Seth Combs spent his last day in CityBeat’s North Park office last Wednesday after 15 months as its arts and culture editor.

“There reaches a point where it starts to feel more like a job than a passion,” Combs says in a phone call. “I’m always going to be a music writer and an arts writer, but right now I feel a bit stifled and need to get back to a place where I really enjoy doing what I do.”

Combs, a North Park resident who has been in San Diego for over nine years, went on to emphasize that “CityBeat didn’t stifle me. It’s a personal decision of mine, and it doesn’t reflect on the paper...I love these guys. They’re like my family. This was a very, very hard decision for me.”

Combs will be moving to his mother’s farm in Maryland in order to actualize his dream of becoming a farmer.

“I’ve always wanted to start my own farm-to-table business, where you deliver fresh food to people. It’s sort of a hobby of mine. My mother lives in a part of southern Maryland where there are a lot of people from D.C. moving in and buying houses, and they all want fresh produce. My mom has a huge farm, so I figure I can do some farming for them.... If they want, I can plant a garden in their yard and cultivate it and get them doing a compost heap.

“As an indication of what the job was like here,” Combs continues, “they’re hiring two people to replace me.”

The arts and culture post will be resumed by music listings editor Peter Holslin and former CityBeat arts editor Kinsee Morlan, who is returning to San Diego from Colorado to write for the weekly.

Says Combs, “I want to start writing again, eventually, but I just need to clear my head a little.”

Go wish Seth the best in his future endeavors when he spins as DJ Meth Combz, Tuesday night, June 8, at Tin Can Ale House, with performances by Black Swans (Jon Piotrowski), Aaron Swanton, and Inkblot Propaganda (Jordan of Primitive Noyes). No flash photography.

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Comments

Enrique_Limon June 2, 2010 @ 6:03 p.m.

Love it! Can't wait to taste Seth's juicy turnip

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David Dodd June 2, 2010 @ 6:22 p.m.

A farmer? WTF? You do realize that Combs hates the Reader for everything it's worth...

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MsGrant June 2, 2010 @ 7:04 p.m.

Seth should call Jim Denevan, who just happened to be in today's paper in the supplement "Relish". Not only could he have him visit his family farm, he could then have a dinner at the farm and write about it.

outstandinginthefield.com

Or he could join their band of merry motoring and write about it.

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CuddleFish June 2, 2010 @ 7:38 p.m.

Good luck, Seth, we will miss you!

Keep in touch! :)

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David Dodd June 2, 2010 @ 7:49 p.m.

All I can do is to send off Seth much in the same way that he received me:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4061/4665315316_1668134715_b.jpg

Good luck on the farm, Seth.

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MsGrant June 3, 2010 @ 8:01 a.m.

"Combs will be moving to his mother’s farm in Maryland in order to actualize his dream of becoming a farmer."

File under SD on the QT!!! I am so freakin' gullible....

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Seth June 3, 2010 @ 3:11 p.m.

By the way, in order to further prove how ridiculously inept and unprofessional the editorial staff is at The Reader, you used a photo of me that is owned by a professional photographer (Alan Smith). Not only did you use it without asking my or his permission, but you credited the photo to a blog that simply pulled it off my old MySpace account. Is it really that hard to simply email me to ask for a photo? Or just simply ask me who took the photo? This is Journalism 101, people! Artists get screwed enough as is and you guys can't even pick up a phone or send an email?! Jesus, what absolute laziness!

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David Dodd June 3, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m.

The photo I linked in my comment is my own, and the Reader can use it anytime it wishes, for any reason at all. And Seth, good luck on that farm. Take this with you: You reap what you sow. Jerk.

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Origami_Astronaught June 4, 2010 @ 6:32 p.m.

