Further Notes on the Decline of Music Criticism


I'm not sure what's wrong with Salon.com or Scott Timberg, but this is a pretty clear indication that writing about music is a sucker's game, man:
Nominee lists are always, by their nature, a mix of disparate things. But just when it looked like the Grammys had come to its senses with most of its nominees this year, it creates a very weird juxtaposition: Putting one of the freshest figures in indie rock, Courtney Barnett, alongside one of the most annoying and unoriginal singers in history, Meghan Trainor. Both show up in the Best New Artist category, a place where the Grammys don’t exactly have a great batting average in the first place.
To make it even more bewildering, Trainor was nominated last year for her song, “All About That Bass.” Even overlooking that, and the fact that her first album came out in 2009, irritating songs like “Dear Future Husband” and “Lips Are Movin’,” along with one of the most mannered vocal styles imaginable, should have disqualified her first.
Barnett is the drowsy-voiced Australian who combines some of the best qualities of Bob Dylan, early Liz Phair, and Cat Power. Her LP, “Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit,” builds on her earlier EPs that showed her capable of low-key melancholy (“Avant Gardener,” “Don’t Apply Compression Gently”): The new album is more forceful (“Aqua Profunda!,” “Dead Fox”) without losing her essential skepticism and reserve.
If Courtney Barnett really matters, then you'll be glad to see her lose out to someone like Meghan Trainor. These two young women are not in the same "business." Barnett is making music that rock critics like. Trainor is making music that sells. The people who write her songs aren't getting paid. And while there should be more than enough revenue to keep both in a career, the music business isn't really working for too many people anymore. Yeah, we get it--your precious Liz Phair of the moment shoulda woulda coulda were it not for the pre-packaged soul-sucking machinery of the music industry. She's a guitar-strumming muffin head who's just inarticulate enough to make a hipster swoon. That's not why she does what she does, so make sure you thank her for being amazing even though she probably makes music in order to get away from other Australians (is there any other reason why one would make music in Oz because I haven't heard of one).

But this really says more about not having anything to write about and having nothing to add to the discussion. Transcendent artists win Grammy's but that's absolutely the last aspect of why they are winning things. An industry award celebrating units moved is not relevant to any discussion about who's good and who isn't.

They've lost their minds at Salon, by the way. The political commentary is excruciating and everyone is upset because there's not enough outrage being generated when someone says something expressly for the purpose of outraging libtards. It's damned near time to edit bookmarks.