Rolling Music Writers' Thread

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Since there's no longer (and hardly ever was) an I Love Writing board, and since there are a quite a few pro and amateur hacks here, I thought it might be worth starting a general purpose thread for the dark art.

I don't really consider myself a journo, having only had a couple of things published here and there (mostly for free might I add), but it would be good to get more stuff in print I admit. It would be interesting to hear more from people who've been doing it for longer than I have.

To get things rolling, I thought I'd ask a staple question that I think may have been toiled over before on ILX, regarding use of the first person in gig and LP reviews. Is this generally considered unacceptable in anything less than the most stylistic circumstances? Or does it really not matter too much? What about the use of "this writer" (don't really like this myself, I'd rather use "I/me" than "this writer", but that's just a personal thing).

Anyway, feel free to discuss whatever you like about music writing and journalism here.

dog latin, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've said before about how I always hated that "The NME was told by Morrissey'" which is fine on the news page, but when it's "Morrissey bought the NME a drink and began .." on an interview, it's dumb.

Mark G, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wrt first person: depends on who you're writing for and what kind of piece it is. Personally speaking, I've often had issues with the idea of "objective" criticism, so pretty much everything I've written, music-wise, has used the "I." But I've also avoided writing album reviews for publication, preferring to keep to autobiographical essays, short takes on singles, and blog posts, and in those contexts, no one's had an issue with it.

jaymc, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

I often use first person, though rarely in a particularly deliberate way. It doesn't seem like that big a deal to me.

Tim F, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

Something I've noticed that crops up in features like that, something that isn't necessarily wrong per se, but I feel is one helluva boring way to start one of these goes along the lines of: "It is 3:17pm on a rainy Monday afternoon. The NME sits in a Harringey spit'n'sawdust boozer sipping a pint of Timothy Landlord..." etc. What I mean here is that the intro seems to tell you more about the time and weather and location of the actual interview than about who is being interviewed. Whenever I read features like this I tend to stop reading much past the first paragraph.

dog latin, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

3:17pm on a rainy Monday afternoon. The NME sits in a Harringey spit'n'sawdust boozer sipping a pint of Timothy Landlord

^ very accurate summary of state of british indie rock in the 09, though

thomp, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

"It is 3:17pm on a rainy Monday afternoon. The NME sits in a Harringey spit'n'sawdust boozer sipping a pint of Timothy Landlord..."

if you're gonna "set the scene" like this the best way to do it is to say "[the artist] sits by the swimming pool sipping a mojito" - the i/v is about them after all

lex pretend, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

i mean all obv dependent on what kind of feature, which publication &c &c &c

lex pretend, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

"[the artist] sits by the swimming pool sipping a mojito"

The Lex interviews Raygun.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

I tend to use first person if my experience is an important part of the total picture. If I'm writing a piece that's based on a phone interview and three listens to the album, I don't do it; but if the publicist has flown me to Ireland to spend three or four days with the band, fuck yes I'm gonna inject myself into the story because I am then part of the story. I never use first person in CD reviews.

unperson, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

there's no i love writing board per se but consider this thread. a not-just-music writers' discussion might be fun.

New: "I Love Writing"

the first person thing is tricky. back when I wrote for the village voice many many years ago it was practically required in music reviews. as time went on many publications took the opposite tack, pretty much banning the "I" these days in the NY Times reporters are required to don this pseudo anonymity which I think reads terribly. instead of "so and so told me that..." it's "so and so told a reporter" waht? was it YOU or just some other random journalist who happened to be in the room?

m coleman, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

ha, you *are* the room!

Mark G, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

Maybe 5% of music writing in the first person isn't hacky. I see it as a huge red flag. Unless it's absolutely necessary to the story, don't do it, imo.

wooden shjipley (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

How is it "hacky"?

jaymc, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Maybe 5% of music writing in the first person isn't hacky.

Hoot Smalley, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

On second thought:

Maybe 5% of music writing in the first person isn't hacky.

Hoot Smalley, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

o here we are slagging off writers again, that didn't take long at all

lex pretend, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

there are different kinds of first-person usage. the kind i can't stand is the showy first-person narrative, where the writer becomes some kind of presence. but there's also just the casual "i" where it can be sensible and unobstrusive. "i love the first two tracks" doesn't seem more objectionable to me than "the first two tracks are great" -- they're both obviously subjective statements of personal preference. but i know some editors who will reflexively remove every "I" from copy, so it's good to know the standards you're writing to.

flying squid attack (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

Just slagging off the hacks. If you'd like to defend bad writing, have at it.

