you're spot on. wonderful stuff
...but this particular act was actually far more the doing of Chris, Andrew and Frances.
There's video footage of the live set that's just been released with the reissue of Bleach. They should release that. Nice review, by the way.
1) A manifesto equal parts narcissism and mediocrity? Sign me up!
2) Do you really think that I write for anyone's benefit except my own? Really? That I care for anyone's opinions except my own? Really? The entire time I wrote for NME I took it as read that everyone ignored the shit out my words: it was incredibly liberating actually, because it you really believe that no one is paying attention to you it frees you up to do whatever you want. I still feel the same way. I've always felt the same way. I really, honestly believe that no one gives a crap what I write. Why should they?
Check my mantra.
"I write, first to make sense of my own life. I write, first to make people jealous of me. I write, mainly because I can no longer dance."
Honest, insightful, passionate, irritating, enlightening...? Tick, tick, tick. Everything I look for in music criticism. Speaking personally I like the self-deprecation: it counters the narcissism and self-indulgence rather well, I've always thought. But to each their own.
"I love trying to channel something as abstract as sound into something so tangible as words, to work through in my head why I feel the weird tingles of joy and rage and ambivalence and disappointment that I do when I hear music." - isn't this the reason why we all do what we do? But well put, sir!
You write to make an impact...? Oh easily. That one comes to you so instinctively, doesn't even need commenting upon.
With regard to this point (again), marcusian123, "The information asymmetry is shattered, I can check out American bands the same as the next person."
There's a reason for that. You're motivated. You have a vested interest in doing so. Most users surfing the Internet do not. (Goes back to the classroom: why do some learn fast, and some slow.) Sure, it means that folk like you no longer need to lean so heavily on folk like me. And that's fine. Doesn't mean the same applies everywhere.
Do they have exactly the same access to information as I do? Really? How so? Are they me?
Correct. The monopoly of information has been broken. It had always been broken, to a lesser or greater extent. What does that prove?
1) There are builders outside, replacing my roof right now. I have the same access as them to all the tools required to finish the job - the scaffolding, the tin, etc. Could I? What do you bloody think?
2) All a tightrope walker requires to complete their craft is a rope strung between two poles. That's all I need as well, in theory.
3) School textbooks. We all have equal access to those, correct? So why do some learn faster and some slower? The Internet hasn't levelled off hierarchies (of power, of information), not at all. It's simply destroyed some and created others. HOW DOES THE NEW JACK KID DISCOVER WHAT MUSIC SHE WANTS TO LISTEN TO? WHEN? WHERE? Oh, by trawling through thousands upon thousands of sites themselves...thereby becoming (to all intents and purposes) "an expert". DOES EVERYONE DO THIS? DOES EVERYONE DO THIS? Really?
Alternately, they turn to trusted platforms (P4k, DiS etc) who point them in appropriate directions.... which is what has always happened! There has always been hundreds of thousands of music fans, expert in their own fields. The Internet didn't suddenly change that fact: it just confused the field by flooding it with too much information.
...as the 'sub' editor in question, I had already spotted that one or two of those bands had scored covers elsewhere first. But I figured the overall point was more important than the details. Or, um, something.
....or even architecting about dance, for that matter?
One of the actual reasons why I started up Careless Talk Costs Lives in 2001 was because I was fed up with being asked to review the same six CDs, week in week out, by an array of dot.com websites. I would offer them a choice from up to 50 and without exception they would always plump for the same music as one another.
... of course, in Pitchfork's case, their pedantic, holier-than-thou tone would be immeasurably improved by a bunch of assholes who think that cos they can type five words in a row into a comment box they've suddenly developed something interesting to say... it is a fundamental truth, however, that a sense of distance is almost inseparable to the illusion of 'authority', something Pitchfork's founders must have grasped instinctively.
you can choose to live your life without them, of course. no worries. depends how much you care about your health/lodgings/music really.
That's an interesting observation about Pitchfork lacking a forum and comments. Absolutely that's why they don't allow either. They're scared their authority would be blown out the water! But they have a point - even though one could argue that The Guardian's bloggers don't suffer from the comments posted directly underneath. It's a rare music site that's improved by the presence of a forum, however.
People are always confusing the three. Journalism aspires to be 'objective'. How is a personal opinion objective? Also, I do not for one second believe in a Golden Age of Music Criticism anymore than I believe in a Golden Age of Music. It's all down to individual perception. I've written more about it here.
With regards to the comment marcusian123 made, "The information asymmetry is shattered, I can check out American bands the same as the next person", I completely disagree. To be able to do so, you need to be informed, need awareness, have privileged information that "the next person" simply doesn't possess. Yes, everything (???) is available on the web. Hidden in plain sight.
And I fucking really hate that John Harris article. I posted something about it here. http://everetttrue.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/the-death-of-the-critic-pt-5317-stop-yawning-im-serious-this-time/
I'm quite fond of some of their early singles - I just don't appreciate the influence they had on certain groups. I had to leave something off, though - and The Smiths (alongside about 30 or 40 other male-led bands on RT) didn't quite make the grade. I'll go back and listen to Sub Juno now: if you're saying it's even better than the Leanover that makes it mighty indeed.
Really? You can hear YMGs in Times New Viking? That's interesting. You may well be right. I can certainly hear the distortion parallel to Young People, however - that is one overlooked.
That's a fair enough point. My apologies. I probably should have picked up on that Rough Trade album which had 'That Summer Feeling' on...or perhaps I was guilty of falling into the trap I pointed out into my intro, of unconsciously writing about one of the other 'Modern Lovers' albums. The first album is separate from the rest, Plonker is right.