I just posted this in reply to the "Wavves: Is This News?" article and thought I'd plonk it on this board because I'm really interested to hear what other people think about this whole Pitchfork thing as it's something that I've been thinking about for a while:
I have a love hate/ thing going on with Pitchfork.
The rot seriously set in when I heard an anecdote about a Pitchfork journo shouting “I write for Pitchfork… We made you!” at a Dan Deacon gig in the US.
But I think the style of writing that Pitchfork deploys is seeping into plenty of other publications. It’s the alternative music writing equivalent of people using the word “like” in sentences a lot. It’s infectious and perhaps springs from insecurity. And it comes from the US.
For me, it also creeps into my language when talking about music with other friends. I find myself saying “shows” and “records” more.
And I say I like the Wavves album because I listened to it once and did like it but maybe I like the idea of it more because Pitchfork said it was great.
This depresses me.
But I think it’s a little like me wanting to hear something from one of my favourite labels. I like the idea of the music before I actually hear it.
Am I being brainwashed?
I suppose it’s a natural thing with music. Someone initially justifies a band by giving it the thumbs up, and then others will follow.
I think what’s irked me about Pitchfork recently is that they seem intent on creating a kind of ‘Pitchfork Canon’ of music, which seems just as cretinous as all the millions of genres that the NME tries to spawn (New Rave bla bla bla). And because they’re bloated by an ongoing round of the same labels (who pay for advertising) and PR companies, then bought into by people like me it just feels…
Like they neutered something along the way.
You get the feeling that if someone on Warp or Domino farted into a microphone, then Pitchfork would pen a headline to celebrate.
But they can afford to be self-important, because this is then deemed newsworthy by the millions of websites and blogs aping the Pitchfork style. It’s seen as the originator. Which is completely fair.
This all sounds too miserable though. Pitchfork is quite amazing and has opened my eyes to a lot of great bands. Plus, they have a Sonic Youth week starting today.
I was just trying to be honest about my feelings towards it.