The Best and Worst of Online Music: ‘The Pitchfork’ vs ‘BandCamp’

In an age where musicians and fans, especially those of younger generations, rely on online communications to congregate, share and sell their work, and to discuss the new releases and contributions of artists around the world. As with anything, however, there are as many exceptional and useful resources for music on the internet as there are bad apples.


One such disappointing online community is infamous for its pretension and hypocrisy: ‘Pitchfork.’ ( Once a respected review website with an emphasis on less popular music and notable for bringing small name bands with a lot of talent to the attention of their readers, it has devolved into a pretentious hipster pecking order that arguably doesn’t even enjoy music anymore. It’s apparent to any reader that the writers have less of a passion for enjoying a piece of music than they do for appearing intelligent and insightful. For the vast majority of their articles, the reader’s experience is akin to being sneered at by an overdressed hipster holding a thesaurus. It’s apparent that they subject themselves to abrasive, neigh unlistenable material with little original artistic insight and praise it while scoffing any listener that “doesn’t get it”. One has to ask if they actually enjoy the music they listen to, or if they’ve sacrificed any love of art they might have once had in order to advance their position on the hipster totem pole. As Joshua M. Brown of The Reformed Broker puts it: “I wouldn’t bring this particular review up if it weren’t so endemic of lots of what they’re doing lately. Their “Best New Music” section used to feature the actual best new music, now it’s stacked with a running list of trial and tribulation records you have to put yourself through and pretend you like in order to re-affirm your cool cred each week.”

^An album on the top staff pics from bandcamp.

An online community much more in the spirit of musical enthusiasm is  ‘bandcamp’ ( a slick, cool online magazine and musical resource that has a much more dynamic take on small name music; any small name producer or self produced artist can host their music on a high quality audio, unlimited storage artist page, where any fan can listen for free, and purchase their music or merchandise. It is a great service for fans to discover and support artists they love, and a great first step for any band to begin building a fan base and sell their music (bandcamp takes only 15% out of every sale for beginning artists). bandcamp also features an entertaining and informative blog ( that provides great highlights for fans of any genre. In the words of Ben Deitz at Switched, “Bandcamp is clearly a powerful tool for all kinds of musicians, giving them control over how they share their work. What may be most important, though, is its honest attitude. In an industry notorious for not giving artists their fair shake, Bandcamp is surprisingly upfront in its attempts to strike a balance between turning a profit and providing artists with the empowerment they deserve.”

-Sam Wiley

3 thoughts on “The Best and Worst of Online Music: ‘The Pitchfork’ vs ‘BandCamp’

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