Thursday, March 6, 2008

Random Music #10

Music Writing Lesson #10: Everybody is cooler than you are.

Everybody is cooler than you are. You'll figure that out after you get a couple of phone calls, a couple of emails or have a couple of conversations with either the people you talk to or the people who read you. The big joke is everybody is a critic, except the guy who is actually paid to be a critic. Then he's just some asshole with an axe to grind.

Everybody you speak to is going to have better taste in music, be better educated, be more well-read and have a better grasp of music, the music industry and life in general. You do not know anything. You just don't understand. Readers will tell you this a lot more than the guys on the other side of the phone, the microphone or across the table. Mostly, those guys will just smile knowingly and nod. You can do the same when they say something completely stupid like, "Well, really something magical happens when I play. I bond with the audience. It's magical."

Um, actually, no... No, that's not it at all.

But go ahead, let them have it. You can't win arguments about about what someone thinks they're doing and what they're actually doing.

Readers occasionally will take you to task, tell you some point you didn't get about a song, a band, an album. They will usually come spoiling for a fight and you can fight them, if you want, or you can listen for a second. Every once in a great while, they're right. You didn't get something. You misinterpreted the meaning of something (I've gotten nailed quite fairly on spelling a few times). Mostly, they're not, but telling them this is virtually impossible for a kaleidoscope of reasons.

Concede nothing. Be nice. Let them say what they have to. It's all O.K. They're just cooler than you. Writing about music, writing about art... Hell, writing about anything, isn't about being cool. It's about telling a story and being true to that story.

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