I know that when it comes to reading about music online, #PluggedIn is your #first #choice, but it’s good to get a variety of viewpoints on a subject when you’re forming your own opinions. After all, getting opinions on music or any other topic from one source would be like… uh…
Alright, I’m a music blogger, not an English major. Don’t expect me to come in with a mind-boggling and compelling analogy. It’d be bad if you only got opinions from one source, OK?
Anyway, there are many people publishing their opinions in a variety of mediums, and I’ve highlighted a few I think are worthwhile.
Pitchfork Media is an online news source that you’ve more than likely heard of in some capacity over the years. Tyler, the Creator as famously said, “I’m stabbing any blogging f****** hipster with a Pitchfork,” just to give you an example of their reach.
Pitchfork publishes editorials, interviews and other features daily, but the real cause for their surge in internet traffic every midnight are their reviews. Pitchfork has an extensive team of writers contributing content, resulting in a daily influx of five brand-spanking new reviews from every genre you can possibly fathom, from the sparse and ambient lowercase genre to the interpretive free jazz genre.
A common concern from Pitchfork readers is that Pitchfork only panders to the more obscure genres of music that “make you cool if you listen to them.” But I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing. Who else is going to put on someone as weird and experimental as art rapper B L A C K I E? Pitchfork does a fairly good job at giving fair representation to all genres and levels of prominence.
Some of my favorite reviews are Ryan Dombal’s review of Common’s “Be,” Stuart Berman’s review of the Queens of the Stone Age self-titled debut reissue and Ian Cohen’s review of Run the Jewels’ “Run the Jewels 2.”
Noisey by Vice is one of my favorite places to go whenever I’m having a bad day. The entire website reads like if The Onion decided to write entirely about music. For instance, one of the most recent articles on Noisey‘s front page reads, “The 2016 Presidential Election might literally hinge upon Pitbull.”
Noisey manages to straddle the fine line between satire and legitimate journalism enough that you’re never sure if they’re serious or not when they claim Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin is actually a lion. Noisey is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people who come up with incredibly interesting topics that are a joy to read.
A few of my favorites are 420 Songs about Weed, which, as you hopefully guessed, is a playlist of 420 songs about weed, and Here’s why Nickelback is Underrated, which details the rise and fall of the arena rockers.
The Needle Drop has probably the most consistent and dedicated music journalist on the market right now in Anthony Fantano. I’m honestly not sure if he even sleeps. If you told me you had it on good authority that Fantano is really just a manifestation of a Red Bull and protein bar binge, I’d be inclined to believe you, because the man never stops listening to music. Ideally, I would like to be him when I grow up.
Fantano began making a name for himself when he uploaded his reviews and other opinion pieces onto YouTube in 2009 as a pet project. The videos garnered a good bit of attention, so Fantano started to funnel his resources into The Needle Drop, leading to the product that we have today.
Fantano is well spoken and provides solid reasoning behind each of his opinions. You definitely wouldn’t be able to tell that from the comment sections of his YouTube videos, though. I recommend ignoring the comments section.
A few of my favorite Fantano pieces are his review of Fleet Foxes’ “Helplessness Blues,” his review of Open Mike Eagle’s “Dark Comedy,” his piece on being proud of your own musical taste and the time he made himself lunch instead of writing his review for Limp Bizkit’s “Gold Cobra.”
The Kinda Neat podcast is the youngest of the four media here, but it’s just as interesting and fresh. It was created by producer Ben Shim and rapper Lee Shaner, otherwise known as Intuition, who was a member of the Los Angeles rap collective Hellfyre Club alongside other veteran rappers like Busdriver and Nocando.
Shaner is the primary interviewer, and he mainly interviews people who have a hand in the hip-hop genre in some way, from Christian Clancy, who manages Odd Future, to ItsTheReal, who create hip-hop sketch comedy. The episodes always come accompanied with a performance from the rapper being interviewed, as well.
Some of my favorite episodes were Shaner’s interviews with Detroit rapper Quelle Chris, Anthony Fantano and Atlanta native Father.
What I want to get across is that it’s good to read a multitude of opinions when you are forming your own. For instance, Anthony Fantano gave the recent Julian Casablancas LP, “Tyranny,” a 7/10 and praised it for being inventive and interesting, whereas Larry Fitzmaurice of Pitchfork gave the album a 4.9/10 and called it unlistenable. Noisey also provides unique opinions, calling universally lauded indie rock band, Radiohead, music for boring nerds. These are only a few examples, but it serves to show that everyone looks at things differently, and depriving yourself of a variety of opinions really only stunts your own growth as a person. But please keep reading The All State. Please.
Have a fantastic Tuesday.
Sean McCully is one of The All State‘s multimedia writers. He’s probably making weird jokes on Twitter about Animal Collective.