Remember circa 2008, being thrilled to visit sites like DigitalDripped for the latest shit to download that wasn’t already all over myspace playing from the music players on everyone’s pages? Remember when reviews were alluring, and effectively captured the thoughts and feelings that the lyrics, within the bodies of art these reviews depicted, brought about when you listened to them?
The value of blogging in underground music has diminished, and the quality of the writing has decreased. We live in an era where mainstream blogs are charging to post content and don’t even have the decency to thoroughly filter the trash from the gems for the music lovers who take the time out to read through the bullshit they throw up on these sites. Not to mention, every site posts the same music as long as it’s buzzing, which essentially brings in less unique visitors— which I thought was always a core marketing goal of any site— because anyone can log in to twitter and follow a radio DJ if we wanted to hear all of that, to be frank. Let’s also not forget to mention that the entertainment blog lane is a bit oversaturated, which would be fine if the writing was compelling, but that is most definitely not the case.
Day in and day out, we beg these lyricists to “bring back the bars” and “stop rapping about the same meaningless shit”, but as the critics, many of us fail to “bring back the good ears”, “bring back the good taste in music”, and stop writing dismal reviews. The one thing I have always loved about music was the fact that there is never “too much” of it; the online catalog of music is neverending. I could log onto soundcloud and come across an artist with a following of 125, about 300 plays on each track, with a sound so refreshing and mesmeric that I feel obligated to download their entire collection because my iTunes library would be lacking without it. Then you log in to these blogs with a team of writers that you would expect to be in search of these talented ghosts, only to see subpar reviews of the same five artists whose music is most likely pretty ass, but because they’re booming on twitter, they get that slot. However, they don’t get the slot due to the quality of the song, but because that’ll get the most retweets and favorites when the link to the review is tweeted. Which is cool, you need that in business, that’s smart marketing… however, as a blog, your audience holds you accountable for “putting them on”.
Essentially, entertainment has become a popularity contest due to the laziness of the critics, and it is no longer “the best man wins”. So I have a challenge for y’all, being that those are apparently the “in” thing now… going forward, let’s actually fulfill the roles we’ve put ourselves in as bloggers and music journalists, actually do the research on underground musicians, go to these shows, interview, converse with and learn these musicians, and show love to the ones that deserve it. WE have to demand the quality in music that we keep asking these artists to bring back; their success rests on what WE the listeners and influencers deem as good music. Robert Fripp said, “music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” Stop serving your readers cheap ass liquor.
….oh, and stop calling albums classic or throwaways after they’ve been out for 2 hours, y’all don’t even remember the lyrics to one song yet, stop it.
About Yan Snead
Tatiana “Yan” Snead is a social media strategist for local brands, music connoisseur, freelance journalist, media personality on @CoffeeShopVlog and host of Jersey’s “Podcast About Nothing”. Be sure to follow Yan on Twitter & IG @YanSnead, and subscribe to the Podcast About Nothing on Soundcloud and iTunes Podcasts.