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Writing folk music reviews

The Sandman 19 Jul 11 - 01:11 PM
Girl Friday 19 Jul 11 - 01:52 PM
olddude 19 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM
DrugCrazed 19 Jul 11 - 02:02 PM
DrugCrazed 19 Jul 11 - 02:08 PM
glueman 19 Jul 11 - 02:19 PM
C. Ham 19 Jul 11 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,livelylass 19 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 11 - 02:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jul 11 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,harumph 19 Jul 11 - 02:47 PM
Spleen Cringe 19 Jul 11 - 03:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jul 11 - 03:20 PM
Continuity Jones 19 Jul 11 - 03:21 PM
Spleen Cringe 19 Jul 11 - 03:26 PM
Phil Cooper 19 Jul 11 - 03:36 PM
glueman 19 Jul 11 - 03:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jul 11 - 03:41 PM
Continuity Jones 19 Jul 11 - 03:57 PM
Continuity Jones 19 Jul 11 - 04:03 PM
glueman 19 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM
Continuity Jones 19 Jul 11 - 04:20 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 11 - 04:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jul 11 - 04:46 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Jul 11 - 04:51 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 11 - 05:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jul 11 - 05:28 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Jul 11 - 05:34 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 11 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,livelylass 19 Jul 11 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,livelylass 19 Jul 11 - 06:01 PM
Spleen Cringe 19 Jul 11 - 06:16 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 11 - 06:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jul 11 - 06:50 PM
johncharles 19 Jul 11 - 07:04 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,FloraG 20 Jul 11 - 02:57 AM
glueman 20 Jul 11 - 03:27 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 11 - 03:36 AM
glueman 20 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Jul 11 - 04:41 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 11 - 04:46 AM
glueman 20 Jul 11 - 05:02 AM
glueman 20 Jul 11 - 05:03 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM
glueman 20 Jul 11 - 05:11 AM
stallion 20 Jul 11 - 05:12 AM
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Subject: Writing folk music reviews
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:11 PM

I would be interested in other peoples opinions as to guidelines.
Here is my opinion.
1.Explain what category of Folk music, e.g, Traditional American, Contemporary English Self composed in a traditional style, or whatever.
2. Mention instrumentation.
3. Do not make derogatory or smart arse comments without qualifying or explaining THE COMMENT, such as this LP is Only fit to use as a flower pot,or agit prop my arse., or I tried not to let it wash over me but it did.
4.Give people information in an objective way as you possibly can .
5. Do not agree to do a review, if you have a personal dislike of the artist.
6. Remember that your love of music, and that promotion of folk roots music,is more important than anything else, including writing purple prose,OR personality clashes.
7. When you have written the review, put yourself in the position of the person who you are reviewing,and imagine how it must feel, to have your music rubbished.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Girl Friday
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:52 PM

All of the above plus possibly:

8. Keep it brief but interesting


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: olddude
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM

sounds like a fair assessment to me


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM

Like I used to tell O & A levels students - half the battle is learning to love the thing; only then can you write critically...


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:02 PM

This is how I work through my reviews (granted it's game reviews, but transferable skills and all that).
  • Someone will like anything. So, you should be finding that person
  • Putting a review score on means that there are idiots who will look at the score and go "WHAT!? I can't believe that it got so high, obviously the reviewer was bought off/so low, the reviewer doesn't know what he's talking about"
  • If people want to know what it sounds like, then they'll listen to it somehow. Your job is to say what you did and didn't enjoy and say why.

I have more, but it's easier to remember them when I'm shouting at writers for not doing it properly.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:08 PM

I say shouting, I mean...giving helpful advice. Yes. Totally.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:19 PM

Judge nothing for twenty years, better yet fifty. Music I hated with a vengeance in 1980 I enjoy now and vice versa. Even things I still like I do so for entirely different reasons. Most reviews are Onanism and not to be taken seriously and nor are their writers. Since music dropped large scale patronage for the public purse, who can say what is 'good' anyway?


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: C. Ham
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:29 PM

As with anything, I would suggest studying the masters. Three masters of the folk music review that I, a patron of the folk music arts, trust implicitly are Mike Regenstreif, Scott Alarik and Elijah Wald.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM

"Most reviews are Onanism and not to be taken seriously and nor are their writers."

