Now that’s how you write about music

From Niggerati Manor (no racist), the now-defunct playground of writer Mat Johnson, comes this little gem that must be read. It was posted a while back, but it’s new to you, so what do you care?

I tend to become annoyed at scholarly writing about music, simply because listening to music is necessarily a personal experience — how could you possibly be hearing the same things I’m hearing if it’s being filtered through my brain which is obviously different than yours? Even with record reviews, I’ve always felt that any review you read says way more about the author than it ever does about the album. Case in point — gee, whose dad just died?

So absolving yourself of the pretension of detatchment is the all-important first step toward clarity when writing about music. But being able to convey the feelings that music stirs up inside of you — well, therein lies the rub, something Johnson does astoundingly well in that post. It perfectly encapsulates the power that music holds: a song can easily take over your life, and maybe even those around you, if only for a short time.

It’s tough to call it music writing, because it’s more about the story than it is the music, but without the music there would be no story, and no feeling. Enjoy.

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Published in: on September 29, 2007 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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