The smell of death had been lingering on Paste magazine for a long while, so the end of the print publication shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Even though the "Save Paste" campaign raised more than $250,000 from 10,000 donors last summer, the magazine never recouped any of the mojo it once had. Inevitability finally caught up.
Over the week since Gawker declared "Paste magazine is dead," a conversation has been brewing on the Internet about why Paste (which will carry on as a website) sank. Local music blog Ohmpark's Sept. 1 missive about Paste's demise raised some good points about the state of music journalism, but writer Davy Minor's arguments are deeply flawed.
Minor's opening statement, "Old People shouldn't be in charge of covering music for kids," is both foolhardy and presumptuous at best. Everyone from Sasha Frere-Jones at the New Yorker to Jim DeRogatis at the Chicago Sun-Times and Greg Kot at the Chicago Tribune are all in the 40-plus club and actively contributing knowledge, taste and experience to a larger musical conversation. Old people, as he puts it, are hardly being "outmatched by a kid in his pajamas in his parent's basement" when it comes to separating music's significant and memorable moments from the fleeting download of the day.
Minor then praises Pitchfork for reliably dictating taste to the masses, but adds, "With so much music being created, and attention spans of readers diminishing, there just isn't that much demand for long-winded, deep-digging album reviews." Last time I checked, Pitchfork refers to itself as the "home of the gratuitously in-depth record review."
He then adds that "aggregators and torrent site's top lists do a better job of efficiently communicating the best new music then [sic] 99% of music journalists out there." What he fails to understand is that just because something is popular does not mean that it's good.
His summation, however, is solid: "If you are not putting an immense amount of effort in keeping up with current trends, you will be left behind."
But there's still a demand for writing that offers cultural context rather than knee-jerk tantrums written in your "parent's basement." The bottom line is that while some music blogging passes as good journalism, blogging and journalism are rarely the same. And where the extinction of print is concerned, we've heard the same doom and gloom about analog recording, vinyl records, and even record stores over the last decade, but they're all still here, so don't hold your breath.
Grammy-winning rapper T.I. and his wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle were arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamines in West Hollywood on Sept. 1. The arrest happened only five months after T.I. was released from federal prison after serving seven months of a one-year sentence for trying to buy machine guns as a convicted felon in October '07.
In new release news, power-pop haircuts Biters have a new EP titled It's Okay to Like Biters out this month on Underrated Records, with another EP slated for release sometime this winter. Deerhunter's "Revival" b/w "Primitive" 7-inch dropped last week via 4AD, and Carnivores' sophomore LP, If I'm Ancient (Double Phantom), sees an album release party at the Earl on Oct. 16.
Editor's note: Ohmpark music blogger Davy Minor's name was originally misspelled. It has been corrected.