Fairfax proves once again it has no idea about lyrics and music and journalism
Fairfax is in so much financial trouble, the two remaining editors of The Sydney Morning Herald will let any semi-literate curmudgeon who hasn’t bought a record since 1982 get behind a new-fangled colour-typewriter and dribble out an opinion about the clear superiority of music “back in the day”.
Hence this laughable article “The Day the Music Died”, which earnestly compares the lyrics of Leonard Cohen to the likes of LMFAO. Of course, being old is an excellent excuse to forget that the music that charted in the ’70s wasn’t just the timeless classics of Queen and Don McLean. Tracks like William Shakespeare’s “My Little Angel”, which topped the charts in 1975, remind us all that the popular music of the 1970s could be just as excrable then as anything that Carly Rae Jespen or Justin Bieber excrete now.
Fortunately this kind of droolpinion piece plays well to the 23 pensioners who are too frail to pick up the phone to cancel the SMH’s print edition. Better still, when published via magical tricknology onto computers, it serves as perfect linkbait to the vast shoals of underemployed youths with musical opinions and twitter accounts.
But thankfully, Fairfax’s uber-hip-new-youth-online-internet-destination “TheVine.com.au” has come to the aid of the Gen-Y-Millenials, brimming with cultural awareness and those revolutionary “facts” so popular with the kids these days. Awesome Lyrics Didn’t Disappear After the 80s, the title proclaims. Righteous!
So Fairfax pays one of The Vine’s writers on Tuesday to point out one of the Herald’s writers they paid on Sunday is dumb and wrong. They’ve made sure the rebuttal successfully establishes intellectual superiority by using the high-falutin’ concept of “false equivalence” and swiftly progressing to the kind of detailed lyrical analysis any HSC student would be proud of under exam conditions.
But the balance is finally restored with the facepalm-worthy error of not quoting the lyrics used to defend 21st century lyricism correctly.
The lyrics to Augie March’s One Crowded Hour have suddenly become about scaring fish and believing in tunes.
UPDATE: The Vine’s article has now been corrected, and it’s apparent that there were some boo-boos in the lyrics I quoted, though perhaps not perturbing the original meaning as much as scaring fish and believing in tunes.
Rather than get stuck in the minutiae of music geeks, I suggest listening to the sublime One Crowded Hour for yourself.
And remember, two weeks from now, when Fairfax collapses and Gina Rinehart buys out the remaining shares with her lunch money, we’ll remember that even in its darkest days they stayed committed to producing balanced music journalism.