Friday, May 30, 2014

In which I consider a wife reviewing a record collection and somehow end up angry at other music writers angry with her. Plus: David Bowie.

Alex Goldman's record collection, ready for review.
I learned of My Husband's Stupid Record Collection through TL:DR back in March and have enjoyed it off and on ever since, despite much caterwauling by other music writers' about some girl daring to write about music without their training! And getting lots of attention for it. THE HORROR.

Me? I enjoy some posts and am bored by others. Sarah O'Holla's naiveté and lack of knowledge about most of the records she writes about is sometimes interesting and sometimes annoying: just like pretty much everyone else's music writing. But don't confuse naiveté with stupidity or some "little girl listening to her oh-so-smart husband's records" misguidedness because that's just dumb and judgmental on your part.

Anyway, for an example of how her approach can both be lovely and maddening, read ho she responds to two terrific David Bowie records. She doesn't get Low, yet she loves Ziggy Stardust. And she manages to approach both with zero preconceptions and—I can see how this would annoy some—acts as if it's two completely different David Bowies at work here by not even acknowledging the history between the two albums. But she makes that work for her. So hate all you want, I'll keep reading (and skimming when she digresses a bit too much ... just like I would with any other music writer).

P.S. I find much of the backlash even more galling since some of it comes from music writers I really appreciate and respect, but if there's anything I've noticed it's that in the last 5 years too many music writers are worried about becoming irrelevant and scream at anything they believe is eroding the credibility of the practice. To that I say: whatever. I write because it's what I do. If you're writing for any other reason or believe you need to be protected in some walled enclosure it's time for you to find something else to do.

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