1) It's a case of pinball, in that the reward is that you get to do it again. It doesn't pay much, but it keeps me in free cds, some of which are good.
2) It's hard not to write in a way that, while it strives to describe the music at hand, also takes the time to show off what a clever fellow I am.
Not that in the grand scheme of things my reviews are that big of a deal -- there's nothing more obscure than a local free paper.
One thing that is good is listening to music outside my normal areas of obsession. I hear a lot of interesting local artists. I tend not to harsh on the locals, both so I get in free to shows, and I don't get punched in the grocery store. There are a few local muckty mucks I'd like to take down a notch or two though, notably Greg Brown. He has a song on Joan Baez' new album fer chrissakes, and he's getting pretty full of himself. But his records are an acquired taste I've yet to acquire after 25 years of trying. And I know a lot of gossip about his ways with women ... but I digress...