I do find reviews where you can see the writer reading the piece back to themselves, all the while inserting all the right pauses, wry eyebrow positions, and smug end of line snickers, thoroughly draining. Extra points deducted for gratuitously wanky use of obscure multi-syllabled words. Not that I dislike words with more than two syllables, long obscure words judiciously applied in the right context can be wonderfully appropriate and enjoyable - like seasoning a sentence.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:34 PM

This all seems way off base. This article on the Rebecca Black phenomenon gets nearer the mark:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14190712

Or as Liberace put it after getting a bad review, "I cried all the way to the bank".

The conception that good reviews make reputations and bad ones break them was probably never very accurate and it certainly isn't now. As far as a media publisher is concerned, reviews are an entertainment product. The reviewer's primary function is to keep the reader turning the pages or clicking onto the next screen. It matters not at all whether the review is positive, negative, truthful or even sincere. It DOES matter whether the writing is good.

It would probably help if all reviews were of imaginary recordings and performances, like those stories by Borges and Lem that review imaginary books.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:35 PM

Wasn't always so Glueman, old boy.

The reviews of jazz records in Melody Maker by Max Jones were a weekly delight, and education. You had the feeling you were meeting with someone who was educated, warm, witty and very enthusiastic.

What do you get from Froots. 'I know more than you and i'm REALLY clever....' (yawn)


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: GUEST,harumph
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:47 PM

You don't actually read fRoots, do you, Al?


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:00 PM

Taking Dick's list one-by-one, in my very humble opinion:

1. Most music magazines - whether the biggies like Mojo and Uncut or specialist ones like R2 - tend to do this anyway. A good reviewer will usually make the type of music apparent in the body of the review. Sometimes the remit of the magazine is a clue. You can't get too specific about genres or it will lead to rows on Mudcat ;-)

2. Again, most reviewers do this. I find as a reader it's better when they weave this into a well written piece of prose rather than have a list of instruments. Making lists is not part of a reviewer's job if they're doing it properly.

3. I think that you're setting up a straw man. Read virtually any music paper and most reviews are overwhelmingly positive or neutral or somewhere in between.The poor reviews are in a minority, and in most cases the reviewer will be at pains to explain why they have given a bad review. The bad old days of The NME viciously trashing records is largely over.

4. Why? I want to know how it made the reviewer feel. If it moved them. If it touched their soul. I don't want objectivity - in any case everyone's individual experience of a piece of music is personal to them. Reviewers are not somehow exempt from this and neither should they be. The reviewer's job is no more to be objective than it is my job when listening to a piece of music.

5. Fair enough. Though a good reviewer should be able to review what they are listening to rather than their own opinions about the artist. Of course, there will always be exceptions to this, but I won't list 'em...

6. I think for most reviewers the love of the music they are reviewing is a given. That's why for the sake of the music they should always try to be honest about how they react to a piece of music. If they no longer enjoy it, it's definitely time to hang up the typewriter. I don't think personality clashes is an issue for the vast majority of reviewers - and one person's purple prose is another person's beautifully written vignette. I want good writing and an understanding and knowledge of the genres the reviewer is covering above all else. Never underestimate the importance of good writing - it's as important to a writer as good playing or singing is to a musician. and just as musicians probably don't like others telling them how to do their jobs, neither do writers. However, the individuals in both groups have put themselves on a public stage, so people will have opinions about how they do what they do.

7. Most reviewers don't have to do this most of the time, because most reviewers don't rubbish other people's work most of the time. The problem with putting yourself in the other person's shoes is that it may lead to dishonesty about what the reviewer thought about the music under review for fear of offending. And one person's mediocre review is another person's deathly insult, so again it's all subjective.

Personally, I get almost as much pleasure out of good music writing as I do out of good music. When musicians start laying down the law about what writers should and shouldn't do, it's a slippery slope towards poor quality writing. Luckily most writers won't take any notice and will continue to do what they do to the best of their ability.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:20 PM

I've made the odd attempt.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:21 PM

Well, I think that if a CD is sent to a reviewer and said reviewer doesn't like the CD, he or she should say so. That means, when I read a review they do the following week when they DO like something, I know that they'll mean what they say. Also by following that path, as a reader one gets to know and trust (or not) different reviewers. For example, I rate Colin Irwin as a reviewer, but err away from Ian Anderson's likes as they tend to be more polished than my own preference. Point being though, as they are free to tell the truth, I can trust and act upon said reviews if I feel motivated to do so.

