Big (Sad) Day at Expert Witness

I can’t say I often make it through comments threads at Christgau’s Expert Witness blog, but this one’s a doozy for two reasons:

1) The Dean drops a bombshell: “Just woke up so I won’t go into too much detail at the moment, but now I can make it official. As rumored, Expert Witness will be no more at MSN as of October 1. As I understand it, Microsoft is shutting down the entire MSN freelance arts operation at that time, including its film coverage, where the estimable Glenn Kenny has done so much good work, as well as my music colleagues Maura Johnston, Alan Light, and the other bloggers. I got this news 12 days ago, at which time I’d stockpiled enough reviews to get me through my last scheduled post on September 27, and since I do write for money stopped all CG-style writing at that time. I’ll have more to say in the hours and days to come, but that’s the nub of it. Thanks to all who comment here and all who lurk and all who never look at the comments because in the online world that’s usually such a waste of time, as it has never been here.”

Sigh. When will the bloodshed end? (Answer: clearly, it will not.)

2) At some point in the discussion, and I’m not sure why (I haven’t waded through all of it yet), commenters start expounding on Dave Marsh, and most, from what I’ve seen, are quite reasonable about it (which is not to say un-critical). I personally find Marsh a fascinating subject, and I remain a proud if deeply ambiguous fan (not entirely unlike how I feel about Frank Zappa, come to think of it, though my Marsh fanhood has deeper roots, for sure). My main connection to Marsh these days is via his “Land of Hope & Dreams” radio show on Sirius-XM, which I have access to, at least for the time being, and which I try to listen to a portion of at least once a week, and which at least twice or three times a week makes me want to throw my radio out the window, though this would mean tossing my entire PC out the window, so wisely I abstain. But anwyay… I like parts of his show quite a bit as well!

4 thoughts on “Big (Sad) Day at Expert Witness

  1. The comments section on Expert Witness is one of the joys of the Internet. It, along with Christgau, will be missed. People expressed opinions, agreements, disagreements, within a mood of sharing. Xgau himself read and participated in the comments.

  2. Well, this probably won’t be the end of Christgau’s Guide. Have a feeling it will turn up again. And he’s writing a bio, so lots of him to come. Agree on Marsh. Like Christgau, Marcus, etc., I don’t agree on all their opinions on music, but always read them anyway.

  3. Will be interesting to see if Christgau gets the Guide out again. Obviously, he’s Robert Christgau and his CG is an institution of sorts and there are probably a bunch of publications that would be thrilled to run such a thing. Just as obviously, there aren’t many publications willing to pay premium price for music criticism (which I assume Christgau demands, and deserves) — so who knows?

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