from Friday, January7th of the year2011.
So, I know it’s not polite or good form to go after critics, but I feel like we, as a community, need to rally together against Mark Swed’s recent weird hangups. Some sample paragraphs, the first from here:
The hipster in the bunch is Nadia Serota, who plays solo viola music by fashionable young New York composers on “First Things First.” The disc is on New Amsterdam Records. At least I think they are fashionable young New Yorkers. There are no program notes, which are considered passé in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn new music clubs these days. The drink menu is thought the place for description and intellectual rigor.
Notice a few things: Nadia Sirota’s last name is misspelled. There is questionable grammar. What does “Fashionable” mean? He introduces this idea of new music clubs. Does he mean LPR? He introduces the idea of a drink menu.
Now, we have this horseshit:
Brooklyn is hopping with bopping young composers who play a mix of new music and pop that often winds up being static sugar-coated minimalism suitable mainly for chilling out or dancing in clubs that serve high-caloric cocktails. Missy Mazzoli stands out in this scene as something more.
What? Has this dude ever been to New York? What’s insane about this whole thing is the understandable Los Angeles-Versus-New York cultural “war” or whatever. But surely the way to perpetuate such a thing is to write in this stupid way? It’s that old thing: if you think it’s a competition it becomes one. Also if it’s hopping, why not name names? Also, what would he rather we, as New York composers (I, for my part, don’t live in Brooklyn), do?
I should point out that it gives me great delight to defend my friends against stupid critics, but in the interest of full disclosure, Swed has given me what I think amounts to a positive review, although it contains some similar bizarre LA/NY attitude problems and a big error about music technology that I don’t need to get into here.
But y’all? It’s not a competition.