I disagree with the 'always find a positive in everything' line. I think if someone is reviewing a CD and finds it a stinker, they should have the right to say so. Why say "this cd is terrible but the man has nice hair and a taste in jumpers I admire"? It's just patronising nonsense. There's so much terrible music out there, I am pleased when someone shoots from the hip and says so.

And I've been shot from the hip many times! If they say something I agree with, that's fine - I agree. If they something I disagree with, I disagree, simple as that. If you send your CDs out to review, you must expect that every now and then someone will review it who thinks you're a hopeless hapless bum.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:26 PM

Well said Mr Jones!


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:36 PM

Back when I wrote reviews for Come For To Sing Magazine, I tried to see if I got the point of an album, if I didn't like it. If I couldn't get what the artist was trying to do, then I wasn't qualified to write a review. Someone else should. That's not to say that I was always positive in the reviews. I did find it a bit awkward when I started performing more when I ran into artists who I'd written some negative things about.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:37 PM

What has to be recognised is a reviewer is generally hired to reinforce the prejudices of the majority of a magazine's readers. If a reviewer has a dislike of hairy men in tight clothing singing falsetto between virtuoso electric guitar solos, he probably wouldn't last long as a rock journalist. It's horses for courses and there's no nag with universal appeal.

The problem is a lot of contemporary recordings, especially in the folk market, are what used to be called vanity publishing before the recorded music industry rolled up its toes and necessarily made almost all records vanity products. Should such records be judged by the same standards as those made in six months at a studio somewhere sunny with an expense account? I would suggest not, homespun artefacts are what might be called narrowcast - hoping to appeal to a sufficiently large majority of a very small market indeed to make their manufacture worthwhile. This inevitably leads to a high risk of such output not matching the lofty, even catholic tastes of the reviewer and to be taken by all parties with a huge pinch of salt.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:41 PM

Well sure CJ. We didn't get where we are today by footling about with feelings of humanity.

I guess I spent too long gigging Northern clubs, where every insult to the turn that night was savoured like good fart. And I think anyone who writes a review of Dick Miles without saying that he is talented and skilful is really a bit of a turd.

Nothing wrong with that Turds have their place in the eco-system. Reviewing for froots. Well....maybe thats a right turd in the right place.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:57 PM

You don't actually read fRoots, do you, Al?


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:03 PM

Surely a review should have the ability to say Good or Bad? Or else it's not a review at all. It's a sham.

It's nothing to do with feelings of humanity. But if it was, I think it's far more humane to put a dog down if it's in terrible old shape. There's a lot of music out there which is in terrible old shape. These people sometimes need to be told they're terrible or they'll end up on Britain's Got Talent, having been mollycoddled and lied to all their lives and end up looking like complete eejits live on TV as they have no actual gift for music that lifts them above merely average - and that's if they're lucky.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM

But what CJ, is good music? The overwhelming majority of the population would find my love of exceedingly primitive, dissonant and plain weird sounds freakish, while I think most of their well sung, splendidly performed, lovingly produced music derivative and often mawkish. The best/worst I could offer as a reviewer is 'nice if you like that sort of thing'. Every reviewer is prejudiced, it's up to them to underline their predispositions and not hide them beneath everyman credentials and childish put-downs.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:20 PM

Yes I agree glueman that one man's great is another man's gash, but that's my partly my point - if reviewers are allowed to say Gash then I believe them more when they say Great. I'm not saying reviewers have to be nasty, of course not, all I ask for is honesty.

But if all reviewers are allowed to say is Great, then, well what's the point? Other than for factual information. Well, I suppose that has it's place, but it's hardly a review, is it? It's a phone book.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:28 PM

anyone who writes a review of Dick Miles without saying that he is talented and skilful is really a bit of a turd.

Rather beside the point, if you're really trying to help people decide whether or not to listen to him. There are lots of talented and skilful performers I have no interest in hearing and lots of talentless bunglers who I'd go a long way to see.

Oasis built a huge career out of not having any discernible talent or originality. People found the idea of a bunch of shambolic Beatles impersonators with punkish attitude enormously appealing. Lots of reviewers pointed out their incompetence, and were deservedly ignored.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:46 PM

'Oasis built a huge career out of not having any discernible talent or originality'

the authentic voice of folk! You should take a subscription out to Froots. You'll be amongst friends.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:51 PM

As a longtime practising and professional [I did get paid for it] reviewer of theatre & folk music, I read this thread with interest but do not propose to contribute directly as I would not carry conviction as an objective commentator. Will just say that I have always tried where possible to be positive rather than negative.

