• Ringtone entrepreneur Phil Anselmo

Looked at from the perspective of workflow and time management, my job might appear to be less about writing about music and more about sifting through a relentless deluge of press releases that keeps my inbox in a state of constant ridiculousness. Most of them are utterly useless to me. Today’s haul so far includes news about this month’s beer specials at some north-side jock bar, lineup confirmations for a few small music festivals on the other side of the country, and an extremely in-depth notice about the front man for a North Carolina-based “Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band,” who’s recovering from a bout with pneumonia—which on one hand I guess I’m glad for the guy, but on the other hand I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this information or why it’s being sent to me, aside from the fact that e-mails don’t cost money. Even messages that seem potentially useful on the surface are often rendered worthless by a publicist’s attempts to get too cute at the cost of actually imparting any meaningful information, which result in me having to read through several hundred words of ersatz Pitchforkiana only to realize that the release doesn’t say where the band is from or what date their album comes out.