Our hugumbus YEAR IN MUSIC Omnibus is about to drop, but while we’re finishing up polishing this turd, chew on this from our pal JOE WARMINSKY in WASHINGTON CITY PAPER:
Don’t get me wrong—I fully embrace what the blogosphere does provide. It’s essentially a broad, asymmetric rebellion against the SoundScan regime and the stodgy business plans of the major record labels. Blogs offer what good fanzines used to offer: stylistic detours, obsessive detail, contrarian viewpoints, and a secondary economy that allows overlooked musicians to flourish, at least on a small scale. There isn’t much money in it, and it’s mostly done for love—or at least for the validation of other geeks. Alternative weekly newspapers like this one have long filled that role, too.
The problem is that—when compared to the worlds of zines or alt-weeklies—the blogosphere often feels like an arms race. Sites battle one another, writers battle commenters, commenters flame one another, and back up the chain again. An album like Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury, the No. 1 disc on the Washington City Paper’s critics poll, spurred so much good online commentary that I decided to scrap my review of it for the CP. Within a week of the disc’s release, it seemed as though every angle was covered. And that was just because of the debate on one site, Oliver Wang’s popular Soul Sides. (Never mind the fact that it was impossible to get a jump on the blogs. Clipse and its record label were so protective of the disc that advance listens were almost nonexistent until it inevitably leaked online two weeks before its release; those leaks had been thoroughly digested long before less savvy fans could hear the album.) CLICK HERE FOR THE MORE