I would, however, just like to ask Jack: how would you justify that "deservedly" in the last sentence of previous post? In what way did reviewers who, you appear to agree, were just doing their jobs in pointing out the shortcomings in the music they were reviewing, "deserve" to be ignored?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:06 PM

In what way did reviewers who, you appear to agree, were just doing their jobs in pointing out the shortcomings in the music they were reviewing, "deserve" to be ignored?

Because those shortcomings were irrelevant to the people Oasis were speaking to.

Rock and pop journalism can be ickily self-serving, but it does usually get the concept that what the punters identify with isn't technical excellence for its own sake.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:28 PM

Oh yeh! and Sam Larner was a technically excellent singer.

Oh!.........(spotaneously combust!)

not like these plebby pop fans. Let's face it, darling! We're just inherently middle class and superior to everybody. Two cds of complete bollocks with every issue.

Have you heard satirical songs in the native Nigerian dialect? (The lyrics are so telling!)


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:34 PM

Reviews, as I've said before are necessarily subjective.THey're valuable if you are familiar with the reviewer's past likes and dislikes.


And please, please, never use the word great in a review.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:47 PM

Did anybody here claim Larner was virtuoso singer?

It wasn't relevant to why people appreciated him.

If all a performer can claim is technical excellence you know they're headed for oblivion.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:58 PM

"If all a performer can claim is technical excellence you know they're headed for oblivion."

Or Autotune..


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:01 PM

Doh, misread that.

As for (supposed, hard to know as they lip synch apparently) technical ability over art, there is Celtic Women of course.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:16 PM

You clearly have a problem with African pop, Al. What's that all about?


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM

No but you revere Larner, and you use technical imperfgections as a reason to abuse Oasis.

Why the hell am I defending Oasis. Well they name the Wolfetones as one one of their main influences.

Like Swagger Jagger (a variant of my darling Clementine) - they're a sort of folk. A variant of folk.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:39 PM

Spleen Cringe didn't bring Oasis up, I did. And if I was abusing anybody it was the reviewers who found fault with them.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:50 PM

Sorry JC. I thought that saying they didn't have talent or originality was abuse.

You obviously thought it was a fair assessment.

Just imagine someone was saying that about you - abuse, or fair comment?


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: johncharles
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:04 PM

I tend to agree with continuity Jones. If all reviews were positive we would all be turning professional and making a living singing songs.
The reality is that all paid artists are subject to some form of criticism. By and large folk artists get off fairly lightly. Produce a west end musical which gets bad reviews and the cast will be looking for new jobs.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM

You seem to share Dick Miles's delusions about how reviewing works.

The model you appear to have in mind is a meritocratic one based on the school examination system as implemented by the Victorian bourgeoisie. The reviewer gets to rank their targets in order according to degree of genius, and their readers are intended to obediently follow these rankings in deciding which concerts to go to or recordings to buy. In the utopian ideal, the reviewer thus gets to determine the market share of each of the acts they write about.

You only have describe that model explicitly enough to see it's delusional, and people who read reviews have already done that. They read the reviews for their literary value, not to be told who's "talented" or "original". For most of the music people listen to, originality counts for about as much as it does in bellringing.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM

The final paragraph of that BBC article is to the point:

"There are simply acceptable targets for the hatred people carry around every day," says Rob Manuel, co-founder of the pop culture website b3ta.com. Unfortunate musicians and pop icons fall into that category.

Julie Burchill's career was entirely about suggesting juicy targets for people to project their resentments on. Other icons get adulation for reasons which have just as little to do with their actual work - the idea of "Gaelic rock band" floated Run Rig on a steamcloud of ideology, their act was irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 02:57 AM

Does anybody actually read reviews?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 03:27 AM

"Does anybody actually read reviews?"

No, but then I don't watch TV or take a newspaper and my radio listening is limited to a few choice items each month. It's an informational Galapagos but it suits me.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 03:36 AM

Flora didn't ask about you, Glueman: she asked about "anybody". Bit egocentric response of yours?, LoL!

