Critics on criticism. | Solid State

Critics on criticism.


A little while back, Spitting Out Teeth linked to an article on Pitchfork about the "new drug music," which, unsurprisingly, is all about the pharmaceuticals. What was surprising (to SOT and myself, after reading it), was the level of forethought in the piece. Because a lot of us have hit our saturation point with Pitchfork's incessantly bratty and self-referential tone.

Anyway, there's another interesting feature in today's edition. It's about the validity of music criticism in the internet age, a topic I've pondered extensively. Writer Tom Ewing staunchly defends the act of scribing about sound, and lists what he finds valuable in this storied but endangered art.

As someone who has actually made a living not just advocating for but applying critical insight to music, I was curious to read Ewing's opinions on the state of music writing.

I personally believe criticism is among the finest of literary crafts, with a lineage that includes such great minds as Edgar Allan Poe, H.L. Mencken and Mark Twain, to name a few. In my time as a so-called "professional," I've encountered writers who are great at reporting, but absolutely suck at criticism. So I guess it takes a certain talent. Or maybe we're all just stuck on ourselves.

Check it:

Column — Poptimist #4: What Do You Look for in Music Writing?