RE: [fearnwhiskey] Re: Clip: Post-Pazz & Jop
- Dave wrote: "Carl, did you see Christgau's firing as a bad thing? I
thought the guy was
so awful and irrelevant that it was hard to argue with their decision.
also don't follow music criticism nearly as closely as you probably do,
I'm curious to hear what you (and others) think."
He wrote that almost a week ago but I'm behind in my list-reading. But I
hate not to respond to a direct question so I'll say quickly: I think
Christgau gets a bum rap because his writing style can be a bit
convoluted. But imho, his actual opinions are nowhere near irrelevant,
and he carries the can for an engaged, intellectual and politically
minded music criticism that is exactly what the Voice's new management
is coming out against going after him. The guy is far from out of touch
- he might not agree with you about a lot of stuff, but he keeps up with
the kind of hip-hop that a guy like him wouldn't at all be expected to
keep up with (and always has), while still championing a lot of indie
rock etc., and brings a passionate perspective to it all. He's the
opposite of glib - which you might not think if all you read are the
Consumer Guides, but I've always thought that's the least interesting
thing that he does.
And on top of that, he created the Voice's music section, he brought in
Chuck Eddy who was an excellent music editor and pushed them out of
their indie-underground ghetto (covering among other things, country,
which has gone a long way to revise rock crit's old anti-Nashville bias)
and who was also fired. The people who fired them, all evidence seems
clear, knew little and cared less about what made these people good or
valuable contributors to criticism. They only cared that they weren't
young and glib-snappy, which is what they think works in weeklies, and
they wanted the coverage to get more ghettoized to indie and dance music
and celebrity sniping that the educated young demographic they're after
is presumed to want.
So in short, yeah, I think it was a bad thing, and it sets a terrible
precedent for those of us who imagine this as a field that (1) you might
make a living (life) in; and (2) actually means a little bit of
something. Which is why protesting it seems worthwhile.
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