Noisepop

In this case, the reviewer, a guy named Brian Byne, seems to have one major complaint about The Gallants' new album, and to me it's fairly ridiculous. He says that two white kids from today's San Francisco have no place singing about the history of racism and poverty in the deep South.

Apparently Mr. Byne has a problem with the concept of empathy and with the idea that someone who wasn't directly involved in a particular situation could possibly have a worthwhile opinion on it.

The big problem here is that Brian Byne has mistaken his role as a music critic for that of a sociologist. Your job is not to give us all a graduate-level lecture on socioeconomics and race relations. The even bigger problem is that the people at Pitchfork saw fit to publish this review. People of Pitchfork, your job is to rate the freakin' album on the merits of the music, not whatever intentions you read into it.

WHY I'M AN ASSHOLE: I'm anti-empahty; I've forgotten that criticism is supposed to be a purely descriptive medium without any moral or intellectual dimension; I don't like listening to white emo kids singing about being black in the Antebellum south.

Like most writers, I secretly suspect that I'm an asshole. There was a time when these suspicions had to be fueled mainly by dark intution and endless introspection, but in the glorious Internet age, writers only have to Google or Technorati themselves to find out exactly how much of an asshole they are, and why. Like Megan, I have some doppelgangers floating around the net - the second lead singer of Bad Company; the actor from films such as Lost Skeleton of Cadavra; a murdered little boy. But searching my name in conjunction with "Pitchfork" turns up a healthy dose of umbrage specifically for moi. Join me as I trawl through it to figure out exactly how much of an asshole I really am and assess the validity of the charges.

One reason that I'm an asshole is that I wrote a negative review of Two Gallants' newest album. I lodged a controversial opinion that mainly revolved around one controversial song, "Long Summer Day", which I'm not going to do the honor of posting here.

VERDICT: Guilty.