Hoot Smalley, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

My favourite one, (iirc)

"Kirk Brandon formed Theatre of Hate around the same time as I joined the NME. At the time, we were both unknown..."

(Can't remember the writer)

Mark G, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

(many xposts)

I mean, I get into this argument all the time. Generally, I don't CARE about the writer. If the writer was an interesting person, I'd be reading an article on THEM, not the artist I care about. Like wow, the Jesus And Mary Chain helped you get through high school. You and America, buddy.

Generally if a piece of music writing has the word "I" in the first sentence, I usually stop reading, real talk. Save it for your dream journal.

The sad shit is now most mag writing is indistinguishable from internet writing because rates are so low.

wooden shjipley (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not that there isn't exceptions blah blah blah strawman lol flame etc

wooden shjipley (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

What about "I don't know about you but I'm fucking sick of this indie-lite electrodribble that permeates every airwave within earshot"?

dog latin, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Whiney, you do realize you just used the first person yourself five times in two sentences yourself, right?

xhuxk, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm posting on a message board, not writing for a paycheck!

wooden shjipley (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

the mark richardson thing about lovely music in stylus is pretty much verbatim all the first person objections ur spoutin btw but imo its top5 great but I suppose its kinda like how it used to be pretty awesome when Buffy had to make some inspirational speech but in the last series she did it every episode and it was really tiresome?

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

xp (And I just used "yourself" twice in one sentence, duh.)

Anyway, first person is a tool, like any other tool. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. (As an editor at the Voice, I was frequently known to edit sentences from pitch emails back into submitted reviews in part because the emails did use the first person, and sounded less stiff and stilted and more conversational in the process. I.e., sometimes it helps make for better writing just because that's how people talk. So I've never bought the idea that "writing for a paycheck" required "detaching yourself from the subject.")

xhuxk, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

Again, i'm not saying that it's always bad, but there's not a lot of writers who can pull it off without sounding like My First Fanzine

wooden shjipley (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

"The first time I saw Spoon..."

wooden shjipley (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

So why would print them (unless it was a really good fanzine?)

Still, especially when space on the page is at a premium -- which it was even when wordcounts could get away with being ten times higher than they are now -- wasted words are wasted words, "I" included. (Though at least "I" is a fairly short word.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

the mark richardson thing about lovely music in stylus

Think you mean Mike Powell, but Mark Richardson is a good example of someone who uses the first person to excellent effect in his Resonant Frequency column.

jaymc, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

oops yeah

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

If you can write entertainingly, I forgive your first person narrative.

Mark G, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

xhuxk on point

max, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

xp "So why would print them?", I meant.

Anyway, bottom line is, no fucking way does the the detached pseudo-objective tone used in most glossies and daily newspapers make for better music writing than what I was printing week in and week out in the Voice for ten years (though sure, a few pieces I published may have sounded "Internetty" or whatever. Point was to have lots of different voices, so it'd be a miracle if anybody approved of all of them. I didn't want to ban Internetty writing -- which can be good too, sometimes -- either.)

On the other hand, I like the creativity with which guys like Sanneh at the Times have managed to get around the limitations against first person and swear words. A smart writer can work within those perimeters, too, and make it entertaining anyway.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

its funny you mention sanneh--his profile of michael savage in the nyer from a couple weeks ago was very careful about not using "i" (which i think is generally a no-go in the nyer, except in the personal essays they publish every once in a while) but still managed to tell a set of interesting stories about sanneh's own encounters w/ savage that sort of hinged on sannehs own specific experiences trying to set up an interview... in the end, though, i thought it would have been a better piece if they had let him use an authorial I

max, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

wow that got convoluted

max, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

I thought about that, too.

Over the years, Savage has noticed that his disdain for the mainstream media is widely reciprocated ... So when he received an e-mail from a journalist asking for an interview, he was deeply suspicious. He read the e-mail on the air — he kept the writer anonymous, and didn’t mention that the request came from The New Yorker — and then asked his listeners, “Should I do the interview or not?”…

About a week later, Savage revisited the topic — “my continuing correspondence with a big-shot magazine writer.” He quoted the latest exchanges, along with his tart response, in which he asked, “Why must all of you in the extreme media paint everyone you disagree with as demonic? Why is the homosexual agenda so important to the midstream media?”

...

