7 min read

Welcome to Wicked Messenger

Welcome to my new subscription newsletter, where I will offer uncensored and unpredictable essays, interviews, a monthly podcast, and a live, streaming radio show.
An old fashioned typewriter.
Photo by Florian Klauer / Unsplash


After 35 years of being a professional, published journalist, editor, and op/ed writer, I am launching my own subscription newsletter, where I will regularly offer uncensored and unpredictable essays, interviews, and articles, plus an original monthly podcast series and an original live, streaming radio show.

One post per week is free to all, while access to the premium content (and the ability to comment on and join discussions with other subscribers) is just $5 per month or discounted to $50 per year.

Suppose you, or someone you know, have appreciated my contributions as a writer, musician, indie film curator/presenter, concert promoter, walking tour guide, avuncular raconteur, and reluctant debutante. In that case, I hope you’ll consider signing up for either a free or (better yet) a paid subscription. It costs less per month than a scoop of Leopold’s ice cream, tastes just as good, and lasts much longer.

Greetings, folks, and welcome to the Wicked Messenger. As of today, this newsletter will serve as the official home for just about anything I wish (or need) to express.

If you’ve found this site in its infancy, it’s likely because you and I are – in some way – already familiar with one another. If you’ve stumbled upon it by accident, let me introduce myself by saying that I was born and raised in coal mining country, the Appalachian Mountains of Northeastern Tennessee. But I moved to the mysterious and beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia, in the mid-1980s, before most anyone knew (or cared) what was happening in that sleepy, coastal enclave of accidental bohemia and hushed depravity. I quickly became enthusiastically ensconced in that community’s embryonic underground arts and culture scenes and have remained (for better or for worse) a fairly visible participant, advocate, and commentator on such matters for most of the last 40 years.

Whether as a performing and recording musician in such seminal, original Savannah rock bands as City of Lindas, Superhorse, and Powderfinger, or as the founder and director of the area’s longest continuously running and most award-winning independent cinema organization (The Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah), or as the creator and host of the top-rated (and highly unorthodox) Savannah Confidential Walking Tour, or as an independent concert promoter presenting internationally-known and standout regional musical and spoken-word acts under the banners of both the Tiny Team and Knocked Out Loaded, I have devoted no small amount of time, talent, energy and enthusiasm toward sharing my incessant love of underappreciated and overlooked artists, arts, culture and opinion with my friends, acquaintances, and – often – complete strangers.

That was never more the case than during my decades as a staff journalist, editor and columnist for (or as a featured, regular contributor to) many of the most notable print publications in the greater Savannah area, such as Connect Savannah (back when it was a true, real alternative-weekly), the Savannah Morning News (and its weekly arts and entertainment supplement DO Savannah), Contents magazine, and the glossy South Magazine – as well as for The Savannahian (currently the area’s premiere, fully independent, online alt-weekly). When not focusing on regional-interest subjects for those outlets, I would occasionally pen freelance pieces for internationally-known specialty magazines focused on broader topics such as record collecting and fringe cinema. Along the way, I became adept at conducting unusually revealing interviews with everyone from Grammy-winning musical artists and Oscar-winning directors to essentially unknown day laborers. Guiding such deep and captivating discussions with all manner of folks became something of a passion of mine. It’s been several years since I routinely wrote for any publications of that sort, and in that time, I have earned my living primarily as a professional musician. However, not more than a week goes by when I don’t run into a friend or a stranger who offers me very kind and encouraging words about how much something I wrote in the past touched them or helped them understand a given person or subject better.

I am often asked, “Why don’t you write more?” Or “Where can I read more of your stuff?” For quite a while now, I had no good answer for them. But now I do.

After close to two decades of prodding from friends and family to do something similar, I am launching this site and this newsletter to finally offer not only a direct outlet for my writings but a home of sorts for my various pursuits in the curation and presentation of niche cinema, music, and information. It will allow folks who appreciate what I do (and have done) to receive my work completely uncensored and unfettered by commercial concerns or corporate dictates. People who appreciate my general outlook and who wish they could read my work more often will be able to play an integral role in allowing me to focus on precisely that  – and to do so in a much more candid and heartfelt way than I have ever been allowed to do before.

