Marathonpacks posted a manifesto last week about music blogging. His general thesis doesn’t interest me nearly as much as various peripheral comments. This is because I don’t think I really fit his profile of a music blogger. But that’s another story.
“The Web is the most thoroughly commercialized communications medium that the world has ever seen,” he writes (I think it’s a “he,” people call him Eric). Commercialized, because it’s so easy to buy, or because it’s an epitomized free democracy which depends on capitalizm in theory? I’m not sure. “Thoroughly” because of customization that TV or radio has not yet allowed? It’s a grand statement, and I like it, but I can’t quite explain it. Too vague.
Moving on. There’s a large focus on the selfishness of music bloggers. “Bloggers, deep down, promote themselves with music rather than promoting the music itself.” Sure, fine, blogging is selfish, but no more or less than any other form of creative expression. For example, I got into blogging because I am a songwriter and I viewed a blog as a means of saying things in a way they don’t seem to manifest themselves in the music I write. Additionally, after – what is it? – three years of blogging, somehow I’ve morphed into a writer of print as well, and probably owe some kind of debt to the blog. So I know plenty of musicians who create on some fairly selfish terms (myself included), and I also know some journalists or critics who may say the same about their work.
I now see blogging as more of a critical pursuit, rather than the strictly self-promoting outfit this blog once was. Therefore, I don’t blog because I am a fan, as Eric Marathonpacks’ assertion claims most music bloggers to be doing, and I don’t know if his information is skewed or if I am an out-of-the-ordinary music blogger. No matter, really. I just wanted to acknowledge that selfishness is not inherent to music blogging more or less than any other creative pursuit. Therefore, it’s not really news to me. It seems more existential than anything else.
And this was comforting to read:
“I’m as distressed as anyone that in an age of seemingly unfettered access to music and music information the same old shit becomes popular again and again…” I am glad that other people find the blogosphere to lack just as much discernment as the mainstream machine. It’s not enough to be indie, one must also have talent and people don’t require that nearly as much as they should. It can’t just be about taste; things about popularity, reputation and trendiness play into this mix. One time I heard Chuck Klosterman rave a little about this and wrote about it here.
Pete Ohs says, “The average American has no idea who Sufjan Stevens is…AMAZING, right!?” Unbelievable. Is it true? They are the lucky ones.