Tag Archive | Rockpile Magazine

Erik Caplan, former Managing Editor of Rockpile Magazine, Praises Worleygig.com on the Ocassion of Our 10th Birthday!

Erik Caplan Bear Suit

I found this awesome testimonial lodged inside another post from six years ago and decided to dig it out and re-post it fresh, so I could correctly categorize it. And also, because it is Hilarious — thanks again Air-Wick!

“I first made Gail’s acquaintance while I was the managing editor of a small-but- growing music magazine in Philly. One of my duties in this position was to seek, manage and coddle our semi-talented, semi-literate and semi-paid staff of writers and contributors. One day, as I plodded and wept through yet another round of edits of the current month’s crop, I got a call from a fast-talking, but highly personable woman from New York who, for some inscrutable reason, was interested in writing for my crappy rag. She sounded confident and experienced, had a great sense of humor, seemed flexible as an interviewer and, most importantly, lived in New York City.

NYC Travel Mural

And, truth be told, the last of these attributes seemed most attractive. See, while having a magazine based in Philadelphia is a boon for rent concerns, it’s a bit removed from the action when it comes to the music industry, and trekking to New York was a pain in the ass for a lot of our local writers (not to mention a great excuse to ask for too much travel/expense loot!) So, to be fair, I figured, “Hell, even if this Worley chick is a lousy writer, she seems responsible and cool… and at least she’ll get face-to-face interviews with people. Even if I have to punch up her work and ask for re-writes, it’ll still be worth it… after all, she’s willing to work for our paltry wages.”

I honestly forget what happened next – either Gail pitched me a story or I gave her some kind of assignment. It doesn’t matter, really, because the end result was that she e-mailed me something that needed no punching-up – hell, it was actually really good and full of solid research, good questions and insight. In short, it was damn good rock journalism… and she sent it to me on time! Amazing.

As time went by, I gave her a column, and I grew to depend on Gail’s hard work, honesty and all-around good nature for the magazine and my sanity. I called her “Gail The Snail,” and she called me “Air-Wick.” It was love. OK, not love… it was… professional courtesy, respect and a form of affection for a compadre. I can’t begin to count the number of times I called Gail (or vice versa) to talk about an assignment, but wound up commiserating about the horrors of being over-worked, seriously underpaid and having wayyy cooler hair than anyone else in the room (which wasn’t difficult in my case or Gail’s, but hey, we were still cooler.)

And, yes, I did eventually meet the lovely Gail one magical night when my old band was on tour. In mid-tour, we played a show at Don Hill’s in SoHo, and Ms. Worley was kind enough to accept my invitation to the gig – guest-listed, of course. One of my long-lost prized possessions was a photo us from that night: me strangling Gail with my hair. Things were good.

Time passed, like the magic trick it is, and things got a bit rough at the magazine. Long story short (“Too late!” I’m sure you’re thinking–shaddap)… I was phased out. My boss hired two interns to do my job and got two younger, hipper dudes to do the job of one old dude for less money. I remember sadly going about the task of letting my favorite contacts know the awful truth about my imminent departure. Now, maybe I am painting Gail with too much of a saintly brush, but I sorta remember her telling me that she’d quit writing for the magazine after I was gone from the masthead. I naturally appreciated her show of solidarity, but I insisted that she retain her post and fight the good fight to keep cool music in that increasingly snobby, indie-rock rag. OK, so maybe she didn’t offer to split – it’s my frickin’ memory, and if I wanna make it all sweet and lovely, I will. Bastards.

Anyway, she stayed on for a while after I left, but I’m pretty sure she never loved those interns-turned-editors as much as she loved me. In fact, I know they did something unspeakable to her. Aw, hell, I’ll speak of it – they changed her words and ruined something she wrote. Uncool. Just for the record, if I ever changed Gail’s words, she never noticed, and that’s because I never would dare to touch the meaty parts of Gail’s writing – the place where her voice lived and rang out. Messing with that would have been like tugging on Superman’s cape. It’s a respect thing, and I had that for Gail in spades. I still do.

At any rate, Gail was one of the few people who would still message me on AIM after I left the magazine, and she was always the same to me – supportive, kind and, well… Gail.

So, for what it’s worth, that’s the ballad of me and Gail. We don’t speak too often anymore, and I know she stays busy. However, I’m pretty sure I could hit her up tomorrow and get the same cheery “Hey Air-Wick!” as always. And that’s worth something to me. Horns up, Gail The Snail!”

– Erik Caplan, former Managing Editor of Rockpile Magazine, musician, writer, over-eater, dreadlocked Jew and keeper of the rock faith.

*For those of you who are Jew-impaired, being a “mensch” means for a person to be a gentleman or a stand-up guy… neither of which, by the way, have been common descriptions of me in recent years.

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Happy 4th Birthday to Worleygig.com!

4th Bday Balloon.jpg

Today the Staff of Worleygig.com celebrates four fantastic years on the web! Here’s a particularly awesome testimonial that came in a few days ago just to help us mark this great occasion!

