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Thursday, January 12, 2006
SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MUSIC CRITICS
especially if you are a member of a (local) band
1. We do understand how much work goes into making an album. We also understand that our job is to then judge the results of all that work, which means you do not get a gold star for effort. You get gold stars for having a good album.
2. Just because people have different opinions from you doesn't mean there is something wrong with them.
a) With certain exceptions, generally involving emo.
b) This is especially true when it comes to your opinion of your own work.
3. Very few rock critics think of themselves as cool. They think of themselves, quite rightly, as nerds. If you think they are "trying to be cool," you are wrong. 90% of the time this means you are projecting based on the fact that you do not understand something the writer is saying.
4. If you do not understand something the writer is saying, that is not necessarily the writer's fault. Also, you don't have to read every word, you know.
5. When it comes to local bands, critics are almost always erring on the side of being too nice.
6. Critics certainly get influenced by the hype attracted to widely-known bands, but local bands are almost always judged on their merits, then given a few mulligans. (See #5.)
7. Just because we have not seen your live show does not mean we don't have the right to criticize you. We are judging your album, not your band. There are lots of people who listen to albums by bands who they will never see live.
8. You are entitled to a review, not a good review.
9. We really don't like it when we say something positive and you complain that it isn't positive enough.
10. Please do not claim that we are not entitled to judge a work until we ourselves have produced a work in the same genre of equal quality. (i.e. "Oh yeah, well let's see you make an album as good as I'm Wide Awake It's Morning!") The inescapable correlary of this is that the musicians are then not worthy of being reviewed by us until they can write a better critical essay about a box set, or 200 interesting words about a band that there's not a damn thing interesting about. This is a game that nobody wins.
11. If you think music critics are in any way superior to you, please ask one how many groupies they get. Then stop being such a jackass.
12. The more people complain about bad reviews, the less mercy we have.
13. Sometimes we make factual errors just to piss you off. Well, OK, just to see if anyone's actually reading, but still. Same thing.