Why It Is Crazy Lame To Bitch About "Bad" Reviews

ali Back in the day I used to run PlayLouder (when it had a capital L in the middle), and would often find myself on the receiving end of disgruntled emails from bands I hadn't been overly kind to. Like Scissor Sisters. Actually, they set me quite a nice email, saying something like, "why didn't you like us? How could we be better next time? Thanks!" Unlike Death Row, who sent me threatening emails for suggesting Suge Knight might be something of a fat git.

Anyway, my lil' brother Ali took my spot this last year. he retired already, but he's still getting hate mail. From TheSvenhunter.blogspot.com:

Russell Joslin or Further Ravings of a Self-Important Self-Googling Douchebag

Yet another livid e-mail from a no-mark musician I happened to offend during my brief stint as a music journalist; one Russell Joslin. this is what Russell said:

(15 Nov 2008)

"I just had the misfortune of stumbling across what you wrote about me on a website called playlouder.com.

Coward.

If you want to say something about me dont[sic] bother emailing back, come find me and say it to my face, or are you another one whos[sic] forgotten how to do that?"

Where to begin with this?

Right, for a start off, nobody stumbles across anything on Playlouder as nobody stumbles across anything that's encased in 3-foot-thick cement: he's been Googling himself. Don't be embarrassed, Russell: we all do it.

Next up: what the hell did I do to offend him? What could I have said that was so cowardly? I couldn't remember who the hell he was so I assumed I'd given his album a bad review or something.

Not so - the album was so bland I didn't bother reviewing it, so it seems; I just tagged his artist page with three helpful indicators for any browsing user: 'hippie', 'wishes he was American', and 'shower etiquette'.

Is that it? I've said much worse about much more interesting people, and have learned, as a result, that saying nasty things about people on the Internet is far from "cowardly" - it's actually very brave.

And the audacity of the man: telling me I'm not allowed to e-mail him back! Why don't you shut your eyes, cover your ears and sing "la-la-la" while you're down there, Russell? Jesus!

Furthermore, if I was contractually obliged, as a professional music journalist, to journey to every godforsaken corner of the globe (smelly Dalston in your case - I haven't "forgotten" how to get there, but I'd rather avoid it when I can) just to offer my two cents, I'd have given up the game long before I actually did. You should be grateful I gave your utterly superfluous album the time of day. There's plenty of much better - and a few much worse - albums this year that barely got a look-in from my critical ear and/or pen.

And if you wish to continue in the music game, (if you really must - I'm not suggesting you do), you're going to have to get used to people not enjoying your awful music, which is awful, and not react like a spoiled school-girl every time someone calls you a hippie, which you are, or says you need a shower, which I'll bet you do, or says you wish you were American, which, judging by your whiny voice, you do also.

If I were you I'd either

a) cherish the 11 fans I have on Facebook and work on an improvement to my tepid, self-released debut, 'Dream Token', adopting a degree of humility and maturity, accepting the opinions of others, and not waste my time sending curt yet unimaginative e-mails to tired hacks who happen to have a music taste that conflicts with my own output.

b) get another hobby.