Blogger In A Coma

Rolling Stone published their first issue in 1967.  For roughly the next twenty years, they were considered the taste-makers in the music industry.  Writers like Dave Marsh (who’s brilliant Rolling Stone Record Guide’s are still great reads) had no qualms about trashing the newest Who or Bowie record, while praising little known (early Springsteen)artists regardless of their perceived commercial value.  Somewhere in the late 80’s, they succumbed to the pressure of the record industry.  It was a time when labels had tons of money and were more than happy to throw it around.  The result was RS writers giving good reviews to crap bands, while ignoring the explosion of great music that was coming from England or the burgeoning U.S. indie scene (to the extent that putting Nirvana on the cover after they released Nevermind was considered “cutting edge”).

When bloggers became the new taste-makers in the past few years, we finally saw small bands being catapulted into the limelight (Death Cab?).  With the death of the record store, Clear Channel’s “get in my belly!” absorption of the radio industry and Ticketmaster’s monopoly on concert ticketing (and the associated price increases), the options for people to hear new and exciting music became fewer.  Blogs made it possible for people to hear new music for free without fear of corporate manipulation.  ….or did it?  In the last year, we’ve noticed a narrowing of the scope of bands the “cool kids” blogs were writing up and that the hyperbole quotient was reaching ridiculous levels.  We liked the Vampire Weekend album, but the “3 times a week-oh-my-god-we-love-them” posts by….dare we say it…Stereogum, Pitchfork and others seemed a bit overblown.  The wave of Crystal Castles-like bands who’ve been the latest rage has defied explanation.  We were thrilled to read the story about Crystal Castles cancelling their show here in Dallas because they didn’t like the way the kick-drum sounded thru the club’s sub-woofer.  The story was reported in….Stereogum and took up a big space on their site yesterday.  Today?  It’s literally been chopped down to a two sentence clip and went from the “most read, commented, etc” post to….nothing.  It’s a great story, so why did it disappear so quickly?

Perhaps we’re taking this conspiracy theory thing too far, but crap bands are getting more and more attention on blogs that used to be great.  Those same crap bands are appearing at SXSW showcases organized by these blogs.  They have album and ticket giveaways for these bands on their websites.  We’re not saying that anyone’s being “paid off”, but it just strikes us as odd that great bands are ignored while truly awful bands get written up everytime they hiccup.

We’ve always prided ourselves on only writing about bands that we loved without regard for anyone elses opinion.  Is it strange to listen to Echo and the Bunnymen, The Bronx and Lenka back to back?  Maybe, but we don’t care.  Do we get anything when we tell you that you should be listening to East Hundred, Diehard or Crocodiles?  Yes.  The joy of spreading great music to a broader audience.  Nothing makes our day like seeing a comment posted by someone that says they love a new band we’ve written up.  And yet, we didn’t get a fruit basket from Diehard after our stellar review. Perhaps we need to rethink our policy….

UPDATE: APRIL 21ST:  As of this morning, the negative comment we posted on Stereogum’s website about this travesty has been deleted.  The comment called him out on his decision to “censor” his own article and poked gentle fun at him for his love of Crystal Castles and free promos from the record label.  Apparently, Stereoclearchannelgum didn’t like the accusation and chose to delete the comment.  Shameful.


~ by toddc2001 on April 17, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: