Blog Post

New Music on the Web: How to Separate the Buzz from the Noise

Two trends are colliding this week: end-of-year lists and think pieces about celebrities and culture. Both are inevitable, I guess: the calendar is a reasonable, if arbitrary, organizing principle, and the past few years have led to an increasing confusion of celebrity doings and news. In a “critic’s notebook” in the Los Angeles Times, Ann Powers tries to get to the bottom of what makes buzz, particularly in the pop-music industry. Her primary finding: buzz happens on the web. She interviews “pop geeks of all kinds,” journalists, publicists, and A&R execs, and employs the charming term “buzz vertigo.” Powers notes, “the old vices of the buzz business