New music writer has 'dream job'

Friday , May 30, 2014 - 4:30 PM

Andy sig

Andy Howell...

New Standard-Examiner music writer Raychel Johnson showed up for her first day of work on crutches.

Days after we officially hired her, she went rock climbing in Moab and suffered a gash on her leg, requiring 32 stitches. She was climbing over a boulder when it came lose and rolled onto her leg. Yes, you could say our music reporter had a close encounter with a rolling stone. She has heard all the rock and roll puns this week.

Raychel is not new to the Standard-Examiner or the community. She was a TX correspondent for us while attending Roy High and went on to be editor of The Signpost, Weber State’s student newspaper. She co-hosted a radio show on WSU’s FM 88.1 radio station dedicated to local musicians.

“It has always been my dream to walk in the footsteps of previous music journalists at the Standard-Examiner.” she said.

And her dream has come true.

Raychel replaces noted music writer Linda East Brady, who recently joined her husband in New Mexico where he works as a mine engineer. Linda still intends to do some freelance work for the Standard-Examiner.

Raychel will be covering the Ogden Music Festival this weekend. Look for her. She will be the one on crutches.

In the spirit of Rolling Stone, the magazine, here is a Q&A interview with Raychel:

What got you interested in music writing and reporting?

I’ve wanted to be a music reporter ever since I was 15 when I got into the music scene here in Ogden. I subscribed to Alternative Press magazine all through teen-hood and it became my music bible. I worshiped the bands immortalized in words by the writers. I would always say, “Someday that will be me telling their story.” Plus, who wouldn’t like to be the dude from that Almost Famous movie?

I would read the GO Section religiously too, because the weekly calendar always provided me with my concert fix for the weekends and sometimes, if my grades were good, weeknights. I would fawn over the words of Linda East Brady each week and I loved listening to her on KRCL. I vowed to take her place someday.. And here I am.

What kind of music do you like? Who is on your iPod?

Progressive metal or southern hardcore are my base genres. Every Time I Die is my favorite band at the moment. Their new album is due in July. I can get down with alternative rock too. Circa Survive has the best guitar work I’ve heard in a while. Although I’ve gone soft in the past few years and have started to develop tastes for folk and indie rock as well. Seeing The Head and the Heart live in Brooklyn before they blew up was a really cool experience. I’ve delved into some underground hip-hop as well, John Robinson and JJ DOOM are current favorites. Bands such as London Grammar, Y La Bamba, Together Pangea and Harvard, who may have broken up, are on my current “repeat” playlist.

Beatles or Stones?

Stones all the way. I HATE the Beatles...

What is the greatest rock and roll song and album?

The greatest rock album is “Dark Side Of The Moon” by Pink Floyd. Can’t go wrong with that one. The greatest song is also by Pink Floyd, and that would be “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” from their “Wish You Were Here” album. Everyone thinks my prism typewriter tattoo is a tribute to Pink Floyd, and although that was not my original intention, I’ve taken it on because I love the music. I was first introduced to it by sitting in a dark room with my eyes closed. We played the vinyl on one of the best sound systems I’ve ever heard and I haven’t been the same since.

What is the best song and album recorded in the last 5 years?

The best song recorded in the past five years would be “Sequoia Throne” by Protest The Hero. This song is just epic and tells a cool story; like most of the songs by that band.

The best album recorded in the past five years would be “The Colour Spectrum” by The Dear Hunter. Well, technically the full album is a collection of EPs, each one corresponds with a color. Indigo and Violet have some of my favorite songs. I like this album because each song is thoughtfully posed to match the color and what it feels like. Everything from Jazz to rock is included in this work.

Who is your favorite artist at this time with roots or based in the Ogden area?

Marny Proudfit is probably my favorite artist from Ogden. She currently lives in LA to pursue her music dream. Her voice is haunting and her lyrics are personal. Another runner up would be Shanin Blake, also from the Ogden area. Female singer-songwriters just make me weak at the knees.

Who would you most like to interview?

I would most like to interview Morrissey. Not only is he a vegan like me, but he is the king and originator of indie rock. I would like to hear how he has progressed through time and how he is able to find continued inspiration for his songs. Seeing him live was amazing too.

MARRYING KIND?: Video Editor Stephen Haynie recently brought in some old newspapers, and one story from 1942 caught my eye.

Under the headline “Cupid Strikes Out Ogden Sports Scribe” was a story about Standard-Examiner Sports Editor Albert F. Warden marrying Miss Melba L. Jacobsen in Reno, Nev. The United Press story appeared on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune’s sports section.

I guess back then sports editors getting married was such a rarity, that even the competition considered it news.

Andy Howell is executive editor. He can be reached at 801-625-4210 or ahowell@standard.net.

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