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Music Publication Round Up 2013

Best Websites




















Music writing is an instant mix of po-faced beat dissections and ass kissing and usually both, except, in an attempt to prove themselves above the fray, a major publication will dis a major work by a major performer (pace: Pitchfork). This is far from thorough, who has the time to read? And when one does has the time to read, who will read this crap? 

Allmusic – One part historical music info archive, one part thorough ongoing music info for future study – B+

Billboard – More power to em, they navigated the move to web based content with ease and are easily the best of the majors on business – A-

Brooklynvegan – Their music criticism sucks but they are the first thing I read in the morning, their listings are without parallel in nyc – A-

Consequence Of Sound – A poor man’s Pitchfork, they are so similar they sometimes write the exact same things – C-

Contactmusic – Great at gossip – B+

The Guardian – Always one step ahead of the crowd and always a fun read. Readers comments are pretty good as well – B+

Hypebot – Tech smart website, has its niche and keeps to it – B+

Mojo – NME class of 1975 regrouped to write about classic rock. Didactic and, unlike NME Of 75, humorless but extremely well written and knowledgeable – B+

New Musical Express – The great publication used to go its own way but now looks much like everybody else. Against all odds NME in the 1970s and 1980s managed to be mainstream and go its own way. Just by covering a genre they made the genre great (disco and Danny Baker, anyone?). That is no longer remotely true – C+

New York – Jody Rosen’s Taylor Swift interview was excellent – B+

New York Daily News – By which I mean Jim Farber, one of our best rock critics – A-

New Yorker – Thorough but boring – B+

New York Post – Now Dan Aquilante has committed career suicide, the writing is much much better.  Hardeep Phul and Michaelangelo Matos are both very fine writers, though a little out there. But really fearless guys who go there own way – A-

New York Times – Have they cut back their pop music coverage? It feels like it used to be very thorough and now it isn’t; I noticed that around two years ago. The writing is exemplary – A-

Pitchfork – These guys go from weakness to weakness, the profiles are terrible, the reviews unreadable, their tastes in the their mouths, it is a joke to consider them alternative to anything. They hold grudges and bad ones. On the other hand, PF looks great – C-

Popdose – I wish the writing was a little stronger, but they go their own way and for that I’m thankful – B+

Popdust – My favorite music website is a smorgasbord of pop music, smart enough to be fans and also smart enough to understand pop music – A

Q – It looks great and it started an industry of rock glossies that exists to this day, highly innovative as well. A little boring – B+

Rock’s Back Pages – Barney Hoskyns music journalism archive, with a firewall around it and many subscribers, all the major US Colleges for one. Me? I’m just proud to be included – A

Rolling Stone – Forget everything but music and the music criticism is atrocious, buzzwords aplenty mixed with favoritism and nepotism. As trustworthy as a politician seeking reelection, only their artists profiles save em – C

Spin – If Guccione Junior was dead he’d be doing cartwheels in his grave, a messy, tough to navigate site with fair to middling rock writing but no real personality – B

The Talkhouse – How bad is this terrible website? Pitchfork called it “one of the most reliable sources of great music writing on the web.”  With little content and 95% of that content bad writing by kiss ass musicians, they’ve published one great piece, Lou Reed in Yeezus. And one funny piece, Ezra Koenig on Drake – D

Uncut – Gets its own fair share of scoops, but sorta dowdy and middle aged – B

Village Voice – They never came close to recovering from the loss of Robert Christgau – D

Yahoo Music – My former Creem editor Dave Dimartino has been at Yahoo Music since 1995 and it is the second most popular music website (after Pandora)  with 31 Million unique visitors a month.  Not a good idea to cut Rob O’Connor loose, hence the minus – A-



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