Seth - Just wanted to thank you again for seeking me out for an interview after "politely but adamantly" declining comment a few days prior. I see Rosemary isn't convinced about the farm tale (http://www.sddialedin.com/2010/06/newsy-stuffs.html), and your ominous use of sadtrombone.com both here and on SDGossipScene (http://www.sdgossipscene.com/gossip/back-to-the-old-country-for-seth/) suggests strangeness at the least. As I mentioned when we talked, I've done a good share of organic farming over the years and love it. If all you'll be planting is weird disinformation, hey, that's up to you. But I'd like to believe you've got a bigger vision than that.

-Chad

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jmerose June 4, 2010 @ 6:41 p.m.

i thought it was all in sarcasm and found it funny...

at least the picture they used of you was actually you, seth... they had some random chick as kristen/dum dum girls... very strange... but yes, i do believe credit should be due where credit is done!

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JohnnyJ June 5, 2010 @ 6:09 p.m.

WHY DID THE READER EVEN DO THIS STORY? EVEN IF IT WAS TRUE.

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Jay Allen Sanford June 5, 2010 @ 6:43 p.m.

Okay, Seth pulled one over on Blurt's "new guy" - however, in so doing, he publicly reveals himself to be a liar who can't be trusted. That should finish off any slight journalistic cred he might've had in San Diego -

CityBeat has been on a solid roll since its reimagining at the hands of Dave Maass, especially its local music coverage - I was dismayed at the name calling (poorly)disguised as journalism that CityBeat seemed to embrace when Seth did his first mean-spirited Great Demo Reviews (some would say - and DID say - his work was "hateful"). I look forward to far less trashy-talk in the future --- having a strong paper like CityBeat working the same market as the very-different SD Reader can only make better reading for everyone out there ---

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MaassiveAGAIN June 6, 2010 @ 5:41 p.m.

"reimagining at the hands of Dave Maass"

Dude, I'm just a pawn in this mothef***er.

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MaassiveAGAIN June 6, 2010 @ 10:54 p.m.

WTF Removing the "u" wasn't good enough? You had to add in asterisks?

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David Dodd June 6, 2010 @ 11:05 p.m.

Naw, Maass, you're not THAT bad or I wouldn't engage you. The problem with CityBeat is that it wants to establish itself as a leftist weekly. And, it concurrently wants to establish the Reader as a right-leaning weekly, in order to establish some sort of competative leverage. It just doesn't read that way here.

CB doesn't have to read like the Reader to compete, but it wouldn't hurt if the coverage was a little bit more rounded. Feel free to champion the Democratic cause, but you might want to consider not limiting yourself to that. Air America sucked. Not so much because of their ideology, but because they weren't entertaining. Democrats would have rather listened to Limbaugh and seethed than to listen to Frankin and agree.

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harris June 7, 2010 @ 10:34 a.m.

Yes, we should all start taking journalism lessons from Jay Allen Sanford. Don't kid yourself guy--making the Reader look (more) stupid doesn't hurt one's credibility.

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David Dodd June 7, 2010 @ 12:28 p.m.

Ah, Harris, spoken like a true CB fanatic. Err.. employee.

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Seth June 7, 2010 @ 12:36 p.m.

Once again Jay, you avoid the question and my original point of contention. What makes you think that it's okay to simply take a photo of me that you have no right to use and not only publish it but don't even credit the person who originally shot the photo? I don't need to go out of my way to make you guys look like idiots. You do a pretty good job doing that yourself.

I am a journalist, albeit one with an opinion of which I happily share with CityBeat's readers. When I do features on a band or artist I take the time to get the facts correct and make sure that the photographers are credited. I don't cut corners or print gossipy fallacies like the Blurt section seems to do on a regular basis. And, I actually live in the city that I write about (same can't be said for you). I may have an opinion, sometimes even disagreeable ones, but it's always clear when I'm editorializing. I'm of the opinion that a scene thrives on disagreement and criticism and I've never been one to simply say that every thing or every band is great just to be supportive. I'll leave that to you guys. What's sad is you don't even do that very well.

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MaassiveAGAIN June 7, 2010 @ 1:43 p.m.

"Feel free to champion the Democratic cause, but you might want to consider not limiting yourself to that."

