In our 12th episode we return to the epic afternoon I spent with Vanessa Franko at the Packinghouse Brewery. We pick up at her stint with Rolling Stone Australia and learn the story of how she swapped the east coast for the west and found a groove writing about Riverside bands for the Press-Enterprise.
We get into Riverside (and some Riverside-adjacent) band talk and how Vanessa appreciates the rich history of this big little scene. There are glowing words for some longtime favorites and predictions offered for the next acts to emerge from the area.
Bottom line: Riverside is coming into its own as an incubator for new music. The current landscape features folk to hip-hop from performers of diverse backgrounds (and ages!). The younger participants are showing a musical vocabulary and appreciation that goes far beyond what we've seen before (for good reason, given the expanse of popular music that has blossomed since the beginning of the "rock" era).
I'm really happy we finally got the chance to talk. It's no secret that the newspaper industry faces unprecedented challenges. Riversiders have watched their prized local publication change hands twice in the new century and we're seeing near-weekly updates from the trades how the new P-E owners are struggling with their initial focus on expanding their print offerings throughout Southern California. For the many of us who appreciate and communicate with the content creators there is a continuing fear that we could lose what is left of the Pulitzer winning paper we've turned to for so many years.
The good news is that there is a strong committment to entertainment and features from the top and Vanessa is now the "Life Captain" at the P-E. She's busier than ever but still rocking the local scene...and toward the end of our chat we talk about a special project that would be about the coolest thing that ever happened to our humble community.
Thanks, Vanessa. We're the lucky ones to have you paying attention.
- Ralph from Riverside