So, as you probably know by now, I have stepped down as Cityview's regular music writer, with the August 11 edition being my last in that capacity. Most of my music writing (such as it will continue to be) will move over to this site, but Cityview was in the position of needing a new scribe to cover the local and national scenes for them. The search did not take them long, nor did they have to stray too far from the established community: Starting with the September issue, Cityview readers can welcome their new music writer, Joe Lawler.
The more astute among you will recall Lawler's name from the 14 years he previously spent occupying a similar position for Juice and the Des Moines register. Lawler left those positions for a job in the private sector, with his own website, LiveLocalMan, serving as his creative outlet. But over the past several months, the desire to remain connected with the music scene had clearly grown stronger.
Lawler was one of the writers who had contributed pieces to the Des Moines Music Coalition's "Band Hype" leading up to this year's 80/35 Music Festival. At the Festival itself, Lawler could be found roaming the stages, serving as one of the Festival's official social media contributors. He'd also spent some time helping Jill Haverkamp with some writing projects for On Pitch, and has all the while been serving as a regular contributor for Silicon Prairie News. Now, Lawler joins the ranks of names like Michael Gartner and Brian Duffy as people who have contributed for both the Register and Cityview.
There will, I am sure, be a healthy debate in some circles over Lawler's selection. But Lawler is a writer with plenty of experience in the field and solid name recognition within the city and music community. He's also, unlike some other writers in town, extremely well liked. The latter point is of no small significance, especially for a paper that is making the potentially unpopular transition from weekly to monthly publication.
But perhaps most importantly, Lawler is a writer who can hit the ground running. He will not need time to build any name recognition within the community, nor will he have to have someone show him the ropes of writing for publication.
Lawler is currently working on his first Cityview pieces, and his debut issue will be Sept 1.