“I am of the belief that there are two distinct schools of rock journalists: (1) those for whom punk rock was the most important thing that ever happened, and, (2) everybody else (who, for lack of a better collective noun, I will call ‘shitheads’). Shitheads write about whatever is presented to them, non-judgmentally treating all styles of music as equals, distinguished from each other only by superficial stylistic elements. From the shithead school comes the deification of hip hop, AM radio floss, salsa, zydeco, blues and jazz artists, who ought really to be judged against either the entire spectrum of popular culture (against which their insignificance becomes obvious) or other practitioners of specific-genre music (against whom their minute differences might be measured).”
– Steve Albini, Pazz & Jop, 1987
2 thoughts on “Shitheads”
Thanks for the response, Steve. I actually tried posting a short comment on your blog a couple days ago, but screwed up my login id for blogger, and what I posted didn’t get through.
I guess I’ve liked some things Albini has written over the years. One of your commentors mentioned his “music business” rants, which I can’t say I’ve read closely but which seem fairly interesting; his mid-80s Forced Exposure diary is asshole Albini laying it all on the line, but some of it is (or anyway, seemed at the time) genuinely funny, I do love a couple things on the Nirvana record he produced — “Heart Shaped Box”,and “No Apologies,” both of which I imagine must make him hold his nose anytime they show up on the radio — but most of that record is not fun to listen to at all, and I’m pretty sure his aesthetic for what constitutes good music is as far from mine as anyone’s. (And good catch on Rapeman,who I DID have the misfortune once of hearing, and it was absolute garbage. Big Black sucked not as much, but they did still suck.)