I dared criticize Taylor Swift
Mostly, when I write music criticism, I write about things I like. I write about things I like not because I am apprehensive about the reaction when I dislike something, but because I approve of what happens with language when I feel strongly. Praise makes for good prose. Recently, though, I thought I might test the waters and write about something I disliked a good deal. My hypothesis was simple: Maybe, occasionally, a violent distaste can make for interesting prose, too.
The music I chose was the music of Taylor Swift. So I wrote about disliking the music of Taylor Swift over at the Rumpus, where I have been writing music criticism since 2009. In this case, it should be said, the majority of my column (a miscellany of brief thoughts I have had about various musical phenomena since last summer) was the usual hortatory stuff: shout-outs about a Los Lobos show I saw last summer; about the new Young Fresh Fellows album (great! buy it!); about the breakup of the band called the Books; a brief attempt to connect Owen Ashworth (of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone) to Raymond Carver and so on.