New category for writing requested


Phew. I don’t know where to start with this. Honestly I am happy I am not a music journalist in this day and age of hypersensitive call-out culture and twitter semi-outrages. You really have to be thick-skinned.

I don’t think you wrote anything ill-intended from the segment I saw. So what if a reviewer believes it would benefit the performance if the dj shows enthusiasm and involvement (other than ‘concentration’ - also, unless you dj with vinyl what the hell are you so concentrated about?). And I say this as an introverted (ex-)DJ myself, who also got that critique thrown at me more than once. And if you play very “party”-style music in a small club, for sure it can enhance the experience (for some). Not for me though, as I also think it is stupid watching the dj, but SOME PEOPLE DO WATCH THE DJ! Not so strange as the dj nowadays is more often onstage than in a booth.

And the supposedly condescending gender perspective… Don’t get me started here. Look, I think we are all familiar with the old guy telling women to smile more, which yes, honestly is a bit tiresome. But I believe this is more a temperamentally bias than enforcement of a stereotype (it might also be that, and maybe not only for negative reasons) as in: extroverted people just expect introverted people to smile more.

I really don’t think you should have apologized for anything, you did a thorough positive review of the night, they should be happy. And why did this call-out come from Hodge and not ShyEyez herself?

Some people should just chill out, but twitter is not for chilling out it seems.

No, I disagree. You always risk being offensive, and you should not curb your language when trying to get to the central point or the truth of the matter. The alternative is giving in to a call-out culture which will result in a “safe” but paranoid space of dishonesty and anxiety which no writer or journalist can exist in. This must stop now. As a journalist how can you not agree with this? Imagine interviewing a politician with that attitude.

(edited for clarity)


Thanks for your feedback…I couldn’t agree more about the thick-skinned comment. It’s tough because I really do try to practice a type of music writing that I feel has been lost…one that can somewhat wreckless and ill-considered at times, but also one open to adapting those opinions as one learns more about a subject. I can’t stand the way that music journalism has been compromised by corporations nor do I dig how identity politics are often underwritten by capital.

I don’t know if you saw the original draft, but re-reading it, I found myself feeling uncomfortable and for me, that’s the litmus test by which I revise or not. I can’t share many of the facts as it would betray certain confidences, so all I can say is that this particular situation merited (in my mind) the response I took. And the fact of the matter is, I realized it was communicating a certain ideology (albeit not consciously) that I don’t wish to be associated with. It’s also an opinion that stemmed from a broader feeling that goes beyond gender, but which I would rather not get into in a public forum…which is frustrating, but also not worth the headache of engaging in endless online bickering (not that it would happen here, it’s just a can of worms I don’t wish to open…apologies for the vagaries, happy to discuss more privately).

Really, I’m glad you critiqued what I wrote as more than anything, I do feel this provides an interesting case study to learn from (and I’m not saying there’s one lesson to be gleaned. As your comments show, it’s something very open to different readings.) As someone who deeply believes in free speech and is opposed to censorship at the cellular level, this has been a tough one and I really hesitated even sharing it as it’s something I kinda just want to move past. At the same time, I fear I would be squandering an opportunity for a wider understanding of writing criticism in the age of social media (and the behavior it tends to foster). The pile-on aspect of social media discourse is very disconcerting to me, as it reflects a certain unthinking mob mentality I’ve always avoided IRL (like, I don’t go to festivals because being around that large of a crowd makes me deeply uneasy). It also, as you can see, can cause one to swing a bit reactively in the other direction, especially when it touches a nerve (ie my own mental health issues and not wanting to cause someone else that distress as well as being cognizant of certain gendered double standards…I make no bones about my desire to smash the patriarchy;)

As the same time, it’s a slippery slope as while one wants to treat all artists simply as artists, others do not always see it that way and thus your writing is always open to a certain reading that might be antithetical to what you believe, but I don’t think that makes the reading any less valid (though that again presents a slippery slope…) I do think one should be mindful about one says but also, yes, being offensive is something having an opinion always carries with it. And believe me, I’ve really tired of toothless, fawning music journalism. But in this case, and again I don’t feel it’s my place to share all the details, I found myself agreeing that if I was in Hodge’s position, I would have done the same thing. I understand if that doesn’t make sense, but this was a case where I couldn’t stand by my words. And if I can’t do that, then I’m just being a stubborn dick.

