Meet the New Boss | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Meet the New Boss 

An introduction to City Weekly's new music editor

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  • Thomas Crome

The last time I moved into a city without knowing more than a half-dozen people came not so long ago—as in, January of 2022. Though my partner's an SLC native back in town for work, my life of late has still been an education in adapting to change, with all manner of new inputs and insights washing over me.

At times, this daily education feels like a good-natured battle, and I'm chalking up a few little wins along the way: discovering fry sauce, walking to the local coffeehouse without GPS, looking in all directions for U-turners. That level of victory is sweet.

The professional win I really need is a fuller understanding of the local music scene, in that I've recently been appointed music editor of this paper. I'm succeeding Erin Moore, who's moved onto other adventures, as sketched out in last week's issue. In addition to moving to this town without a deep support system, I arrived here without a set job, and I'm eternally grateful to the folks who've hired me. Guess they saw something in me, and my goal is to reward their confidence, starting with full coverage from me in next week's issue and some blog items between now and then.

In my past life as a writer in St. Louis, Mo., I worked for the Riverfront Times, a paper like City Weekly. The RFT was my training ground in journalism, and I covered music there for most of my 20s, aka the 1990s. Eventually, I moved between work for the local daily the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and its affiliated website, stltoday, and the monthly St. Louis Magazine. As a longtime freelancer, a side hustle was always a necessity of life, and I bounced between teaching (17 years of offering collegiate writing courses) and service industry work (my nights never far removed from checking IDs, mixing drinks and washing dishes). My teaching stopped in order to co-own and operate a bar which featured some live music; after that came another bar, also featuring some live sounds in a too-short lifespan.

As a younger music journalist, my goal was to stir the waters, and I often championed specific bands and mini-scenes in the RFT's weekly pages; this brought about a predictable backlash, and I regret being a smaller-minded thinker back then. I liked what I liked, and viewed the acts that aligned with my ideas as playing The Best Music, as if such a thing could objectively exist. As blogs became more prevalent, it became easier to spread the coverage wealth, the internet being not limited to hard page counts. This coincided with me opening up my brain to new sounds. I never would've guessed that as I approached (and then shot past) my 50th birthday, I'd be mostly inclined to listening to New Orleans jazz or ambient when alone in the house, but here we are.

Going forward in journalism, I want to meet, interview and highlight interesting people doing interesting things, regardless of genre. Even as dozens of emails are filling my inbox, I'm tempted to still think that the best connections are those made in person. I've been sending my own emails lately while also giving a real life "hello" to folks that I've run across in the music community. While live bands are necessarily at the core of coverage, I'm also intrigued by music-tied businesses like peasantries + pleasantries, the record store that I stumbled across on a short walk to the grocery; since then, p+p has added an in-house donut shop, Mad Dough. Wow! Those kinds of random finds and happy accidents make for a good life and, hopefully, a good set of coverage parameters.

Starting with next week's issue, today's first-person vibe will be peeled back, but here's a quick story to end things today. Last week, I went to the Commonwealth Room. It was my first time really catching live music here, after a couple of incidental "bands in bars"-type experiences. I went because one of Dark Star Orchestra's drummers, Dino English, invited me to the show. The two of us date back to '90s-era St. Louis, and it felt natural to watch Dino behind the kit, in a vastly different setting from back then. It was fun being inside a dark, crowded club, listening to music. Even though DSO's Grateful Dead sets aren't my first-choice sound, it was impossible not to pick up on the audience's love of it all. And I know that this night was just the first of many nights spent inside SLC music rooms.

I'm approaching all this with curiosity and open ears. And I can't wait to learn about, to write on and to share these new experiences.

(If you want to send me some sounds, do so at: For a bit more about me [borrrrring!] find me online at

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Thomas Crone

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