« Enjoy the Weekend: Don Ho | Main | High Desert Test Sites »



I don't disagree with any of the points raised, but I feel like I should point out that if there's a relative dearth of negative criticism in the blogosphere, it's just as much related to the fact that folks don't necessarily have the time to bother writing about stuff that's fair to middling or just generally unimpressive. Better to just shunt that aside and spend the time writing about something that actually invites a genuine response. Of course, that can just as easily be a negative response as a positive one but speaking for myself, I have to really have a hate on for something to bother expressing it in blog (She Wants Revenge, take a bow).

Professional critics, on the other hand, may not have that luxury - they're given/assigned/whatever stuff that they have to turn an opinion on regardless of whether they like it or not. Of course, they also have the luxury of not having to work another day job so they, theoretically, have a lot more time in the day to dedicate to listening and writing.

But as for the one line, "this is great" M.O., well that works for some but I find it a bit frustrating as well. I don't download everything/anything, I prefer being given a compelling reason via the accompanying text to download something and listen to it. But that's me.

There was a point here when I started writing. I think.


Thanks for the comment, Frank. I can sympathize with what you're saying (I'm posting from work right now! Shh!), but to my mind "criticism" and "hating" are not equal terms. I'm not really wishing for more negative reviews, just more thoughtful writing. "Genuine response," like you said, is the key.

I'm also suspicious of many blogs writing about what they "like." Sometimes the endorsement is so minimal that I think people are just searching for content. To me, that's even worse than being negative.

The other pressure, which I didn't really go into in my post, is the need to stay of-the-moment. Sometimes the "conversation" on the web about a band or album is over by the time I've even managed to purchase, listen to, and process the record. I can only guess the same is true for many other bloggers.


yeah, I think my mind got sidetracked from your request for criticism to another conversation a while back on the topic of whether bloggers are too positive. Similar, but not the same topic.

I would love to be able to get really in-depth on certain songs, albums, what have you, but as I mentioned initially, it comes down to time. striking a balance between forming an informed, considered opinion and if not keeping up with the joneses then at least keeping them within view is tough. As it is, I'll almost never be the first to discover an act - promo CDs can go weeks without being opened, MP3s even longer - whereas I see the same music being posted within hours of receipt on other sites. Go figure.

And regarding blogs writing about what they like - that's basically my M.O. and I guess it comes down to the fact that only the writer knows for sure if they're being sincere or not but I like to think that readers are savvy enough to tell if someone means what they're writing or if they're just phoning it in.


my favorite mp3 blog belongs to a couple friends of mine from college days - gentletyrants.com. Unfortunately, I can't really say that it is what you are looking for. It isn't so much "criticism," not at all actually, as much as it is what "blogging" was initially all about. These guys just post songs, and talk about how much they like the band and why they like the band. It is like a journal, about music, accompanied by mp3s. Sometimes witty, sometimes containing good music I haven't heard before. All in all, I like it.

marc h.

Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but I just recently started a blog for my non-p4k self-indulgent rantings and ravings, mostly music-related.

Even better places to look would be Status Ain't Hood, Marathon Packs, Clap Clap, Bliss Blog, etc.


Thanks jeremy, thanks marc. Some of these are new to me and bookmarked.

I was waiting for someone to bring up either blissblog or k-punk in response to what I wrote... but I guess my taste in music or philosophers is not on the same track as they are. I appreciate what they do but I find that I'm pretty much never interested in their content. That's just me though.


Thanks for the add. I have to echo some of what Frank said and also some of what was initially written. As a former touring musician for who (apart from his daughter) focuses a great majority of his energy on music, I feel that music and MP3 blogs have become digital fanzines or sorts. Places for people to find out about new music and discover older stuff they may have missed along the way.

I (like Frank) don't write about things I don't really enjoy. There is too much good music being made for me to focus on negative reviews. And while I feel like I'm pretty up to date on what's new and hot, I don't and never will be able to keep up with the GvB's of the world in that department. I'd rather listen to an album. Spend some time with it and determine if it truly is a keeper before writing about it.

As for the writing... I don't know how many bloggers I speak for, but with a 1-1/2 year old running around my house and a full-time job it is hard (if not impossible) to find the time to write 500-750 words on every great new album I hear. If that was the case, I'd probably have to pack up and quit blogging tomorrow. The point is, that without simply saying "I like it" or "This record is great" I try to give those that read a good idea about the music I post. Blogging is a labor of love, but I can't and won't make it a 2nd full-time job.


some related thoughts from catbirdseat, keying off a comment from a Pitchfork rep at the EMP conference


Ryan Catbird

...And some more related thoughts from me:

(and BTW, Great post-- frankly, I'm surprised that more people aren't pointing this out)

Thing is, there is some truth to Frank et al's comment about people not wasting time posting about things they don't like-- that is indeed the case in many instances I think, but as an overall view, that's a very rosy view of things. The fact of the matter is, whether consciously or unconsciously, there are quite a few music blogs (and I'm not talking rinky-dink ones) that are almost surely motivated just by the struggle to stay on top, get super-high traffic numbers, and, by extension, get higher and higher ad payouts, side-deals, perks, swag, etc.

I mean, I'm not talking about $20 here or there, there is BIG FUCKING MONEY going out via ads to blogs. Thus, it becomes all about making sure there are many posts regularly throughout the day, *GUSHING* about everything (I mean, Christ, how can every other post be about THIS IS DEFINITELY A CONTENDER FOR TOP ALBUM OF THE YEAR?), securing "exclusives" and "premieres", etc. etc.

I'm not gonna throw out figures here, but if you're curious, go to blogads.com, click on "choose ads a la carte," look up some of the blogs you want to find out about, note down their current number of ads and their rates, and then multiply that out over the course of a year. You might want to figure in a few hundred, upwards to an extra thousand per mo., if the site has other, non blogads ads running too (banners, etc.).

When we're talking about thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars.... is it still just "all about the music?" I highly doubt it.


Ryan, I saw your post this morning and it's spurred me to write more...

Very good point about the ads - I hadn't even thought about that.

As for why more people aren't linking here? Dude - y'all got blogs! Link to me! ;)


Just added a followup post. Hope you all are still tuning in and will have more to say, here or on your own blogs.

In that post I respond to some of what was said here - Eric, Frank, Ryan, I don't mean to call you guys out--I like your blogs!--you just raised a couple points that I think many bloggers share.


Hey, I've been away from my computer for a while, and I'm still catching up. But I wanted to say thanks for the nod and the kind words. I may have more to say about the actual content of your post when I've settled in. Thanks again!

The comments to this entry are closed.

prettygoes at gmail com

Blog powered by Typepad