Quite the World, Isn't It?


On Peter Case, Jon Clinch, and garlic

July 14, 2010

Tags: books, music, travel

This is kind of a journalistic trifecta. In the past couple of weeks I've had a few freelance articles pop up, one on singer/songwriter Peter Case, another on author Jon Clnch and the third on the city of Gilroy, California, the self-anointed Garlic Capital of the World.

The Case profile was a lot of fun. I took along my son Michael, a guitar player, in part to hear what Case had to say about his music, and in part to use the car-pool lane for the long drive from Irvine to Santa Monica. It's all about the traffic out here. And the occasion for the Case profile was the release of his new album, "Wig!" Some of his strongest work in years. There's a video embedded below from his show at McCabe's Guitar Shop the other day in Santa Monica -- same place where I interviewed him.

I also loved Clinch's new novel, his second. Kings of the Earth: A Novel is a fictionalized look at a bizarre death and murder case in Central New York. He nails the terrain, and it serves as a great follow up to his debut, Finn, picking up the story of Huck Finn's father where Mark Twain left off.

As for the Gilroy travel piece, well, how can you not like a place that smells like an Italisn restaurant?

"Somebody Told the Truth" (Live) by Peter Case from Tom Weber on Vimeo.

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About me


A third-generation journalist, I was born in Scarborough, Maine, and grew up there and in Wellsville, New York, about two hours south of Buffalo. My first newspaper job came at age 16, writing a high school sports column for the Wellsville Patriot, a weekly (defunct), then covering local news part-time for the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

After attending Fredonia State, where I was editor of The Leader newspaper and news director for WCVF campus radio, I worked in succession for the Jamestown Post-Journal, Rochester Times-Union (defunct), The Detroit News and the Los Angeles Times, where I covered presidential and other political campaigns, books, local news and features, including several Sunday magazine pieces.

An active freelancer, my work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Sierra Magazine, Los Angeles magazine, Orange Coast magazine, New York Times Book Review (books in brief), Buffalo News, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center), Solidarity (United Auto Workers) and elsewhere. I teach or have taught journalism courses at Chapman University and UC Irvine, and speak occasionally at school and college classes about journalism, politics and writing. I've appeared on panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Literary Orange festival, moderated panels at the Nieman Conference in Narrative Journalism and the North American Labor History Conference, among others, and been featured on C-SPAN's Book TV.

I'm also a co-founder of The Journalism Shop, a group of journalists (most fellow former Los Angeles Times staffers) available for freelance assignments.



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