It seems that, even though we are principally discussing music and culture here, the primary form of communication we share is written. Yet there is still no category for printed matter. A few threads about books and literature have already taken off, but please, may I suggest a new and independent category for books // magazines // blogs // columns // writers we all like? Thank you for your consideration.
Seconding, this would be very nice to have.
It’s actually telling that a “music writing” category wasn’t included in the initial plan for this forum (no offence and all love to patten & co). But it is evidence, to me, of just how little people care about criticism in an age of infinitely accessible cultural forms. I must admit that I don’t read many reviews either, unless it’s by a writer I’m familiar with. But if we continue to disregard what writers are saying about music, I feel like the entire community suffers from a dearth of deliberative thinking and thoughtful reflection.
TBH as someone who is trying their darnedest to try and write an article per month on some topic on my own personal blog, having a place where I can stick the latest one and ask for some ways to improve and get better would be ace. That and having a spot for like, book recommendations or threads about specific books would be v. interesting imho.
Shame this idea is more popular.
M8s! Well, you know or don’t that I’m all about this…I try to post as much as possible to my site zurkonic.com…been on the mend health wise so been doing shorter pieces but here are some recent ones…and @avery, what’s your site? Would love to see it and include it in my massive blog directory:)
So psyched to see what everyone else has to share! I swear, music blog fever 2.0 is simmering and thrilled others are doing their own thing…WRITE THE STORIES YOU WISH YOU WISH YOU WERE READING:)
The url is in my bio on here. Ta for the interest, I appreciate it a lot
Have a few article ideas that I’ll be hopefully doing soonish if I get off my ass. Will check your place out too… wouldn’t consider my place specifically a music blog more just a “whatever I wanna talk about” blog but yea
All you can do is you! I wrote a massive essay coming out as demisexual and also do art and movie reviews and interviews so I try to keep it a bit varied (or rather, representative of what I’m into!) look forward to checking yours out as well:)
Edit: Aw, this is so on point…just doing you and that takes more courage than people realize!
yes yes yassssss. i have been lumbering away on a number of pieces/projects as a solitary (busy as hell working 50 hrs a week grinding at the day job) writer and a proper thread just might be the motivation i need to crank on them and get to posting…respect to @RAD for focusing on a particular element of “deliberative thinking and thoughtful thinking” that i think gets washed away in our constant feed/stream lives…i’ve heard the term “slow thinking” being thrown around and like it lots…space for communal contemplation is rare…connections through comment exchanges might build trust and community in a way that create and hold space for some fun wordplay and back and forth with respectful criticisms…speaking of emotional and verbal/written connections, @zurkonic this phrase demisexual has me intrigued as i can identify with lots about it according to what i googled…looking forward to the piece when u post! yeah so lets carve out a little writers nook in this 55fivery…
Ok, I’m really feeling all of this. And beautiful words @nickecks. Working that much and still finding the ability to write is truly magical…I know in my ten years working full time in, ugh, digital marketing, it wasn’t until I was let go that I suddenly realized what i actually want to do (with writing and music). My whole reason in starting my site was both to write the articles I wasn’t reading anywhere but also as a challenge to what @RAD so eloquently identified:
“But if we continue to disregard what writers are saying about music, I feel like the entire community suffers from a dearth of deliberative thinking and thoughtful reflection.” This is basically what my HCC article is about in a large way, how we don’t really pay any critical mind to what music journos write and the decline in informed musical debate I’ve seen as a result (ah, sweet 555-5555:)
Anyhoo, @nickecks really said it better than I could…which is awesome cuz that’s what this should be for, to push one another as writers and offer support and help. Also, just from my own experience, I would be happy to edit others’ writing in exchange for doing the same w my posts…I never have the patience to do a proper edit and that’s something I need to change.
That said, the demisexual piece (which drives a lot of my traffic actually) was published last year…I need to restructure my site as content is clearly getting buried. I had a friend help edit this piece over the six months it took to write as I was really figuring out my sexuality in real time…hope you find it interesting and please, do not hestitate to write me with any questions…it’s both a very simple concept and not…
Excellent words from you both tbh; I think my proposition is thus - We should have a “Writing General” type thread on the Everything Else category for the time being and from there we can bounce feedback and ideas around. Perhaps maybe a couple threads. I think the topic is a little bit too specific to dedicate an entire subforum to it but there’s definitely room for a full on feedback/ideas/general writing discussion thread or two.
