1. Being a fanboy
WE GET THAT you choose to write a fawning book/article/blog post about this particular musician and are an expert on their music not because of your writing prowess or analytical acumen. We’re pretty sure you didn’t just finish writing a biography of Napoleon. So spare us the fanboy shit, like please, try harder to not do that. It makes the artist you’re trying to give a tongue-bath to seem like some fragile, hopeless loser who needs the ridiculous adjectives and hyperbole because they stink. Try telling a straight story.
2. Forgetting to ask what we all want to know
I was reading a book someone wrote about Pavement and at one point Stephen Malkmus mentioned that he didn’t write all of the songs he sings on. The difference in writing style between Malkmus and Spiral Stairs seemed as solid as the Berlin Wall, I’m just dying to know who wrote what and who played which guitar solo. It’s pretty much ALL I want to know at this point. This book went from being a fun romp in the story of Pavement to the biggest pissoff since the handling of the Bin Laden assassination.
3. Forgetting to ask what we all want to know
I really can’t stress this enough. I don’t give a rat’s ass who this musician fucked or opened for when they were 17 and playing in a band called Straw Dogs. I want to know who set off firecrackers in the vocal booth, how many chorus pedals he was using, and what the hell the band’s name MEANS.
I saw an interview with Kim Gordon where she says “I don’t consider myself a musician.” Uh, excuse me? The person I deem responsible for one of the best band’s best songs on every album from Daydream Nation until the millenium gear theft nosedive might not have actually written them? No, let’s get back to how much she loves this dress she once wore by some designer whose clothes only 10 percent of her fans can afford.
4. Talking about music like it’s civil disobedience
It’s music, people. The Red Hot Chili Peppers did not study Gender and Culture 101 or Transgression in the Democratic State. They write righteous riffs and bangin’ beats and make videos that still look ahead of their time, inspired by their drug use and nothing else. Cut to the chase, and skip the speculation on the band’s awareness of their impact on the post-capitalist underground ten years on. Their LSD-fueled musings on these subjects are best left for the unpublished diaries.
5. Paying attention to shit bands
Yes, I know, it’s taste, it’s subjective, it’s a job, you have to make deadline blah, blah, blah. Once in a while every journalist needs to get their head out of the press release’s ass and actually go and watch a band play in a venue that’s not called Mavericks and see some new shit. Take responsibility for the scene, you are its cradle and it’s a very impressionable baby. Do your job, hosers.