Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why Harvilla's Hot

I've said it before numerous times over the years and now I'll put it in writing: Rob Harvilla is one of our country's greatest music writers. I've had the pleasure of living in two cities where Rob has overseen free weeklies; first in Columbus, where he brought the Other Paper to respectability (it currently flounders with only a single decent scribe, Rick Allen) before leaving for Oakland, where his column in the underrated East Bay Express made me hunt for that paper each Wednesday for the brief time that I lived in the area. On a side note, I miss those Bay Area weeklies...all were very solid, with the Guardian and the Express both excellent.
A little over a year ago, Rob was named Music Editor of The Village Voice, the mother of all weeklies, and he's returned that paper's section into something quite readable again.
Besides choosing excellent freelance writers like the always controversial Chris Ott and compiling a solid staff, Rob's writing is what really brings me back to the Voice every week. He's funny, unashamed of his dorky nature and as unpretentious as any editor the Voice has ever hired, in my days at least. Most recently his white-boy analysis of Mims' "This Is Why I'm Hot" had me nearly in tears at its scholarly breakdown of the years dumbest, catchiest song. Elsewhere, his "Status Ain't Hood" and "Cred Sheet" columns are perfect encapsulations of each week's happenings. I really hope others are feeling same way about Rob's stuff. Check the Voice site each week to catch up on his musical obsessions.

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