When he invited the journalist into one of his undisclosed locations, he proved to be a first-rate host, chatty and solicitous. A steady supply of beer refills lubricated the conversation (one of his earliest books was “The Taster’s Guide to Beer,” which was published in 1977), and as the temperature dropped and the sky above Berkeley started to turn orange, he seemed to be working hard to stay suspicious, despite himself. On his next show the next day, a caller asked how the interview had gone, and Savage described his interlocutor: "If I told you he looked like Obama, I wouldn't be far from the truth." Coming from him, this sounded like a deeply twisted compliment.

Sanneh has to resort to speaking of himself in the third person ("the journalist," "his interlocutor") but otherwise does a decent job with passive-ish phrases like "a steady supply of beer refills lubricated the conversation."

jaymc, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

no i think you're OTM, that NYer piece was convoluted. it read to me like sanneh had a personal 1 on 1 reaction to savage that was quite different than what he expected and the resulting article would have been more effective and immediate using the "I" but the NYer has always employed a certain lofty distance from its subjects, even in the 70s it wasn't really into the personal/new journalism thing. well apart from pauline kael I guess.

but journalists do have to meet readers half-way. my problem with a lot of the vintage village voice stuff is that it's so personal to the point of being impenetrable or off-putting.

m coleman, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

the best first person stuff illustrates how the subject of an interview interacts with other people, rather than "setting the scene"

lex pretend, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

i'm guessing whiney's not big on fiction as a rule.

strongohulkingtonsghost, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm not big on fiction as a rule either, and one of the principles that was drilled into me when I started writing was that first-person is something you have to earn--expecting the reader who's never heard of you before to go along with I-I-I-me-me-me instead of saying "So what?" and moving to the next item is not generally a good idea--but I love first person writing even if (despite whatever reputation I may have for it due to the 33 1/3 book) I don't use it all that often professionally.

Matos W.K., Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

matos if you don't mind me asking: you're not big on fiction as a journalistic device or (gasp) you don't like reading novels?

m coleman, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't write fiction or about music, but first-person is the default in my area of writing (analytic philosophy). Sometimes we resort to the royal "we" if we're feeling nervous about first-person. But it was made clear to me that third-person is to be avoided, as is passive voice.

deep olives (Euler), Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

hang on, you're not big on reading fiction...at all?!

xp!

lex pretend, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

xp I don't buy the "have to earn" thing. I'm not even sure what it means. If I listen to a song sung in the first person, I might be able to relate to, and be moved by, the song even if I'm unaware of the singer's specific biography. Not sure why reviews are necessarily different. You don't have to be a famous writer to have a life that creates a context.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

i thought he meant less that you have to earn it in the sense of being already famous or noteworthy, but in the sense that you have to earn it through your writing--i.e. you have to justify use of the first person in the piece itself, not necc explicitly, but at least in making your "I" of interest to the reader

max, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

When it's well done - and it does have to be superbly well done, and yes, generally (but not always) "earnt" - first-person music writing is my favourite of all music writing. (And when it's pointlessly done, the reverse holds true.)

For my own part, I avoid it at least 95% of the time - but then I come from a personal-blogging background, and taking "myself" out of the equation was a deliberate, sought objective.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

My first piece at the Voice (when no reader could've had any idea who I was) and a couple soon after were in the first person, fwiw. I seriously doubt they would have improved if the "I"'s had been edited out. (Whether they stunk regardless is another question, but they wouldn't have stunk less.)

Editorial "we" -- first person plural -- bugs the hell out of me no matter what, though. I never buy it, and I've fought editors to keep it out of my own writing (which usually they've been open to).

And btw, I've also edited at Billboard, where first person is almost never allowed. So it's not like I don't know that drill. I just don't like it much.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Of course, at Billboard, the writing tended to be more news and less review-oriented. (So first person would have probably have made no sense anyway.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

it doesn't matter if I quit or not, there is no statute of limitations on this shit, I still get hate mail about stuff I wrote years ago

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Thursday, 20 April 2017 18:35 (five months ago) Permalink

I can see how that would get frustrating. Possibly you can change your email address.

I know how terrible it can be. I am friends with Kim Kelly who gets shit on constantly. I wouldn't want to deal with the shit she deals with.

