Anonymous said: I love listening to music with other people, especially when I'm introducing new music to them, but a pet peeve of mine is when people talk over music, which I recognize is a really ridiculous pet peeve to have since this is a social activity I'm describing, but it frustrates me nonetheless. It doesn't bother me as much now, but I was wondering if you or anyone else you know feel the same way?

crystalleww:

be honest are you a man

the motherfucking princess and it’s only THURSDAY

The thing is, I get it. I understand what it feels like to love a band with your entire soul and then discover that a significant number of the people who feel the same way you do about them are people you have nothing else in common with. People you don’t even like. At this taste-crisis juncture, you have two choices: You can get angry, and distance yourself from those fans and everything they stand for; or you can realize that the people you thought you hated are not as different from you as you once thought, and you can feel a new space for them grow in your heart. The choice is yours!

"The Importance of Music to Girls" by Brodie Lancaster (published on Rookie, 2014

I know this article was about boys not wanting girls to like their music, but I felt quite identified, in the sense, that when I was younger, I felt that “the other girls” couldn’t like the same music I did or that I couldn’t enjoy their music — I hope that the fact that I now enjoy talking to other people about music or that I’m now the biggest Taylor Swift fan showed that I’ve changed. 

It also made me think if feeling identified with this article, means that the male view of girls’ music taste is so strong as to make me, a girl, believe it. 

(via juanalikesmusic)

Bolding mine. This is such a great point. It took me until college to stop thinking of people’s taste in music as gendered. 

"Moments" :: Tove Lo

It’s rare that I find a song and can’t cover it on Grooves N Jams under the cloak of anonymity, but we wrote up Tove Lo’s “Timebomb” on Tuesday and I have to share my love of “Moments” right now. 

A lyric I’ve loved since childhood is Van Halen’s “can’t you see me standing there/ I got my back against the record machine/ I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen/ can’t you see what I mean?” It’s exactly what has always appealed to me about men: innate charisma and the confidence to think you should care when that charisma might be all they’re offering. This can go wrong in so many ways, but I always felt David Lee Roth delivered the line flirtatiously enough that it was appealing instead of pathetic. I suppose because of narcissism, I’ve always felt that romantically, that’s what I offer, as well. I’ve always wished a woman would twist that line up and make it about her. The chorus to “Moments” is 

I love freaks

I don’t care if you’re a wild one

and me

I am not the prettiest the prettiest you’ve ever seen

but I have my moments

I’ve been waiting almost my entire life to hear this song and when I did, it was nearly impossible to contain my glee. Lo is transcendent on this track. The “me” is delivered in a soft, vulnerable voice alerting the listener that she’s about to reveal herself plainly. What follows is absolutely unapologetic, she draws out “fuck” for two extra beats in a brashly magnetic display. You sense that Lo would have no problem treating her male fans like groupies, no remorse about her obvious flaws, no guilt about demanding to be loved shortcomings and all. Last year I loved “Habits” and even in its day-glo, life at 11 blur I could recognize my coping mechanisms. I thought that Lo might be a kindred spirit and now I know she is.

5 Lessons Learned from 10 Episodes of #SWOONSTEP:

crystalleww:

  1. Women love to qualify. Honestly, this is a trait we don’t value enough because perceptions of “confidence” or whatever, but it’s so thoughtful to lay out your reasoning. Sometimes, women love to qualify their opinions with a degree of uncertainty: “I’m not an expert on the topic, but…” I edit this out sometimes because 1) men rarely ever do this, sometimes even about topics they have no fucking clue about and 2) okay fine you’re not an expert but you have spent literally hours googling this topic and that is APPARENT 3) I am trying to keep these episodes at a reasonable length sorry. I also frequently undercut myself, but I’m getting better about just going for it. This also means that women have become used to men mansplaining that they’re scared of being wrong. In June, a man explained to me that Pharrell was a producer. Uh huh, very interesting; I did not know that.

