A Critical Look at Criticism: It’s our FIFTH anniversary! That’s five seasons at fifty episodes a piece, covering nearly that many albums, topics, as well as debates over what many would consider a trifling corner of cultural discourse. Five years has taught us that music truly is a boundless medium. And so, in our album discussions—incorporating everything from literary analogies to politics, psychology, sociology, life, love, pain, sorrow, and ever more complex conditions—we strive to honor artists’ hard labor by (at the very least) participating in combined acts of analysis, brainstorming, ruthless criticism, and garrulous adulation. It’s a mixed bag, but we hope, a fruitful one.
In this episode, we will be:
• Reflecting on the project;
• Discussing the barriers between criticism and analysis;
• Championing the merits of fact-checking;
• Discussing logical fallacies, laws, and rhetorical gibberish;
• Citing examples of specific critics and critical works, from Glenn Gould, to Pitchfork, to Yahtzee, and RedLetterMedia, where language, rhetoric, and satire have all aided the work, for good and for ill;
• Coming to terms with our own fallacies, clichés, and internet nonsense.
Time does fly doesn’t it? It’s already our 200th episode and our fourth anniversary! We hope you’ve had a good four years. We’ve had some ups and some downs, album-wise. That’s why today we’re going up, up, UP! To the top of the charts, that is. Like our previous anniversary episodes, we’re stepping outside the normal sequence of events today in order to tackle a special project. This time ’round, we’ll be looking to see what the Billboard charts have in store for us. Specifically, we’ll be looking at the top 10 hit singles for the week leading up to this recording: the week of June 25th. Follow along with us in the Spotify playlist as we countdown to #1, and join us as we dare to challenge the undisputed sales champions of pop. Who will win? I think they already did…
Welcome to our 150th Episode Special and THIRD-year anniversary! In the vein of our previous anniversaries, this themed episode takes a short leave from our album analyses to discuss something just as pertinent: the nature of our own medium—music podcasts. We take a careful look at a hand-picked group of music-focused podcast series, from the high-traffic behemoths to some ambitious go-getters. We describe their mission, praise their contributions, and address their challenges. The selections before the panel are: Song Exploder, TAP to Music, Music A to Z, Jonah Raydio, Classical Performance Podcast, Sound Opinions—and for kicks, Compleatly Beatles. [Cue Beatles debate.] In short, this unaffiliated crew of dedicated podcasters care deeply about music… much like yours’ truly. And how could we care about our product if we didn’t care about our peers? So check them out, check us out, and dole out your fanship; we certainly all value it.
Well we’ve made it. That simple third digit marks the beginning of our third year. We’ve come a long way since the podcast first aired on 7/3/2012, with many memorable reviews, topics, guests, and most of all the discussions that were born out of each. Today’s episode, much like our 50th Ep., features a full discussion in lieu of an album review—this time to talk about yours truly: the hosts, the podcast, its origins, its process, and its future. We hope you enjoy this 3-segment podcast as it serves to provide our listeners with an insight to our critical reasoning, and to the passion that we employ on a weekly basis. Could we do any less? For of course, music is life… and life is good.
Well, we’ve made it! Fifty episodes of previews, reviews, interviews, and issues. After covering such a variety of styles and subjects, we’ve decided to take a step back and look at the larger picture. Music is, after all, a single art form—a favorite of ours, as you might imagine—which is why we feel the need to have a little intervention. We shine the spotlight on music and objectively compare it against all the other arts, humanities, and disciplines out there. What do they share? Where do they differ? Are any of them more versatile? These questions and more get hashed out on this special edition of Crash Chords Podcast.