Ben Westhoff, a New York music writer and author of two recent books, has been named music editor of LA Weekly. He fills an opening created earlier this year when music editor Gustavo Turner decided to return to writing full-time, becoming a contributing writer.

Westhoff has written for LA Weekly, the Village Voice, Pitchfork, Spin, XXL and NPR. He is a former staff writer and writing fellow at the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. He got his start as a freelance contributor to SF Weekly in San Francisco.

Westhoff's book Dirty South, released earlier this year by Chicago Review Press, is a look at Southern hip-hop. It was described as “a gem” by The Source.

Last year, Westhoff wrote a book about New York City's Best Dive Bars, which drew praise from knowing drunks and is widely considered the definitive guide to downscale nightlife in the Big Apple.

“I couldn't be more thrilled to join the Weekly and work alongside its first-rate staff,” Westhoff said. “L.A. has the most exciting music scene in the country right now, and there are countless artists, movements, trends and characters I look forward to spotlighting.”

Westhoff majored in philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 1999. In 2006 and 2007, Westhoff was honored with first-place awards in the National Association of Black Journalists' Salute to Excellence Awards.

Westhoff will relocate from his home outside New York, where he lives with his wife, Anna. He starts at the Weekly July 12.

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