  2. Talking about your crushes is crazy cathartic for women. There are plenty of dudes who write Real Serious Music Criticism who feel the need to comment on the attractiveness and appearance of female musicians. Meanwile, being a fangirl is seen as girlish; grown ass women are not supposed to have crushes! What women see as important in music is connected to fantasy and desire. This is somewhat vital to the explaining why Swoonstep has basically become WeHeartDrake Podcast. We love Drake because of a plethora of reasons that stem from what he talks about in his music (also abs, I guess). Why do women love Matthew Dear? Because his music gives us our own little worlds on the dance floor (also hair, I guess). Anyway, related: you should read Hazel (piratemoggy) on teenage girls and fandom. It’s like the best thing ever, swear to god.

  3. Women and women of color are around. Diversity is not just a fucking statistic to me; it means contrasting, differentiating, important opinions and unique, interesting voices. Interesting, unique, diverse groups of people may not be in the traditional places though because they’ve been shut down in those same places. You gotta dig a little. Some of the most best music criticism is happening on Black Girls Talking even if it’s not explicitly a music thing. No one we’ve ever asked to do Swoonstep has ever said no. In fact, most women are really super psyched to be asked about their opinions. This helps when you create an open and inviting environment for everyone. Set that tone and expectation early.

  4. Hosting is both hard and easy: the easy part is how easy it is to listen. Our guests are always great. Megan is consistently hilarious. I’m often okay with not needing to chime in and have the last word. There is something rewarding about learning not to “I agree, and also…” The hard part is being the boner killer and having to structure and guide the conversation within a reasonable timeframe.

  5. I think Megan and I are the only ones doing a ladies music podcast. There are other awesome podcasts that focus on a lot of other stuff, but we do music. That is cool!

#DIDYOUKNOW Crystal also does all our #Swoonstep art work? She is one of the most talented people I know. I have only a couple stray thoughts:

1) Black Girls Talking is probably the most important podcast anyone could listen to. If you only have time for one podcast, I wouldn’t even recommend my own over theirs. If you have time for two podcasts, add Girls in Hoodies to your rotation. 

2) This podcast is the most effortless thing I’ve ever done. We email an amazing woman roughly every week and our guests are happy to participate. Crystal is very organized and focused as a host. We make a plan of what to talk to before recording and Crystal keeps us moving from subject to subject. Talking to these women is often the highlight of my week. We never struggle to find topics or to draw our guests out. Often these podcasts could be twice as long! 

post-prufrock said: Regarding Crystal's answer to my question the other day, is there anything you would like to add?

I hope you don’t mind me posting this publicly instead of answering privately.

The only thing I’d add (and this comes from Crystal too, but it’s something I agree with completely) is that no one can never opt out of being part of the problem. We all have access to the same media and it’s up to you to seek out diversity in your consumption. I think it’s a mistake to assume that women have an easier time finding and supporting other women just because we share our gender. I have to wade through the same overwhelmingly male critical content that you do and it’s easier, even as a woman, to accept whatever is served up first. I recommend not feeling satisfied until you’ve found a woman’s take. This goes double for writers of color. I’m gleaning from your blog that your taste leans in the Pitchfork/Consequence of Sound/Drowned in Sound direction, which most people code as white. I echo Crystal’s site suggestions, but if you’re looking for a place to read album reviews and more traditional music writing but also want to encounter writers of color, I’d recommend Wondering Sound. Here are the profiles for several exceptional people of color writing about everything from pop to metal to rap to country to riot grrl.

Anupa Mistry

Laina Dawes

David Turner

Hua Hsu

Matthew Ramirez

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Judnick Mayard

Always, if I like something I’ve read, I follow the writer on Twitter in hopes of soaking up some of what they love and finding things I’m missing. Good luck. 

post-prufrock said: Hi Crystal! I'm sure like many white male writers who hears your podcast, my initial reaction to your indictment of male-centrism in the music criticism sphere was along the lines of "man, these girls are so right, those stats are scary...but I'M not part of the problem rite!?!?", which I then realized COULD be true but PROBABLY not. Can you think of anything us male writers can do to stop promoting this gross imbalance? Thanks, keep writing forever.

crystalleww:

A couple of caveats to what I’m about to say:

  • I have a full-time job unrelated to writing about music. This means my opinion is very colored. I’m allowed to do and say a lot in this space without fear of losing my next paycheck or access to health care.
  • As a result, I’m also fairly insulated from the day-to-day of music writing. I don’t actually know what it’s like to be a staff writer. I don’t like, have a lot of experience, a long-standing gig with a major publication or anything. I have no idea what the politics look like. I’m sure they’re not fun.

