Posts Tagged ‘never mind the buzzcocks’

Music reviewing 101

December 28, 2009

“I like everything! You know everything? I love it. You know books? I like all of them.” That’s paraphrased from random banter on the super-rad British music gameshow, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. I’m not  sure why I’m gunning for Yorkshire twice in one day… maybe because it’s a slow day. I originally saw a good book article I was going to link to, then decided against it once I saw all of this nonsense. I’m relatively sure there’s someone there responsible for the arts section, and he or she should consider cutting the star system and/or giving the reviewers some input on the way it’s supposed to be used. Otherwise, it’s York University Chamber Choir 1, Gary Neuman 0.

I’m not from the UK. Just wanted to get that out of the way, as maybe this is just a culture thing. But I have spent a little time in the dismal world of music journalism (the single biggest factor in my deciding to leave journalism, akshully). A four-star album or concert is a rare event. A reviewer will see a five-star show only a few times a decade, if the reviewer’s lucky. Or maybe a few more five-star reviews if the overlords say that’s what it takes to sell ad space.

But here’s how they roll in Yorkshire:

  • Review: Leeds Festival Chorus and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Wright *****
  • Review: Pascal Roge ****
  • Review: The Mars Volta *****
  • Review: Orchestra of Opera North ****
  • Review: Joe Bonamassa ****
  • Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs *****
  • Review: Gary Numan ***
  • Review: Manchester Camerata, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus ****
  • Review: Arctic Monkeys ***
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