Saturday, February 27, 2010

In Blogs We Trust

Never trust a skinny cook. It's an old adage I've heard describing that a mix of profession and lifestyle will essentially create the best and most trustworthy person for the job. Think about it. Would you get a tattoo from an artist with no tattoos themselves? Would you trust a bald barber? Probably not, right?

Well, the same can be said for your choice in what music critics you read. In the past few months I've really started to notice the vast amount of music bloggers/writers that call themselves "critics," yet do not play an instrument or understand how music actually works.

Anyone can write about how the new 30 Seconds To Mars album combines swirling lead guitar riffs with synth infused keyboards, but how many of them actually know what the hell they're talking about?

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's when people claim how much music means to them, yet they remain so disconnected from it. How many of you have actually tried to sit down and write a song? Have you ever tracked your own guitar riffs, written your own drum piece or filled a notebook with lyrics?

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that not everyone possesses the want or desire to create music. That's fine, just don't tell me you want to spend your life around it.

Just because you sit at your computer listening to the new CD you bought at the indie record store you like to shop at does not mean you're suddenly entitled to spend your life writing, reviewing and criticizing music.

Maybe it's just me, but I want the music journalists I read to know a little bit more about music than the fact that they like it. If you're going to write about the sound a band have, I fully expect you to know and understand how that sound was achieved. You should be able to tell me what amps, pedals, guitars, drums and effects were used and why.

That might seem like a lot to know, but trust me, it's not. Take one look around a gear website and see for yourself all that goes into creating a piece of music these days. The gear stands as the building blocks to the music - if you don't understand that, you don't understand the music process, and in my eyes, shouldn't be writing about it.

There is just so much time and understanding that goes into creating something as simple as a CD. And the sad part is that most of the population knows nothing about it, yet will still consider themselves experts on the topic.

I think New Found Glory said it best: "It's more than a t-shirt. It's more than a tattoo. It's more than a phase. This is how I was raised ... Don't believe a word, a word they fucking say!"

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