One of the most commonly asked questions amongst me and fellow failed music hacks who keep a piece of shit blog with 200 readers a day is: why The Guardian? Why are you wasting the bandwith of WordPress, Blogspot and the hosting company of the message board you spend five hours a day on by pissing and moaning about Rosie Swash/Tony Naylor/that one racist broad who edits Rwd?
It’s a fair point. ILB has clowned The Independent on a couple of occasions, and the worst piece of music writing this decade did actually appear in The Times, but when we’re shooting, it’s usually at Farringdon. It’s not hard to explain why: a) no other national newspaper in the UK dedicates as much time and effort to pop culture as the Graun b) most of us blogger scum in the music crit scene tend to be at least nominally left-wing.
So we all gunk up our RSS feeds and Google Reader with hella left-wing blogs. And the funny thing, the great cracker here, is that no matter how hard we smack the kufis off the left’s newspapers for their really awful music criticism, liberal blogs can always triumph over it. Hard. Harry’s Place may be your one stop shop for “Get a load of these crazy White Pride guys/Trots/vaguely sinister Bangladeshi dudes”, but Harry’s Place Arts may be one of the worst pop culture blogs in existence. And yes I have read Idolator. If you need a some proof, here is the most hand-wringy of all the “I may be a white middle-class guy, but I think Jay-Z will do a bang up job at Glastonbury!” articles that were shat into the blogosphere last summer. Bonus points for referring to Black Brad Friedel, seemingly without irony, as “The Jigga”, even more so for the concept that the one man to fight patriarchal “blokeyness” in the music industry is the same man who rhymed “No need for you to sweat the next bitch/ With speed I make the next bitch see the exit”.
But that’s Harry’s Place. Apparently the biggest liberal blog out there, and one that I eagerly await my daily “Gordon Brown is a good thing apart from when he’s doing well in the polls in which case he’s actually a Tory” fix is Liberal Conspiracy. They helpfully give you a “round-up” of other blog posts of note from that day. Today they linked to this piece on a blog called “Hagley Road to Ladywood”.
Someone needs to be hitting up 4chan asap and ask them to start making more facepalm image macros, because if you try and get through this article in one sitting you’re going to use up the internet’s current supply. It’s stunning. Utterly stunning.
It’s not just that it’s 2008 and someone is still writing the kind of “MANUFACTURED POP IS KILLING REAL MUSIC” crap that most of us got out of our system by the age of 13. It’s not just that this article, seemingly without any irony, wonders whether or not record labels will ever take a chance again on “obscure indie bands” like Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs (no matter how dumb that statement is on face value, it gets even worse when remembering that both The Karelia and Parva were signed to major labels). It’s not just that the same blog contains a post where it’s mentioned that the dudes who kicked that one goth to death MADE A “HIP HOP VIDEO THAT GLORIFIED VIOLENCE”. It’s just that every single piece of this article is wrong on every understandable level.
Let me speed run this shit: the guy who runs this blog is in his mid 30s, and still uses the term “you’re like pawns on a chessboard”, which is the kinda line that would maybe get you “much clown love” on an ICP message board, but laughed out of the room everywhere else. He uses the phrase “Jimmy Riddle” to mean “piss” for no obvious reason. There’s a “manufactured pop is just like McDonalds” analogy because, y’know… it just is, OK. X-Factor is turning “music into the WWE”, because the Beatles/Rolling Stones feud was actually built on real underlying resentment of two groups of guys who never fucking met each other. “Let’s try and keep snobbishness at bay… Cheesy, manufactured charts pop has always existed”. Far from being Holland Dozier Holland’s most cherished product and a fantastic example of technical proficiency in music, The Supremes were apparently the olden days version of the Cheeky Girls. And according to this crazy character, they had most of their success in the 70s, after Diana Ross left and while Florence Ballard spent most of the decade broke, on welfare, and dying.
Will Young has spent most of the past five years drifting between light jazz and torch songs. This makes him R&B according to Ladywood Boy. Bands like Velvet Underground (manufactured by a media mogul, had plenty of coverage in US mainstream news at the time as some kind of “next big thing”) and The Clash (prissy richboys playing cultural tourist dress-up, if Joe Strummer had been born 30 years later he’d have been Uffie) “gave the public what they didn’t even know they needed”.
I don’t know man. I seriously don’t know. This shouldn’t get me so fucking aggy, being as it comes from a blog that also has a “MAYBE ROBIN COOK DIDN’T DIE NATURALLY BUT WAS ACTUALLY MURDERED” piece, but… why is this going on? Why is it 2008 and there are still people out there who are so fucking stupid? That whole article comes across as one extended Youtube comment. Still, let’s sit back for a minute and enjoy a quick snapshot of the guy who wrote it:
Nice ink, douchebag.
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