That being said, it always just comes down to being aware and being open. I’ve been very fortunate to write for The Singles Jukebox where my editors and staff actively listen (first step! prerequisite to everything!), work very hard to be aware, and take proactive steps to get better with women taking central roles in those initiatives. Our application process was giving us a lot of white dudes? Let’s rethink our strategy about it. The dudes on your website are crowding out the voices of women, speaking on behalf of women? Okay, let’s create an environment where your female writers don’t feel uncomfortable pointing out this is ridiculous. Our coverage was missing several gaps, especially around what is music that has been ignored by traditional music outlets? Okay, get women to pick artists and songs to cover.

For casual music writing and reading dudes, it’s important to look at your own biases, too:

  • Is your group of music writing friends all dudes? Great, you’ve got a problem. Fix it.
  • Are you primarily reading music writing done by white dudes? Okay, time to think of some new writers to follow. Read Rookie! Read The Toast! Read Hello Giggles! These should not be considered websites exclusively for girls or women. They should be required reading for everyone.
  • Did a woman call something you wrote sexist? What’s her tone? Nope, trick question — it doesn’t matter; your initial instinct will to be defensive, but you should listen and take it to heart and be better next time. 

It’s not the job of the woman to educate or inform. My friendships with women are very well documented online. Do the work and figure them out. And follow those women because they are brilliant, hilarious, thoughtful, fearless, and biting. You’ll find there are more of them than you think.

shedwellswithbeauty:

"She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die" - John Keats

I finally made a thing and put it up on Issuu: She Dwells With Beauty. Please click through to read. I’m considering doing a limited printing if there’s enough interest (and people wouldn’t mind parting with a few bucks for shipping, printing.)

I dedicate this to @vivian-fu and shutl0w who listened to me ramble last year about wanting to make a zine.  Also dylancaderao who has always wanted me to put something together.

Thank you for taking any time at all to read this even if you just ctrl+w or scroll by. 

I’d appreciate any and all comments.

this is really beautiful writing

(via curmudgeoning)

crystalleww:

swoonstep:

EPISODE 10 - yr hosts (again)

Here’s the tenth episode of Swoonstep, a podcast where brilliant, cute, hilarious women talk music and crushes. This week on Swoonstep, your babely hosts are back solo to talk about a topic near and dear to their hearts: women in music and pop culture criticism. We also discuss our favorite music in 2014 so far. Plus, we cover a couple of weird crushes that just…haven’t come up in an episode of Swoonstep so far, including Crystal’s love of cheeseball Pitbull, Megan’s love of sad boy Burial, and our dislike of indie rockers (sorry boys).

We say this every week, but if you’re a woman (or non-cis dude) who wants to talk about music and talk about musician crushes, please reach out. Swoonstep aims to be a space where women are allowed to rant and rave and swoon with abandon because, for real, women are really the best. Women are thoughtful and deliberate and kind, biting and hilarious and brilliant. That’s important to us, so come hang out with us and let us hear your thoughts. Thanks for listening!

Just the two of us this week, but more guests coming soon.

Further reading:

Sasha Geffen’s “Radical Strain”
Lindsay Zoladz on Matangi and Born to Die
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd’s “I Came Dressed to Kill: Tracking the Nicki Minaj Makeunder”
Molly Lambert & Emily Yoshida @ Grantland
Pitch, Bitch!

A huge thanks to all our amazing guests and to everyone who listens. 

