soiveheard.com – Questions and Answers
The situation right now is at its worst. Not only because critics are losing their jobs right and left, but because the field is being pared in so brutal a fashion. It is far worse for a city to end up with one single critic, no matter how competent or how well-positioned, than none; the only way for criticism to work is as a forum of some sort, whether it be four guys on the NYTimes or me versus Mark Swed in L.A.. This network of small dictatorships reduces the field to a lot of interlocking blather. All these blogs right now are a kind of Babel, but the small-talk guys, the guys that used to shoot off in the record stores and now have access to websites, will soon run out of steam, and the few worthwhile websites – Alex’s, best of all – will survive as the new source for musical intelligence. The fact that schools like USC are actually training arts critics these gloomy days is a good sign; there’s a chance that the art will survive.
This is not limited to classical music critics.
Almost every Saturday morning , my sister , Dad and I would visit our neighborhood record store to gaze upon wooden display bins for the best labeled fruit of sound. This wax covered fruit was branded as the forty-five. Gee, you held the forty-five in your hand, glanced at the mystery of side two, and finally made the decision of sweet sounds to feed your heart or the twist and shout for your dancing feet.
The musical stack of sound grew throughout the years… gee – the music was so good. My family will never be music critics but we are thankful for the musicians who believed in the notes of a song that overflowed into human heart of someone’s neighborhood as the cherished forty-five.