6
Jul 00

Their new logo looks half like some horrible

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Their new logo looks half like some horrible White Dwarf font, but that and the grim Pythonesque pseudonyms aside I like I N D I E S H I T E . I like it even though it’s slagged a friend of mine. I’ve never understood how being nicey to online people is less ‘real’ and more ‘sad’ than a posey hostility schtick, but the latter offers more opportunities to swear so it has its advantages. The basic paradox about the site is that in order to get the most out of it you need to be the kind of crit-obsessive who reads all this online music writing anyhow. Though I very much doubt they give a shit.

The interesting thing about Indieshite, though, is how after a blistering first week or so it’s now talking more about what it likes in music writing. Surprise, surprise, they want reviews to talk more about the music (man) but not be boring about it. But music – the stuff itself, the technicalities – is pretty boring unless you’re a musician: it’s the context that’s the fun part. That’s especially true since the things I love about bands – the catches in voices, a certain gorgeous bass texture, silly blurry stuff like that – just can’t be caught in useful words. They can inspire some pretty beautiful writing, but that’s no help in describing the record to anyone but the writer. Criticism is impractical, it’s about the writer more than the music: its pretence not to be is what keeps it great. (More on this here, sort of)

That said there’s the context I can get round, which sheds some kind of perverse light on what you’re going to hear, and there’s the kind of PoMo tricksiness that Pitchfork occasionally goes in for. Though christ knows if I had to review the sausage-factory alt.music a lot of these sites do I’d try and indulge myself a bit in the process too. But as I’ve said before, nothing’s forcing people to review records.

The irony about Indieshite is that it’s one of the best music sites I’ve seen in a while because it doesn’t talk about the music: if the writers centered themselves by talking about their own tastes it would lose all its bite. (The only actual opinion there is that the Snow Patrol album is an “£8 coaster”, which laughably overestimates the going second-hand rate for said item but otherwise is hard to fault.)

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