Without any conciliatory qualification: women do not write and talk enough about music. There aren’t enough spaces for our thoughts and there isn’t enough respect for our (multitude of) perspectives. I want to offer my support and encouragement to women who are interested in music. I want to read your writing and I want to talk to you about it. This is mostly directed at women who are publishing on Tumblr or Medium or Twitter (or their iPhone notes or their diary or the voice in their head) and might benefit from a space that is explicitly encouraging. Swoonstep is a place where you can be silly and serious at the same time. You can like whatever you like and Crystal and I will gush along with you. Never feel like you can’t be on this podcast. If you identify as a woman, we really, really want you here. Keep writing, keep pitching. One day I will get that VC money and you’re all getting a column. 

crystalleww:

hellogiggles:

5 LADY-POWERED PODCASTS WE’RE LOVING RIGHT NOW
by Britt Julious
http://ift.tt/XdXmtg
Oh hey, #SWOONSTEP is featured in this list that Britt (britticisms) put together! Honored to be next to all these wonderful podcasts with all these lovely ladies.

crystalleww:

hellogiggles:

5 LADY-POWERED PODCASTS WE’RE LOVING RIGHT NOW

by Britt Julious

http://ift.tt/XdXmtg

Oh hey, #SWOONSTEP is featured in this list that Britt (britticisms) put together! Honored to be next to all these wonderful podcasts with all these lovely ladies.

screwrocknroll:

theremixbaby:

Dan Humphrey titles all of his short stories with the date of the real life event those stories are based on.

Can’t wait to read the one about Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree.

Grantland’s Disney disclosures, ranked

the20000:

36. “She will most likely win and reinvent herself as some sort of Disney-fied (oooh, just received e-mail from parent company … Let’s see here … ) — Disney-fied MEANING AWESOME — version of Taylor Momsen and we will have to hear songs about her heart ripping in two and the puddles of something spreading on the floor whooooa-ohhhhhhh because I might not really enjoy Angie and her bright-bright teeth, but even I know that she’s got some commercial appeal.” - Jay Caspian Kang, April 25, 2013

35. “(Full disclosure: The Lion King is a Disney property, as is Grantland.com, blah blah blah I was 7 when this came out, who cares.)” - Rembert Browne, June 25, 2014

34. “NOTE: Grantland is owned by Disney.” - Emily Yoshida, January 16, 2014

33. “(P.S. Grantland is owned by Disney.)” - Zach Dionne, December 30, 2013

32. “(Grantland and ESPN are both owned by Disney.)” - John Lopez, September 20, 2013

31. “(ABC, like Grantland, is owned by the Walt Disney Company.)” - Andy Greenwald, December 13, 2013

30. “[Disclosure: This website is owned by Disney.]” - Zach Baron, January 23, 2013

29. “Over to TV: Deadline has an eyebrow-raising report that Marvel (which, like Grantland, is owned by Disney — but don’t ask me details, because I am not an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) is ‘quietly putting together a package of four drama series and a miniseries — a total of some 60 episodes — that would be taken out to the VOD and cable space, with Netflix, Amazon and WGN America rumored as potential candidates.’” - Zach Dionne, October 15, 2013

28. “(disclosure: Disney is Grantland’s corporate parent)” - Emily Yoshida, January 24, 2013

27. “With the original Avengers and Iron Man 3 currently holding down the nos. 3 and 5 slots on the all-time box office leaderboard, how much money did Marvel (and Disney, which, hey, also owns this site, how about that?) have to cough up to ensure Downey continuity?” - Mark Lisanti, June 20, 2013

26. “Can Disney (which owns the good ship Grantland) keep Frozen in theaters until a Despicable Me 3 or another Pixar flick rolls into town?” - Zach Dionne, January 6, 2014

25. “When Disney (which, full disclosure, is also the parent company of ESPN, which owns the website you’re now reading) bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009, part of the deal involved a Disney subsidiary buying a small piece of POW! Entertainment, a content-farm company Stan co-founded; another Disney-affiliated company currently pays POW! $1.25 million a year to loan out Stan as a consultant ‘on the exploitation of the assets of Marvel Entertainment.’” - Alex Pappademas, May 11, 2012