In other words, I am at long last letting down my guard and saying out loud to myself (and to those around me) what I was loath to admit for the longest time: that I am a (cough) “Content Creator.” Now, if I am completely honest with myself, I have been one since long before there was a term for it. For various reasons (some good, some less than good), I didn’t feel comfortable aligning myself with that growing army! However, it’s 2024, and I face the reality that the publishing world has fundamentally shifted beneath my feet.

Subscriber-based newsletters such as this are not only commonplace now, but in many ways, they have become the preferred method of publishing for numerous writers and (cough) Content Creators whom I admire and whose work I enjoy and subscribe to (read: patronize) myself. If I am to ever regularly express myself in the fullest and most candid way possible, it is this model that I must embrace. So, I have embraced it.

Wicked Messenger will feature a steady stream of new and exclusive interviews with authors, musicians, artists, filmmakers, actors, and technicians of all types – from household names to complete unknowns. It will include essays, remembrances, opinion pieces, and even the occasional haiku. It will also allow me to occasionally look back with the fresh eye of hindsight at specific interviews and articles I wrote long ago and to share with my subscribers why and how those interviews and articles came to be in the first place while expanding upon them with new introductory essays and previously unseen and unheard material from those conversations. There will also be regularly scheduled recommendations of curated content, wherein I will enthusiastically share with followers of this site the most intriguing, thought-provoking, humorous, or absurd pieces of media and information I come across.

The recommendations can be seen and read by anyone and everyone who chooses to avail themselves of a free subscription to WickedMessenger.com. They will be delivered straight to their inboxes every Friday. However, those kind folks who decide to purchase a paid subscription to the site will also receive an additional newsletter every Tuesday. And that’s where things get really interesting.

Tuesday’s posts will include the detailed articles and interviews mentioned above, an exclusive, original monthly podcast, and, starting in May, a private Streaming Radio Show hosted by myself. Perhaps most importantly, paid subscribers will receive the ability to post comments, ask questions, and start discussions on each piece I write. In that way, there is the genuine ability to turn Wicked Messenger into a type of small, close-knit, intimate platform populated by folks from all different backgrounds – but who all share an interest (of some sort) in the kinds of things I am reporting on, opining on, and publicizing. As things progress and grow, there will eventually be Live Streaming Events, Live In-Person Events, Contests, and Giveaways – all at the paid tier.

For the first few weeks, I’ll make everything I publish here completely available to all subscribers, even those who have signed up for free. That should give folks a good idea of what to expect from Wicked Messenger. After that, Tuesday’s newsletters (and all the additional content they include) become a paid feature.

What will all this cost, you ask?

It’s $5 per month, which is much less than a Spicy Chicken Sandwich Combo at Wendy’s. It’s not even as much as a halfway-decent frozen pizza. It’s $1.50 less than a single scoop ice cream cone at Leopold’s and about the same cost as three of the new (smaller!) Snickers bars. So, yeah, for $5 a month, I will, quite literally, conduct interviews, write articles, record podcasts, host a radio show, and run a little social media network JUST FOR YOU.

Better yet, if you subscribe for an entire year at once, you’ll pay only $50. So, you’ll get 12 months for the price of ten.

Will many of you embrace this opportunity to access exclusive, uncensored, and unpredictable content I will create with you specifically in mind? I have no idea. But I certainly hope so! If enough of you take advantage of this opportunity, it will allow me to earn a living doing something I care greatly about.

If you’d like to sign up for either a free or a paid subscription, you can do so right here:

That’s also where you could sign up a friend or family member you think would enjoy receiving my newsletters. A paid subscription makes a great, recurring gift (or so I’m told).

While we’re at it, here’s a song I dig by one of my favorite artists and someone you may or may not already be familiar with. If you enjoy it, please consider finding and buying some of their music directly from them at this link. As you may have heard, the entire music industry is going down the tubes, and the only way unique, creative artists like Chuck can even hope to pay their rent anymore is through direct support of this kind from their fans.

In closing, thank you for taking the time to read this and for considering supporting my efforts in any way you can. It is more than a bit daunting to start a new chapter in my professional life such as this – by “building it and hoping they will come.” But there are people around me who believe strongly that this will work and that through WickedMessenger.com, not only can I become better at what I have already been doing for decades, I can become better known for doing it. I trust their judgment more than I trust mine. So here we all are.

I hope you come along for the ride!

~ Jim, The Wicked Messenger