That’s a wrap — for this week, anyway

For a variety of reasons, Jewish News had an early deadline this week, and while it’s generally not cool to talk about how the staff sweats to get an issue done, I’ve got to tip my hat to my colleagues on the editorial and production staffs who worked together seamlessly.

It wouldn’t matter enough for me to mention it here, except that you might call this our Jewish music issue because of two articles that I wrote — an appreciation of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen’s late career success that includes reviews of their respective 2012 albums “Tempest” and “Old Ideas” and a first-person account of attending the Songleader Boot Camp held at Temple Solel this past weekend. (Check out video from the SLBC on Facebook.)

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep because I spent two late nights trying to get every word and comma just right in those stories – like when I misspelled “peace” as “piece,” yikes — but this Nov. 16 edition of Jewish News, which will go live online tomorrow afternoon at and will begin arriving in Valley mailboxes on Friday, is very dear to my heart.

It’s no secret that I was The Arizona Republic’s pop music reporter – which basically meant I covered any type of music except classical — from 1990 to 1997. I have missed that role and audience a lot, too much in fact, but two recent bits of advice have helped me finally get past the sense of loss.

One came from my co-worker Julie Goggin, who said something like, “If the life you have now doesn’t suck, then they did you a favor letting you go. Get over it, dude.”

The other came from musician Rick Recht, who founded Songleader Boot Camp, who told me and my fellow boot recruits last weekend that the most important performance you’ve ever done is the one you’re about to do. This applies to so much in life and creates an attitude of real Thanksgiving.

Thanks for checking out our paper and this blog. Thanks to the readers who are so kind and supportive of our work. I’ll certainly keep these things in mind as we head into Shabbat and Thanksgiving week.


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