24. “(Note: Grantland and Marvel live under the Disney umbrella in sweet, sweet harmony.)” - Zach Dionne, April 3, 2014

23. “While touting Palms at a press tour in January ’93, new network president Robert A. Iger (now the chairman and CEO of Disney, Grantland’s corporate parent) said the decision to keep Palms self-contained was a lesson they’d learned from Twin Peaks.” - Alex Pappademas, May 24, 2013

22. “What is true, and closely related, is that Fey is going to produce and star in a non–Hocus Pocus witch film at Disney (which owns Grantland but does not personally email me about either its developing projects or Tina Fey’s career moves).” - Zach Dionne, July 23, 2014

21. “What transpired during those minutes wasn’t part of some kind of public-relations rollout on behalf of Disney, which owns Grantland and had just bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion. ” - Wesley Morris, November 1, 2012

20. “(Disclaimer: This website is owned by the Walt Disney Company, which does not have to pay me extra for having all the great ideas.)” - Mark Lisanti, May 2, 2013

19. “Usual disclosure: Disney owns us too. Hi, George!” - Grantland staff, October 31, 2012

18. “Repeat after me: ABC, like Grantland, is owned by the Walt Disney Company.” - Andy Greenwald, September 10, 2014

17. “(ABC, Marvel, and Grantland are all owned by Disney.) - David Jacoby, August 5, 2014

16. “(Starz maintains the rights to new Disney releases through the end of 2016. Netflix has catalogue titles streaming now. Disney, it should be noted, is the corporate parent of Grantland and ESPN.)” - Andy Greenwald, January 22, 2014

15. “That night we checked into Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (The Walt Disney Co. also owns Grantland.), drove into Downtown Disney, and walked to the Cirque theater, a soaring ivory structure designed to look like a circus tent, with a giant video screen playing clips of Cirque performers on a loop. Mark pointed to the screen.” - Jason Fagone, March 18, 2014

14. “(Here’s the part where I remind you that Grantland and ESPN are, yes, owned by Disney.)” - Emily Yoshida, September 11, 2013

13. “Late Tuesday afternoon, Variety broke the news that Disney (which owns Grantland but does not run casting decisions by us) has lined up five strong candidates to lead J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode VII.” - Zach Dionne, March 13, 2014

12. “Davis and Bertolotti brought their story to (fellow Disney-owned property) Good Morning America, though without advancing the story much further.” - Juliet Litman, November 19, 2013

11. “[Editor’s note: Disney owns Grantland.]” - Grantland editor o/b/o Wesley Morris, January 10, 2014

10. “[Disclaimer: This website is owned by Disney, and frighteningly intense versions of Disney songs are piped into the Grantland office at all times. Once per day, we sacrifice an editor to a guy in a Simba costume.]”  -Mark Lisanti, March 1, 2013

9. “[Disclosure: Grantland is owned by the Walt R.R. Disney Company.]” - Grantland staff, May 2, 2014

8. “DISCLAIMER: Grantland is owned by Disney, and our checks have little pictures of Mickey Mouse on them.” - Emily Yoshida, July 31, 2014

7. “(Checks off box for reference to a Disney movie. Waits by mailbox for ‘$3 off any turkey leg at Epcot Center’ coupon to arrive.) [Ed. note: The 1993 family film Free Willy is a Warner Bros. Pictures Production.]” - Jay Caspian Kang and Grantland editor, November 15, 2012

6. “Plus — it would be dishonest to leave this out — there’s the fact that I now pretty much work for Disney, via writing for this website (I think the corporate hierarchy is Disney > ESPN > Utz Potato Chips > Random House > Grantland.)” - Brian Phillips, November 8, 2012

5. “(Disclosure: Disney made The Lone Ranger, and also owns Grantland.)” - Zach Dionne, October 7, 2013

4. “Full disclosure: Disney owns Grantland, and the rest of the universe.” - Emily Yoshida, June 20, 2013

