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Thursday, May 19, 2011

You might not be too surprised to see Fox News bend the truth but here was a nice instance where their ignorance and hypocrisy could easy be pointed out- their own furor that they raised over rapper Common being invited to the White House.  Luckily, there’s writers like Julianne Escobedo Shepherd who can put together a good piece on Alternet to show how not only stupid FN can be but also their two faced nature.


You’d expect better from the New York Times- as least they have Jon Caramanica covering rap and knowing what he’s talking about.  When it comes to Twitter though, their editor needs to stop being a twit.  As this TechCrunch article explains, Bill Keller set off a storm, saying that Twitter makes you dumb, doing it right on Twitter itself.  As TC tells us, part of it was to flame up some arguments and get attention (hey, it worked here!) but ultimately, it shows Keller and the NYT by association to be out of touch, tech wise.  As if you didn’t need proof of that already from their so-called pay-wall…


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

After writing a list for Flavorpill about 33 Women Music Critics You Need to Read, I realized a few things:


1) It can be dangerous to your ego to write about scribes that you really admire. As you list their accomplishments and great works, you start to get self-conscious about your own work and wonder ‘how the hell can I measure up to that?’


2) You realize that some writers should be doing a better job of promoting their own work, by having a homepage with links to their articles and a resume of their work (which reminds me that I gotta do the same).


3) Unless you’re willing to do a list of 1000, you’ll never get all the items that you’ll want to on any list.  And even if you do 1000, you’ll still be missing some.  For this particular list, I started with 15, then 20, then 25, then 30 and ended up with 33.  Even then, I started realizing that I missed a number of people that I should have included there.  You can’t be all-inclusive.


4) A number of the people on the list wrote to thank me profusely and I said to them ‘you earned it!’  It makes me think that they don’t get anywhere near the recognition that they deserve.


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Wednesday, Mar 2, 2011
I was inspired to come up with a list of 10 more dates that meant bad news for the film business. Some of them are actually what you'd call mixed blessings and there's a lot more villains to be found.

Ideally I’d be ranting about the Huffington Post sale or Apple’s greedy 30% charge on subscriptions from publications (which I may still do) but for now, I was bowled over by two articles. The first one was a GQ article by Mark Harris called The Day The Movies Died, a sobering examination of the sequel and adaptation mania that’s swept Hollywood.  An impressive follow-up on this came with Jason Bailey’s Flavorwire article Mourning for Hollywood: 10 Days the Movies Died which includes Citizen Kane getting black-balled, sequels, 3-D movies and other low points.


From that, I was inspired to come up with a list of 10 more dates that meant bad news for the film business. Some of them are actually what you’d call mixed blessings and there’s a lot more villains to be found. I was tempted to add the lawsuits about pirating The Hurt Locker but it doesn’t seem (so far at least) that the movie industry is going to make the same mistake as the music industry in overplaying lawsuits about unauthorized downloads.


What do you think? Are there any other dates you can pinpoint that fouled up the movie industry?


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Thursday, Jan 13, 2011

PopMatters was nice enough to post my 2010 sum-up of music journalism yesterday.  A couple of addenda notes to add:


- As another writer pointed out, Nitsuh Abebe’s move from Pitchfork to New York magazine also meant that he went from part-time status with no benefits to having them in a full-time job (he was a freelancer for PF).


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Wednesday, Dec 8, 2010
What was the real meaning behind this question of print vs. online? Is one preferable now? If so, why? My guess was that print carried more weight but was that really the case, especially nowadays?

For anyone who’s written a music review in the last few years and approached a publicist for an advance copy of an album or a place on a show’s guest list, one question you’ll hear back commonly is ‘will this appear online or in print?’ I’ve heard this so much that it started to become background noise and standard practice for the biz. But I started wondering about it recently again, especially with print publications sinking so quickly or going the online-only route now. 


What was the real meaning behind this question of print vs. online? Is one preferable now? If so, why? My guess was that print carried more weight but was that really the case, especially nowadays?


Obviously, the best source are the publicists themselves so I asked about a dozen of them if they’d like to speak about this. About half responded and I thought it would be instructive not only for other people involved in the biz but also any music fan to see how these mechanisms work from an inside perspective, including both labels and promotion/marketing companies that work with several labels.


Thanks to the people below who participated and opened up about this interesting facet of the music business. And just so you know, this article is appearing online!  NOTE TO OTHER PUBLICISTS OUT THERE: What’s your take on this?  Do you agree with what’s said here?


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