Pin It
Favorite

Bomb Garden 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & Stick a Pitchfork in it... & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & O & lt;/span & n March 4, the Web exploded. Every media entity remotely interested in music (or the cool derived from listening to music) -- from blog Stereogum to New York Magazine to G-frickin'-Q -- breathlessly blogged that navel-gazing indie music tastemaker Pitchforkmedia.com would be spinning off an "online video channel."





A day later, Wired had picked up the scent and Chicago Sun-Times critic Jim DeRogatis had already interviewed and berated Pitchfork's creator, Ryan Schreiber, on the slippery ethics of being both a critic and a promoter.





Why the buzz? Well, most people would say it's because Pitchfork, despite being a relatively small Website, has a disproportionately huge cultural footprint. I think it's because Americans alive during the '80s desperately want something to replace MTV.





That's certainly the way pitchfork.tv is promoting itself. Calling itself a "music channel" rather than a "video Website" (which is what it is), the thing is built upon a belief that, in the creators' words, "The 24-hour music network was such a great concept. What happened?"





Der, I'll tell you what happened. That shit wasn't profitable. The reason MTV doesn't show music videos is because the music video model broke when the big record model did. The advent of the Internet and Napster gave people more listening choices and, when MTV -- or rather the big record companies that supply MTV with its videos -- failed to broaden their video selection to match, people stopped watching. And so MTV had to start airing the kind of programming people never get tired of: watching beautiful and/or rich people treat each other like crap.





Schreiber knows this. He's a student of music and a pretty smart guy. So when Pitchfork hints that it wants to be MTV, what that means is that the Website wants to be an unquestioned purveyor of hipness. It established its cred with criticism, being loudly and brashly too hip for all but the hippest music. Now it wants to broaden its base, by bringing videos to more people than will ever read a masturbatory 2,000-word record review.





Which is to say, the Pitchfork brand is about to get decidedly less hip.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Women's March on Spokane

Women's March on Spokane @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


scandals


Comment


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • The Rachel We Knew
  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation