Saturday, January 1, 2011

Elliot Sharp on Year End Lists

“Even though most of them are no longer anything other than a mirror for the many, I expect more from music critics than to simply reproduce dominant tastes and values. Their slavishness is revealed at the end of each year when their accounts of the year’s best records are all identical, revealing how little they think for themselves. I hate to pick on Harvilla, but here’s what he says about the first position in his top ten: “capping it off with [Kanye West’s] My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, because that’s what we all did in 2010.” He is conscious of the pattern, yet reproduces it anyway, i.e. not something a critic does (or, if you’re a Straussian, admits). Particularly frustrating is their limited scope in regards to what they’ve listened to. For example, I’ve explored the avant-garde shit plus the mainstream pop poop, from Kanye West to Tetuzi Akiyama. My assumption is that the majority of the critics whose lists are mere repetitions have not done so. In short, I don’t think they’ve listened to a broad enough range of music to be capable of a legitimate critical opinion. Anyway, we all (at least the mad ones) know how this works - the ones who get paid and praised are the ones that perpetuate the interests and aesthetics of capital. And, as always, we know they exist but they pay no attention to us, which attests to their system of exclusion’s achievement.”

-- Elliott Sharp (via killedincars)

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