Thursday, December 1, 2011

Now this is music criticism...

I just ran across this article in the Guardian.

There are too many writers that never have a critical word to say about anyone--and too many classical music critics too! So it is nice to read something where the writer pulls no punches. 'Nice'? Well, enjoyable. You have to love someone who says that the 'evil' Grammy nominations concert is a collection of the worst music of the year.  The only problem for me is that while she throws a lot of mud, almost none of it is musical mud. She criticizes musicians for their lyrics, dancing, costumes, facial expressions and general cultural boorishness. Notice what's missing from that list? Yes, the music! Wait, now she did call someone's performance 'tedious' which is pretty small beer in my books. I might say to someone I knew personally that their performance was a bit tedious. C'mon Hadley, you can do better than that! I didn't see the evil special, but let me help you out with some handy musical criticisms you can apply as needed like grape jelly on french toast.

Rap musicians: "snarling tunelessly like the barbarians they are"
Country: "fine if you like nasal whine"
Divas: "a clunky, auto-tuned xerox of bad Whitney Houston"
Lady Gaga: "an obsessive fascination with bad disco themes"

Notice how I avoided any technical vocabulary? You don't have to come across as an elitist swine while you are critically eviscerating this all-too-easy prey. Remember the immortal words of Oscar Wilde: "One would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without dissolving into tears...of laughter." There is some music that deserves to be ridiculed. It's a public service!

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