Music / Prague

Setting the “cool” tone for a US audience

In the process of building this website, one student offered his insights into what he uses most on entertainment websites in the United States. Jack Gazdik is a graduate of Kent State University in northeastern Ohio. He majored in advertising and now works as a social media manager. He is also a dedicated music fan, with a core group of online publications he visits regularly.

Gazdik cited Pitchfork.com and Absolute Punk as two of his go-to music websites. When on those websites, he said he had specific pieces he looks for.

“I find myself reading reviews the most,” he said. Gazdik said that news updates are his second most-read pieces on any of those websites.

Gazdik said that he enjoys reading about artists he already likes, and gave a number of examples of who he’s currently listening to, including the Wonder Years, the 1975 and Kanye West. However, those aren’t the only artists he’s interested in reading about.

“I also will look for content about artists I find interesting as people, even if I don’t love their music,” he said. “Examples of these artists would be Tyler, the Creator, Nathan Williams from Wavves, Danny Brown.”

One key mission music journalists have, in Gazdik’s opinion, is to control the discussion about music and direct people to new music and artists. In one case, Gazdik said that Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” rating can be incredibly influential and hold a lot of weight for someone who hasn’t heard an artist yet.

“Pitchfork, above any other blog I read, can define what’s cool and set the tone for how everyone else perceives an album,” he said.

Based on that, Gazdik said that a reviewer’s job is to be honest, first and foremost. A reviewer is sharing his or her opinion when writing about an album or a song, so why worry about objectivity?

“I don’t think music journalism needs to be objective because art isn’t objective,” he said. “Good music journalism publications help define what’s cool and what’s next, and if they have good taste they’ll build a following.”

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