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The Media Manifesto
"Sometimes I sing like my life is at stake because you're only as loud as the noises you make."

by Chelsea Dirck
Well, is it?

by Pandora Christ
Happy May, you sex machines.

An interview with Ronnie Nordac
Dreams Come True in
Boston, Massachusetts.

Defining and saving the spirit of alt-weeklies / by Liz Pelly
Seeking enlightenment in Denver
by Ariel Shearer

I thought medical marijuana could save the Phoenix. The Sacramento News & Review, an alt weekly in California, expanded circulation and hired new staffers when they started running weed advertisements. The Colorado Springs Independent, another weekly paper, began publishing a marijuana ad supplement . . .

Boston's underground press reflect on Boston's underground press

The loss of an alternative institution like the Phoenix is the worst. If there’s one positive thing that could happen now, at least the absence of the Phoenix creates an urgency about starting new underground newspapers and zines. In the weeks after . . .

Words from the Phoenix's former editor-in-chief
by Carly Carioli

When the bombs went off on Boylston Street, I had no newspaper of my own. Don't get me wrong: I love my new job. I'm surrounded by smart people who are dedicated to making journalism smarter. But on that Monday I'd been in my new digs for all of . . .

Six weeks ago, I lost my job at the Phoenix. I was sitting in my friend Jordan's kitchen in East Austin, taking refuge from the soulless corporate chaos that so largely consumes South by Southwest. I was working on a review of The Punk Singer, a new documentary about Kathleen Hanna, for the Phoenix's music blog, when I received a text message about some conference call. I thought about skipping it because I wanted to perfect my piece and get to this Merchandise / Waxahatchee show. "It seems important," Michael Marotta, the Phoenix's music editor, texted me. Ok, sure.

Exhausted on three hours sleep, I dialed in late. But I got on the line just in time to hear Phoenix publisher Stephen Mindich: "This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make," he said. "As of today the Boston Phoenix will cease publication. The issue on newsstands will be the last issue."


First I was in shock, then denial. I had lost the coolest job in the world-- one that let me
report on underground music and radical activism, that taught me to write clearly and thoughtfully.I found my voice at the Phoenix in a way I never could at journalism school. Once I'd returned to Boston, my days dragged as the shock and denial just turned to sadness. I teared up at more than one downtown bar that week. Phoenix editor-in-chief Carly Carioli, speaking with Gawker, offered an apt analogy: "I feel like someone just killed my best friend."

I didn’t get the closure of being in the newsroom when . . .

Laura Stevenson in conversation with Larry Livermore

When I first heard Laura Stevenson, I knew absolutely nothing about her, except that friends had told me she was becoming kind of a big deal on the alternative indie/folk scene. The minute she opened her mouth to sing, I could see why; her crystal-clear vocals, tinged with achy-breaky country sadness and wise-beyond-her-years insight and understanding, made you want to listen, and listen closely, to whatever she had to say.

Having no idea who she was, where she had come from, or what her lyrics were about (my first encounter with her was at a live show in Hoboken), I constructed my own narrative, most of which turned out to be completely wrong. She must be from the South, I assumed, or at least had spent a good deal of time there, and must have grown up deeply steeped in the tradition of singers like Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, and (especially) Kitty Wells, all of whom I could have sworn I heard echoing in Laura’s voice.

So much for my keen ear: when I got to meet and talk with Laura, I learned that she’d lived her . . .

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