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I'd say that depends on the legality of the downloads you're talking about...
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Jack's too smart to throw a tantrum without knowing that a bunch of rags would write about it. I think this fits perfectly for him and his band. Dead Weather's doing well on tour, they don't NEED the corporate-sponsored gigs. Except the festivals, maybe, but they've just finished doing a bunch of those.
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I think that you're making a mistake by conflating Pitchfork's kingmaking ability with a perceived increase in the "influence" of music journalism. Aside from Pitchfork and (to a vastly lesser degree) NPR, there isn't a single music journalism outlet that can push an artist over the top, or even push them into another echelon. Sites like Drowned in Sound, The Quietus and Pop Matters can exert some influence, but they haven't made a single artist popular enough to even make a career out of what they do. All people have ever wanted is context and assurance, provided by a trusted source. It's trust that trumps any kind of analysis or quality explication; people have been complaining about Rolling Stone's "decline" for almost 40 years now, and yet up until about 10 years ago they were still regarded as a respected music magazine. And today, they're still respected (or at least widely read) as a culture magazine. Pitchfork wields this power because they got to a lot of things first and championed poptimism about eight years ago, and because they were the first to aggressively capitalize on the resultant cultural cache. Maybe Stylus would still be around if they had decided to expand into video, or to launch a music festival.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2010 on The Music Consumer In The Modern World at hypebot
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Aug 9, 2010