A brief history of Collapse Board
2010: Justin Edwards and Everett True found the site. It is intended as a radical alternative to the established Aus music press, with a focus on Brisbane. Meetings are held, where everyone stares blankly at everyone else.
Drowned In Sound runs a series of articles asking “is music journalism dead?”
2011: Everett True brings in an array of wildly opinionated teamsters, from the U.S., U.K. and even Australia (among other countries). For about six months, the website is arguably the finest in the world, sparking outrage and indecent language wherever it falls. Manifestos are distributed. The Cults album gains 12 alternate reviews. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 10th anniversary of the release of Nevermind, Collapse Board dissects a Miley Cyrus cover. Sexism within the music industry is given a righteous and rigorous going over. Pitchfork is sneered at, a lot. An Athens, GA band are discovered to have been making the most important music in the world. Jeff Pollack becomes an international superstar. Kreayshawn is deemed not to be a racist. Arcade Fire and Gotye are made fun of.
By the end of the year, however, most of the team has departed – burnt out by thousand-word comments and True’s brinkmanship, petulantly threatening to shut the site down each time interest dips below a certain level.
Salon runs an article asking “is music journalism dead?”
2012: Only a dishevelled dysfunctional core remain. Scott Creney turning in album reviews that will revolutionise the Western world in 2030. Princess Stomper stomping everywhere in her size 10s. The (admittedly already slight) audience begins to turn away.
In desperation, an embattled True resorts to posting photographs of cows and one-word punchlines to jokes no one finds funny. The most popular blog entry is one that features a photo of Katy Perry in her underwear. In later histories, this era will become known as “the start of the wilderness years”….
Spin runs an article asking “is music journalism dead?”
2013: True and Creney and a mingled assortment of musicians, magicians and the plain unwary, continue to promote their belief that music criticism in web 2.0 is a dialogue. Unfortunately, no one is listening – and so Collapse Board remains a monotonic tirade, increasingly shrill. Savages are given the cold shoulder. Iceage are savaged. Death threats are issued. Noses are thumbed. Lee Adcock joins, a lone voice in the wilderness, valiantly battling the forces of darkness and indifference.
The Guardian (and every other U.K. broadsheet, ever) runs an article lamenting the “golden days of the music press”.
2014: True leaves, Creney leaves, the few remaining previous contributors not already embittered by True and Creney’s “attitude” leave. Adcock and Edwards battle on. True rejoins but no one gives a shit.
Rolling Stone, Idolator and a myriad other websites desperate to fill in space between barely rehashed press releases run an article asking “is music journalism dead?”. Buzzfeed runs a series of pictures of Katy Perry (nearly) topless underneath a headline stating “20 REASONS WHY MUSIC CRITICISM IS IRRELEVANT IN THIS NEW DYNAMIC WORLD OF THRUSTING, HANDS-ON JOURNALISM – YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, OMG!!” The future music editor of The New Yorker runs a series of podcasts promoting himself as “The Last Man Standing”. NME implodes, with a whimper. A thousand surly ex-hacks form an orderly virtual queue for Media Studies tertiary positions.
True starts reviewing albums in abstract, haiku, inference, indifference and based on the press release, front cover, offhand remark chanced across on Facebook and even on aesthetic value. No one pays attention. They’re too busy looking at pictures of Katy Perry nearly topless, and patting each other on the back for liking the new Taylor Swift album.
2015: Blur release a new album.