“Over the past two decades, the impulse to talk shit about bands and the people who like them—the impulse, that is, to delegitimize other people’s pleasure (yeah, you know me)—has largely, though not entirely, disappeared from my critical consciousness. So has the anger I used to feel rise up into my mouth like thrush when unworthy artists got a free ride on the respect wagon. This has plenty to do with getting older, and with having a parallel (mostly—the sides touch a lot less than I thought they would) career as a sometimes musician. Plus therapy, medication, resignation, assimilation, etc.
“It also has to do with the particular shape of online argument about music, which, like all forms of online discourse, has become simultaneously hugely personal and weirdly abstract.”
Sean Nelson introduces a new column in The Stranger. Sounds like it might be my sort of thing.