me + my laptop= your questions answered
(the following post is a response to Violet and co's
The recipe for music writing is quite simple...First...
namedrop, namedrop, namedrop! (is this one word? it is now)
- Name the cool hole-in-the-wall venue. If you know any of the staff's names - say so.
- Name your cool friends accompanying you to the "show" (never say "gig")
- Name all the people who somehow kind of connect you to the band members (your housekeeper's daughter gave the bass player head - whatever)
- If it's an album you're reviewing make lots of references to the founding fathers of independent music - The Pixies, Sonic Youth and if you're really clever some ironic good ol' not-so-independent-but-that's-ok-due-to-the-irony-of-it-all band like the Allman Bros.
- Reference some exclusive show you attended (or just say you were there) from a year previous. Like that Bright Eyes show everyone refused to shut up about. If the aforementioned show happened to have taken place in an historical-now-closed-forever club - you've got it made in the shade.
- It never hurts to mention Buck 65. This is Canada. He lives in France. There is much mileage here.
I personally wouldn't bother peppering your review with references to the Discorder
. Nigga, please - you're beyond all that college shit. Cite stuff from NME
. Some music pricks saythey sold out ages ago but in reality they all want to be NME. And if you're up to it - slyly insinuate that you have connections over there. They're in the UK which is super far away. No one will know.Second...
Go off on some obnoxious tangent that showcases your hip lifestyle and general know-it-all attitude. Put that art history/women's studies/film/art school degree to work!Third...
Make someone feel bad about themselves. It doesn't really matter how. If you can use steps 1 and 2
from above to accomplish this, then bravo! You're conserving time and energy. The point is to alienate your reader. Everyone likes mean people because mean people are confident
and probably have a good reason to hate everyone. This is particularly true in the "indie" music scene (note how I put "indie" in quotations to let you all know that I'm a bit uncomfortable with the "label" and therefore really quite hip and cool - and probably mean).
If you don't manage to use steps 1 or 2
to abuse your reader then resort to something else. Mention the comps you got to a sold-out show or how the lead singer invited you backstage and after feeling you up he whispered to you, "You're so fucking hot. You're skinny and sexy in a rock 'n roll way. I hate fat chicks". Or, this is foolproof: suggest that your readers should head on over to Scratch Records
to chat the clerk up about the "new music" scene in Vancouver. The clerk can do your dirty business for you! Someone will be in tears in no time. And, who's behind it all? You are! Brilliant!
So, pull out your white pumps and tease the back of your hair - you're a music writer!