When I woke up at 7:30 a.m. this morning, I crawled out of bed, sucked down some coffee, plopped down in front of my laptop, started digging through my my email inbox, and noticed that Forward Motion Records CEO and Dreaming in Stereo frontman Fernando Perdomo had tagged me (Sean Pajot, the music editor for the Miami New Times) in a note on Facebook.
This is not an uncommon occurrence. It happens almost daily. And I've begun to suspect that Perdomo is a serious social media addict. In any case, like any good self-promoter and scene booster, he will alert me (and a number of other influential music journo types) to almost any Forward Motion- or Fernando-related developments.
But this particular note seemed to have a somewhat nasty edge. It was titled "What is with all the exposure Miami Noise and Experimental music is getting as aposed to Miami's Pop music scene!!"
After reading the 186-word blurb, I concluded that Perdomo's outburst was simply (as I told him in an email earlier today) Fernando being Fernando -- a relentless activist for his particular slice of the Miami music community.
It was a spontaneous expression of frustration over the selection of local non-profit organization Augurari as Miami New Times' Best Local Record Label of 2011, as well as a perceived lack of coverage for his band's new song "Home" and labelmate Vic Kingsley's new album Turn on the Dark.
However, after Crossfade's sister blog County Grind published a post titled Forward Motion's Fernando Perdomo: When the World Googles Miami's Best Music, a Lot of Crap Comes Up, the Forward Motions boss deleted his original Facebook note because "I dont want to be seen in a negative light."
Yet, as we all know, the internet is forever. And it cannot be erased. So here's the note in its entirety:
What is with all the exposure Miami Noise and Experimental music is getting as aposed to Miami's Pop music scene!!
by Fernando Perdomo on Friday, July 8, 2011 at 10:56am
Its Ironic that the local press has not given alot of attention to Miami's Pop scene.. i have seen so much coverage of the avant garde experimental noise scene that in the end makes the artists that take our art seriously look like were wasting our time.. Is this really the genre that Miami is known for now? Churchills music... there is so much amazing pop, soul, alternative, and acoustic music being IGNORED!!! this needs to stop..
I find it funny that some guy can scream in a mic on stage with random backing tracks and its Art!!!
A local songwriter writes a heartfelt song and sings it beautifully with passion and emotion and its concidered passe
so is a band that rehearses.. cares to tune.. and continues the tradition and standards set by generations of rock bands .. and they cant even get a writeup in the local paper...
I know im crying about local publicity.. but when the world googles Miami's best . .. alot of crap comes up... we need to be well represented in the world of music.. ..im just saying ..
The County Grind post characterized Perdomo's note as an "angry screed," which doesn't seem entirely accurate to me. As anyone who knows him will tell you, Fernando has some big theory about the Miami music scene almost every ten minutes. And sometimes he gets a little too caught up in the moment. This Facebook note was one of those moments.
And here is Perdomo's "official response," posted to County Grind and emailed to me after his Facebook note had been deleted. He basically admits to being overcome with "passion":
As a veteran of the Miami music scene.. and one of Miami Music's biggest cheerleaders.. I dont want to be seen in a negative light .. I apologize to anyone offended by my rant ..
I want to make Miami a better place and see someone succeed out of here..
I feel like Miami is like the hidden gem of the music industry.. I feel like saying "THERE IS GOLD UP IN THESE HILLS COME AND GET IT"
about the blog
I did take it down because I am a passionate person who has been a part of the music scene for 13 years now .. and I have seen so much amazing artists who have had their dreams crushed by the sheer lack of support English language pop music gets in this town.
I have been part of many projects and It kills me that people ARE having success but its not being well documented..
I have been running my label (forwardmotionrecords.com) for a year and it has been an amazingly rewarding (and frustrating ) experience... It has been very easy to get my albums reviewed and my artists covered nationwide and internationally.. but it is rare that the albums get reviewed or featured locally...
My mother (who has been fearlessly fighting cancer for 5 years) worked at the Miami Herald 30 years
That publication has very little coverage of the local scene (they even closed their music blog)
I applaud New Times for being the best publication in Miami.. same goes with Beached Miami, and REV Miami ..
but it kills me that Noise music gets all the gold in the press especially when other artists are Breaking Real Ground..
I truly like Sean, Arielle, Lee Zimmerman,Jordan, Steve Imas, and other local writers (who I thanked in my Forward Motion 1 year anniversary video) ..
What I wrote and took down today was a passionate rant from a person who really is wondering if Miami is the only reason why his music has not taken off..
But as my song "Im Not Gonna Move To LA" says
I'M STAYING RIGHT HERE!!!!
So lets make this better!!!
Another point that County Grind seems to have misinterpreted is Perdomo's tagging of "Miami New Times Music Editor Sean Pajot, regular contributor for both Miami New Times and New Times Broward-Palm Beach Arielle Castillo, and Beached Miami's Jordan Melnick."
The implication is that Perdomo was calling out these individuals for ignoring Forward Motion Records, its artists, and even Perdomo. And sure, that's part of it. But more than anything, I think that the Dreaming in Stereo frontman was simply trying to prod these individuals (who have immediate access to the press) into spreading his word.
That said, I'm not defending Perdomo's comments. His criticisms aren't especially true. As mentioned in his "official response," Forward Motion Records has only been operating "for a year." And already, during my ten months as music editor, Forward Motion releases have been reviewed once, twice, three, and four times; his label's artists Arboles Libres were profiled, given the cover of New Times' Miami Music Festival issue, and videotaped for Crossfade; both Dreaming in Stereo's October 27 Love Hate gig and February 20 album release were duly documented; award-winning songwriter and Forward Motion signee Jorge Moreno received a 2457-word write-up; and Perdomo himself has been the subject of a long blog piece on local music -- not to mention writing SXSW coverage for Crossfade.
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So, c'mon, is Perdomo, Forward Motion, and pop really being ignored? Is "noise and Experimental music" getting all the exposure? Are Miami's "artists that take [their] art seriously ... wasting [their] time"?
No. Fernando's a good guy with honest intentions. But his "passion" was too hot this time. And he was wrong.