"People on the Internet Like to Argue About Music More Than They Like to Enjoy Music": Maura Johnston and Seth Colter Walls on Genre, 2009 and Pazz + Jop
Seth Colter Walls: Maura! You have an excellent essay in the Voice this week, which accompanied this year's Pazz + Jop music critic's poll. Since you and I both submitted ballots for that-and since music critics like nothing more than to talk about what they've done and said-I naturally thought we should talk about what we've done and said! Let's start out by telling the people about your essay?
Maura Johnston: Well, ha. I don't like to start off with self-promotion, but let's give it a go…
Seth: It's called "Down With Music Racism," your piece. That's very provocative.
"Watching performances of 'Hallelujah' by people who aren't Cohen-whose original take has an archness that's wiped away by the clear-eyed sincerity offered up by his successors-you see one common thread: each singer really feels the song, closing their eyes at least once in every performance to properly communicate that what they are singing is Serious Business."
Two weeks ago, MTV's Video Music Awards embraced the liveblogging concept, hiring Internet personality-construct iJustine to preside over mentions of the show on the microblogging service Twitter-and they reaped Internet rewards when Kanye West ran up on stage and sparked a million angry blog posts. Martha Stewart's eponymous TV show took a similar tack yesterday, when it taped a show to air this Friday devoted to what the domestic empress described as "all you need to know about tech and social netwworking" [sic]. Attendees were encouraged to Tweet and blog throughout the taping; there was even an official hashtag that the warm-up comedian confusedly announced to [...]
Last night's Grammys caught up to Time's Person Of The Year declaration from 2006 and so they were all about You. You had the opportunity to cover Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" or Beyoncé's "Halo" and appear as a member of a YouTubeMosaic. You had the power to select which song Bon Jovi would exhume from its well-worn back catalog. You had the opportunity to watch the shaggy-haired founder of a cool blogging platform that You might use cover the awards, even if he wasn't 100% clear on who would be amenable to a red-carpet question about his service. And, most crucially, You were able to watch as the [...]