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Punk-Rock Attitude: Former ‘Pitchfork’ Writer Launches Music Newsletter from Menomonie

See/Saw newsletter serves as a survey of the best ‘gnarly and loud’ music the world has to offer

Parker Reed |

Evan Minsker portrait at Feel It Record Shop in Cincinnati, Ohio after see/saw’s punk community open forum; photo by Mayson Rainwater  See More from Tom Giffey
‘GNARLY AND LOUD NONSENSE.’ Evan Minsker posed at Feel It Record Shop in Cincinnati, Ohio, after a recent punk community open forum. (Photo by Mayson Rainwater)

Punk music is about fighting back and remaining resilient in the face of troubling times, which is exactly what one music journalist is doing in the wake of a massive industry priority shift.

Evan Minsker, a 36-year-old Menomonie resident, has a deep love for listening to, and writing about, the underground garage-punk music scene across the nation. He worked for Pitchfork, one of the largest music/entertainment-coverage publications in the United States, for 12 years as their news director. During his time at the publication, he interviewed artists such as Mac DeMarco, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Kurt Vile, and wrote hundreds of stories, obituaries, breaking-news pieces, and album/tour announcements.

However, Pitchfork laid off a large portion of its staff earlier this year as the publication, a subsidiary of Condé Nast, was rolled into GQ magazine, with Minsker losing his position in the process.

“Initially, I just walked away from everything,” Minsker said. “I was in the middle of reading a book about music that was great, but I haven’t gone back to it. I wasn’t consuming any music journalism, because it sucks to get laid off and I didn’t want to hang around the lobby of the industry I just left. I won’t close the door on a job in media all together, but I don’t want that type of job again.”

Most of the best music that’s made isn’t made by pop stars, it’s made by kids in basements who you and I have never heard of. Those artists deserve acknowledgment, which I can’t think of a more important thing for music journalism to do.

EVAN MINSKER

MUSIC JOURNALIST

Instead of letting this sudden change stilt his love for art, Minsker started a new independent venture. See/Saw is a punk and rock ’n’ roll newsletter. As described on the newsletter’s website, “It’s the spiritual successor to his weekly punk column Shake Appeal and generally serves as a survey of the best gnarly and loud nonsense the world has to offer.”

Minsker said he started this publication to highlight the stellar underground music that is created today. He said his time covering the industry professionally was often filled with draining experiences that did not feed his love and enthusiasm for it. Having to call the family of an artist who died to confirm that their loved one is dead, or accidentally happening upon a photo of Prince’s dead body among pages detailing the investigation into his death, were just a few of the instances that drew Minsker to focus more on the positive aspects of music.

Evan Minsker holding see/saw stickers and buttons, photo by Morgan Barrie
Evan Minsker holding See/Saw stickers and buttons. (Photo by Morgan Barrie)

“We’re at a crisis point in entertainment journalism at large where people with a lot of money have their hands on the wheel and they sometimes just let go of it because they don’t believe it’s viable anymore,” Minsker said. “Most of the best music that’s made isn’t made by pop stars, it’s made by kids in basements who you and I have never heard of. Those artists deserve acknowledgment, which I can’t think of a more important thing for music journalism to do.”

See/Saw is a reader-supported endeavor, and Minsker is the sole writer involved. Starting just a few months ago in April, he shares playlists, conducts artist interviews, and offers a wide variety of content to keep readers engaged. It’s a passion project that he hopes will turn into his full-time endeavor.

“I did my dream job for 12 years, and now it’s over,” Minsker said. “But the real thing is, your dreams can change. And I started this newsletter because I couldn’t not start it. It is the most natural thing in the world for me to write about the music I love. So here I am doing that, and it feels great. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had as a writer, honestly.”


You can learn more about the See/Saw newsletter on its website, see-saw.fun. You may also keep up to date with the captivating content Minsker is producing on the See/Saw Instagram account.