“I first made Gail’s acquaintance while I was the managing editor of a small-but- growing music magazine in Philly. One of my duties in this position was to seek, manage and coddle our semi-talented, semi-literate and semi-paid staff of writers and contributors. One day, as I plodded and wept through yet another round of edits of the current month’s crop, I got a call from a fast-talking, but highly personable woman from New York who, for some inscrutable reason, was interested in writing for my crappy rag. She sounded confident and experienced, had a great sense of humor, seemed flexible as an interviewer and, most importantly, lived in New York City.
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They Ruined My Reviews and Then They Didn’t Pay Me

For about four years, I wrote a monthly column (and the ocassional short feature or cover story) for this national Indie-rock slanted music magazine that paid shit, when they even paid me, and had weird editorial guidelines like not letting writers use the word “THAT” in any reviews or articles unless it was a quote. WTF?

I put up with it for a long time because, even though the pay was next-to-nada, I could use my column to write about almost any CDs I liked and I figured the national exposure couldn’t hurt my profile. With discipline (and rigid use of the “find/replace” feature in Word) I eventually learned to write without using the word “THAT” even when it made no sense, knowing the magazine would just take the word out anyway, indiscriminately, for their own twisted reasons. The thing is, after four years of this bullshit, I just got sick and tired of having my work ruined. Not to yank my own chain here, but I’m a pretty decent writer. I’ve got nothing against an editor tightening up a feature article or fact checking any of my investigative reporting, but — jesus god! — leave a 250 word CD review the fuck alone, will ya?

I resigned from that magazine last month and, along with the day I bailed on AOL, it was one of the happiest recent days of my life. Since they ruined the last column I wrote (and my friend Frank is all over my ass to add some new stuff to this blog) I decided to reprint two of that column’s reviews here. So they could run free…although I think the word “THAT” is still missing.

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Mondo Generator, A Drug Problem That Never Existed

The many and varied side-projects perpetuated by members of Queens of The Stoneage progress along their merry madcap way with the release of the sophomore CD from Mondo Generator. As the three-steps -to-the-right-of-Mr-Bungle spawn of Queens’ guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Nick Oliveri, A Drug Problem That Never Existed (on Mike Patton’s Ipecac records), provides a bit more of a challenging listen than the latest release from label mates, Tomahawk. Nevertheless, the album is not without its unique and special charm. A Drug Problem That Never Existed reunites Nick and Josh with former Kyuss bandmate, drummer Brant Bjork and QOTSA guitarist Dave Catching, adding a little yin energy from chick bassist, Molly Maguire (earthlings?, Yellow #5). Everyone does his or her best to make this aural trip to the loony bin one you won’t soon be forgetting.

From the acoustic, pseudo-folk ballads (“All I Can Do,” “Day I Die”) to Tazmanian Devil-inspired art punk (“F.Y. I’m Free”) listening to this album made me wonder what the hell was going through the mind of whoever wrote “Girl’s Like Christ,” and just what do the lyrics, “Do the headright, baby” even mean? Stick around after Mark Lanegan’s sublime appearance as guest vocalist on “Four Corners,” for a hilariously deadpan commercial promotion of upcoming Ipecac label releases — which may or may not be a joke. Mondo Generator is mainly a studio project, but the group has been known to play random live dates, including a recent NYC slot opening for Tomahawk. Should the band schedule a live performance anywhere near your vicinity, it is recommended you do whatever it takes to make the show. Co-produced by infamous nut job/instigator of the controversial, Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves, A Drug Problem that Never Existed delivers fourteen more reasons why Rehab is for quitters.

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Mensen, Oslo City

Since the apparent disappearance of The Lunachicks and L7, the premature demise of the truly brilliant Betty Blowtorch, and realizing Kittie just plain suck, The Donnas have done an admirable job of spearheading the Chicks Who Rock Like Guys movement. But let’s face the music and dance here: one spin of Oslo City, the sophomore LP from Norwegian garage rockers, Mensen, will quickly separate the girls from the grrrls. Okay, so the band is technically three chicks and a guy –- just like late great British upstarts, Kenickie –- with the inclusion of bassist Rambling Roy. But from the first few seconds of Mary Currie’s bratty vocals and Christine Sixteen (awesome name)’s fierce guitar attack on “Keep Up!,” it’s clear the ladies are running the show. Not to slight the guys at all: Roy’s solid bass backbone and Oslo City’s co-production courtesy of Nicke Anderssen — of Mensen’s GearHead Records label mates, The Hellacopters — add to the band’s serious balls factor. And it’s all good in Oslo City, where the rock slows down once or twice but never, ever stops as Mensen mix and match rock styles with equal finesse. “Bosnia” is as heartfelt and sentimental as a Shangri-La’s tune from the 50’s, while “Piece of My Heart” captures a 70’s punk energy to rival Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown.” With the relentlessly tuneful yet ass-kicking ferocity of “Start Over Again” and “One Way Street,” Mensen revs up the hotrod rock, leaving Sahara Hot Nights to eat its dust.