3. “With the excitement surrounding Eastern Michigan’s signing of Lion King Conawaywhose brand captivated a quiet Signing Day audience, Grantland (which, like everything else the light touches, is owned by Disney) offers a top 10 list of Disney-monikered football recruits.” - Holly Anderson, February 7, 2014

2. “Yes, Disney owns ESPN, and yes, ESPN owns Grantland, but you’d have to be dead inside not get a little stirred or choked up by this.” - Dan Silver, August 16, 2013

1. “Set aside the fact that ESPN and Grantland are Disney-owned. You’d need to be H.L. Mencken–cynical to not be moved in some way by this trailer.” - Dan Silver, July 12, 2013

this brilliance! on a wednesday!

Some Orders of Business

+ Two or three years ago I made plans to meet up with nuplan and a couple other friends at a street festival the day he returned from a business trip. I got to the festival first and while I waited, it periodically stormed but I hadn’t thought to bring an umbrella. (Ok, I did think to but I had put together a really great outfit and had no place to put an umbrella and I felt really #blessed that day, so find the lesson here.) Everyone ran so late that it was around dinner time when we met up at a nearby restaurant. We sat at the bar and Dave pointed out an umbrella at my feet and suggested I take it in case it rained again. Reader, this umbrella is still with me. It’s never blown inside out, I’ve never forgotten it on a train, and all its spindles are still firmly attached to the nylon. The tag says it’s Totes style no. 778T.

+ My favorite gossip website, Lainey Gossip, published this description of an audience exchange with Benedict Cumberbatch:

Last night during the Q&A for The Imitation Game, someone in the audience asked Benedict Cumberbatch…

“Can I have some of your yummy-ness?”

Cameron Bailey, creative director of TIFF, did not look impressed. Cumberbatch’s cast mates looked over at him, saying nothing. He said nothing. And I felt bad for him, which is absurd, because he quite likely will receive an Oscar nomination for this role. Maybe that’s why I felt bad for him. He just delivered the performance of his career and his yummy-ness is the conversation.

I applaud Lainey’s empathy but I don’t feel bad for Cumberbatch at all. I’m kind of psyched he’s being put through the objectification wringer and I’m also a little bummed that he has the option of sitting there, stern-faced and silent when any women would have to laughingly accept such “praise.” I think we should discuss men in this way until they, too, have to good naturedly accept that no one cares if they’re good actors. This is why I do #swoonstep.

+ I was reading through Twitter on the train this morning and DMD was live-tweeting some MTV countdown of funny rock videos and he reminded me of the Foo Fighters video for Learn to Fly. I have always kind of hated Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters in a way that felt a little inexplicable, even to me. But it all came flooding back to me this morning; it’s was the way he presented teen girls as fawning and gawky in the presence of male rock stars. Fuck that essentialist bullshit. Fuck Dave Grohl. 

Filed ↓ notes

crystalleww:

swoonstep:

EPISODE 9 - Janea Kelly

After a Labor Day break, Swoonstep returns with episode nine. Swoonstep is a podcast where wonderful, smart, funny women gather to talk about music and objectify musicians with our womanly gaze. Our guest this week is Janea Kelly and we sit down to discuss Five Seconds of Summer and the recent resurgence of you know, pop pop punk. We also pick apart Ja Rule’s recent career moves and dream board his future career. Of course, we really get down to business on which Fall Out Boy member is hottest and play fuck, marry, kill with the members of blink-182. There is a right answer to that game, and Janea probably got to it.

Janea is an absolute fav of the Swoonstep crew. You can find her tweeting at @pterosaur or tumbling at ohgeography about her favorite Teen Wolf pairings, body image and race politics, and which type of peanut butter is the best. You can also catch her intense feelings about Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj. Her latest essay on Medium was triggered by the leaks of Jill Scott’s nudes and is absolutely devastating. She is a hilarious, biting, smart, and gorgeous girl.
Shoot us a message if you’re a lady who wants to talk about music and play games with music hotties, and thanks for listening!

Janea is one of my favorite people I’ve gotten to know cuz of **~~the internet~~** this year. Because of this podcast, I spent all of last night alternating between “She Looks So Perfect” and Avril Lavigne albums.

