28
Feb 01

More opining about Doughty

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There’s nothing good I can say about him other than that he made a really cool font once and that thing with Roni Size was intermittently enjoyable.

I’ve got my qualms about lists and charts and polls myself. They can be fun and provocative, but as practiced by the likes of Rolling Stone or Mojo, they’re an especially lazy form of rock journalism. But I think Doughty mischaracterizes the purpose of Pazz & Jop; I think what the poll tries to quantify is not the quality of records so much as their critical esteem. You might think he’d nail the incestuous self-regard this might imply — that this is a poll by critics about critical trends for critics and their followers – but alas, he doesn’t.

I think general complaints about the very act of rock criticism are in fact a hidden urge to absolve music from any kind of criticism at all, to preserve its airy, childlike “specialness” against those who wish to make it relate to the rest of the world, to give it responsibility. Scratch a boho and you’ll find a Romantic underneath. And if you scratch a Romantic, you’ll find a neo-Platonist, as his mush-mouth about “real stuff” makes hideously apparent.

Other points: Doughty comes out as yet another anti-Napsterite musician who’s never produced anyhing worth downloading, and his snippy rejoinder to Jane Dark is maybe a mere two notches away from a spelling flame on the petty-o-meter. Baby.

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