Pete Freedman. Photo by Karlo Ramos.


New EarBurner: Pete Freedman Talks Seven Years of Central Track

And reveals some details about the site's new music awards.

It has apparently been seven years since Pete Freedman invited me to Black Swan to pitch me on his journalism startup. It would be called Central Track. It would compete directly with the Dallas Observer, where he was working at the time as its music editor. It would compete with this magazine, too, and the Dallas Morning News’ GuideLive. He wanted it to punch above its weight while giving young writers and photographers the chance to produce for their peers.

Say what you will about Central Track—and we have before—but seven years for a media startup is something to respect. It has produced talented writers like Obed Manuel and Mikel Galicia. You can find photographer Kathy Tran all over the city. It covers a ton of local music, more than any other publication in town. And, if you ask our Tim Rogers, the site assumes the mantle once worn by other of-their-time alt-weeklies that didn’t make it, like The Met, Tim’s alma mater. (This is a good read, especially if you’re looking to laugh at Tim’s past transgressions.)

And so here we are, in 2019, talking about Central Track with Pete Freedman at the Old Monk. To celebrate, and to fill what Pete sees as a void in this market, the site is launching its first-ever music awards on February 20 at the Granada. There will be two stages, and a whole lot of 15-minute sets from the locals. It’s free, but $5 guarantees you a spot and a free beer. I was going to scoop Pete on the lineup in this post, but I got caught up researching a highway expansion plan—something Central Track wouldn’t touch.

If you’re interested in the past and present of Dallas media, this is a good one. Show notes after the jump.

1. Here’s where you can find Central Track.

2. And here is where you can learn more about Central Track Honors, the site’s forthcoming awards show.

3. Here is Tim’s public stance on not reading Central Track until Pete removed the side scroll. He would’ve lost that bet.

4. Curt Sampson actually writes for Golf Digest, not Golf Magazine. 

5. Here is when Pete trolled us to promote a redesign. May D Bagazine live forever.

6. Here’s The Morning News reporting on their own layoffs.

7. Evidence that Tim owns a tuxedo.

8. This is my favorite usage of “out chea,” a phrase Tim was unaware of.

9. In case you want to learn more about local boys the Vandoliers.

10. Here is Central Track’s ongoing takedown of the State Fair of Texas. And an archive of its Asshat of the Week posts.

11. And since Tim didn’t know what it means to be “washed,” here is GQ’s Zach Baron explaining that very thing in a very good manner. These show notes really turned into a lot of Tim educating, huh?


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