Chris Kornelis Robin Pecknold, at SW 's REVERB Fest 2007.
At their best, comment threads are places for constructive conversation, where readers have a voice in the news process and journalists and newsmakers alike are immediately held accountable. As anyone who's spent any amount of time online during the past decade can attest, it hasn't always worked out that way. Faceless/nameless trolls often derail the conversation or create an environment that is stifling to any constructive exchange of ideas. Which is why a recent comment from Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold has impressed me so much.
Chris Kornelis Robin Pecknold, at SW's REVERB Fest 2007.
Pecknold responded with one of the most respectfully critical responses to a post I've seen in a long time, and made some strong points in the process. Here's what I'm talking about (emphasis mine):
Chris, I think it's important to draw a distinction between a) music actually being made and b) music that is getting the most media attention at a given time. You're rallying against prevailing trends in music coverage, not music actually being produced in a city, which seems to me a very industry-focused mindset. All kinds of music are constantly being created here. Like Spencer says, things are cyclical. People get stoked when something sound fresh, and freshness is totally reliant upon what came directly before it. Acoustic music sounded fresh after 4 years of rock revival / dance punk / brit rock / etc. Shabazz, aside from being great music that stands on it's own regardless of time or place, sounds fresh after 4 years of acoustic / Americana stuff.
Ultimately, who cares? Some stuff that orbits that universe is enjoyable to me and a lot of it isn't. The fact of the matter is, I can listen to any type of music, whenever I want! I can listen to Crass or Zs or Sunn or Peter Paul & Mary without needing anyone's approval to enjoy it. Being bothered by which version of retro revivalism is en vogue at the moment seems like more trouble than it's worth - every movement will produce valuable music and good songs, as well as a bunch of crap. And there's a lot of great music being made that exists outside the blogocentric orbit.
Just my two cents. Don't give too much power to what other people are paying attention at a given time. We'll all look back and slap our foreheads about something, like Their Satanic Majesties Request. Talk about trends!