Ten most common misconceptions regarding musical critique.


6. Sep. 2008, 1:44

This is a tl;dr piece. Of rehashed ideas over and over again. You have been warned.

1. Visual appeal equals musical appeal.
Obvious cases of visual kei faggotry and metal posturing idiocy aside, it’s to say that artsy music videos and photoshoots do not mask the fact that the musicians are just terrible at rousing emotions other than righteous loathing back at them. And even then on the other end, mesmerizing soundscapes wafting from the stage, emanating from spaced-out statues with guitars or what have you. As dorky as they look, no different from the classroom nerd, unmoving but for the subtle flicks of the picks on their fingers, fact remains…. They’ll never get laid.

That, and the other lesson so implicitly overt.

2. If it sucks live, it sucks.
At its basest classification, only two types of music exist. Studio version and live version. One of those clearly plays with sounds difficult/impossible to replicate under real time circumstances, where if not for the advent of studio/recording technologies creative sensitivities remain blunted within the confines of performance-oriented sophistry. A refusal to recognize the inherent limitations of analog instruments and single-layer compositions in evoking the one thing music is supposed to evoke. Mood.

3. Art wank is creativity.
Passionless, directionless mediocrity, the downfall of humanity. In each of his most enduring works stands a sense of purpose marking it different from others of its ilk. Taking away the sense of purpose, or worse, distorting it in demeaning forms, brings us the bunch of whiny art losers we see embodied in the hipster and the bohemian.

Yeah, ars gratia artis my ass. Radiohead sucks. Prove it otherwise.

4. “Broad musical knowledge” really means broad musical knowledge.
There’s no difference between the purist and the liberal. One has a limited area of expertise but knows each and every aspect intimately. The other’s vast awareness over many other things is limited to broad strokes of information severely limited in content and comprehension. Both suffer from the lack of time to explore other avenues than their fields; both suffer from an obvious lack of knowledge about the other. Ironic in that both carry stores of mutually viable information not readily transparent to the other. It’s ridiculously easy to accuse fellow audiophiles of being “narrowminded” when being “openminded” obviously carries its own perils as well. Open up your mind a little more that I may see your brains leaking out please.

5. Primogeniture as grounds for worship.
Literally spawned the whole metal genre now, did they. Revolutionized axe handling and drumming techniques, did they now. Well and good. Choking to death on his own vomit was the best thing Hendrix has ever done though. Or maybe the shotgun mouthwash c/o Dead and Cobain. Destroyed by their own excesses and other imbecilities.

Angry now? Object lesson: your musician “gods” are still HUMAN. Prone to mistakes as much as the rest of the species. Never let your blind faith overcome your reason. You’re no better than those religions you claim to despise for their alleged predilection for turning people into sheep.

6. ARTIST is synonymous to ENTERTAINER.
An ARTIST makes things solely for him/herself. An ENTERTAINER makes things for the enjoyment of others. Something so obvious yet people tend to mistake one for the other almost every single time. The pure entertainer being mind-numbingly easy to spot, it’s the entertainer masquerading as an artist that needs careful inquisition, seeing that there’s this Popper-unfalsifiable concept called “artist intent” and its many levels of interaction with its immediate environment and the world at large.

Artistry is strictly elitist by nature. It does not allow for easy correlation between symbols and abstractions so as to make people think what the artist is really doing. Sophistication or blatant crassness be the work, the intended effect as is production and execution is always deliberate. There’s a difference between telling people your ideas and making them realize it without actually saying anything.

7. The bestest band in the world is the bestest band in the world and nobody is allowed to challenge that.
a. Somebody somewhere has always the upper hand. In pushing those buttons in your soul that nothing else could. And then somebody somewhere with the upper hand over the former. Ad infinitum. It may even cycle back in ways you wouldn’t even imagine. Anything is possible.
b. Ah, the classic “if you have nothing nice to say shut your trap” routine. Rebuffed and rebutted. Many, many, many times. Nobody ever seems to notice the rebuttals. History’s doomed to repeat itself. Mankind is truly doomed.

8. The band precedes its own reputation.
All those dime a dozen bands stuffed under prove otherwise. It’s a perpetual scourge that must be expunged from conventional thinking as often as possible, the myth of true objectivity. There’s no such thing as a fully impartial accumulation of knowledge about a band, only pieces of facts presented upon a (presumably) conscious being. Impressions always make an impact upon the listener, whether for the better or for the worse, or even accurate or not.

How many of you can honestly say (better to do it fgt) that you’d be willing to listen to some 2000 “” discographies (assuming you loathe everything the term supposedly represents) just to prove to yourself there’s even ONE tolerable band among the bunch.

9. Musical pigeonholing makes everybody’s lives easier.
Korn is nu metal. No u. theyre ALTERNATIVE metal. No u. they didn’t want to be associated with metal they said it themselves.


Genre classification obviously has limitations dipshits. Man in his paradoxical desire for information synchronicity with his fellows needs some sort of stabilizing conventions that everybody may agree on. Sometimes the conventions are thrown out of the window, the only thing agreeable upon being the fact that the object in question is just different. And it’s sometimes better to let it rest at that. Compressing a universe in three syllables is the surest way to destroy its meaning. Words and labels can only express so much. Besides, there’s misconception number 10.

