Interior Reactions

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September 5, 2011 by admin

Alexa Weinstein puts the “i” in music writing:

When I’m reading rock criticism, I am always looking for this — the personal take, the individual passionate reaction — and it’s very hard to find. But I think this is because the assumed audience of rock criticism is the rock & roll version of my dad. The reader who just wants to know what happened in the game and not what I was thinking when I was watching it is the same as the reader who just wants the facts about a band: where they’re from, what their basic biographies are, how to categorize them according to various genres, what the critical consensus is on their quality, and how many albums they are selling. I feel much less embattled about this than I used to. Some people care more about getting information, which is legitimate, and other people care more about interior reactions to information, which is equally legitimate (but, I would argue, less valued in our culture). Each of us falls somewhere on this spectrum, and we bounce all around it, depending on the context and the subject. I may be unusual in my strong and wide-ranging preference for interior reactions to information over the information itself, but I’m not entirely alone in the world, and I don’t even think I’m all that weird.

The entire piece is well worth reading.

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