There is as much good music writing now as there has ever been. There are gross inequalities in the system still, in who gets heard and who is silent. But more than ever, people are able to let their experiences and expressions be heard.
Thinkpieces, essays, reviews and features: the internet has overwhelmed us with writing. There's so much of it out there, and it's all so easy to lose perspective. The more our Facebook feeds tell us what's worth reading, the less likely we are to stumble across something outside of our worldview.
In an attempt to get a handle on all of the music writing out there, we've decided to put everyone up on the music writing we've enjoyed reading during the course of the week. If you've read something that we've missed, feel free to put it in the comments.
- - - -
Sad YouTube: The Lost Treasures Of The Internet’s Greatest Cesspool at Buzzfeed
A profoundly moving, funny, and original piece, Mark Slutsky's Sad YouTube is smart, innovative music writing, taking a look at the intersection between technology, music, and memory. The year is young, but this piece jumps to the top of the must-read pile for 2014, for identifying how some of the most powerful music writing can come from unexpected—and unexpectedly poetic—places. Do not miss this piece. —David Drake
Lend Me Your Ears: Ariel Rechtshaid and the art of production at The New Yorker
Unfortunately, it sits behind a paywall, but if you have a subscription it's worth reading. Sasha Frere-Jones on Ariel Reichstaid, consumate indie artist hitmaker (Sky Ferreira, Major Lazer, Charli XCX, Haim, Vampire Weekend, and so many more), is an interesting look at a producer who has flown under the radar somewhat in terms of public appreciation. Anyone wondering what goes on behind the scenes during the making of an indie hit, and why so many artists speak so highly of Reichstaid, should read this concise profile. —Alex Gardner
Interview with Kendrick Lamar at The Hollywood Reporter
Kendrick Lamar sat down with Jeff Weiss for an interview in the January 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Kendrick talked about why he prefers to live frugally despite having had such a successful two-year stretch. "I thought I wanted jewelry and cars, but as soon as I got a taste, I realized it wasn't fulfillment," Kendrick said. "A thrill is being as creative as possible and supporting the people I love." He also talked about the importance of representing his neighborhood with authenticity and family life. With part of the interview taking place in Las Vegas, Kendrick talked about his grandparents' move to the city in search of fortune, which they did not get. As for talk about his follow-up album, Kendrick would not offer any information about what fans can expect. "I'm still seeing what I feel like. When I really catch it, I'll be out there with it." —Dharmic X
Beyonce's Muse at Pitchfork
Since the surprise release of Beyonce's self-titled album at the end of last year, one piece of the puzzle has remained mysterious: Who is "Boots," widely credited with writing and co-producing a bulk of the album? Pitchfork nabbed the first—and so far, only—interview with Boots, and although he remains somewhat enigmatic, still refusing to give his first name and avoiding any details about how Beyonce discovered his work, he does give a detailed snapshot of the process of recording Beyonce. Read the interview to find out why "Haunted" is the key to the record, and which song's production was an attempt to emulate the scuzzy garage rock of Hanni El Khatib's "Roach Cock"—at Beyonce's direction. —David Drake
Why Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Should Win Album of the Year at MySpace
Longtime hip-hop writer Kris Ex is known equally for X-Acto knife prose and bold point of view, and in his piece on why Macklemore should win the Album of the Year Grammy award, he sticks to his guns by flipping the received wisdom about Macklemore's presence in the hip-hop industry. Simultaneously an argument in favor of the album's music, an attack on the overthought "reverse-reverse-reverse racism" that suggests a person has to favor Kendrick Lamar, and an argument that Macklemore's music simply better represents 2013, Ex's provocation is worth engaging even if you—and many will—disagree. —David Drake
RELATED: The Week In Music Writing [Last Week]