my advice for aspiring music critics
1. Don’t ever attempt to apologise for holding an opinion.
2. 400 words good. 800 words fucking horrible.
3. Most musicians are cunts.
4. The music industry is not your friend. Unless you choose to make it so.
5. Don’t forget to place value upon what you do. If you don’t, why should anyone else?
6. Having the ability to turn an amp up really loud does not automatically make you an interesting person.
7. The Rolling Stones ruined music for every generation. Discuss.
8. Do not overuse adjectives. One is usually more than enough.
9. Do not confuse research with the ability to parrot press releases from memory.
10. No one gives a fuck what you think. Get over it.
11. Your principles mean shit if you didn’t have any to start with.
12. 10 words good. 50 words fucking pointless.
13. Don’t ever try to describe the music.
14. if you have to resort to lists to make your point, you probably shouldn’t be writing.
15. You shouldn’t care. Not in public, anyway.
16. Record companies and PRs don’t always tell the truth.
17. Don’t write for magazines/websites you don’t read.
18. No one GIVES A SHIT why you didn’t get to the concert until 30 minutes after the support act started.
19. No one GIVES A SHIT as to the full names of every single band-member.
20. (from Sean DIS) Write because you have to, not because of your career plan. Don’t ask if you can submit. Write. Permission s’not necessary.
21. If you don’t have a fucking clue why you’re doing it, don’t do it.
22. It’s not sexy. It’s not glamorous. And it certainly won’t get you laid.
23. Words to avoid. “Really”. “Totally”. “Seminal”. “Unbelievable”. “Transcendent”. “I think”. “It seems”.
24. It’s not over. It’s never over.
25. Fuck hyphens. And fuck apostrophes too, while we’re here. Keep it direct, entertaining, informative.
26. Think a band sounds like another band? You’re probably right. So what?
27. The platform is way more important than the critic.
28. Never trust a writer without an agenda.
29. Your editor will always value your ability to time-keep way over your ability to wield flowery prose.
30. It’s nice that folk want to send you free stuff, isn’t it? Get over it RIGHT NOW.
31. A 10-minute rehash of the press release on the telephone does not even vaguely constitute an interview.
32. Not all quiet bands sound like Young Marble Giants.
33. Not all noisy bands sound like Sonic Youth.
34. No one gives a fuck you once made out to a Smashing Pumpkins B-side.
35. Having the ability to use a keyboard does not automatically make you a writer. See also #6.
36. Don’t outstay your welcome. G’night.
37. People are reading your words to find out about the MUSIC.
38. Confused by one of your sentences? You won’t be the only one.
39. Do not mistake alcoholic intoxication for a good night out.
40. Radiohead no longer make good records. Get over it.
41. Have the urge to read another review of the same record before writing yours? SWALLOW IT.
42. The golden age of music criticism never existed. Get over it.
43. If you’re boring yourself, you’re boring your readers for sure.
44. Kurt Cobain is dead. Get over it.
45. Be candid. Be yourself. Be aware. Be yourself. Be entertaining. Be yourself.
46. How many music critics does it take to change the world? Exactly.
47. Don’t ever doubt that the person next to you is having a far better time than you are.
48. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO PEOPLE YOU DO NOT KNOW.
49. No one gives a shit about your rare collection of Nick Cave 12-inch records.
50. It’s not a career choice. Trust me.
Kings Of Leon
Come Around Sundown (Sony)
What’s the difference between the new Kings Of Leon album and Bruce Springsteen? …. …. Sorry, were you talking? My eyes glazed over.