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music critics,do we need them?

matt milton 25 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM
Jack Campin 25 Aug 09 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 25 Aug 09 - 11:28 AM
Jack Campin 25 Aug 09 - 11:25 AM
Jack Campin 25 Aug 09 - 11:11 AM
doc.tom 25 Aug 09 - 11:10 AM
The Sandman 25 Aug 09 - 11:04 AM
matt milton 25 Aug 09 - 10:23 AM
The Sandman 25 Aug 09 - 10:13 AM
matt milton 25 Aug 09 - 10:11 AM
matt milton 25 Aug 09 - 10:05 AM
Smedley 25 Aug 09 - 10:03 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Aug 09 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,guest_olddude 25 Aug 09 - 09:45 AM
Jack Campin 25 Aug 09 - 09:38 AM
mrmoe 25 Aug 09 - 09:28 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Aug 09 - 09:21 AM
Gibb Sahib 25 Aug 09 - 09:20 AM
matt milton 25 Aug 09 - 09:06 AM
Smedley 25 Aug 09 - 09:06 AM
Jack Campin 25 Aug 09 - 08:48 AM
Betsy 25 Aug 09 - 08:45 AM
The Sandman 25 Aug 09 - 08:42 AM
matt milton 25 Aug 09 - 08:11 AM
Bernard 25 Aug 09 - 07:16 AM
Leadfingers 25 Aug 09 - 07:12 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Aug 09 - 07:03 AM
The Sandman 25 Aug 09 - 06:55 AM
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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 11:50 AM

you conveniently ignore all the critics who are also musicians, often quite successful ones. this is the case a hell of a lot more often in "niche" musics (folk, jazz) than it is in rock. That generalisation about sarcasm is nothing more than a generalisation.

Dick Miles' original question – is music criticism redundant now that the Internet allows us to easily hear (the majority) of the sort of music covered by music criticism - is a very bad one.

It's inherent absurdity is revealed by the kind of knots you have to tie yourself in just to phrase it - what is the sort of music generally covered by music criticism? Two immense bloody elephants in the room immediately trumpet:

1. The huge preponderence of ONLINE REVIEWS – the Internet has seen an explosion in the popularity of music blogs, online magazines etc
2. the fact that youtube and myspace have, built-in, the facility of commenting upon (or, to use a different word REVIEWING) the content. (Note: the quality of comment is almost always superficial: generally either "AWESOME" or "YOU SUCK" variety)

But there's a million bloody obvious other reasons why it was a lame proposition. Like the fact that criticism doesn't just discuss CDs, for one thing - it covers gigs too, which as independant events, someone online most definitely cannot 'make up their own mind about'. (The idea that music criticism inhibits anyone from making up their own mind is laughable to anyone who doesn't have jelly instead of a brain).

The main reason, that I and others have stated and restated, is that people who LOVE MUSIC like to TALK about it. Christ, this is like wading through treacle.

To anyone reading this who is new to folk music: please don't be put off. We're not all self-patronizing dunces who can't read.


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 11:47 AM

They all represent "one person's opinion." I can get that for free on the street any day..

You can get this for free on the street?

Mustrad review of the new Greig-Duncan book

(I don't have any connection with Mustrad, I'm just using them as one of many examples of consistently good and insightful folk music criticism by people who really do know what they're talking about).


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 11:28 AM

For some reason, I am reminded of an old saying regarding business professors when I was in college: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

Many critics will profess a love of their subject areas, but have not been lucky enough or good enough to have enjoyed personal success in performing or creating. Others have simply been assigned a critic's duties by their broadcasters or publishers. They rarely gain notice by being simply agreeable. Sarcasm is often a huge part of their kit.

They all represent "one person's opinion." I can get that for free on the street any day.


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 11:25 AM

all you need to do is google the name of a song, Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy]hey presto,different versions appear, the copper family, tim hart, show of hands.,and many more.

I preferred to google the name of the song along with "mustrad" to see what Rod Stradling's reviewers might have had to say about versions of that song. (You do know who Rod Stradling is? You regard him as a musical failure retreating into criticism to vent his spleen? You regard the whole Mustrad enterprise as pointless?)

Can you find this one on the web?

Jeff Davis

and if you did, would it tell you as much as that short review about what the CD is like?

And how about this one?

Verandah Music

How many YouTube clips would you have to watch to learn as much as that review tells you about Australian folk music?


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 11:11 AM

Maybe a clone could merge this thread with the old one? We certainly don't need two.


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: doc.tom
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 11:10 AM

I've always thought the biggest problem is that 'critics'(almost invariably self-appointed, even when 'invited') mis-understand their function and criticise rather than offering a critique - big difference!


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 11:04 AM

Finally Matt Milton,I started the thread because I wanted to talk about it and hear other peoples opinions,nothing more, nothing less,is that clear.
the other thread was started nearly six months ago.
you are free to think what you like,if you dont like the thread ignore it,and let others make contributions,its called freedom of speech.


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 10:23 AM

Answer the question I asked you please. I asked you why you were bringing this up AGAIN so soon after the last time you brought it up. What were you expecting to read this time that you didn't read last time?

See, some people might think that if somebody had already canvassed other people's opinions on something in a pretty damn exhaustive recent thread, to do so AGAIN might imply the person in question had some bee in their bonnet about something? Hmmmm?


