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NUVO at 25: Reflections from our music freelancers

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NUVO's music section – nay, all of its sections – could not exist without the freelancers. Music freelancers are those intrepid sort that stuff music into their brains and then stretch out their fingers to type thousand word missives that arrive in my inbox after many late nights at shows and later nights in front of their computers. Some of our freelancers started contributing in NUVO's salad days, way back in the '90s. Others started just in the last few years. We love them all.

For our 25th, I asked freelancers to look back on the good, the weird and the wacky. Here's what they said about their time writing, photographing and otherwise contributing to NUVO's music section.

­— Katherine Coplen, Music Editor

A favorite interview and story for me was Phoenix on the Faultline. Aside from the fact that everyone in the band was super nice and candid, they were also a blast to hang out with. After spending time with them in their rehearsal space ­— a very cramped room off a detached garage, especially for a nine-piece band — the rest of the evening was spent drinking Hamm's and shooting a potato gun. I'm still listening to Hail the New Pawn by The Dream is Dead. It's absolutely devastating and belongs in every hardcore music fan's collection. RIP Jared Southwick.

— Wade Coggeshall, writer

My time at NUVO was full of awesome memories. I pretty much made my job a decade-long project in seeing how far I could take things. I was constantly badgering [publisher] Kevin [McKinney] for money. Money to go to SXSW, money to go on the road with bands like The Why Store and Liquid Circumstance. Money to go to Europe with The Zero Boys. Money to go to India, just because. I was always coming up with ways to get money out of Kevin.

The Dream Is Dead - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Submitted Photo
  • The Dream Is Dead

Once I was chilling with the late, great Merle Griggs of the bands Bitch Head and Helen Shields when we decided to get NUVO to sponsor a "Date with Helen Shields" contest. I go to Kevin and pitch it as a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant and a private show at the Patio or something along those lines. The contest ran and a winner was selected. The night of the "Date" we had forgotten to get with the Patio, and we were out of pot.

So, we hatched the back up plan. We took the $100 dollars from Kevin and got us $40 dollars worth of weed, and took the rest of the money and got, like, 200 wings with the rest of the money. So the poor contest winner, a hairdresser from Greenwood, ended up at the ratty,  filthy HS HQ off Keystone with Merle giving the grand tour like a proud housewife, and then eating wings while watching Ice Cube music videos followed by the loud as fuck private show in the oven-like basement where lead singer Tom Watts, was making her a little uncomfortable. But Merle was so cool and so graceful, she ended up having the time of her life.

— Jeff Napier, writer

Whether stumbling about with his original gang of drinking buddies, or fronting a sleek professional rock band with his best Roger Daltrey impersonation, master songwriter and Ohio neighbor Guided By Voice's Robert Pollard always delivered a giddy, beer-fueled, 50-song love fest for his Trekkie-like worshipers in Indianapolis.

— Scott Hall, writer

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