I sympathize with Max’s criticisms of and frustration with Pitchfork media. These sentiments are shared by many.
Then again, I think we should remember that Pitchfork thrives in challenging the “indie consensus” regarding the merits of famous bands and albums. The problem is, they’ve come to be regarded as a voice for the “indie consensus”. In other words, many people use Pitchfork as their only source of music, and regard it as a trusted elite/establishment source of taste. When Pitchfork’s whole shtick encompasses a healthy dose of reviews that buck the most everyone else’s taste, a problem arises.
Don’t use Pitchfork for rating albums you’ve not heard yet. I recommend Delusions of Adequacy, and Metacritic instead. Think of Pitchfork as that loud annoying friend that occasionally says something profound, and other times just mouths off to remind everyone that he’s there.
For a very interesting article on Pitchfork as Art Mafia, read Crooked Timber. Or read Crooked Timber in any case. They’re a great blog.
2 responses to “Pitchfork”
No one is saying its washed out or overrated.
I’m arguing that PItchfork represents a unique and interesting critique of music, but hardly one that represents the “indie consensus” except insofar as it manufactures assent.
Max is arguing that they’re plain wrong.
And Death Cab is a fun band to listen to. Don’t be hating.
Its become very indie cool to say that Pitchfork is overrated and washed out – just as it once was indie cool to read the site itself. Obviously no one source can dictate your musical tastes, but in general, Pitchfork does a good job of recommending music I’ll like or at least want to check out, and also reviews a good number of more obscure artists not covered by music reviewers of similar caliber. True, they sometimes drop the ball, but in reference to Max’s article, I love to listen to entire Liars albums several times (Drums Not Dead is great), Death Cab for Cutie and Coldplay are mediocre, and Pitchfork is certainly in the top five sources I use, asides from my friends, to find new music.