Those things are kind of adorable to look back on in retrospect because I was totally expecting it all to lead up to something big but it was still a fun adventure nonetheless
I mean, c’mon, you found ascii art hidden in html code, so…idk man, that’s pretty impressive to idiots like myself
twas just a view-source: away~
I rest my case
Huh, I somehow missed these when I looked at @avery’s blog…but I have the most remdial coding know-how…I worked in SEO though so I do know how to check source codes, just never do;)
I just wanted to say to y’all that I might continue to disappear for the next month or two as I’m dealing with some truly real shit and any moment I have not spent freaking out I’m working on essay (which is basically a book now)…but this is also the exact kind of thing I want to support and lend whatever energy and means I have left to help other writers who are writing because they have to, because they hear a piece of music and before they know it, they’ve written 5000 words. That also takes A LOT OF FUCKING PRACTICE and the old cliche is too true…the only way to get good at anything is by doing it (though FUCK that Malocom Gladwell nonsense…shit can’t be quantified, you just gotta do it as that will increase understanding with bolsters a wider and more-informed perspective.)
But I’m also dealing with the most real of shit (abject poverty and crippling depression) so just know my absences are almost certainly due to that…but I will try and contribute however I’m able to. Supporting kindred souls and bringing in others not like us but who feel and think like us is the project, in my book, and I’ll continue to help however I can.
Also, in the spirit of sharing, here’s my review of seeing Batu the other night…seeing him, Ploy, Piezo, and Forest Drive West tonight so beyond excited. LIke everything I write, review was written during dawn following the show so it’s probably not the best writing but hopefully contains a few good lines.
Stay strong buddy - We’re here for you. Take those breaks as needed, there’s no obligation for showing up to friendly chats like this
Thanks y’all…just can see a genuinely healthy community emerging as a response to the lifestyle-ification and corporatization of music writing and I want to support anyone who is willing to spend their free time doing that. Because at the end of the day, we’re all here because we share a passion for music that can be all-consuming…and I’m not seeing that passion in any “professional” writing. I see the seeds of an individualistic collective being sown, if you will…<3<3<3
As true for writing as anything else, probably more so.
Meant to share this with y’all last week, but honestly it was just so emotionally taxing I haven’t really had the energy…till now.
I’m sharing this anecdote as part-cautionary tale, part-learning experience. A little over a week ago, I published a review (which I seemed to have shared already above) of Batu’s two-hour mindmelter of a set to an audience of 30-40 people in the back room of some bushwick venue. It was sick. Opening for him was the local DJ Shy Eyez, someone I didn’t know anything about but from the second I heard her drop Laksa’s “Delicates,” I genuinely was like, at last! A kindred spirit! (Smart bass sets like that in BK are rarer than talented DJ’s). Anyhoo, as I was standing with Omar and Mike Bloom of the promising Madd Jazz label, I found myself watching the stage (I make a point of closing my eyes during DJ sets as only then do I feel like I can really hear what’s going on).__
But, since I was watching the stage, I was admittedly perturbed by her presence as, for a music that makes me move my body is all kinds of ways, I couldn’t understand why someone would appear so detached. And i commented on this as a bit of “constructive criticism” in my original review (since redacted).
OK, so fast forward to 5 days later and I get an email that just reads “LOL Hodge.” Eventually I figure out that my friend is referring to his Twitter where he royally and rightfully handed me a new one. At first, admittedly, I was a bit defensive about my right to have an opinion until I scrolled through some of the 35 pile-on comments and saw someone make the observation equating my critique with telling women to smile more (which, if you’ve ever been anywhere in America, you’ve likely seen a creepy old man tell a young woman that…it’s super heinous). Suddenly, my cheeks turned bright red as I realized how unfair that criticism on my part was as I didn’t apply it to any of the male DJ’s and given her DJ name, clearly performance anxiety is an issue. Suffering from crippling anxiety myself and being a proud, lifelong feminist, I was shocked how I could have said something so sexist and ignorant about mental health (though, through long conversations with people who know me, I do understand what I was trying to get at as it was more of a general critique about local DJ’s but that’s irrelevant. What I wrote was deeply insensitive and potentially harmful to someone quite talented)__
The reason I’m sharing this is as much as it sucks to fuck up like that, try to not get defensive right away. Remember that_no matter what_you intend to say, if someone takes offense to it, that means you probably didn’t think it through all the way in terms of how it could be interpreted. If I had an editor or, you know, re-read what I wrote at least once, I would have likely realized how that would read.
So, what do you do in such a situation? Apologize, apologize, and then apologize some more. Believe me, I’m all about fighting the good fight for free speech when it’s warranted, but this was a case in which it so was not. Fortunately, Hodge was quite understanding–he would have DM’d me if he had realized it was my site as he was sharing just a screen shot of the offensive text–as was Shy Eyez, whom I wrote a long apology letter to. But seeing that this is a thread about writing, it occurred to me that social media fall-out is a real issue that we all have to navigate and this was a massive learning lesson for me. As Hodge pointed out himself, if I had levied such criticisms as Batu and the other DJ’s, then it wouldn’t have been as shitty of a thing to say (though also, what responsibility does a DJ have as a “performer” after all…I’m someone who dances like crazy when he DJ’s, but that doesn’t mean every DJ does nor should). It really is all about the music.
Anyhoo, hope this is potentially helpful to y’all…it sucked to go through, but I came out a more sensitive writer, I hope;)