Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
If you’ve read Pitchfork, The Fader (where she was executive editor), or AlterNet (where she serves as culture editor), you’ve probably come across Shepherd’s work, and you were probably glad that you did. Although she thoroughly covers music, she lists her other obsessions as “politics, pop culture, fashion, art, dance, film, feminism, Latina issues, the Mayan apocalypse and, occasionally, rants,” all of which you can see in her hilarious, fearless blog. Even after all of that, some of her brainiest, most insight work can be found in her writing for Thirteen/WNET’s website, where she dissects rap regionalism, Euro pop, Radiohead, horror movies, and ’90s nostalgia.
You’d expect that a writer who’s been with Mojo magazine since its inception would know just about any classic rock star you could think of, and it’s pretty safe to say that Simmons did. With a career stretching back to the ’70s, she’s done a long-standing Americana column for Mojo, along with several cover stories there and bylines in Q, the Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone, and Creem where she’s interrogated everyone from AC/DC to Michael Jackson. In addition, she has a few tomes under her belt, including brief but insightful takes on Neil Young, Kiss, and especially Serge Gainsbourg (A Fistful of Gitanes) as well as the funny, semi-fictional Too Weird for Ziggy.
Sheridan is the best kind of overachiever — a polymath whose interests can’t be collected in one single place or area. Along with earning Deems-Taylor Award, she’s the managing editor at classical haven New Music Box, director of an online radio site, blogger for Artsjournal, and co-editor of a site that reviews cookbooks alongside delicious photos and recipes. She manages to do all of this as she bounces back and forth between New York and Baltimore.