Re: URL-Chicago rock-crit link
I've been having a lot of arguments with other writers about this-
interesting split that half the people think that these guys are full of
themselves (and full of shit) while the other half think they're fine
with what they're saying (with some exceptions).
I'm leaning toward the former view (they're full of it), especially
where they're asked "Does working in Chicago affect your writing?" and
suddenly, their ugly sides come out. Even as a New York writer, I'm
fine with admitting that Derogatis is right about a cultural writing
elite here: I saw that in full force at a recent Spin/Blender
battle-of-the-bands and it made me want to vomit. I think it's the same
to some extent everywhere though (more in NY though since many major
mags are HQ'd here) and the panel goes on to prove it by touting their
own Chicago clique.
I think that Chicago has a really interesting, thriving music scene (for
a long time now actually) and they have a right to blow their own
trumpet about it. My only problem is when they try to parade around
like they're the best thing going- that's what they seem to be accusing
Also, when they slam Jon Parales at the NY Times for not being a real NY
writer, Derogatis and Kot fail to mention that a lot of what they cover
is not Chicago music. Like Parales, they cover new releases and acts
that happen to be rolling into town. Peter at the Chicago Reader does
cover more local stuff but so do less national papers in NY.
It's a shame because the rest of the time that they're talking there,
they come across are the serious, committed writers that they are. I
love Jim and respect Greg but I hope they get over themselves soon.
I'd be really interested to hear what other people think of that
Perfect Sound Forever
online music magazine with warped perspectives
- --- In fearnwhiskey@y..., Perfect Sound Forever <perfect-sound@f...>
> I'd be really interested to hear what other people think of thatHmm. I think it would have been nice if they expanded a bit on
> round-table article.
something they barely touched upon--the fact that it's not a critic's
job to just report what happened at a show. It's their job to give
their *opinion* of it. I mean, 95% of the angry letters critics get
are along the useless lines "How can you say (insert band here) suck?
They're great! You're full of sh*t!". I just bang my head on the
table every time I read one of these. Hopefully the critic's opinion
is worth printing because it's informed by a deeper knowledge of music
than the average reader has. And after a while of reading any given
critic, you get a sense of what he/she likes vs what you like and
gauge the opinion accordingly.
I liked the fact that they brought up the notion that the restaurant
reviewer doesn't have to review McDonald's, even though the music
critic is expected to review that dump's audio equivalent. I also
agree with you, Jason, that the unwarranted and cheap attacks on NYC
writers and the town in general weakened the argument considerably.
And maybe I missed it, but they didn't really address the magazine
writer's initial assertion that music writers, in general, aren't very
good *writers*. I just snagged the power pop issue of Magnet, and a
have to say that a more comprehensive collection of tortured
metaphors, clumsy sentence construction, and cliche masquerading as
wit would be hard to find outside of a high school newspaper. I mean,
here's a slick mag with tons of ads, and I know more than a few good
underemployed writers. How could this happen? (Seeing rockcrit's
most egregious example of the Peter Principle, Fred Mills, in the
masthead gives me a clue, though.)
But I digress. I was most impressed with DeRogatis' remarks about
writing his reviews for a kid with $20 in his pocket. To me, the
ability to make that kid want to run out and buy a CD after reading a
review, convinced that the disc is going to kick his ass, is the mark
of a really good critic.