As we write this, we know we’ve failed you. If you were here with us earlier this week, you would’ve noticed a couple posts covering a local concert. Yesterday, the PR firm True Believer (http://www.truebelieversbelieve.com) contacted us to remove the photo of one of their clients from our site. We have taken down the posts relating to the concert entirely. Here are the facts: we had a photo pass as per headliner; the photo of the artist was not compromising and was, quite frankly, mediocre (at best); and the review of the musician (the opener, not the headliner) was negative. After repeated requests to remove the musician’s photo, we have decided to comply with this request instead of waste valuable time and resources fighting this particular battle. Our sincerest apologies extend to Miss Aly Spaltro as well, who is in small part a victim of our decision.
Given this kind of turmoil, we feel it is time to give our particular code to you, our readers.
What is our purpose here? Personally, my purpose is to have a “living resume” to send out to music magazines. A resume that shows current interest in music. That is why this is a free blog: it is not, by any means, a source of income. The free music is secondary, though also a consideration. I hunt out music that I feel has a good chance of pleasing me. That is my personal angle here.
What is the purpose of media in reviewing music? This part is simple: it is to educate you, the consumer, on what we (music critics) feel are good investments of your expendable portion of your budget. We are here solely to help you find music you will enjoy, and appreciate, and steer you away from the releases that are maybe flashy and hollow, or under-polished, or just generally not worth your time and money. We are here solely for you.
What is our relation to musicians and their Public Relations? This is much trickier. Some reviewers and magazines feel it is their purpose to promote music. Good music, or otherwise. Or to promote album sales. Honestly, here is the truth: we have none. We admit we love some PR people, adore some funny, humble musicians personally, but professionally, we cannot have those same ties binding us in our profession. Those three groups, musicians, PR, and reviewers, are all separate professionals. It is a musician’s job to make music; PR’s to promote it to get “coverage” (that is, to get it in as many media and magazines and as positively as possible); and a reviewer’s job simply to look out for the consumer. For you. That is all.
And now the tricky part. What about the negative review?
Again, we do not anticipate a musician to particularly care about our reviews. We highly encourage musicians to ignore them, as I am, personally, a writer as well, and understand the distinction between the artist and the critic. The artist does not create for the critic. But the critic creates for the consumer: that is all.
A negative review is just that: we advise you skip past this release. Why does the musician care about these reviews? Firstly, any press is good press. This is true, insofar as one realizes no press at all means you do not exist to a potential consumer. Something, anything, even negative, means that you are in consideration for a consumer’s hard-earned dollars.
Secondly: the press must remain separate, and must remain honest. Here the musician may not immediately recognize the value of this, but when you have said something well, and it deserves to be heard, then it is a critic’s job to recognize that and advise their readership that, yes, this is something worth investing time into. To say everything is good all the time is not our purpose, and dulls our message; that is “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” but in reverse. But herein, we have failed our readers and our honesty by censoring those last two posts. Again, if we had world enough and time (and money) we would pursue the matter further. But suffice it to say, the world is an imperfect place, and we can do no more on the matter.
We hope you, our dear readers (and musical consumers) feel we have dealt justly and honestly with you throughout these past six years, and we beg your forgiveness for our weakness. Apologies, justice, and much, much love,