How does PITCHFORK work?

craner

Beast of Burden
You have to go to Commentary under Norman Podhoretz to find a periodical that takes itself so seriously.

Except that Commentary under Norman Podhoretz was alive and original and really good.
 

boxedjoy

Well-known member
I really liked the Sam Sodomsky piece tbh. I get the criticisms of the in-house Pitchfork style but it's not exclusive to them (hello, The Wire) and given the choice I'd take that over the I'm-dead-wacky-and-edgy-me attempts at humour you find in Noisy/Thump. It's the Buzzfeed/NME listicle style of writing I find most boring.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I wonder if being online has cowed music critics a bit – since now you know you're going to read people's reactions to your opinion in the comments section/facebook/twitter/whatever, it's safer to write an objective-seeming analysis of the historical context of the record and fairly uncontroversial (because unfalsifiable) stuff about the "knotty" weaving of syllables, etc. I certainly felt that vulnerability when I wrote reviews online (and hardly anybody read them, I assume). Not just from the artist's fans but from the artist themselves.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Then, too, there's the increased consciousness of privilege/identity politics which would give a middle class white writer like me pause for thought before slamming a rap record, e.g. Another reason to climb down off the plinth.

Certainly the thing that shocks (at least surprises) reading lester bangs nowadays is the force of his convictions — but also, yes, the personality. I was thinking about this the other night for some reason, wondering if it's really just self-indulgent to write a review of a record that talks about why YOU like it/dislike it, or if that's actually much more honest.

As I've said a boring number of times on here, YouTube comments are often more interesting and moving than e.g. Pitchfork reviews cos they tend to situate the music in some sort of real space in the listener's life.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Also interesting to consider that being a music journalist in the pre-internet era was probably much more of an extrovert's sport. You perhaps had to get out there more, meet musicians, put yourself in the firing line more.

Whereas nowadays it really can just be a matter of sitting in your bedroom listening to music and writing about it.
 

william_kent

Well-known member
I wonder if being online has cowed music critics a bit – since now you know you're going to read people's reactions to your opinion in the comments section/facebook/twitter/whatever, it's safer to write an objective-seeming analysis of the historical context of the record and fairly uncontroversial (because unfalsifiable) stuff about the "knotty" weaving of syllables, etc. I certainly felt that vulnerability when I wrote reviews online (and hardly anybody read them, I assume). Not just from the artist's fans but from the artist themselves.

I, for one, would be extremely cautious about giving any K-pop bands such as BTS anything less than a glowing review due to fear of the BTS army destroying my life.. Limmy had to issue a humiliating and grovelling apology to the BTS army after he made an off the cuff comment about BTS being "shit"

I faintly recall an interview with Killing Joke where they basically offered the journalist out because of a bad review he had previously given them - I tried googling it and found this Guardian article which lists other bands grievances with journalists - it doesn't mention the Killing Joke incident I was thinking of, but does mention another where they dumped a load of maggots and offal on some Melody Maker journalist's desk..
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Also interesting to consider that being a music journalist in the pre-internet era was probably much more of an extrovert's sport. You perhaps had to get out there more, meet musicians, put yourself in the firing line more.

Whereas nowadays it really can just be a matter of sitting in your bedroom listening to music and writing about it.
See how I'm riddled with self-doubt, the modern malaise?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I faintly recall an interview with Killing Joke where they basically offered the journalist out because of a bad review he had previously given them - I tried googling it and found this Guardian article which lists other bands grievances with journalists - it doesn't mention the Killing Joke incident I was thinking of, but does mention another where they dumped a load of maggots and offal on some Melody Maker journalist's desk..
On facebook I am friends with Neil Kulkarni and Everett True (never met either in real life though and having seen their facebook personas I'm not sure I'd particularly care to) and they very often talk (brag in fact) about the number of rockstars they have so incisively and brutally taken down with their brilliant and merciless skewerings that the hapless victim, unable to match them wit for wit, was reduced to beating them up or threatening to beat them up or calling them a cunt or whatever.
 

trilliam

Well-known member
most of the guys with character in their writing on pitchfork are the seasoned pros from the blogging years who graduated to spin (kearse, larrson, cohen) or plucky upstarts who dgaf about criticism/journalism/pfork-lore like that anyway (alphonse, callendar, sundaresan).

passionweiss for me is a good marriage of dry academic writing and actual personality and irreverence

anyway i just read this review and its great
 
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