Spring Forward, Fall Back Dept.
Top 50 list reveals tension over age and rock
By JEFF MIERS
News Pop Music Critic
"Here's the problem: As fewer and fewer young people read, and newspapers begin laying off or "reassigning" rock writers who hit 50 or so, critics have started scampering like cockroaches toward a dung heap, seeking to prove how "hip" they are. ...
"Cultural criticism. It's a complex issue, primarily because the craft of pop music has been devalued over time. Pop musicians have become increasingly less skilled as writers and instrumentalists. Some people will argue that Eminem is as important an artist as, say, the Beatles, or Led Zeppelin, or Marley, or Gaye. We'll see about that. And at its core is the popular myth that rock and pop are, and should be, young people's music. There are simply too many examples of artists improving as they age for this claim to hold water. The music itself is what needs to be examined, with social and cultural forces treated as secondary concerns. Since most rock/pop critics don't know how to deconstruct the music itself, they're cultural critics - not music critics. They write more about the context of the music than the music itself."
(Just found this piece published last April where Jeff Meirs takes a look at what he thinks music critics should be doing at http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20040423/2021281.asp