Monday, November 16, 2009

Where The Song Comes First, but the Craze Forever Threatens...

If the Internet is decent at one thing, it’s in giving everyone the ability to seem like an “authority figure” on a specific subject. This is the sole nature of the blogosphere, the idea behind citizen journalism, and the reason anyone follows anybody Twitter. Put simply: People like being talked to by “authority figures,” about…well, anything. As such, there are always people more than willing to talk as “authority figures,” about…well, anything.

It is with this trend that we being an analysis for the little known blog This Song Starts A Craze… (TSSC…). Authored by a recent college graduate (Who fancies himself as the “Unemployed man’s Chuck Klosterman”) TSSC… is the product of an individual with far too much to say about the topic of contemporary music. More specifically Mike (As his online handle would suggest to call him) offers his readers album reviews, concert reviews, more album reviews, his thoughts on albums that have come out recently, dissections of CDs he’s currently listening to, mixes he’s recently made, and his thoughts on new music.

Music seems to be the common thread here.

Never truly choosing a side between popular taste and hipster manifesto, Mike’s musical ramblings are decidedly middle of the road, and don’t polarize readers in the slightest. Rather, he ignores the first rule of critique, which is to hold one’s taste as superior and above all others. On TSSC… he opts for truthful and objective arguments as well as the air of mystery (See: The black and white profile photo, the ellipses in the title, and the intangible presence of “The Craze” that “This Song” is supposed to start) to bring readers into his house of indulgence.

What results is a bizarre experience, one that begs the question if Mike should really be an authority on anything.

The blog is driven by Mike’s need to flaunt the amount music he listens to, and to put forth his “Analysis of sound for the masses at large…”mission statement. He hides this under the guise that he offers a unique perspective that one won’t find in Rollingstone or on Pitchfork Media. I’m sorry, but how many Grammys has he won? How many gold records has he made? Has he taken Peyote with Rick Rubin in the middle of the Swiss Alps? What are qualifies this man as having a musical perspective at all? Can we take him seriously with no such credentials? When he shows me his degree in Musical Theory from Juilliard and his stint filling in for Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, all in addition to composing no less that 56 scores for Michael Bay’s next 56 films, THEN and ONLY THEN, will this reviewer take him seriously. (D+)

When it comes to the visual aesthetic of his personal space on the net, Mike opts for the “If it ain’t broke, don’t give a damn about it” attitude. He uses a default Blogger template that’s been partitioned into 3 columns, all to appear more Web 2.0 friendly. However, the layout is extremely stock, offering options such as his RSS feed, a rating guide (As if we needed to know 1 star was “bad”), and LastFM widgets out the ears. Somewhere, the Internet’s equivalent of Christopher Lloyd is crying over this painfully dull digital landscape. (C-)

Mike has two audiences: The musically perverse and himself. He will never tire writing to either of them. (B)

TSSC… is an affront to the First Amendment and the freedom of speech itself. It’s as if the man is permanently plastered to a soapbox, distilling his idea of a “master taste” for the entire Internet to submit to. He’s hardly an expert, and his grasp of the English language drips with the smug pretentiousness of an over privileged San Franciscan. In a perfect world, the government would seize his blog and imprison him for cruel and unusual punishment. Bloggers like him make me sick. (F+)

contributing reviewer/ee
Mike from This Song Starts A Craze...

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