So, I started a music blog, which will certainly raise questions from most people. Specifically, questions like “why should I care about what this guy thinks about music?” or “does the internet really need another music blog?” or “doesn’t Josh have anything better to do with his free time?”. The answer to all of these questions is no. You probably shouldn’t care about what I think about music, the internet certainly doesn’t need another music blog, and I really, truly have absolutely nothing better to do with my free time this summer.
Having admitted that you shouldn’t care and that this blog is meaningless in the grand scheme of the internets, I suppose I should explain why it exists. This blog is primarily for me to try to improve as a writer, and also to share music that I think is worthy of finding a larger audience than it has. I don’t consider myself an authority on music and I don’t know much of the technical mumbo jumbo, but I do enjoy looking at art through a somewhat objective lens and have very strong convictions on what’s good and what isn’t.
A lot of people say that music can’t be looked at objectively, that no band can be considered “better” than another band. Such a statement has always infuriated me. Sure, a certain amount of music enjoyment is subjective — it’s about that “gut” reaction where it just hits you in a certain way that can’t quite be articulated. But I think a lot of the things that create that reaction, at least for me, are objective criteria. Mostly, I want to feel like the music being made is important to the artist making it.
My other love in music is female singers, particularly of the rock and/or roll variety, and that will certainly be a frequent subject of rambling on this blog. This is harder to explain and might be where the subjective aspect of music kicks in, but I’ve put some thought into it and think I can rationalize it pretty well.
For one thing, the notion of music being “important” applies more to females than males to me. Largely, I think women have a more interesting viewpoint of the world at this point in time than men, particularly white men. This is illustrated in the Riot Grrrl punk movement that I’ve been obsessed with for awhile — it was a group of female musicians making music to inspire change and rebel against societal norms. It’s also a kind of music that white men simply couldn’t make — they are in a position of power, and being in a position of power makes for largely boring, uninteresting music, such as this entire genre of sissy white guys strumming on their guitar that I find rather repulsive.
Female singers also sound more original than their male counterparts, simply because there’s less of them. With such an oversaturation of male singers, at a certain point they all tend to sound similar to me. This is particularly true when it comes to rock music in the indie world, which is mostly what I listen to. The number of authentic female rock artists in indie music is extremely slim — I can probably count them on two or three hands (and I’ve done a lot of listening). They also tend not to get their fair shake from music sites like Pitchfork and are ignored by the largely male indie rock community, many of whom think their balls will fall off if they risk listening to female singers.
The result of these reasons, and I’m sure some other disturbing, psychological ones, as led to me being obsessed with female singers. It’s probably the one area of music that I can claim being an expert on and actually be kind of right, which makes me feel better if I’m going to be writing from a faux-authoritative standpoint.
Hopefully this intro at least gives some idea of where I’m coming from. I’m hoping to write plenty in the coming weeks about music new, old, and kind of old or kind of new. And I’m hoping I can do it without being pretentious or annoying the way most music review sites are (too late maybe?). At the very least, I hope I can improve as a writer and maybe get one person to listen to something they wouldn’t have otherwise, because that would make me very happy.
Thanks and enjoy.