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is probably just about as useless as one that rejects everything.
It was "Why does DiS bother reviewing stuff no-one here will bother with anyway?"
Meant to say, same answer again. If something is getting disproportionate attention elsewhere in the press, it’s probably good to have a voice of dissent, especially on a reasonably popular site like DiS.
how do you really understand what they love?
We're not a recommendations engine (the web is full of tools and smug bloggers who think everything is awesome!!!!), and you would be surprised what is submitted for consideration.
I believe running a small amount of commentary on major releases is important, regardless of the genre or perceived merit. Without these better known names, people wouldn't come to the site to explore the other stuff we cover.
it's not like that Beady Eye review or something.
What annoys me is when DiS occasionally reviews a totally irrelevant (to DiS readers) pop act (Tom Odell is a recent example), and yet sometimes misses brilliant albums that DiS readers might love, like the Balam Acab album a couple of years ago, which I think got reviewed eventually, but only after there was a thread asking why it hadn't been reviewed. And I'm pretty sure that the Ricardo Donoso album from last year didn't get reviewed either.
but don’t see the relation between the two. If Odell hadn’t been reviewed it’s not like Sean was gonna choose something more worthy instead. I imagine there just would’ve been one less review on the site that week. And I know you’re aware of this, but as a general point, if a writer has something to say about an issue, sometimes the easiest way to get that across is by reviewing an album outside DiS’s sphere. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I also think DiS has a good ratio with regards to positive and negative review coverage.
what a stupid comment
but it's hard to keep up with the 30 albums that we do consider for review each week based on what we are sent, to keep atop of the hundreds of other records that no-one does send.
as I've sent in my post below, DiS doesn't have a huge amount of resource and some things slip through the net - a lot of the time this is because no reviewer puts their hand up to cover something or they do, and then life gets in the way and they don't finish their review, so nothing is submitted.
It may be just me feeling frustrated having had a handful of interview/ideas turned down which were subsequently snapped up on lesser sites but still... why turn down any content? DiS is a rich website full of varying opinions and I can see why an album like this would be reviewed... as sometimes, this kind of stuff surprises and is actually good, then bed wetting cynical stiffs like ourselves might check it out.
I understand Sean can't pay writers at the moment but you might as well take anything remotely decent you can get for free. My Public Service Broadcasting and Torres interviews were turned down because the bands weren't big enough and then like two weeks later PSB subsequently blew up and got a top 20 album... :( :( :( :( :( I love you DiS but I was sad when that happened.
The site needs to retain a focus and a quality standard, even if that means running less because of the writing or not being fully sure the act are worth our readers' time - and there are far better ways to get people turned onto music these days than publishing an interview. And maybe this will be DiS' downfall, but this isn't anything new.
If something isn't up to scratch or needs a large amount of sub-editor time (and I'm not sure if that was the case in this instance), which could be spent on things that are guaranteed to get a lot of traffic, versus an artist we're not that aware of or that excited about that might generate a few hundred hits, then we have to - I hope understandably - allocate our resources accordingly.
DiS is only a very small editorial team, I think people presume we're some massive operation. There's myself full-time (but I also manage Ed Harcourt, and do a few bits of freelance work - a large chunk of my time is taken up with advertisers, brand partnerships which cover my salary and then social media, monitoring the boards, etc, etc. Then there's technical issues and time wasters...), Cate our features editor works 2 days a week, Andrzej our reviews editor is full-time at Time Out (he subs and uploads albums before work, and organizes who reviews what on weekends) and Rob who does our singles column is full-time at Which? magazine. There are then about 20 core contributors, including Dom Gourlay who's been part of the DiS team for 12 years or more and sees over 1000 acts a year, interviews a couple of acts a week all whilst working a full-time job at Unite and running a rabbit sanctuary (and being a Notts Forest season ticket holder). There are countless contributors who do amazing things outside of DiS, and it would be amazing to bring more of them in, even on a part-time or regularly paid commissioned basis, but the reality is, in the current climate, we barely generate enough in ad revenue to pay someone to sub-edit features and organize the reviews.
I'm sorry your pieces were turned down, but we can't publish everything. Maybe we were wrong in this instance, but maybe not. Perhaps you could post links to the pieces for the sake of fairness? No reason people can't use DiS as a jumping off point to browse tonnes of content across the web.
I'm quite humbled by what the core team is dedicating to getting this site the way it is and also sacrificing in terms of free time to maintain that. I honestly didn't realise how small the main group is and for some of you guys to do this on the side outside of a full time writing job elsewhere is pretty nuts/inspiring.
I was just venting spleen really, my downfall comes from my lack of writing routine. I only do a few interviews a year when I can and I'm fairly lax on writing in general at the moment as I'm trying to sort my life out. To hear all this though, it'll likely give me a bit of a kick up the arse to do more. I 'big up' the site to everyone I know that'll listen so please do put me in my place if I'm ever miffed at a declined submission.
over another group of five white guys with guitars.
you tell it how it is, sister
Are you nostalgic for the time when people complained there were too many seven outta ten reviews yet, pal?
I'm normally with you on this one - what's the point of a review telling me the new Beady Eye album is shit? I could work that out for myself. But with this lot, I'd seen them on soccer am, saw the posters and adverts and wondered if they were any good. I'm sometimes partial to a little rock n roll pumped out by enthusiastic juveniles you see so I made a mental note to check them out at some point. Now thanks to the DiS review I don't need to subject myself to their album as it has confirmed what I was suspecting at the back of my mind. Communication: received.
