We should hold some sort of Indie Song of Summer contest. I think that this would be a real contender!!!
The Song of Summer Debacle of 2014.
What a surreal experience it must be running a site like Stereogum, building it up from an amateur indie rock site to the Second Biggest Brand in internet music journalism. With, I don’t know, staff and shareholders and an annual report? And, crucially, with a loyal slice of a key demographic, media-consuming 18-35 year old white males with disposable incomes. A passion project that created a community – P4k with a comments section, how’s that for a USP? – and with it commercial viability.
But then moments like this (and others encouraging us to #BreakFree, or demanding that we log in using facebook to continue participating) that are so inexplicably tone-deaf. For us as a community (including lurkers like me) it is just so baffling. I appreciate that Scott engages honestly about each of these things, and that these ‘What Were They Thinking’ moments may seem small, but as Blochead summed it up nicely in the comments to Vote For The Song Of The Summer 2014: “Here’s one squirt of piss in your beer. What’s the big deal?”
Re: the Song of the Summer. I listen to a reasonably large amount of music drawn almost exclusively from the core subject matter of SG. My upvote had been to War On Drugs – which is 1000% my album of summer. Did not appear. On the list of SotS nominees, I’d only ever heard Fancy! I saw it on that Jimmy Fallon lip sync battle. I was even required to vote for it (or perhaps a random alternative?) to access the comments. A million miles from what I was expecting.
All this backlash and these demands for integrity (or in this case, commonsense and competency and general consistency with your brand) must be surreal to the editors. I imagine it’s like how politicians set out to build and improve their communities and end up dominated and gradually corrupted by the realities of gaining and using meaningful power, and then resenting the moral naivety of their demanding constituents.
God I hate when people feel the need to semi-apologize for saying things like “her lyrics came off like a drunk chick at the bar trying to convince someone to come home with her.” That’s not “slut-shaming sexism,” it’s a reasonably accurate criticism and you know it. There’s no double standard, it would be legitimate negative comment regardless of gender (“a drunk bro at the bar trying to convince someone to come home with him”). Calling everything sexism demeans actual sexism.
I had to google three things to still not get this joke.
There’s something pretty brazen and Emily White-y about this “I use Spotify so I don’t have to pirate music anymore” line of reasoning running through the article and the comments. That’s basically saying that they are going to just take the music, unless you let them have it for free with a few commercials or a small monthly flat fee – for which the label receives fractions of a penny per stream and the artist receives fractions of that fraction.
I’m not above piracy, but that’s not totally sound reasoning. Especially when it leads to characterising labels that don’t participate as “creating a stink on the Internet and pulling catalogs” and questioning whether such an action “facilitates piracy.” Against themselves? Like ‘If you don’t let me into this movie theatre, I’m just going to sneak in anyway and then you’ll have facilitated trespass and theft.’