Drowned in Sound Unveil “Music Criticism R.I.P.?” Week; Music Critics Wonder Whether the Question Mark Is Really Necessary


U.K. rock-crit outpost Drowned in Sound is devoting most of its content this week to the question of whether rock-crit outposts will even exist a year, a month, a day from now. After an an editor’s intro referencing new Voice columnist Christopher R. Weingarten’s morbid Twitter-conference star turn (as seen above, still love the hat), we get one-time Voice columnist Everett True eulogizing literally-one-time Voice columnist Steven Wells, a rumination on recently shuttered rock mag Plan B, and other such thoughtful/morbid oddities. Dig this guide to being a rock critic, which vacillates between contempt (“Be mentally clear about your own utter irrelevance before you even start”) and profound wisdom (“NEVER Google yourself”).

The best piece so far, though, funnily enough, comes to us from a dude in Mogwai.

Commendably, Stuart Braithwaite resists the probable urge to simply piss on our graves, and instead chews over The Way We Listen to Music Now, how that’s changed, and how it hasn’t. Conclusion:

When I was younger I used to think that the only reason that Labradford sold a fraction of the amount of record Robbie Williams did was because people hadn’t had the chance to hear them. I was wrong. So. Fucking. Wrong.

In 2009 the source of critical opinion has changed but the outcome is the exact same. Swap 90s NME for 00s Pitchfork and people are still willing to buy into pretty much anything they are presented with. Both publications have of course championed some great music but isn’t it a little bit sad that with all the music now at our fingertips we still need someone else to tell us what to like?

Bah humbug.

Yeah that pretty much sums it up.