Almost wrote this post last night after drinking a significant amount of tequila, but thought better of it, and wrote a surprisingly coherent album review instead. Tonight I'm sober, but I'm going to go ahead with the post anyway, even though it might come back to haunt me.
If you read my blathering on Twitter - and if you don't you aren't really missing much, but why not? - you might have heard me mention an email I got yesterday relating to Aye Tunes. On one hand this was nice, as I don't get very much in the way of comments or feedback round here. On the other hand, as it called me a variety of names and had a go at me, it was a bit less fun.
In between the cursing at me, there were a couple of reasonable points raised, so I'm using it as an excuse to have a wee vent and address a few things. Names have been taken out to protect the innocent and guilty alike, quotes from the email are in italics, and I've edited out most of the swearing. I did leave some in though, so be warned. And away we go!
Mate, your blog is pointless - well, yeah. Aren't most?
All you do is praise shit bands and give good reviews to your m8s. The first bit comes down to opinion and taste. The second part I'll come back to. But really, "m8s"? Round about there I stopped caring what else was said.
It's no good saying good things about [bands] just cause you are pals with them. True, and again I'll come back to this one. A particular band was named, but it isn't very fair to drag them into it.
Useless cunts like you are why so many crappy bands think they are good, they'll never be famous. Useless is a bit strong, I make a useful hat rack, draft excluder, or distraction to allow time to escape. I'll accept the c-word part though. However, famous? I really doubt that any of the bands I cover here are out to get rich and famous.
Everything you write praises bands ands records. "Ands" was his too, I left it unchanged to be a prick. See below for my response to this one.
There was more, but it got a bit repetitive and sweary, so I won't repost the whole thing.
Now, onto the main points. Do I give good reviews to bands because they are my pals? That's a dead easy question for me to answer. No, I don't, because they aren't my pals. I might blether a wee bit with a few bands, some I'll swap emails with now and then, but I doubt very many bands I've written about have me on their Christmas card list. I've only met a handful of them! On the few occasions I've written about anyone who I do have a particular bias towards, I've been sure to declare it, and you can judge for yourself if it's affected what I've written. In general though, no, they aren't getting me to stay nice stuff about them because they are my friends, they've got me saying nice stuff about them because I like them.
Oh, in fact, fun story: a while back a band who actually are my friends, made up of old workmates, asked me if I'd manage them. Leaving aside the obvious flaw that I wouldn't know what to do if managing a band, I said no. Why? They were rubbish. I told them as much too.
Am I too nice? Do I just give positive reviews? Well, yes, I pretty much do only write positive reviews. There's a few different reasons for that, but the main one is I buy almost everything I review. Sure, I do get sent things to review occasionally, but the vast majority of records I have to pay for. Considering I'm, as you might know, on the dole, that means I'm more picky about my purchases than I would be if I had a load of spare cash to throw around. It shouldn't really come as a surprise if I like a record I bought. That's why I bought it!
Likewise with gigs. I do get the occasional guest list, but mostly I'm buying tickets or paying on the door just like everyone else. As with records, I can only afford so much, and getting from my house to Glasgow and back for a gig isn't really all that cheap. Letting me in free doesn't mean I'll give a good review either.
I generally won't slaughter anyone though, so maybe I am too nice. Instead, if I see someone I don't like I'll just not write about them. Support bands not being mentioned in some gig reviews isn't usually an accident you know. Rather than slate someone I saw, I'll choose not to mention them. If I'm sent a record I don't care for, I'll politely send back a reply saying it isn't for me, and decline doing a review of it.
I'm not a professional music journalist. I'm not even an unprofessional one. No one pays me to listen to their stuff, to go to their gigs, or to write about it. No band even takes me up on my occasional offers for them to buy me a drink at gigs!
Want to know what bands I think really suck? Corner me at a gig, I'll happily name the ones I think are garbage. On here though, I'll keep focusing on what I like. If you don't like my writing that's fine, most of the time I hate it too. If you don't like the bands I write about that's fine too, your opinion is just as valid as mine, just different. I would suggest you might want to stop reading Aye Tunes though, and do something you enjoy instead. The song posted below should sum up my feelings here...
And So I Watch You From Afar - Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate
So, at the risk of being called a cunt a lot again, any thoughts?