View From The Side: Let’s Eradicate The Evil Of Music Journalism
It's been a bit of a month of it. After dealing with a) artists moaning online about us given them a less-than-sycophantic review b) managers demanding to see and approve interviews before we publish them and c) artists being pitched by PR firms as proudly 'independent' when the bare minimum of research shows they're actually being bank-rolled by major labels, I've come to one, earth shattering conclusion:
Music journalists are total arseholes.
Bands hate them, DJs hate them, fans hate them. Other music journalists hate them. They –we- are the pits. As everyone knows, we’re a bitter breed of scabrous keyboard warriors spending our waking hours hunched over a laptop, trawling the internet to piss on bonfires and sneer at sincerity, desperately compensating for our own abortive music careers by spurting red hot scorn on the innocent geniuses who have made it. Hell yeah we hate everything that’s popular! We’ve voyaged so far up our own arseholes that we can only enjoy screeching white noise 12”s recorded by day-release rapists, their unlistenable-ness only slightly topped by their (entirely justified) obscurity. We really are awful. We can't be trusted to do anything right.
Wouldn’t it be better if we could just be nice about everything and everyone? I think that’d be excellent. We could love each and every record that came out. If only we could see that they’re all equally as perfect as each other, in special and unique ways which we could detail in lavish, florid prose. There’d be no more writing mean reviews about dodgy releases. No sir, we love everything!
And instead of interviewing artists, why don’t we just ask them to write a list of reasons why they are brilliant? We could publish it verbatim, along with a few asides detailing their glossy hair, gleaming teeth, and impeccable record on fighting injustice wherever it may be. It’d be marvellous.
Luckily, increasing numbers of managers, DJs and producers share this opinion. It’s great we’re on the same page. I know that here at Ransom Note we may call ourselves a magazine, or a blog or whatever, but what we really mean, as loads of artists are copping on to, is that- like every place with words about music on the internet- we’re actually a free PR service, here to praise the good ship dance music and all who sail on her.
That’s why we love it when DJs who you have definitely heard of frantically email us after we publish an interview to point out that we transcribed their words incorrectly. And they’re right, we have, because we’ve foolishly been writing down the words they said with their actual mouths, rather than some other words, words that they may not have said at any point, but words that nonetheless, their manager has since told them they should have said to ensure they look less like a bitter old shit.
And it’s why we love seeing other websites heaping praise on an artist, and encouraging their writers to heap praise on an artist, who, yes, OK, maybe is a bit on the average side, but what does that matter when the website is owned by the people who also – and this is only a coincidence you understand – own said artists publishing? Not a bit! Of course there’s no need to mention the link- that would just be confusing to the fans. What we need is praise! More praise! Total praise! So with this in mind, we won’t rest until the scourge of music journalism is eradicated from the web, until every music website is owned by a massive company that also happens to own the music written about on the website, and until every record review is a bright yellow sea of beaming emojis and perfect 10s. You can count on us gang 🙂