Refried, I urge you to actually survey our news coverage. As I posted on SD Rostra:

Whatever CityBeat’s reputation might be, I’d like to point out that since I’ve been here we’ve covered Darrell Issa’s health care proposals and Joel Anderson’s efforts to hold PERA accountable critically, but ultimately positively. We’ve also slammed Democrats, including Ben Hueso, Mary Salas/Juan Vargas and Francine Busby. When we reported on shady tariff earmarks by members of Congress, the Dems got more ink.

Further, the Republicans earned three out of the five blossomiest spots in our Turd & Blossoms column round up. (Of course they won three out of the five turdiest too).

So, in other words, we might lean progressive, but we do make an effort to be fair.

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David Dodd June 7, 2010 @ 2:18 p.m.

Seth, you didn't have an issue with the idiot that posted the picture in his idiotic blog (which I would link here but it's too idiotic and contains at least one pornographic image). The fact that the image is still in the idiotic (and thankfully now defunct) blog makes you seem hypocritical.

And Dave, one thing I'll commend you guys on is your election-night live-blog thing, it sounds like fun. But, it sort of proves my point, too. Guests include Carl Luna (flaming liberal PolySci Prof. and proud of it), Chris Crotty (Democratic Party campaign guru), Doug Porter (of the self-described "progessive" OBrag), and Paul Bowers (left-leaning photographer/blogger). You did throw in a token Republican in Barry Jantz, and a token Libertarian in Gayle Falkenthal (but then aren't ALL Libertarians pretty much token?), so build that roundtable strong and bolt it too the floor or it might tip over (to the left, of course). Being fair would probably be better accomplished by having an equal amount of ideologies represented. But I'm guessing that you're going to have fun with it in any case.

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Seth June 7, 2010 @ 6:04 p.m.

I do have an issue with that guy taking the picture and using it on his blog, but as you said, it's just an "idiotic blog," and I do not hold him to the same standard that I would an actual newspaper. That may be somewhat hypocritical, but the fact that a supposedly reputable news organization like The Reader makes the same mistakes that an "idiotic blog" does really doesn't make me look like the dumbass here and you can spin it any way you want but you know that your boys fed up. In fact, you guys didn't even make the same mistake as the blogger. The Reader's f-up was worse. The Reader took a photo off a blog and just assumed that he took it without asking him or the subject of the photo. On no part of that blog does he indicate that he took the photo and it's asinine to think that he actually had the gumption to take such a photo. Moreover, it's fairly easy just to email me and say, "Hey Seth, who took this photo and do you mind if we use it?" I would have said yes although, as I mentioned, I do not own the rights to that photo as it was taken by a professional photographer at a party so I would have had to get the photographer's permission first. Either way, no one contacted me for a photo and the fact that you just pulled a photo that is somebody else's property and then credited the wrong person is just downright lazy, not to mention illegal.

And I love how you guys never answer the question. ANSWER THE QUESTION!! What makes you think that it's okay to simply take a photo of me that you have no right to use and not only publish it but don't even credit the person who originally shot the photo? We had the same argument when it came to the GossipScene girl and you guys kept playing stupid and tried to pass the buck. And don't preach that nonsense like, "Oh, well you let a blogger use it so why not us?" The difference is that I have a sense of humor when it comes to that blog. I do not have a sense of humor when it comes to journalistic indolence.

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Jay Allen Sanford June 7, 2010 @ 7:16 p.m.

RE #23: Not sure who you're screaming at in caps, but I can't answer a question I know nothing about. Only editorial knows how the photo sitch works -

I feel safe assuming that their editorial methods comply with all attendant considerations and legalities, seeing as how the Reader and countless other publications seem to have been applying the same methodology for years now (whatever that methodology and the reasoning behind, I have no idea), with no apparent problem.

I applaud the original reason you gave Rosey at sddialedin for your departure from CityBeat, in essence to refresh your writing muse. You could clearly use such a sabbatical, and I maintain hope that your future writing will someday at least approach the distinctness and quality of local-centric contemporaries like Ed Decker, Enrique Limon, Dave Maass, and Kinsee Morlan (to name a few strong CityBeat contribs), not to mention the majority of writers currently doing work for the Reader.

