A great blog was put under my nose earlier, and it's one of the best I've seen in a long time.
It's called Ripfork and I'll let the website's own blurb explain what it's all about...
The purpose of RipFork is to hold music critics to the same level of snarky, loquacious abuse that they dole out to the artists actually making the music. My ultimate goal is to uncover how and why we allowed music writing and the keys to aspiring bands’ futures to be dictated by these critics in the first place.
So there you have it - a simple but beautiful idea.
Trust me, this is a subject close to my heart. In my years as a record label PR, I worked with many bands who were on the wrong end of a critical mauling, and there was nothing more downright irksome than the reviewers that didn't operate on a level playing field. The ones that clearly hadn't listened to the record, or had evidently made up their mind before they had listened to it. Or worse still, the reviews where the band was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, like when a negative review was needed to balance the other positive reviews .
So it's nice to see a site like Ripfork out there, and the best bit about it is that most of its criticism of the reviews seems to come from a reasonable place, unlike the reviews in the first place.
It's also interesting for me to see the technical mistakes that crop up, such as too many parentheses, a plethora of hyphens or sentences that go on for far too long. Writing this blog means that things like that are always potential traps for me, but in my experience most of them are solved by one simple tool - stepping back from what you've just written and then reading it with fresh eyes a while later. It's amazing how much you spot just by doing that.
Anyway, I'm no pro so I won't pretend to know all the answers. But Ripfork, if you see anything hideous on here, let me know. And keep up the good work.