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 Hannah Golightly

Why Everett True is wrong: ‘They’re all out of step except my Johnny’

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soldiers on parade

by Hannah Golightly

“They’re all out of step except my Johnny” is a saying my mother used sarcastically a lot to me and my brothers when we were kids. She was using a World War 1 saying describing when all the boys went to war and they would march through the streets of their town in a parade while their mothers and sweethearts waved them off with little white handkerchiefs. All in formation. All except for Johnny. My mother was under no illusions about her ‘Johnny’ and his brother and sister. In fact she actively encouraged it at times. So anyway, what on earth does this have to do with Everett True? Actually a lot. Pitchfork, NME, Rolling Stone – they are the troops. They march in formation. They know their place. They know what is required. They march to the beat … and then there’s Everett True, trailing slightly awkwardly behind with his iPod doing the music critic equivalent of some footwork from the Ministry of Silly Walks to the beat of some incredible band You’ve Never Heard Of. Moving forward with the rest of the troops none the less … Or all the more, depending on your point of view. That is what is wrong with Everett True.

But since I have no time for Pitchfork and read about three copies of the NME a year (almost as if I’m checking it’s still useless to me in the vain hope that maybe MAYBE this copy will have something decent in it, even if it’s just a mention of something I like or could be inspired by), well let’s just say with no shed of sarcasm that in my world they ARE all out of step except my Johnny and so I am grateful to Johnny for getting it right and leading his followers to victory – or at least to the good music. Regardless of convention, sales, demographics, marketing, industry-jargon-I-don’t-understand, airplay, advert soundtrack status, credibility, plausibility, shaggability or any of the usual reasons for coverage. Then there’s the coverage itself – all wrong! Barely recognisable in format, the written/typed word is done away with whenever necessary, it’s Alice Through The Looking Glass reportage- Just. Wrong. So I, like many others read it/see it/watch it/hear it/telepathically receive it/smell it/taste it. Pretty much. Rock writing without the writing. All wrong. Isn’t it great!

Scratch n Sniff music criticism? That’s gotta be wrong. But it’s True.

4 Responses to Why Everett True is wrong: ‘They’re all out of step except my Johnny’

  1. Everett True July 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    (from Facebook)

    White Hotel
    I was with her 100% until she said ‘music writing without the writing’. writing by writers who are committed to the form and not just music fans, writers who know that all writing is fiction and they can actually write whatever they like, is what’s missing from the mainstream music press.
    4 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

    Tamsin Chapman
    Yes, I agree. One of the exciting things about collapseboard is the opportunity to really expand the concept of what music criticism is, with no constrictions based on editorial policy/space/advertizing concerns etc. The picture reviews are part of that, but so are the other voices and techniques we’re seeing here – the passion of Lucy, the pieces of herself Erika brings to her writing etc. Just one e.g. – I was used to having to write reviews of no more than 320 words for the other blog I’d been writing for, so had been self-editing – but then I noticed how long some of the CB reviews are! But despite length, still made me want to keep on reading, so I took a cue from that, didn’t worry about word count for the next review I did, reviewed it by traying to come up with a different dance move for each track – and had myself a brilliant evening. Having said that – I also agree totally with the first part of Hannah’s piece – well done
    2 minutes ago · Unlike · 1 person

  2. hannah golightly July 30, 2011 at 12:18 am

    @White Hotel- music writing without the writing is possibly the least fictional criticism going then. But it’s wrong. ha ha

    @Tamsin- I wanna see youtube clips of your dance style music review. I think that would be a good contribution to collapseboard’s wrongness as spearheaded by Mr True.

  3. hannah golightly July 30, 2011 at 12:32 am

    @Tamsin- essential reading: http://www.collapseboard.com/blogs/hannah-golightly/a-collapse-board-manifesto-in-six-words/

  4. hannah golightly July 30, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Yeah, we have everything from 6 words, from reviews in the form of poems, to pictorials, to 6 pages (well 4 anyway) and snippets of this and that to flavour the experience. I still wanna ‘read’ an album review ‘written’ in the language of dance moves- I think that’s genius and very enlightening appraisal for the listener/reader to get a sense of the album’s qualities. Here’s some Koolade and Nikes, JOIN US.

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