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David Dodd June 7, 2010 @ 7:40 p.m.

Seth, I think you're missing the point. Isn't it just a tad duplicitous of you to grant an interview and tell a bald-faced lie and then scream about a lack of journalistic integrity and the snatching a photo of you - an image which actually fits the story well - from a weblog where you commented that the writer was actually doing a good job?

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Seth June 7, 2010 @ 8:22 p.m.

Gringo-No, you're missing the point. Who lied? As far as you know, that could have been my intention all along. I might have changed my mind about moving. I might still be going. I might have been fing with you guys. But you'll never know, because the interview was conducted almost a month ago and is only now running in the paper. Don't you dare accuse me of lying. It's that kind of conjecture that gets The Reader's reporters in trouble in the first place. I cannot believe you guys! You sit here and honestly argue that your paper has done nothing wrong. I'm not arguing about the fing story! I'm arguing that The Reader swiped a pic that they had no right to use and to add insult to injury, they ran it without giving the photographer credit. The blog you refer to is funny and satirical and I gave him permission (albeit, after the fact) to use that pic. What The Reader did is illegal!!! I'm not going to explain it to you all over again as I had to here:

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Seth June 7, 2010 @ 8:24 p.m.

Jay-Once again, you're passing the buck. That's always your argument: "It's not my fault. It's the Reader that handles that." Don't you care enough to check your facts and make sure that the artists who "provide" the photography at least get credited for their work? You get paid for what you do. Why shouldn't they? The last piece you did on me was filled with inaccuracies and when I pointed that out to you, you passed the buck then as well. You didn't even contact me for the story and it was about me! Even the guy who wrote the song about me (which you were writing about) called you out on your bulls*** reporting.

I honestly believe that you've never read any of my stuff aside from a few negative local music reviews and a few that were convenient to your arguments that I'm "mean spirited". While you were spinning gossip and rehashing Locals Only stories, you probably didn't notice that I was doing vastly more positive articles on local bands than negative ones. If you didn't think what I was doing was at least worthwhile, why would you write about me so much? Sure, I may have an opinion, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone complaining that I get the facts wrong which certainly can not be said for the Reader's music "reporting" or lack thereof. Absolute. Lazy. Copycat. Drivel.

In the case of the photograph, the fact that you have no idea on the legalities of the matter only proves further how unqualified you are to be a reporter and how shady The Reader's editorial policy is. That photograph is the artistic property of someone else and The Reader's publishing of it is illegal. I'm sorry, but there is no arguing around that. And as much or as many times as you just try to point out how lame I am as a writer or how liberal CityBeat is or whatever rouse you guys want to use, you can't or you just simply refuse to just come out and say, "Yeah, you know what? The Reader messed up on that one. I'll let them know that they should run a correction."

You owe your readers and the photographer a correction in the paper. What's more, you owe the photographer money. I've already contacted him to let him know he should bill The Reader forthwith.

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David Dodd June 7, 2010 @ 9:17 p.m.

"Don't you dare accuse me of lying."

I'm pretty sure I already have. Of course, photos of yourself harvesting your first crop of organically grown radishes would go a long way toward making me look like the foolish one here.

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Jay Allen Sanford June 7, 2010 @ 9:55 p.m.

27 - You're still so delusional that you think any time one reporter covers the same subject as another, one must be a "copycat" (not the first time you've cracked me up over "rehashing Locals Only stories" I've never read and/or that I wrote and the Reader typeset before any CityBeat coverage saw print!) --

And you're still wont to fabricate specious and demonstrably incorrect claims like "Even the guy who wrote the song about me (which you were writing about) called you out on your bulls*** reporting"

Oh really? And where/when pray tell was this supposed calling out? Do you mean in the comments section following the article you reference, wherein the songwriter (Rob Deez) takes responsibility himSELF for citing an incorrect date THAT HE GOT FROM THE CITYBEAT SITE? http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/oct/28/blurt2

If Deez ever DID call me out on story bulls***, anywhere other than within your own cloudy headspace anyway, I invite clarification!

