19 December 2008

Austin Scaggs: Huh?

I must admit I wrote something much worse originally that I felt compelled to take down as my anger has subsided a little since I first read the following and I've really enjoyed some of this writer's previous articles. Austin Scaggs, a journalist for Rolling Stone, my favorite publication, and primary blogger on the Smoking Section (therefore a person who should know better) wrote this poorly analyzed piece about Jason Mraz:

Jason Mraz: Huh?
December 10, 2008 6:01 PM

"Jason Mraz's Grammy-nominated song, "I'm Yours," has reached the Number One slot at Top 40.

Now, first and foremost, we are music fans. We think it takes a lot of balls to get up and perform songs in front of crowds, and to put your lyrics and melodies out there for the whole world to hear. And we're sure Jason is a nice dude, but...

We just listened to "I'm Yours" really closely, and here are our thoughts, arranged chronologically:

"Wait, did we click on Jack Johnson by accident?"
"No, that's Mraz's voice. God damn he's been listening to Jack Johnson!"
"Maybe Jack Johnson wrote this song. And he gave it to Mraz?"
"Wait... maybe Colbie Caillat wrote this song."
"Record stores should have a section called Retarded Reggae, and this album should be the one on display."
"Did he just sing, 'We're just one big family?' Please say he didn't. We hate it when people say shit like that."
"He did."
"Let's see... When was scatting cool? Hmmm... Right! Like eighty years ago."
"Will somebody please take two ice-picks and drill them into our ears until all we hear is a faint scrape of metal."
"How, on God's sacred planet, did 'I'm Yours' get to Number One on Top 40?"

Here was my posted response to this interesting bit of work:

You clearly cannot be much of a music enthusiast if you can get yourself to write something so demeaning about one of the few pop artists that write their own songs and literally came from coffeehouses to mainstream while maintaining a very decent amount of integrity. Whether you personally like an artist or not, you should really watch the facts while insulting them. Jason Mraz has always written all his own songs and genuine fans know the song, "I'm Yours" has been around for years in different incarnations. I find it very sad that your musical knowledge is limited to Jack Johnson in this genre and that you clearly find exceptional artists like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald to be "uncool" since they're the masters of scat.

Please resign and let someone who genuinely loves music take your place for the sake of everyone involved. You'd probably have more luck as a cashier.

Much sympathy,

It was way over the top and ridiculous but I care! Loving music means at the very least respecting all genuine music - whether you approve of it or not.

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