Fortunately nobody much cares what I write except my editor, my wife and the publicists. And since I am only doing this because it's fun again, I will have zero problems stopping when it's not.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Thursday, 20 April 2017 18:40 (five months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Catching up on some old bookmarks...

here's a thing I wrote about music writing way back when...way back.

https://medium.com/@markcoleman57/the-opposite-of-a-career-or-how-i-became-a-rock-critic-787020176542

― Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Tuesday, April 4, 2017 2:26 PM (one month ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Awesome read! When's part two coming out? ;)

it doesn't matter if I quit or not, there is no statute of limitations on this shit, I still get hate mail about stuff I wrote years ago

― a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Thursday, April 20, 2017 2:35 PM (three weeks ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Jesus, that sucks. Getting shitty hate mail would give me anxiety, for sure. For whatever it's worth, your review of the Austra album from earlier this year was the sole reason I checked out one of my favorite albums of the year.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Monday, 15 May 2017 00:01 (five months ago) Permalink

yeah well the first result when you google me is a hate site so rip my chances of ever making a fucking living from now until the day I die in our age of employers googling you

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Sunday, 28 May 2017 06:27 (four months ago) Permalink

the way I found this out incidentally is my sister visiting from fucking england, asking if I had a website, googling me and finding it. so no, quitting will not help because it is there forever

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Sunday, 28 May 2017 06:35 (four months ago) Permalink

I think I found what you're talking about and it was like watching a badly programmed robot dismantle itself.

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Sunday, 28 May 2017 07:03 (four months ago) Permalink

so if you have ever longed to live a life where you have to explain to your sister, who is crying because she doesn't understand why she upset you, the number of people who shit on you on a near-daily basis, a number that is positively correlated to the (sub-rent) amount of money you make, but never zero, then sure, by all means, become a music writer. at least actual celebrities have money and power and fans to insulate them. here you have all the visibility, and none of the insulation

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Sunday, 28 May 2017 07:04 (four months ago) Permalink

katherine as someone who has admired your writing, particularly on TSJ, I have to tell you that the person on that page has no clue. Even when I think your opinions are different to mine I find your work stylish and brimming with a sense of personality, please do not let this become A Thing in your life

boxedjoy, Sunday, 28 May 2017 09:00 (four months ago) Permalink

You're a brilliant writer. Sorry about all this shit you're going through.

sbahnhof, Sunday, 28 May 2017 11:27 (four months ago) Permalink

Katherine, if it's any consolation, a lot of the writers who have been "ripped" regularly write for The New York Times and the New Yorker and whatever, so it's not exactly a death sentence

Jay Elettronica Viva (Whiney G. Weingarten), Sunday, 28 May 2017 14:08 (four months ago) Permalink

Normally when I tweet at people, they just block me or send GIFs of black women waving goodbye.

Fuck this guy for about twenty different reasons (not the least of which is being wrong about your writing).

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Sunday, 28 May 2017 19:43 (four months ago) Permalink

Probably for another thread, but I'm astonished at what people say to each other online that they'd never (a lot of assuming here) say face-to-face. It may just be my age (37) but my online "personality" is the exact same as my real-life self, for better or worse.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Sunday, 28 May 2017 23:32 (four months ago) Permalink

RipFork taught me to be more thoughtful when spending roughly 20 minutes reviewing an album -- based off one skimmed listen -- just after being informed of a death in the family.

Imagine thinking of starting that website, having the time to do so, then actually following through for several years of your (presumably) adult life.

Whitest Words: cloying, oeuvre, orthodoxy, affectation, ubiquity, overwrought, incongruence, authorial, Sapphic, relegated, mimicry

fuck this dude for real

― condaleeza spice (The Reverend), Monday, January 4, 2010 6:54 AM (seven years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Guy who operates a music-criticism mockery website to Roy Ayers: "You sound white."

Andy K, Monday, 29 May 2017 18:17 (four months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

http://www.cision.com/us/2017/06/jessica-hopper-mtv-news/

June 22, 2017/in Consumer & Lifestyle, Media Updates /by Cision Media Research

Jessica Hopper has left her role as editorial director of music for MTV News to join Spotify. She joined the network in 2016 after serving as senior editor for Pitchfork.

curmudgeon, Friday, 23 June 2017 19:17 (three months ago) Permalink

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7849323/mtv-news-restructuring-shift-video

"MTV is restructuring once again. This time, the changes are focused on the MTV News department, which according to a source with knowledge of the situation is closing the chapter on what many saw as a bold and fascinating experiment in longform editorial. Multiple sources have told Billboard that layoffs are expected as early as today."