FYI: that Beady Eye review is likely to be the most read review of the year.
don't think DiS or any other site has a duty to warn the public off records they don't think are much cop.
Listening to ambient, drone, Tim Hecker bedtime sleep music. DiS not doing music for a finger up your arse that real life people might be interested in - engaging with real life. Should do it more often.
Did you know: an arena-sized audience visits DiS every day. The site has half a million readers a month. Based on averages, about 4000 people will read this thread before the day is out.
A proper rant piece is sometimes pretty good to read, but when it's something like this just saying the album is a bit shit seems pointless really.
sometimes writers take a punt on an album because why not (or, in the case of organs unlike this one, because someone is paying them in exchange for their work), and it ends up being boring and lame. you could come back and say "sorry I've decided not to review this album because I don't like it very much," but then your editor would think of you as a pain in the arse
It always perplexes me when threads like this come up, and they think that one (reviews) editor would have the time to process the 50 or so records a publication covers a month, in advance, and decide what gets the positive and negative reviews, and knows precisely which writers will agree with this agenda, and then sends the records out. If anyone can tell me how this level of time and attention for a conspiracy is possibly - especially as most promos now turn up the same day they're sent out to a reviewer - at best 2 months before a release, but increasingly it's more like 3 weeks before the album is out... like, the reason my NiN review is taking a while is because I only got the album on the Thursday before Reading, and spent last week getting into it, and haven't quite committed to how I feel about the record, after 15 or so listens. To think I would have had time to listen to it and 50 other records, 15 times to figure out what I think, and then conspire to find a writer to give the same opinion I have, is just barking mental.
it would be much better to write that as an article rather than a review. It just seems a weird way of doing it. Like, surely many more people would read an article on whether pain and life experience is necessary for good songwriting than read the same thing shoehorned into a Tom Odell review?
I think that DiS is sorely lacking in detailed opinion pieces anyway. But, as it's been said a million times, it wouldn't get the click throughs, people aren't interested in reading long articles on a music website etc etc...
Again though, I’d say the review format is a completely acceptable way of getting this across, not least ’cause using one specific example as a microcosm of a bigger problem makes more entertaining and engaging reading than a broad piece that hedges its bets.
but it just seems a shame that quite a few readers missed out on an interesting opinion piece which they didn't read cos they thought it was just a review of a shit singer songwriter
People will click to read a review, as they're curious about a record or fancy spending 10 minutes inside the mind of a passionate music fan/critic, and it's down to the writer to strike a balance between what the record is and what it represents and how the person bashing the keys feels and thinks about it all.
Sure, more opinion pieces would be great, and it's something I've always been tempted to do, but it's actually far more likely that someone will fire off a paragraph or two of opinion to start a thread, and far more people will read it and engage, than if it's a lengthier piece that maybe can't be summed up in a headline or subject line which perhaps sounds a little bit dry.
Oddly, my Reading review has performed far better than I anticipated, but I wonder if more or less people (which is my assumption) if it was just a piece about television and the web ruining festivals, than if it was also viewed through the prism of a review of a major event.
I don't have a problem with including reviews for "non-Dis" artists for a number of reasons.
1) Page views and advertising revenue- I didn't enjoy the Beady Eye review, but I can see it's value as Link Bait.
2) Getting more people involved- I'd imagine someone is more likely to get here through reading a review from a bigger artist.
I had nothing to do with the Beady Eye review nor any reviewers opinion, unless I write it myself.
As I've said above, there was no linkbait conspiracy. The reviewer or a reviews editor Andrzej doesn't suddenly get a cash-bonus if they hit some sort of traffic target.
It wasn't linkbait. It was just what was submitted. It happened to strike a chord.
(I was on tour at the time and getting loads of abuse from editor's of magazines and stuff, saying how irresponsible I am and all kindsa bullshit... but I don't get involved in reviews unless it's something Andrzej flags up with me, which happens once every five months or so - or for instance today I fired Andrzej an email about the London Grammar review, as I'm not quite so sure the review reads like a 9/10)
I wasn't particularly clear, but I was trying to say I can see why Beady Eye was reviewed, as people naturally would want to read it- not commenting on the nature of the review (the fact I didn't like it was stylistic more than anything).
I've been around the DIS community to know there's no "party-line"- it's why I use it.
A lot of people thought it was some smart bit of linkbait, but it wasn't.
Richard Youngs (??? - to follow shortly)
I bloody LOVE writing for a site that allows me to write about a relatively obscure heavy-as-all-fuck screaming hardcore band one minute and chart-bothering Heart-fm-playlisted band the next. Love it.
People used to call us closed minded snobs.
Remember that 0/10 pop punk album the other week? Should DiS not review pop punk too?
Don't really know what the issue is.
I mean... They have a meagre budget and resources and they review what they can. 95% of the reviews are pretty left-field across a range of genres. Do you expect to be interested by 100% of the records reviewed? Do you expect every review to be adulatory? Is one of your demands of a website that its content (and here I'm using that word in the non-marketing speaking original meaning) syncs with you so efficiently that you don't feel any click you make wastes 2 minutes of your life?
I don't see what the problem is here. Could DiS have more articles? Could it have reviews of some records that may have slipped through the net? Can some of the reviews occasionally have a reviewing style that reaches for the sun and falls into the sea? Yes, perhaps.. though that would require a full-time paid team behind it. I think, we're astoundingly lucky with what we have got. Rough edges and splinters, but an important part of your life (I'm going to guess).