View Full Version : Writing music/album/concert reviews.

03-17-2007, 05:51 AM
Just browsing through the Music and Sognwriting section, I didn't see any threads on writing music/album/concert reviews.

Is anyone on here familiar with that kind of writing? I've been writing reviews for an online music magazine for over a year now, and love it - though it can be frustrating.

03-17-2007, 09:02 AM

There is a post on the next page by Livedog looking for markets on Music Magazines. If you Check out his Public Profile you may find the two of you have something to talk about.

In the meantime, here are the links I gave him earlier. http:/library.music.indiana.edu/mus.../journals.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Music_journalists and http://www.musicdirectorycanada.com/pdf/journalists.pdf

You might find them of some use as well.


Anthony Ravenscroft
03-18-2007, 12:59 AM
Yep, Alicia, I've done it. Back in college, I had a sporadic flood-of-capsules review of new videos on MTV -- no freebies, but a lot of fun to do 100-200 words for each one that caught my eye.

Back in the early 1970s, Flo & Eddie had a review column in some magazine, where what they'd do is grab an LP, slap it on the turntable, then just start free-associating impressions into a tape recorder; after skimming a few tracks, they'd allow themselves to look at the album jacket, & again add impressions. It was very funny yet also insightful into the whole image-making & "packaging" concept of music marketing. (And remember that F&E were a.k.a. The Turtles, so they had plenty of experience.)

Do you have any specific questions, doubts, experiences, topics...?

03-21-2007, 04:19 AM
I was lucky enough to do album reviews/advances (interviews) as well as concert reviews/advances. I struggled with concert reviews the most. It is too easy to fall into every cliche in the book, and unless you love or hate the performance, it's difficult to craft an interesting review.

Not to mention that with concert reviews you have 13000 other people who saw the same show and think you're dead wrong.


Calla Lily
03-21-2007, 03:31 PM
I currently write CD reviews and do the occasional interview with an unknown but hopefully up-and-coming band. Lots of fun, usualy. Sometimes I get a CD that makes me want to hurl--or hurl it across the room.

I love doing interviews. Although...my early Christmas wish is to interview a band whose members are NOT young enough to be my kids. AARRGGHH!

Not gonna happen, I know. The closest I got was a 30-year-old lead singer. Biologically possible, but remote. :tongue

The great thing about young bands is they're so intense. They're thrilled with the spotlight--even if it's an oblique phone interview spotlight. (Hey, so would I be if I were in their shoes.) :e2photo: I interviewed one band when I was sick as a dog, but it didn't matter--the lead singer was rarin' to go and had LOTS to say. I'd ask him one question and he'd talk for 5 minutes. And he kindly gave me half-a-dozen quotable lines--all I had to do was cough out 10 questions and transcribe and 2 days later, ta-dah! An 800-word article.

03-23-2007, 02:34 PM
I do CD reviews/interviews for a jazz music website. It's a great way to get exposed to a lot of artistis I'd never hear otherwise. It bothers me to know so much good music goes unhead, but if I can turn somebody on to an otherwise overlooked CD, my job is done.

Despite what people think, it's not fun ripping a bad album. Bad music bores me and wastes my time. I'd rather not be bothered.

I've even made a few friends among some musicians. That's pretty cool especially when they hook you up with free tickets or backstage passes.

If you want to score some free CD's and occasionally talk to a musician you admire, I'd strongly advise contacting the editor of your favorite music website or magazine. There's usually more music available than reviewers.


03-23-2007, 08:31 PM
Despite what people think, it's not fun ripping a bad album. Bad music bores me and wastes my time. I'd rather not be bothered.That's always been my biggest problem with music journalism. I've done quite a bit of reviewing and there have been times where I've actually called my employer and said "Do you really want me to write about this? Because I can't think of a single nice thing to say about it."

I don't consider myself as a consumer advocate, saving the world from bad music one review at a time (though I know a great many music journalists who do). I'd rather view myself as an evangelist, singing the praises of the latest thing that moved me. I'd much rather have readers love what I love than hate what I hate.

04-12-2007, 03:44 AM
I love writing reviews, but nothing of mine has ever been published big. A few on websites and the such, and I've just written some for iTunes where anyone can submit their stuff, but that's about it. It's just not my main type of writing, but it can be both enjoyable and frustrating.

04-12-2007, 06:58 AM
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture" -- Elvis Costello.

That said, I have been known to do it. I guess sometimes a building's so pretty you just gotta polka ;)

04-12-2007, 07:07 PM
Not that there aren't a ton and a half of lousy music writers out there, but I hate that quote. Always sounded like someone who didn't like his reviews. Sour grapes, man.

Out of curiousity, how many people here who write music reviews are also talented musicians themselves?

04-13-2007, 03:47 AM
I'd wager very few, but then I also hear Ebert can't act for shit.

04-13-2007, 05:41 PM
Yeah, but Ebert was a working screenwriter - at least once. Theoretically, it gives him a somewhat different point of view.