Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: History, motherfuckers

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  • Heather Gaye, in reply to "chris",

    ..an opinion about music unswayed by baubles and trinkets..

    I'd wholeheartedly recommend the opinions of "chris" any day of the week (although probably not for any writing job with a deadline).

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • "chris", in reply to Heather Gaye,

    Where you at Heather? I’ve been on skype for days, haven’t seen you.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye, in reply to Dean Papa,

    Y'know, there's an acquaintance of mine that makes racist comments to me that he (purportedly) doesn't believe because he likes to wind me up. That REALLY doesn't make everything ok.

    I'd also like to point out that the general tone of the comments on this thread have been attacking on article. Very little ad hominem; some (justifiable, I believe) "this happens regularly enough that it speaks to his nature". So... since you agree that his column was appallingly executed, how about just letting people vent about this appallingly executed article? If he's honestly a decent guy, then perhaps he'll take it on board and stop saying such douchey things.

    I've heard plenty of people criticise my favourite music, in a manner that's riled me up no end (thanks lena o, thanks nzmusic.com), but now & then I'll start paying attention because they're smart and they're actually critiquing the music. I'm ALL FOR outsiders putting forward an unpopular opinion, but "being an outsider" doesn't suddenly make you immune to condemnation if you write patently false LCD-pleasing obnoxious bullshit, regardless whether you believe it or are just trying to be "clever".

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ken Double,

    I quite enjoyed it. It was knowing and edgy. As I recall facts were not involved, nor were they required.

    Um... OK... Dudebro geeks being sexist dickbags are about as "edgy" as a woman with her top off on HBO. Yeah, there's certainly value in pointing out the Emperor not only has no clothes but is hung like a door mouse on steroids; but if you're going to be "knowing", it helps if you display some knowledge.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • "chris", in reply to Ken Double,

    Russell is a very principled journalist but even he likes to warm his toes by the fires of the biz on occasion. He has mates. So be it, that’s how you get stories. Simon doesn’t do that. Look at him less as a critic

    I’d be very wary of fomenting any rivalry there, at this point they occupy very different spaces in online music media. Simon is a critic, and the releases he reviews come almost exclusively from signed artists. Russell, a journalist, is a discoverer; regularly championing unsigned talent, exposing it to wider audiences, a position in which having at least one digit on the pulse of the industry is essential. If that’s not also too reductive a depiction…

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to "chris",

    I’d read your music blog Danielle

    I would too. I doubt we'd have much overlap in our music choices but I'd read it because you can write and your opinions are honest and that is always worth reading. And I'd probably discover some new music I do like.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to "chris",

    Russell, a journalist, is a discoverer; regularly championing unsigned talent, exposing it to wider audiences, a position in which having at least one digit on the pulse of the industry is essential. If that’s not also too reductive a depiction…

    No, that's fair. I am also very interested in the business of music and how people sustain themselves making and releasing it, so I need to know what's going on there too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to "chris",

    Russell, a journalist, is a discoverer; regularly championing unsigned talent, exposing it to wider audiences, a position in which having at least one digit on the pulse of the industry is essential. If that’s not also too reductive a depiction…

    To risk sounding like a wretched arse-kisser, Russell does have this tiresome habit of piping up if he thinks someone is showing their arse in the marketplace of ideas. I can tell you from experience that it’s not rough on the ego, but you know… the solution to getting righteously spanked is do better, not get pissy over being called out. I’s probably not popular to say around here, but what I find most frustrating about Simon in troll mode is he’s capable of better. A LOT better.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Double,

    I’d be very wary of fomenting any rivalry there

    Totally the last thing on my mind Chris. You're spot on in that distinction. I still look to Si more for an entertaining thumbs up or down than a piercing deconstruction. His ears are pretty good.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Double, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’s probably not popular to say around here, but what I find most frustrating about Simon in troll mode is he’s capable of better. A LOT better.

    Whew. I concur.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Papa,

    This is no more than a witch hunt. Character assassination. Soviet-style stalinist repression. Call it what you will. Sure, Simon over stepped the bounds of good taste in his review. He was angry and frustrated, and in a moment of vulnerability wrote something that he now regrets. But who here hasn't, at some time in their life, done or said something they later regret? Please, if you are such a person them make yourself known. For his one mistake Simon has had his character assassinated in here, things he wrote eons ago have been dredged up and interpreted in a new and sinister light. He is defenceless in the face of a vicious and angry bullying mob. Simon is not a misogynist. He in fact could be better described as a philogynist, at least by those who know him. Further, there has been in here an attempt by certain female posters to censor debate. To be specific a debate concerning whether there might be a gender explanation for the differences in musical tastes between men and women. Simon has very helpfully suggested, and he is hardly the first to offer such forward such a thought, that one possible explanation for these differences might be that women think about music with their heart, and men with their heads. In fact the head of popular music at the BBC has said exactly the same thing!!

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/2008/feb/19/news1

    I guess he is also a misogynist!!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Dean Papa,

    in a moment of vulnerability

    Please elaborate.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Dean Papa,

    For his one mistake

    Not paying attention, are you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey, in reply to Dean Papa,

    He was angry and frustrated, and in a moment of vulnerability wrote something that he now regrets.