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 10:13 AM

Jim,I am all for informed criticism ,when I want it, I generally go to a musician who I respect and ask for it[was not that the purpose of the Critics group]
in fact I did this only yesterday,about certain tracks on you tube.
Matt Milton implies that I am some sort of Luddite[this is bizarre]because I am suggesting that through the advent of new technology[the computer],music reviews are redundant.
Jack Campin,all you need to do is google the name of a song, Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy]hey presto,different versions appear, the copper family, tim hart, show of hands.,and many more.
we can listen to these and then make up our own minds.
Finally Matt Milton,I started the thread because I wanted to talk about it and hear other peoples opinions,nothing more nothing less,is that clear.
as I understand it that is the purpose of Mudcat ,if you dont like it you can ignore the thread .


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 10:11 AM

Keep em comin'! This thread might just be the best advertisement for informed, considered music criticism there's ever been!


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 10:05 AM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

how'd you learn to read, as a matter of interest? I'm assuming you can.


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 10:03 AM

So now you want to get rid of teachers too ????


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 10:01 AM

Them that can, do, them that can't either criticise or teach.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: GUEST,guest_olddude
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:45 AM

How else will we know what rap CD to run out an purchase without them


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:38 AM

Sure. Find somewhere else to put them instead of being Rupert Murdoch's arsehole buddy. Criticism enough for you?


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: mrmoe
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:28 AM

I need them.....but only briefly....trying to "fill up" a myspace page and would love some "critic text" to add.....feel like giving a few songs a listen and forwarding your critique?.... http://www.myspace.com/michaelorlen


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:21 AM

Folk song is, as far as I can make out, the only creative pursuit in which the participants consider themselves above criticism. I suppose the next logical step is to formalise that position.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:20 AM

Here's some 'info' on this topic:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=119270


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:06 AM

When will those parasites at fRoots, Songlines, Roots World, Global Rhythm, Living Tradition, Bright Young Folk, Folk Journal, Mondomix, penguineggs, folkworld and all those other parasitical wastes of space wake up and smell the coffee and pack it in?

When will they stumble on that thing called "The Internet" and comprehend that they are utterly redundant? When will they notice that the people who read, buy and subscribe to them are simply figments of their imagination?

What's ignorant about your thread, Dick, is that it refuses to accept that music is not just about whether you like something enough to spend money on an album of it. I think you know this; I think there's a big element of disingenuousness to this thread. Why are you bringing this up again when you instigated this exact same topic, which was discussed pretty exhaustively, a couple of months ago?


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Smedley
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:06 AM

Without reading reviews in assorted magazines, I would never have heard some of the music that means the most to me. And (very occasionally) music critics are also worth reading for the passion, style and wit of their writing.

As for the Internet, it's great if you know where to go, but some guidance on where to find certain things is always helpful. If you just visit sites that cover the music you already like, how are you ever going to be surprised by something from outside your comfort zone ?

As for critics being 'failed musicians', that's a tired old jibe. You might as well say that you can't trust musicians to comment on music because they see everything through their own self-interest.


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:48 AM

How is listening to a track going to tell you if there is (or could be) a better version of the same piece? It's the critic's role to know that.


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Betsy
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:45 AM

Our opinions amongst ourselves are important,stimulating and naturally subjective so we will probably agree and disagree from time to time on the nuances of songs ,singers , versions which suit us individually. All very healthy stuff I hope a matter of personal taste.
I have just contacted Joe Offer on how to post the words on to Mudcat of a song I wrote - the Critic - which has been recorded by a few people and a lovely version was done on vinyl by Gary and Vera Aspey on their LP Night-shift Army.
Let's see what Joe advises ,as I may need to cut and paste into a message here.
As to the Subject Question - No - we don't need people form our opinions or show us in which direction to think - hopefully we're all big girls and boys now, and quite capable of doing our own thinking !.

Cheers

Betsy


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:42 AM

you call it ignorant,without explaining why it is unknowing or ignorant.
one of my points is that with the availabilty for people to sample and hear tracks,they can listen and make up their own minds ,therefore music critics are not needed,what is ignorant about that?


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:11 AM

You've already done this thread, Dick. It was very long, and there were a lot of salient points made in it. I'd appreciate it if somebody more savvy than me at digging up old threads could do so and link to it.


Yeah, of course nobody needs music critics. Of course they are just parasites. Of course nobody should think about music. Of course nobody should talk about music.

Of course music critics only exist in order to provide a service that facilitates the selling of compact discs by musicians. Of course people read the writings of music critics and take every single utterance as gospel.

Of course the act of a musician making music is in no way ITSELF act of music criticism. Of course music exists entirely in its own vacuum.

But don't let me hog it all - you too can rejoice in parading Luddite and unreflecting opinions in further posts in this wilfully ignorant and ghettoising thread...


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Bernard
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 07:16 AM

Of course we need parasites... erm, critics!!


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 07:12 AM

There are more than enough critics on this site any way


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Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 07:03 AM

We need music critics like a fish needs a bycicle.

Dave H


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Subject: music critics,do we need them?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 06:55 AM

Now that we have the internet,and musicians have the facility to put tracks up on the net for people to listen to,have music critics become redundant.
do we need anyone to tell us what we should like or not like.
some of these critics who take delight in rubbishing others efforts,are failed singers /musicians themselves,of course that does not mean they are not entitled to an opinion,but is their opinion of any value.
Personally I value criticism,from musicians I respect,but too many of the folk music critics[imo]are people whose main abilty seems to be with the pen.


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