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.
Written by Claire Lobenfeld (@clairevlo)
Did Pussy Riot's Message at the Amnesty Concert Get Lost in Translation? by Lindsay Zoladz for Pitchfork
Earlier this week, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, the jailed members of Russian punk-feminist protest group Pussy Riot, visited the States for the first time since being freed from their respective Mordovian penal colonies. The two spoke at press conferences, attended a celebrity-studded reception at NYC's swanky gastropub The Spotted Pig, and were guests of Amnesty International at a human rights benefit at Brooklyn arena Barclays Center, where they, after being introduced by Madonna, spoke about their plans to visit other political prisoners and their admiration for fellow Russian protesters, while maintaining that, despite their issues with President Vladimir Putin, they continue to fight because they love their country. But during this productive visit where they continued to globalize their goal of Russian freedom, other members of Pussy Riot were straight up just not having it. In a statement posted to the collective's website, a group of women announced that Nadya and Masha are no longer part of the group because their USA appearances are counter to the Pussy Riot. In the words of Desus, one half of Complex podcast Desus vs. Mero, "Gotta hear both sides." In her review of the Amnesty International benefit show, Pitchfork contributing editor Lindsay Zoladz gives a balanced take on the dichotomy of the Amnesty benefit show, in general, and the opposing forces in Pussy Riot. Zoladz had previously spent time with members of the group before Nadya and Masha were freed on amnesty. It gives her review of the night at Barclays a range in scope unseen in almost any other piece and works as a primer for readers who readers who need help sorting the rift.—Claire Lobenfeld
Beyoncé, Rihanna and the Truth About Celebrity "Shade" by Judnick Mayard for Myspace
Judnick Mayard has written one of the best takes on Beyoncé's latest album through the lens of black motherhood, as well as the most stan-y open letter to RIhanna, both for Myspace. Naturally, they'd employ her to, with no relationship to either singer, tear down the rumor that there is any kind of beef. Ever since Blue Ivy was born, King B has let us into her life in a way she hadn't before. Her Instagram gives views of her wild side and she's shown her sense of humor throughout—including those fried chicken snaps during her and Hov's 22-day vegan cleanse—but her behavior seems to be a little bit too close to Rihanna's for some people to handle. Mayard gives a run down of exactly why there is not a thing to see here all while schooling on how you would known if there was. Bonus points for the Paris Is Burning reference in the first paragraph, which, if you ever want to talk about shade, you need to know front-to-back.—Claire Lobenfeld