I just want to be positive for a minute and say: sub-genres are SO GREAT. They’re one of the best things about music. These little sceney bubbles of everyone batting round an idea, running with it, trying to cash in, trying to imitate, not caring about being original, not caring about being ridiculous, just this mad goldrush sprint to work through something - it’s brilliant. Especially as no matter how stupid things get the ideas never get used up: every sub-genre, even if it dies out after a couple of years and gets snarked on, is a packet of possibilities, a music DNA branch ready for someone to mess about with years and decades later. They all matter.

And for the fans they’re amazing too. Of course they look stupid from the outside: that’s what ‘outside’ is for. Ones that look great from the outside just become ‘pop’ I guess. Following one from the inside though, appreciating why one ridiculous blog hype is great and other one is crap, and figuring out what you love about a style, not to mention justifying it to the world (and of course maybe making it yourself) - it’s just a really good experience. If you’re a critic I’d say it’s an essential experience. Seeing all these little scenes and never really getting invested in any of them is like going to Disneyworld and just wandering around not actually going on any of the rides because, oh, that queue is too long and that one looks like it would be over too quickly. --Tom Ewing

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Anonymous said...

Tom Ewing is brilliant, no? His bit on the Decade in Pop that he wrote for Pitchfork is one of the best things about music that I've read on the web. His latest Poptimist piece is pretty great too.