I do believe musicians and those in the industry should not exist in the glass palace they currently do. One of my motivating energies in my writing is that I grew so tired of hearing horrible things about certain musicians and then watching a room of people who had said those things all fawning. I also never wished to put myself in a position where I say “great work!” to someone whose work I don’t think is great. I really don’t disagree with much if anything you just said, but I also have to say that in this particular circumstance, my response came from the heart, as did the initial criticism. But I also learned something from what I wrote that I do feel is important to keep in mind.


I didn’t see the original draft, but I can’t imagine it causing the reactions it did. I mean twitter rages are usually forgotten within 24 hours, so who cares, right? But obviously these things accumulate and quickly you have this seriously toxic environment that’s impossible to get away from and to do any kind of journalism / writing / blogging within. Unless you have a full-time editor (as you note) employed to sanitize everything until absolutely no one can be offended. I mean there is no need to intently offend, and those (music) journalists that made a career of being consciously obnoxious are not my cup of tea, but the opposite is hardly an ideal either. It just seem to be a permanent paranoid position to put yourself in and if you are neurotic in the slightest you just wear yourself out.

In my opinion I think musicians and Djs (not journalists) should get off twitter, or at least try to think twice (but you don’t on twitter that’s the catch) before tweeting. Just get in the studio instead, goddammit!


hey @zurkonic, just read your review. damn, sorry to hear about the fallout that ensued. ugly. gonna have to agree with @chava on this, though…pretty much every point he made I totally agree with and couldn’t said it better myself. you know, people used to give advice to artists and tell them to, under no circumstance whatever, never ever read your own reviews. it’s a double-standard to expect critics to be tough-skinned but not the artists…if you’re gonna take the emotional risk and read your own reviews, prepare to get your feelings hurt occasionally. the critic invests his time and/or money in objectively evaluating the work or the performance. the critic owes nothing to the artist.

and, furthermore, why be up on stage if performing is a drag? there are other ways to express yourself. debatable as it may be whether or not the DJ is a performer, there is, however, no arguing that the DJ is, for all intents and purposes, an entertainer and, as an entertainer, has a responsibility to facilitate fun. part of the artist/audience dynamic is an exchange of emotion. how is the audience expected to react if the DJ looks bored? raves are supposed to be fun, am I wrong?


@zurkonic possibly one of the greatest 3rd songs of all time?


on the topic of music writing/critics/reviews/whatever, i’m interested to get people’s thoughts on this article from earlier this year: “How reviews fuck with an artist’s mental health

"…“At a time when even sports commentators are scrutinised for bias and racialised language, music criticism doesn’t self-regulate by any means as thoughtfully.”

a music writer friend of mine had an interesting take on it: “This is interesting. Agree with a lot of it but disagree with the bit that suggests you shouldn’t write about something because you have no prior knowledge. Always enjoyed reviewing that strays out of my lane—pushes me to read/listen/discover and get excited. Be boring, otherwise”

what do you think?


Firstly, as I was just saying to a friend, I really believe that disagreeing with someone in a civil manner is ultimately a sign of respect. That said, I do still stand by my decision as it was a very personal one, but also really appreciate the thoughtful feedback/comments/posts.

Secondly, an 80yo retired therapist I help sometimes recently told me after I was sharing with her my anxiety over a bad review I got on Taskrabbit, NEVER READ YOUR REVIEWS. That said, with social media, it does open up a dialogue that can be helpful, but also really not…either way, I have to agree with this advice as I think it just helps one to enjoy better mental health.

Stoked to read that article @deeseejay…just from reading the intro, it made me think of this one from last year that I LOVED:

Oh, and @criminiminal, thanks for reminding me about that third song…SUCH A BANGER.