However, given your tendency toward self aggrandizing delusion ("They're all copying me at Blurt!"), and due to your apparent inability to repeat something you've read without twisting the words AND the speaker's intent (Deez was backing up the Reader report, not "calling out" the writer's "bulls***") to suit your amusing delusion, it seems pointless to further engage you RE these matters.

(And that's when JAS walked away humming Deez' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCYD2L... --- which for some reason reminds him of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ9EWc... )

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Jay Allen Sanford June 7, 2010 @ 10:08 p.m.

(I still do applaud and encourage Seth's original stated intent at sddialedin, to use his CityBeat departure to reconnect with his creative muse - we are what we create, so I would champion any such brave endeavor)

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Jay Allen Sanford June 7, 2010 @ 10:39 p.m.

BTW, the issue of photo rights via the internet does indeed merit discussion, and perhaps even investigation - I'm just not qualified to weigh in myself, and I'm not interested in the topic enough to write an article or do further research. Not passing the buck - to write for the Reader, I don't need to know how the photos are chosen, any more than I need to know the brand of ink used at the printers or the gasoline grade preferred by delivery drivers.

Unless I'm shooting pics for my own story, which - luckily for all - I rarely do. Or when a subject provides me with a relevant pic, in which case the paper obtains permission/clearance to use (either from the subject claiming pic ownership or from the photog) and credits the photographer.

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David Dodd June 7, 2010 @ 11:22 p.m.

I think a retraction is in order for the next edition. It should read:

"Last week's Reader printed a farewell interview with Seth Combs, former writer at San Diego CityBeat, in the Blurt section. The Reader regrets the error."

Technically, since there is no possible way to determine that rights were violated, the issue of a lawsuit is moot. If Combs put the image in his Facebook without stating that the rights belonged to someone, and if he then permitted a blogger to use the photograph without any claim to the rights mentioned on or near the photograph, the argument could only be brought up in terms of libel, and that would have to show an intent to do harm. Combs is barking at the moon.

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SurfPuppy619 June 8, 2010 @ 8:51 a.m.

If Combs put the image in his Facebook without stating that the rights belonged to someone

I am pretty sure all FB photes require a disclosure that you have the rights to the photo being uploaded ....it always has required that of me anyway.

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SurfPuppy619 June 8, 2010 @ 8:55 a.m.

BTW-entities can use the property of others-like pics-under the "fair use" doctrine.

I am not that up to date on what qualifies but I am sure that if you are not using the pic to make money you would have a good case.

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David Dodd June 8, 2010 @ 12:34 p.m.

@SP If it went straight from FB to the Reader, then yeah, but that step inbetween is where the rights issue gets fuzzy.

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Seth June 8, 2010 @ 3:12 p.m.

You guys seriously make me ashamed to be a journalist. You don't need any shenanigans from me to make yourselves look like idiots. You do a pretty great job on your own. I'll leave you to it.

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SurfPuppy619 June 9, 2010 @ 8:10 a.m.

You don't need any shenanigans from me to make yourselves look like idiots. You do a pretty great job on your own. I'll leave you to it.

Thank you, I try hard :)

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sophiamendez12 June 19, 2010 @ 11:57 a.m.

A very fitting picture indeed. Here's my review of Seth: long-time snot-nosed editor of Citybeat finds his true calling. Single-handedly responsible for creating a snooty, acerbic attitude towards San Diego music and culture, Seth's and his Citybeat minions did more to keep San Diego from becoming a music scene than any other organization I have ever known.

Seth, there is a difference between telling the truth and crap-slinging. By the way, please let us know how that's going on the farm. We all know you have enough of your own to keep that farm growing and I'm sure yours is Grade A 100% organic.

Goodbye and good-riddance!

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