    I guess a public apology will be forthcoming then?

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Dean Papa,

    He was angry and frustrated, and in a moment of vulnerability wrote something that he now regrets.

    Dean, can you back this assertion up with anything? Anything at all? Or are you arguing on this issue with your heart, and not your head?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Dean Papa,

    Women make choices with their hearts, and men with their heads? Do you REALLY believe this? You haven't met the PAS Womens' XV, have you? I find it disheartening that such bollocks is still generally regarded by some as a kind of truth. I also find it appalling that you think that people of this community have formed a "vicious and angry bullying mob". People have stated disagreement and dismay, that's all I've seen. Unless you're feeling particularly guilty about something? That's usually what discomfort around such matters comes down to.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Oh Dean. I think you might be confusing "censorship" with “losing the argument”.

    I’d *love* to discuss why music nerdery is gendered. I’ve said as much. I’ve also said essentialist explanations for it are shallow and sexist (yes, even from the head of the BBC’s popular music division. Nice argument from authority, though – is that the best you could Google?).

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Danielle,

    Oh Dean. I think you might be confusing “censorship” with “losing the argument”.

    ^This

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’d read your music blog Danielle, I’m sure it would piss me off far less often than Sweetman’s.

    I’d read that!

    It's a shame we don't know someone with an existing platform and an existing audience who already know Danielle and her writings who could host it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Emma Hart,

    iHeart your work. :-)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dean Papa,

    See it works like this, if you say something stupid and offensive and IMO bullying in a moment of well ... stupidity ... And then you regret it ... Then what you do is apologise
    Simply
    Completely
    Without excuse
    If you don't apologise you can't claim to regret it ... simple really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen D. O'Hoy,

    I've seen a lot of people get upset by Simon Sweetman's reviews over the years. I've also seen bands pissed off by what Duncan Grieve has written (to the point that Opensouls even wrote a song about him) and others by GSG/BSB on The Corner. Fair enough too. If you're creating art, which is what music is, then any criticism is going to be hard not to take personally.

    What I've come to realise over the years though is that mostly these music critics are irrelevant. Firstly they're not about music.

    A lot of things that at first glance might appear to be about music aren't. Music stores for one. iTunes is about getting you to buy hardware. The music stores run by telcos are about getting people to consume bandwidth. The Warehouse might sell CDs but they're using it as a lure to get you to buy other items that have a higher profit margin.

    TV's the same. X Factor and Idol aren't about music. They're light entertainment that's designed to gain audience share and thereby increase advertising revenue. They're about TV.

    And often the same goes for modern music critics. It's about getting traffic or building their own personal brand. It would have been easy for Simon Sweetman to write a positive review, or even a dismissive one, about Lorde, but where would have the traffic been in that? Rather he was able to stoop low, be offensive, upset people, and turn it into quite a successful brand development exercise.

    Secondly what does a music critic actually do? A good or a bad review these days, regardless of who writes it or where it appears, doesn't make a jot of difference to an album's commercial success or failure. Getting played on commercial radio makes a difference. Performing on the Graham Norton show definitely makes a difference. Even having Jim Mora interview you on a Friday afternoon makes a difference. The days of people looking to music critics to decide what to buy though has gone. Music discovery is more important than opinion. It's too easy for the consumer to use services like YouTube, Spotify, Rdio etc to try before they buy and therefore make up their own mind. The full blown review in a national newspaper or on a high traffic website is largely an irrelevance. You only need someone to point you in a direction and you can then form your own opinion.

    Personally I do most of my music discovery by keeping an eye on Twitter to see what people like Martyn Pepperell, or Chip Matthews, or Peter McLennan or Russell are listening to. I'll then go have a listen to see if it floats my boat. I couldn't give a toss if someone gives a release 1 star, 5 stars or 1.7/10. I'm a big boy and I am happy to make up my own mind.

    And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all music critics are like this. There are some who I know have a deep knowledge of music and are passionate about what they do. People like Nick Bollinger, Sam Wicks, Graham Reid and a handful of others do care about music and are happy to put the music first rather than their own interests. I have a lot of respect for them and like the aforementioned people on Twitter I'll always use them as a source of music discovery.

    But when Sweetman goes off on one I'm happy in the knowledge that it's no reflection on the music or the artist that created it. Occasionally he'll scrape the bottom of the barrel and be particularly odious to someone like Tali or Lorde and that's why I choose to not read his blog, or his pieces on Stuff, or follow him on Twitter or FB. He can stand in the corner of the room and beat his chest and pull faces and good luck to him. When it comes to determining whether people actually listen to music or purchase it, he's impotent.

    Since Sep 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Dean Papa,

    Attachment

    Stalinism. Yeah right.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye, in reply to Stephen D. O'Hoy,

    Cheers, good stuff!

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye, in reply to Dean Papa,

    He is defenceless in the face of a vicious and angry bullying mob

    Hahahaha classic! Has someone stolen his keyboard? Or bludgeoned him with one?

    ...were you gang on nzmusic.com?

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

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