Last night Gorilla Vs Bear and Chris Weingarten got into a twitter fight that went off like a bottle rocket and fizzled as quickly as it exploded. If you missed it, read this recap and continue on. Followers took sides and for a few minutes we were all entertained. Now recaps and think pieces are rolling out and I thought I would share my take on the “fight”.
Let’s start with Weingarten. He’s a rock writer who existed as a professional writer before music journalism packed up it’s physical print ball and went to play exclusively on the Internet. This pissed him off, rightly so, as the medium allowed for amateurs to do what Weingarten and the rest of the regular rock writers do and garner readership. Imagine if you worked as an accountant and then your firm found a model that allowed for anyone off the street to come in and work…and for much less or nothing at all. The flip side is that music is art and art is opinion based, which means even amateurs like myself have every right to express their connection to the art form in any way we see fit. This is the key problem that caused the fight between professional rock writer and music blogger. Neither one is right or wrong.
I’m one of the few music bloggers who enjoys Weingarten’s thoughts on music bloggers. While I don’t agree with all of his points, I’m definitely guilty of some of his accusations.
The simple (and wrong) response from bloggers to Weingarten is typically along the lines of “Oh, times change, adapt or die…quit complaining.” Yes, times do change and we should all adapt to them, but the guy has every right to not be happy about the state of music journalism. I personally love music blogs and having an outlet to express my thoughts on music, but come on, hate him all you want, you have to see where the guy is coming from. Weingarten is adapting to the Internet world by doing interesting 140 character reviews of albums on twitter and freelance writing for various websites. While we don’t see eye to eye on the actual music we both champion, I respect his passion and relentless bold calling out of what he thinks is wrong.
On the other end of the fight we have Gorilla Vs Bear. It’s been a daily read of mine for years and while I once again don’t see eye to eye with their music taste all the time, I’ve discovered and fallen in love with a lot of bands through GVB, which is all you can ask from a music blog. In the twitter fight, Weingarten accused GVB of being a hack and basically boiled their content down to copying and pasting. While somewhat funny, this is just inaccurate. A music blog of GVB’s readership has to filter hundreds of submissions from bands (99% of them being awful), search out original content themselves, and ultimately cultivate a musical community all the while maintaining a unique voice/vision. Now, is GVB immune from all of the accusations Weingarten lists in the video above? I’m sure they’re guilty of a few, but like Weingarten, GVB is trying their best to do what they think makes for good music journalism.