Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Noise from Underground: Pop Criticism and Cred in the Era of MP3s, Zines, and Blogs

What a dismal beginning to this blog. I guess, however, it's appropriate to set off with my complete disillusionment with music journalists.

This panel had promise! Columbia had organized a diverse group, ranging in age from twenty to ancient and in position from aspiring to evil. Besides, I had to RSVP for this shit. There was a line out the door. Yet another testament to the judgment of the masses (my judgment was perfect, of course; I was merely misled).
But it was a train-wreck. Most of the panelists were downright stupid, and were complemented by an idiot audience representative of Columbia University.

So here's a run-down of the personalities:
Moderator Sasha Frere-Jones, populist and mysteriously popualar New Yorker columnist. He arrived wearing Gavin DeGraw's hat, which set me in a foul mood from the start. Sasha was the most articulate of the bunch, and had clearly done his research. At one point, he attacked Knox Robinson's ties to a publishing/advertisement firm, which was amusing. But that was his whole shtick: fucking around with poor ole' Know. He replaced any substantial opinions on anything interesting with profanity and archaic terms like "beef" (used as a verb), and was super rude to the audience. It's hard for him to juggle his love for self-indugent snob-free journalism with the knowledge that somewhere deep inside knows he sold out.
Tunde Adebimpe, TV on the Radio. Coming in I thought he'd be the worst, another musician with political garbage to spew at a deserving audience. He spoke once, innocuously. Looked pissed by the end. Cute outfit, too.
Michael Azerrad, "I change my style for different types of publications." I hate you. Shut up.
Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone. I was expecting this man to be the devil. I guess he was, as far as the devil is completely out of touch. Clearly proud that he's working for the world's worst music publication. Throughout, people kept giving lip service to this awful rag. A shame.
Amy Phillips, moreinthemonitor. It was a bad sign when she introduced herself with a nervous tick. She's young and she keeps in touch with WBAR, so I figured her, she might have something relevant to say. Nope. Worthless, much like her pitchfork reporting.
Knox Robinson, the fader. The only people in the world who have a clue are asshole. That's not to suggest Robinson has the whole clue, but his take on "visceral" blogging was rather on-point, if not horribly life-affirming. His persistent interruptions of the other guests became increasingly annoying as the discussion proceeded. And in many ways he was unable to combat the Frere-Jones' stodgy wit.
Brandon Wall, prefix. Brandon is hot. But he's also a total self-promoting future-Rolling Stone writing yup. Nothing to contribute but a pretty face.

It was pretty amazing that no one in the crowd asked about the rammifications of blogging, or the legacy of the time period. Well, I guess it's not that surprising considering how fucking rude and offensive Sasha was to anyone with a brain.


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