The answer is, yes: I have had much comeback from many readers about mine over the 40+ years I have been writing them.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM

My answer is still no. Those of us who know what we like and even why we like it are a greater number than those who buy, or don't buy recordings based on the views of one (often egocentric) reviewer. If you think about it seriously evaluating a record, placing it in some abstract realm of quality linked to the reader's preconceptions, is a bizarre thing to do. It's all about good taste, and that's a very fleeting fashion indeed.
Gimme bad taste every time.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:41 AM

I take it you haven't read much music writing in a long time, Gluey, if you're working on the assumption that all reviewers are essentially wannabe me-me-me columnists like Julie Burchill, who appear to have used a particular take on music journalism as a leg-up to bigger and better things. You couldn't possibly have the same opinion of (to stick for a moment to journalists who concentrate on folk music) Colin Irwin, Robin Denslow, Neil Spencer, Oz Hardwick, Paul Davenport, Rob Hughes, Raymond Greenoaken, Vic Smith or Sophie Parkes - to name a few, just off the top of my head. These are writers who clearly know their chosen area and have managed to combine this with an enjoyable writing style. Also, as folk music reviwers, they can hardly be accused of pandering to some artificially constructed notion of good taste or fleeting fashion.

I do read reviews, and whilst I rarely buy something purely on the basis of a review, I often check stuff out when a reviewer whose taste and judgement I tend to trust says it is worth listening to. And I've heard some fabalous music as a result. Then again, I'm a voracious reader anyway, so maybe I'm more that way inclined. I'd also say there's so much music out there, that without people whose job it is to filter, signpost and suggest (not gatekeep) you could easily get lost in a morass of grot searching for the diamonds.

Al, it is quite possible to like traditional music, West African pop and 60s inspired rock at the same time without imploding. I lived to tell the tale and that's just scratching at the surface of my record collection. Setting, say, Oasis against African music, as if its only possible to like one or the other, with the implication that one is good (i.e. working class, populist) and the other is bad (i.e. middle class, elitist) is in my opinion arrant nonsense. Personally, I can only take so much Oasis, because after a while I feel like I'm being aurally bludgeoned to death, particularly by Liam's foghorn of a voice, but there are plenty of other groups who nod heavily in the direction of the same influences I could listen to all day. It's all about having wide open ears... and not letting your beliefs about the sorts of other people you think might like a particular artist get in the way of taking the music on face value.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:46 AM

Glueman ~~ Your second answer is even stupider than your first; in your pertincious insistence on equating yourself with "anybody", and hence, by implication, with "everybody". Who the hell do you think cares what Glueman's egotistical take on the question is?

Conceited pillock!


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:02 AM

Spleen, I admit my recent exposure to the reviewer's role is limited to an occasional listen to CD review on Radio 3, however all reviews presuppose a model listener, or even that all listeners will like the same sort of thing. One person's florid fiddle playing is another's 'unique signature' and both are subject to the whims of fashion. Does any review stand up to a thirty year shelf life, or are all a glimpse from a subjective moment in time? If it's the latter I hope the reviewer would underscore his judgements with the writing in sand they inevitably are.

The point you make about trusting a reviewer and knowing his tastes is a fair one but how many reviews find space to include the judgement of a crusty old traddie, folk-rock psychedelicist, new wave revisionist for the same recording? Going back to the point about popular music papers in the late 1970s there was a Year Zero new broom that valorised anything contemporary and rejected the old almost completely (a few hippies like Neil Young slipped through the net). As the newbies revealed their sources judgements began to soften on older styles and today we'd think it ridiculous (one would hope)to judge something on whether it fit the prevailing fashion. To stand in public judgement on someone else's output is an onerous task and one doomed to failure. When someone points out, as so often happens, that the quirky album nobody got at the time is the best thing they ever did twenty years later, it's the reviewer, not the artist who'll have egg on his/her face.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:03 AM

"Conceited pillock!"

There speaks a reviewer.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM

Indeed ~~ a conclusive summary of the preceding reasoned evaluation: just what a good review does, dontcha-know...


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: glueman
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:11 AM

Fine. Remind me when your next review comes out and I'll get the chisels out to immortalise your words in something stronger than tomorrow's bog paper.


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Subject: RE: Writing folk music reviews
From: stallion
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:12 AM

There is a pub performer packing the punters in, and for some time I might add, who when I saw him ten years ago was lipsinking and playing air guitar (only with a guitar) to backing tapes. I was astonished to find out a couple of weeks ago that he is still packing them in although i was assured he now actually sings with the aid of a box of tricks that corrects the pitch and, in the words of my sister "he puts on a really good show" Whilst I am singularly unimpressed by his musical inabilities I have to hand it to him for his entertainment, people travel miles to catch his act, not my cup of tea but I am in the minority!


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Mudcat time: 11 August 12:34 PM EDT

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