My lowkey favorite thing was that before we launched into EMO REVIVAL, Janea clarified that this music isn’t being revived except critically and that thinking of it that way disregarded the fans who have been here the whole time. Which is such a thoughtful and important point to make and I’m so happy we got to talk to Janea!

Filed ↓ swoonstep emo

jakec:

I rate it.

Simon Reynolds is someone whose writing I take very seriously, a fact about myself I had planned on obscuring indefinitely but which I will share at nuplan's suggestion. I didn't think this was a great article, but I did spend a lot of time thinking about where Reynolds' good ideas could be extracted from his nostalgia. He writes: 

Nonetheless, there is something to the idea that an environment of saturating plenitude, where there are always many other fish in the sea and hooking up is near instantaneous and effortless, is not conducive to true musical passion. It’s been said that today we like a lot but love little. Pleasure-attuned agnosticism becomes the norm. We nibble eclectically at Pop’s Rich Tapas Bar.

It’s unclear at this point in the article (very near the end) whether he’s referring to music writers or music fans or the world at large. He’s patently wrong where fans are concerned, every far flung corner of the internet is home to some strange and passionate fandom. I work at having broad and open and accessible taste and I still find time to blog pictures of Drake and celebrate Beyonce’s birthday like it’s Christmas. His idea is much more interesting considered as a criticism of music writing and the way the music press reconstructed itself online. He nudges up against a point that more and more people are raising — the internet as we experience it is something that developed quickly and in that rapid innovation an over-reliance on advertising took hold. He doesn’t make the point (though you can string it together out of different passages) that readers are no longer beholden to publications, but I’ve seen this, too, under recent discussion. While there might be some consensus about the top music writing sites, as a reader, I’m much more likely to seek out individual bylines than read through an entire site. It’s intriguing to think about what, say, Pitchfork would look like if instead of focusing on general interest content it maintained its original format and continued letting its staff write whatever they wanted about indie rock. Though their early site was often woefully offensive, it’s been a while since I read a review as memorable as Nick Sylvester on Jet or Eric Carr on Thursday (Reynolds says no one rereads anything anymore, but I read those whenever I need a shot of irreverence). What if instead of having to sift through Arcade Fire aggregation I could just read a weekly column on Drake? The point I think Reynolds is making is one I agree with (naturally, obviously), music writing would be more interesting if writers were free to experiment with the form more instead of catering their work to boxes like “reviews” or “features” which are perhaps as outdated as “singles” and “albums” are as sales vehicles for artists. 

This all gets a little wonky when Reynolds makes his feelings explicit:

An NME or Sounds or MM would lie around the house, or your bedroom, for a whole week. You’d pick it up repeatedly during the many yawning longueurs that characterized an era with few distractions. (There was no internet and no video recorders or TiVo; the UK had just three TV channels, largely devoid of interest, and a national pop radio station that only came alive after 6 p.m.). Most likely you would end up reading the bulk of the issue by the week’s end, but you would also find yourself rereading the pieces that had really sparked your imagination. The words and ideas and provocations would lodge in your brain, germinate. 

The pace of the weekly music press I grew up with, and later contributed to, now seems almost indolent by comparison. Yet in contrasting then and now, I find the weekly cycle is to be just about perfect: fast enough to fuel a feeling of cultural acceleration, slow enough that you could fully absorb what you were reading and hearing.

Can you imagine how awful it would have to be to sit with some of the shit that gets published just to fill space for a whole week? I feel that one of the greatest privileges of my age is that I can remember a time before the internet while participating fully in our current internet age. What I remember is that even as a kid the way the world moved was agonizingly slow. Singles would take root on radio and never disappear. Some weeks you’d listen to the same top 9 at 9 countdown every night. It took a very long time to save up money for a new CD or a new device to play that CD. I was a sophomore in high school when my family got the internet and my first orders of business where to find chatrooms and learn to use Napster. I’ve never looked back. Self-controlling the pace of my reading and listening habits is ideal.