Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some of 2014's best music writing that I feel bad for not having read until now

Flavourwire's Jillian Mapes compiled a list of the year's best music writing and there are plenty of gems there.  It's filled with sites I check at least semi-regularly and writers whose work I normally enjoy, and yet somehow I missed nearly all of these.

Lauren Nostro's profile of Nicki Minaj is a long-awaited peak behind the curtain that finally makes some headway in separating her public and private personas.  The career retrospective of KISS by Chuck Klosterman seems like a must read that I'll save for a rainy day.  Chris Molanphy's history of Billboard's R&B charts is by far the best analysis in the wake of the (mostly negative) publicity surrounding Billboard's controversial changes in the criteria that are used to compile the chart (along with other specialty charts).  He also explained this widely circulated but almost universally misconstrued taste map, which not only makes sense to me no, but might also show the way forward to reclaiming the audience-specific data that the old charts used to represent (it'll make more sense if you read the article).

In the separate best of Flavourwire list, there's a Run The Jewels profile by Matthew Ismael Ruiz that I really need to read, and a Tom Hawking piece about the politics in A Silver Mt. Zion's music that would have been unthinkable when they started out fifteen years ago, or even five years ago.  The slow transformation in critical opinion over ASMZ and GYBE from polemical weirdos to broadcasters of simple but effective messages of hope has been fascinating to behold.  

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