REBLOGGED: Push-Button Professionalism: The origin and evolution of the role of professional music critics

Written by Tom Valcanis.  Here’s a snippet from Tom’s first essay in our collaborative essay project. 

If you write on the internet, you’re blogging. There’s an indissoluble link between the two terms – if you have an opinion and have the means to publish on the internet, you are elevated into the “blogosphere” of online opinion. One can blog on virtually any subject they wish, including rock music. These bloggers offer music criticism with lighting fast rapidity and in some cases, more keen cultural and intellectual insight than academically trained, and establishment-oriented “professionals.” So does the charge of popular music academic Don McLeese when he asks:

“[C]ritical writing about pop music has grown steadily more irrelevant. . . . Pinning the entire rap on the Internet allows music critics to dodge some painful but necessary questions. How should journalists illuminate the zeitgeist at a moment when the dominant culture narrative is that there is no dominant cultural narrative? Do critics have any special license to serve as pop music’s cultural interlocutors when anyone with an Internet connection can attempt to do the same thing? In other words: if anyone can make pop music and anyone can be a pop-music critic, do we really need professional critics to tell us what it all means?”[1]

If we can curate to our own exacting tastes, access music from a variety of sources and similarly the criticism – how can one delineate between “cultural interlocutor,” loud-mouth blogger or publicist shill? How did we end up at this (non-)critical juncture in the first place?
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ESSAY. You really should, it’s well worth it.

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