This week we'd like to welcome a new face to Ace that's really not new at all.
Most readers are well-acquainted with Chris Webb's work here, where he's freelanced for the past several years.
This week, he assumes the heavy mantle of our List Editor, succeeding Rob Bricken who's leaving us for the Big Apple.
In his free time, many of you know Chris as a filmmaker (in summer of 99, he won WKYT's summer film competition, with his flick, Dream Lover; he's also collaborated on art film projects with local artists and filmmakers like Ben Bartlett, Bryan Litt and Mitch Elswick).
This summer he's editing a Nine Lb. Hammer concert film (a compilation of various international shows, circa 1992-1996, from Japan to Canada to Austria). He'll also be working on videos for some punk bands from all over. Also in the works is a potential project on Ralph Eugene Meatyard. (He knows everything from 8 mm to digital video and can do everything from field production to post production.)
This is a guy who's in the trenches.
Last fall, he contributed one of our best Ace cover stories to date, "Into the Mystic," an elegantly written piece on Thomas Merton. (Recently, he did a cover interview with Mark Olson and Victoria Williams.)
And of course, several of you had a chance to meet him at Taste of Ace a few weeks ago, where he tirelessly schlepped drinks behind the bar all night.
Most importantly, he's long been a mainstay - nay, a fixture - at anything and everything that's going on in this town when it comes to music, film, art, and everything else that's good.
A&E and Listings is one of the most important jobs a weekly newspaper does.
The "back of the book" should reflect the local arts and entertainment and cultural community - and it should also prod it, by way of critical commentary, to always improve and progress.
Most readers have a love/hate relationship with their city weekly over what makes it into their List (and what doesn't). And that's if it's done right. No List should be all things to all people.
Ideally, a great Listings section should cover the obligatory bases, but also prod and enlighten the readership - to seek out what's new and different, and to support it.
It doesn't happen overnight. But it's a source of some pride for us that Ace has helped foster and find an audience for formerly obscure authors and musicians and artists who- five years ago - couldn't even get arrested around here. Now when we sponsor their visits here, they've become so popular they're making the front pages of the daily paper two weeks before they even hit town.
Many other members of the local media and cultural community work just as hard in this arena, week after week, and we think it's paying off.
We've certainly seen a real evolution and progression over the past five to ten years.
In Chris Webb, we are so excited to have found someone who lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps the local arts scene.
Take advantage of that.
Dog him night and day.
Call him constantly.
Email him relentlessly.
Don't stop until we have a List that you think reflects the booty-licious wealth the city has to offer.