. I'm also grateful to you, CL's readers, for your curiosity and creativity. Charlotte is a vibrant town full of things to do, places to go and burning issues to care about. I plan to make sure we continue covering all of this.

A bit about myself: I'm a native North Carolinian, born and raised in Asheboro. In the late-80s, I high-tailed it to New York City to write about punk rock and hip-hop for publications like the Village Voice and Creem magazine. Between 1991 and 1996, I edited the Los Angeles-based alternative music magazine Option, then moved back to New York in the late-90s to serve as music editor of Rolling Stone and then an editorial executive at MTV.

In 2002, home beckoned as I began writing a book, Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race And New Beginnings in a New South. The title pretty much sums up what I believe is important about Charlotte, and what I believe Creative Loafing's mission should be in this city. We're a diverse community whose individual voices can and should sing together, in harmony, above the monotonous chatter of the mainstream. All together now...

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