22 de março de 2006


O pedaço de esterco que se segue é a ignição deste tópico do I Love Music. Partindo do príncípio que não se trata de uma partida (o conteúdo é demasiado assustadoramente realista...), deve representar não só o afundamento definitivo de uma revista que chegou a ser sublime nos 1990s e no início desta década, mas que já há alguns anos que andava meio perdida; como também simboliza o cadáver em que a imprensa musical para um público alargado se está a converter vertiginosamente nos EUA e no Reino Unido.

Este é um memorando interno que o novo director da Spin, o britânico Andy Pemberton, primeiro director da Blender, fez circular com as novas regras para a secção de críticas discográficas da revista. É só imprimir, afixar na parede e fazer exactamente o contrário.

subject: Important: Changes at Spin

Hi everyone,

First of all, I just want to thank all of you for working with me this past year. You're an incredibly talented group of writers, and I feel both lucky and proud to work with every one of you.

You've probably heard that there have been some changes at Spin. Andy Pemberton has taken over as editor in chief, and he has a new vision for the reviews section. I'm still handling reviews, so I just wanted to keep you in the loop about what's happening. From now on, we will have one lead review (500 words), eight down-page leads (200 word each), and approximately 60 regular reviews (55-60 words each). This isn't hugely different from our standard before, which was one lead review at 650 words, eight regular reviews at 300 words each, and 15 mini-reviews at 55-60 words each.

But here's where things will change most significantly:

--There will be no "Sign Them Now," "Trash This," "Rediscovered," or "Out There" boxes, and no Quick Cuts or Recommended sections. All 60-word reviews will be in alphabetical order.

--Instead of letter grades, we'll be using a five-star rating system. (Whole stars, not half-stars)

--Instead of the "see also" tag that usually follows a review, we'll list the two best songs on the album. When you turn in your review, please include your favorite two songs at the bottom. (Please list the two songs in order of preference, just in case we have to cut one.)

--Overall, we'll be reviewing a lot more hip hop, and a lot more mainstream records. (Don't worry: because we're going to be covering a lot more albums, we'll still have room for the indie stuff.)

And here's the big one:

Andy would prefer that the tone of the reviews section becomes more straight-forward and informative. Mentioning simple things––how many people are in the band, how many records they've released, what city they're from, what they're known for (i.e. their last big hit, that time they appeared on The O.C., the fact that one of the members had his own reality TV show, etc.)––will be helpful. (Please forgive me if this sounds pedantic; I know you guys already understand what that kind of writing entails. I just wanted to outline exactly what Andy is looking for so that no one has to do a billion rewrites after his top-edits.) He'd like us to steer away from insider punch lines or references that require too much prior knowledge. If you imagine you're writing for a smart person who still might need to be gently reminded about music history, you'll probably be in the right ballpark.

Another thing: Andy's looking for a section that's generally less cynical and more upbeat/excited about music. This doesn't mean you have to give everything a positive review. It just means a) you should probably pitch me about bands whose albums you generally like b) if you're going to give an album a negative review, just try to be fair about why the album doesn't work--you know, avoid being snarky or using easy punch lines. You can still be funny, and please keep your voice. I think Andy just wants readers to get the sense that we're passionate about listening to music, that we still occasionally find new albums that we love in the way we did when we were 16, and that we can be critical without sounding jaded. Does that make sense?

If any of this makes you want to a) club yourself over the head with a tire iron, or b) do happy cartwheels all the way down the street, you can always call me any time with questions or concerns. My cell phone number is 612.XXX.XXXX.

And please feel free to pitch me. Right now, I'm generally looking for albums that are coming out in May or early June.

**Also, for those of you who have been asking about non-CD reviews, DVDs will now be assigned/edited by Kyle Anderson and video games will be assigned/edited by Jon Dolan**

Thanks guys.

Melissa Maerz
Reviews Editor
205 Lexington Ave 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10016

ADENDA: No tópico do ILM acima linkado, Marcello Carlin acaba de sintetizar o mundo em que o «pensamento» por trás destes atentados ao jornalismo (musical), à literatura (musical) e ao exercício de pensar e criar e partilhar e comunicar (à volta da música) existe: «Baby food for solvent retards, in other words.»

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