Social Media will be the death of us all. If not literally, then most definitely the death of our hearts, minds and souls. Before I owned a computer or a cell phone, I was living a life where The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper was a record everyone loved. There was never a doubt about its importance, even if we all loved "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" more. But now, thanks to the internet, I get to read things like "Sgt. Pepper is baby-boomer wankery." Thanks to social media, I now know someone thinks "Sgt. Pepper has one good song." Of course, that one song is "Within You, Without You." But you knew that, right?
Thanks to the internet, I can read articles in eMags (!) written by misinformed hacks, about how horrible Billy Joel really is. I can also participate in a discussion about Billy Joel, where I do my best to politely agree with the bile being spewed at Mr. Joel, over certain songs, songs that even Joel himself dislikes, but still valiantly try to defend Mr. Joel because of so many other wonderful deep tracks that most Joel detractors have never even heard. None of this is as much fun as actually listening to "Sgt. Pepper" or "Turnstiles."
I've driven down the snark road many times before. Long before Burning Wood existed, my business partner and I composed a weekly newsletter about new releases, good and bad. It was very popular. But looking back at some of those newsletters which have been preserved on a blog, I now realized, we were misinformed hacks. Nothing about our newsletter was helpful in selling product. It was mostly joke after nasty joke about how we disapproved of everything and everyone, all to stir the pot and to get a few yuks. Ten years gone, I'm not finding it very funny. It's mostly sad.
Everyone's a critic, and I won't purport to be better or worse than anyone else. One thing I do strive to be is true. I also like to think I have the trust of my readers. I know many times, I've written a bad review, only to give that record a few more spins at the encouragement of others who were fans of the record, and many times, have turned around. I also know, if I really do hate something or someone, drummer Carter Beauford comes to mind, I will do all I can to give examples why. I don't think I have ever just hit and run.
"Sgt. Pepper is baby-boomer wankery."
Go fuck yourself.