15) You shouldn't care. Not in public, anyway.
If you show that you care, you open yourself up to attack. Do not open yourself up to attack. You are a God. You only have power if people believe in you.

16) Record companies and PRs don't always tell the truth.
Surprising how few writers realise this. Next week's shocker: Newspapers and TV channels aren't always honest.

17) Don't write for magazines/Web sites you don't read.
Everyone does. Even me. Especially me. Fucking hacks. Don't worry about it. It's the editors who suffer.


18) No one GIVES A SHIT why you didn't get to the concert until 30 minutes after the support act started.
No, really.

19) No one GIVES A SHIT as to the full names of every single band member.
No, really.

20) (from Sean DIS) Write because you have to, not because of your career plan. Don't ask if you can submit. Write. Permission's not necessary.
I blame the American college system, myself.


21) If you don't have a fucking clue why you're doing it, don't do it.
Have a clue before you sit down to write an article or a review: Have a clue before you spend 10 minutes on the phone with the former drummer of Razorlight: Have a clue before you start accessing Pitchfork and NME looking for other reviews to rip off. Trust me. It'll make your life way easier. And if you don't have a fucking clue? Fuck off. Trust me, it'll make everyone else's life way easier.

22) It's not sexy. It's not glamorous. And it certainly won't get you laid.
I was once featured in five different items in Spin Magazine's Top 100 Rock 'N' Roll Moments Of All Time - on three occasions as the main focus of the story. Each one centred around some alleged moment of debauchery; mostly sexual. My favourite was the one at Number 89 that baldly stated that, in return for writing the story that broke grunge to the world, Sub Pop Records supplied me with female press agents who would orally pleasure me on flights to and from Seattle. I think I was also involved in a threesome with Evan Dando and Courtney Love. (That one made the Top 10.) What matters here isn't the truth. What matters is who's writing it.

23) Words to avoid. "Really". "Totally". "Seminal". "Unbelievable". "Transcendent". "I think". "It seems."
(from Mof Gimmers): "Add to this - 'stunning', 'life-affirming' and the phrase 'if you don't like this, then you're probably dead inside'. I'll forgive a writer for using 'really' and 'totally' though."

24) It's not over. It's never over.
There's a rumour going round town that Pitchfork had a clause inserted into its writers' contracts a couple of years ago stating that under no circumstances should a review be more interesting than the music it's discussing. Which, given the quality of most of the music Pitchfork likes to promote, is quite some task.


25) Fuck hyphens. And fuck apostrophes too, while we're here. Keep it direct, entertaining, informative.
(from Reinspired) "My colleague used to have a post-it note pinned to his cube wall: 'James is not authorised to sign for this amount. Please resign below.'"
Very few people can be trusted around hyphens or apostrophes. Best to avoid, if possible.

26) Think a band sounds like another band? You're probably right. So what?
(from Reinspired) "A fair number of the bands I like are acts I've investigated because someone said they sounded like someone else I like. It's the easiest way to perform that magic trick to turn words into memories of sounds. You do it all the time - because it works."
See also the point about not making lists. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should. It's a lesson you wish you could teach a two-year-old.

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