Music journalism, ostenisbly, is dead. Words? Pah. Who needs them? Who even wants them?
With the advent of Twitter, full-winded critics have become the dinosaurs of rock ‘n’ roll – grumpy old cynics, notebook in hand, missing the event itself, lost as they are in their own self-indulgent monologue. What we really want is to feel like we’re there, see and hear the show come alive, borne of the right words from real people, writing because they feel the need to express the personal impact of the most universal art form there is.
It’s a sign of the times that even the informal, free medium of blogging is being surpassed by the 140-character ruled Tweet: if you can’t say it within the space, you don’t really have to say it at all. Bloggers have become the establishment, whilst Tweeters are guerilla commentators: always ready to give the world their opinion. We’re cutting everything down to the bare, essential minimum in the interests of clarity, decisiveness, integrity and, when it’s done well, wit.
But hold up. Isn’t this fondness for brevity just symptomatic of the two greatest character flaws of the modern music consumer: a short attention span and a lack of substantial love for the product itself? It even feels cheap to describe music as a product – wasn’t this once the food of your soul? Or am I getting all serious on you?
*Thanks again to Josh Baskin, who wrote today’s guest post by text message. No shit.