By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
I’ll readily champion Jobs as the only visionary effectively tackling the music/technology conundrum, but his open letter is clearly insincere. Presented as a populist manifesto for open standards, his “thoughts” are actually a strategic document — single-handedly parrying Apple’s European legal challenges, dismissing the possibility of Apple sharing its digital rights management system with competitors, and putting more stress on already embattled major labels. Nice move, Steve, but kind of sneaky.
The Death of Rock Criticism:Music critics haven’t been tastemakers for a long time, and what relevance they do have now seems destined to fade entirely (a point I’ve been making since 2002). For more proof, note the recent jousting match between two year-end critics’ polls — The Village Voice’s long-running Pazz & Jop and Gawker Media’s derivative and lamely named Jackin’ Pop. Each poll had a similar number of voters (around 500) and a similar number of voters exclusive to each poll (around 300). Even though Pazz & Jop skewed slightly older and more traditional, eight of the same artists were featured in each poll’s “individual” Top 10 list — for both singles and albums. This critical alignment tells us that consensus reigns like never before, and that critics’ “picks” are largely determined by forces they don’t acknowledge (blogs, radio, other critics) or understand (advertising and marketing campaigns). Personally, I didn’t bother creating a Top 10 this year, and didn’t submit to either poll. I urge others to join me — not so much in protest, but to point out that the value of criticism is explanatory, not masturbatory or competitive.
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