10. Music is serious business.
It isn’t even if you’re making your living solely out of it. It isn’t if you’re simply enjoying it within the comfort of your living room/wherever for the sake of it.

In the end, it’s




A diversion that took me WEEKS to think up, unfortunately. :\

Manowar <3 Jimi Hendrix The Jimi Hendrix Experience Nirvana Foo Fighters Pearl Jam Rage Against the Machine Tool
Soundgarden Puddle of Mudd The Cranberries Fergie Mayhem Pantera Iron Maiden Judas Priest Led Zeppelin The Yardbirds The New Yardbirds Page and Plant The Honeydrippers Guns N Roses Band Of Joy The Firm Spinal Tap Magma Beatles Yoko Ono
George Harrison Stuart Sutcliffe Pete Best
Ringo Starr Paul McCartney John Lennon Empyrium Korpiklaani Gabriela Robin Bob Marley Bob Marley and the Wailers Guapo Luciano Pavarotti Vortex Metallica Shaaman Slim Whitman Slipknot Mudvayne Trivium Tokio Hotel HIM Portishead Evanescence
Within Temptation Lullacry Lacuna Coil Coldplay John Mayer Oasis



  • Metavoid_

    I love you.

    6. Sep. 2008, 14:43
  • Justd1e

    Hope it sums everything up.

    6. Sep. 2008, 18:48
  • starchaos

    Thanks for the good read.

    7. Sep. 2008, 5:15
  • Wulfenlord

    I was worried about how the title had 'critique' in it, it smelled like hypocrisy beforehand, but it's a great and fun read :D

    7. Sep. 2008, 8:02
  • Lord_Krichian

    great journal. I've read it all believe me. litle rehashed but still good.

    7. Sep. 2008, 19:33
  • manapsal

    hey im all gay for VK fucker :(

    9. Sep. 2008, 1:52
  • moonbank

    great journal, very insightful.

    9. Sep. 2008, 15:33
  • 0k0k0k0

    OH WOW I FEEL LOVED. GROUPHUGZ. @layinginblack: oh really.

    10. Sep. 2008, 2:14
  • coleio

    Some good points, other points were just overly cynical, for the sake of being so. All in all though a decent read.

    10. Sep. 2008, 17:29
  • 0k0k0k0

    1. they don't really play live. 2. issues, issues. vocalist's cat died or overbearing inferiority complexes or whatever. 3. their music was meant for the ears and imagination alone. besides it's the thought that counts. and that's the price you pay for "appreciating" true artistry. you sacrifice your opinions because they have their own. doesn't prevent you (or even me for that matter) from calling them out on their apparent weaknesses though. :D notice that i'm not giving any concrete examples now. why should i, there should be plenty in your own experiences when you try to think about it.

    12. Sep. 2008, 6:13
  • Comfort_Eagle

    nice journal, their's just one point where i've to disagree. although i'm no fan of music videos and i'd rather see mtv vanish from earth's face, i've to say...there is a certain role for visualization in music. film music wouldn't create any mode or feeling without the connection to the pictures, otherwise everyone would listen to wagner's fliegender holländer instead of hans zimmer, john williams and so on. therefor sometimes the optic IS a part of the music

    16. Sep. 2008, 13:59
  • 0k0k0k0

    an absence can say just as much as a presence. by the way i never said what you said i said. i merely pointed out that [i]artsy videos count for shit if the "music" itself is shit[/i]. i think there's this unwritten implication in there somewhere that says "do not judge a book by its cover and conversely do not judge a cover by its contents - take the whole damn thing, the table, the library and even the planet it's on into consideration". :( i wonder when the recommended reading's coming back. ps moonsword that clears things up a bit (your earlier post; as vague as my normal musings :-& )

    16. Sep. 2008, 17:06
  • Khanatist

    Hehe, good journal, man. Even if I, personally, take some points more seriously than you. However

    18. Sep. 2008, 19:27
  • nolise

    really nice journal.

    22. Sep. 2008, 1:47
  • Gowienczyk

    Great Journal!

    23. Sep. 2008, 5:59
  • afz902k

    Agreed; however, for some people it might be more an obsession than a diversion.

    25. Sep. 2008, 2:38
  • 0k0k0k0

    as we all know obsessions can be quite dangerous. thus it always helps to know if we are. pitfall avoidance/awareness and everything. also, shower my journals with more praise - you all know my e-fursona's writing skillz deserve it. so yeah.

    25. Sep. 2008, 4:44
  • armorxforxsheep

    Awesome read. Thanks for taking the time to type this all out. :D

    11. Okt. 2008, 2:11
  • the_benj

    awesome. I dunno why chicosci was tagged though. haha

    30. Okt. 2008, 15:28
  • xNorbertx


    23. Nov. 2008, 2:35
  • Ejt07


    30. Nov. 2008, 19:54
  • helloimadork

    I think I love you.

    20. Mär. 2009, 19:20
  • IoveIess

    IMHO, shoegaze does not suck.

    8. Aug. 2009, 11:47

    agreed, good journal... however, the whole if it sucks live. there's plenty of musicians that can create sounds and textures in a studio that would take hours to set up live (between songs). there have been bands that are great live, but can produce an even better sound in a studio... especially when said band is the producer... but good journal ;)

    25. Apr. 2011, 2:47
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