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Wednesday, 28 June 2017 20:59 (three months ago) Permalink

Yup. All the writers pretty much just got let go in a heap.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 June 2017 21:05 (three months ago) Permalink

lol the video pivot. "how can we waste as much money as possible?"

maura, Thursday, 29 June 2017 00:54 (three months ago) Permalink

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/IB4kTLN15y0/maxresdefault.jpg

the ghost of markers, Thursday, 29 June 2017 01:40 (three months ago) Permalink

Thank you, no.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 29 June 2017 01:47 (three months ago) Permalink

utterly bizarre that someone —or many people— thought that Grantland should be recreated at MTV.com in the first place.

veronica moser, Thursday, 29 June 2017 02:29 (three months ago) Permalink

Maybe so, but a lot of sites were thinking along similar lines, wanting HuffPo, Buzzfeed numbers and deciding OK, let's hire a bunch of writers to write a bunch of tangy articles and put blisteringly clicky headlines all over them.. To work as a model you need a massive volume of articles per month/week/day. I think it can work but the payoff isn't immediate and quality control becomes a real problem

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 29 June 2017 06:58 (three months ago) Permalink

CLRVYNT is dead. I wrote one article for them - an interview with Kreator's Mille Petrozza, published in January. They never paid me for it.

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:42 (three months ago) Permalink

let's hire a bunch of writers to write a bunch of tangy articles and put blisteringly clicky headlines all over them

that wasn't mtv's or grantland's strategy at all.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 29 June 2017 16:51 (three months ago) Permalink

it was part of mtv's strategy -- the grantland-y stuff (which was always overstated IMO, The Ringer is a better fit) got all the press but a fairly significant part of what they actually published was exactly that

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Thursday, 29 June 2017 17:42 (three months ago) Permalink

at least 50% of the actual content was stuff like this (and I realize pretty much every music site operates this way, but): http://www.mtv.com/news/3020995/jersey-shore-team-meatball-snooki-deena-sleepover/

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Thursday, 29 June 2017 17:49 (three months ago) Permalink

sorry to go off-current-topic, but i've never read one of those "this album turns 20 today" pieces ... are they usually interviews w/ the artist? personal essays about how great the album is and how it affected the writer? some sort of "let's put this album in the context of 1997" look-back? a combo of these, or something else?

alpine static, Thursday, 29 June 2017 17:56 (three months ago) Permalink

the latter two, usually

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Thursday, 29 June 2017 17:56 (three months ago) Permalink

it depends on the outlet and the access

maura, Thursday, 29 June 2017 17:57 (three months ago) Permalink

I've read good ones and terrible ones, depending on the outlet and writer and, importantly, editor.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:11 (three months ago) Permalink

utterly bizarre that someone —or many people— thought that Grantland should be recreated at MTV.com in the first place.

The stable of writers they assembled was outstanding, but I agree there was always a disconnect between the brand and the content. There was always a sense of "why am I reading a longform personal essay on MTV News?"

It's a shame the whole experiment couldn't have just been ported over to like a Rolling Stone.com, where it would have made more sense, and where the youth and diversity of online writers would have offered a nice corrective to the magazine's historic biases

Evan R, Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:18 (three months ago) Permalink

i'd so much rather read an artist (and peripherally involved ppl) talking about a 20-year-old album, plus some writer-provided context of the time ... than the one i put in the middle.

anyway, thanks y'all. appreciate it.

alpine static, Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:31 (three months ago) Permalink

mostly I'm just exhausted with the same old "hire 20-22-year-olds, possibly as permalancers, lay them off as 23-24-year-olds" churn being celebrated as a win for youth or social justice or anything like that. conditions are never as rosy as the puff pieces claim -- to take a non-music example, a lot has come out in recent months about the less-than-ideal editorial process and pay rate at Teen Vogue.

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:36 (three months ago) Permalink

Being a writer sucks. Being a writer has always sucked. My life is defined by two competing quotes:

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money" - Samuel Johnson
"I write only because I cannot stop" - Heinrich von Kleist

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:41 (three months ago) Permalink

mostly I'm just exhausted with the same old "hire 20-22-year-olds, possibly as permalancers, lay them off as 23-24-year-olds" churn being celebrated as a win for youth or social justice or anything like that. conditions are never as rosy as the puff pieces claim -- to take a non-music example, a lot has come out in recent months about the less-than-ideal editorial process and pay rate at Teen Vogue.

― sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Thursday, June 29, 2017 2:36 PM (forty-nine minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

at the very least I hope Lauren Duca is making a decent living for dragging Tucker Carlson.

evol j, Thursday, 29 June 2017 19:29 (three months ago) Permalink

anyway, between this and the new york times' copy editors it has been a thoroughly depressing week for media (also known as a week for media)

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Thursday, 29 June 2017 19:41 (three months ago) Permalink

this is...... extensive http://www.spin.com/featured/the-mtv-news-experiment/

austinb, Friday, 30 June 2017 01:33 (three months ago) Permalink

yeah, from time to time I worry that I am being overly paranoid/anxious about the state of the media, that I'm just projecting my own ~*quarterlife anxieties*~ and then I read things like this

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 30 June 2017 01:53 (three months ago) Permalink

also, I don't know the benefits situation, and I know the timing probably has more to do with the fiscal year than anything -- but if these positions came with any sort of health insurance (some permalance/temp jobs do) it's the icing on the cake to lay everyone off just as the Republican Party is about to get rid of it

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 30 June 2017 02:06 (three months ago) Permalink

“There’s this cycle that happens, that I was a part of. Someone gets the idea that they want editorial, and then a couple editors who all know the other editors are like ‘Come here, the faucet is on’,” Suarez said of the state of the industry. “And everyone runs to that faucet and it attracts the attention of higher-ups who realize there’s too much money coming out and shut it down. Then somebody you bring to your faucet gets their own faucet, and so you run over there.”

otm

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 30 June 2017 06:57 (three months ago) Permalink

yup

maura, Friday, 30 June 2017 12:53 (three months ago) Permalink

That Spin article deserves it's own thread.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Friday, 30 June 2017 14:12 (three months ago) Permalink

just further validates my conviction that Chance is corny af.

evol j, Friday, 30 June 2017 14:16 (three months ago) Permalink

spin made me take out a negative sentence i wrote about mtv in a review once. it was the best sentence!

scott seward, Friday, 30 June 2017 15:39 (three months ago) Permalink

i should find that column about pitchfork that jessica asked me to write that pitchfork wouldn't publish in their magazine. in retrospect though, i didn't really want to write a column about pitchfork. but, like samuel johnson, i can always use the money.

scott seward, Friday, 30 June 2017 15:42 (three months ago) Permalink

is journalistic "freedom" and "integrity" really a thing now though? especially on the internet. i don't really expect it. there are people with money and there is what they want to do with that money.

scott seward, Friday, 30 June 2017 16:05 (three months ago) Permalink

a thing that wasn't mentioned in the Spin article (I'm sure a lot wasn't) is how much vitriol MTV News writers got, particularly if a piece leaned progressive or against consensus, and yet Kings of Leon gets to spike a writer's story over "plays like an imprint of the last five years of music—neither a return to Kings of Leon’s svelte roots nor a reinvention worth investing in."

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 30 June 2017 20:06 (three months ago) Permalink

(as far as chance someone on twitter -- david drake maybe? -- had suggested the reason he's "the face of this" so to speak is because of his label situation, or relative lack thereof)

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 30 June 2017 20:09 (three months ago) Permalink

"Similarly, I couldn’t be too upset to hear that the recent “woke” iteration of MTV News was coming to an end, both because, like literally everyone else on the Internets, I had no use for the site, and also because, come to find out, it was wildly corrupt."

https://www.getrevue.co/profile/byroncrawford/issues/i-m-glad-they-re-cleaning-house-at-mtv-news-63286

JB, Friday, 30 June 2017 20:15 (three months ago) Permalink

Sargent must not read Infowars.

how is jordan going to recover from this burn

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 30 June 2017 20:15 (three months ago) Permalink

I have a lot I can write about this but i won't because you all know it already. I will say though that I worked for an outfit that frequently found itself trying to square the circle MTV News did; i.e. it fashioned itself an objective voice on music but relied on deep linkages with outlets that basically exist to promote product. So you'd run into situations where an album gets keelhauled in a review and the CMS has badged it "album of the week" or something - just nonsensical for the audience, yet all perfectly rational from an organizational and back-end POV. i can't get mad at musicians, reps, labels etc deciding not to work with an organization that slates them, i mean it's ridiculous. You guys hate my album yet I'm a featured guest on some show of yours? Playing the songs you say you hate? Anyway in my case it was always an uncomfortable fit and in the end that faucet got turned off.

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 30 June 2017 20:20 (three months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.