Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Not a great day in music media.

In the aughts—between Pitchfork and the AV Club—Chicago was ground zero for music criticism and everyone writing or booking venues or playing in bands in this city at the time benefited in that collaborative community. And I'd argue that everyone in the music writing scene in Chicago at that time influenced the direction of the scene and ultimately the mainstream tastes that remain near the tops of the charts today.

I've felt no need to comment on the recent state of either of those once-mighty sites—it's not fair to constantly hold he Imperial Period of stuff like that as a reasonable measure against how they do decades later, especially when under the leadership of coldly corporate raiders.

Regardless, the news of Pitchfork being merged into GQ is incredibly alarming news, effectively killing one of the last major centers of music criticism (regardless of your opinion of said criticism, every outlet's survival benefits us all). And in full transparency,  I do still have friends that work there, so I know the staff has been fighting the good fight, but I fear for all their livelihoods in the wake of this crushing announcement. Especially in a sector of the job market that is already overburdened by the overly-talented unemployed.

Thank gawd Stereogum went indie again, and there are a few smaller sites that might benefit from running more original pieces and fewer cut-and-pastes of press releases to help fill the inevitably massive void left by P4K. And of course I still believe in the power of independent blogs, and hope other individual voices and smaller arts sites find new readers hungry for their guidance. So there are still a good number of us out there fighting the good fight.

But it's still a very, very dark day for people who love music and music writing.

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