Taken to task by Tim!: SINK seems to suggest that my disdain for the late-90s music press is down to some kind of refracted nostalgia for the music of my (relative) youth, and quotes The Manual‘s entirely accurate assertion that every age of pop is a Golden age to the people who live through it. Well, yes, but that wasn’t what I was talking about. Drummond and Cauty are talking about the music, I’m talking about the writing about the music.

Obviously I still like reading about music or I wouldn’t be doing this: if the NME was still a good read, I’d still be buying it, since I actually like a lot of the stuff it does. The lack of credibility I was talking about didn’t so much arise from the music papers’ embrace of Britpop as from their flip-flopping around when albums sold well or relatively flopped. I’m almost certainly being naive in that, as I bet they’ve always done it, but at the time it was another factor in my deciding to quit reading.

The music press was pretty awful when I started listening to indie music: I loved the NME in ’89 because it made me feel connected and I knew no better, but I’d never hold it up now as quality writing. (Tim also mentions shoegazing, which occasioned another monster slump in the quality of the paper and made me give it up for a year or so, infuriated by the weekly ‘Take Birdland go-karting’ articles.)