Last week music critic at the New York Times, Saul Austerlitsz wrote a story on the demise of rock music criticism, The Pernicious Rise of Poptimism. The gist of the article is that today's music critics are more interested in writing about the megastars that populate the Billboard top 100 than helping people discover earnest and innovative rock and roll.
I tend to agree with Austerlitsz. I've seen it played out over the past few years on a music blog I've been subscribing to for years. I was a heavy poster to this blog (which crashed last year and is a shell of its former self) where the median age was probably 32 and became kind of an elder statesman. And, often times, not treated with much dignity. I was too old to be listening to new music and making my opinion known.
As the membership changed over recent years, some falling away and younger blood taking their place, the thread titles began to change dramatically. Discussions that once talked of below the radar groups to check out were displaced by threads about Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry.
And these weren't teenage kids creating these posts. There was some good journalism on this message board. In fact some of the regular contributors write for publications like Pitchfork, All Music and others.
Certainly rock music is in one of those downturns where the cry of "rock is dead" can be heard with some regularity. It happened in the 90s only to be revived. I pay it no mind as there's plenty of great rock music being created every year. Only there's little discussion on it from the critics.
I try to turn people onto good music here at Radio Hannibal but I'm no critic. I'm a promoter. Why waste time writing about something that isn't good when I can promote the music that is worthwhile. And besides, I feel a bit creepy giving my opinion about someone who's fanbase is in their teens.