On Music Blogging
I started blogging about music sometimes in 2004. As a way for me to learn English, my primary focus was to describe the details of what I heard such as how a singer moved me or how the instruments grooved me. I obviously had a lot of time on my hands back then. At the time I was working at Vassar; therefore, I signed up for a proofreading session in the writing center. Each week I would bring in my piece. The tutor and I would read over it and make corrections.
My tutor was Natalie Freeman who was an English professor at Vassar. Not only Natalie helped me with my reviews, she also recommended a few music critics I should read. She suggested Sasha Frere-Jones and Kelefa Sanneh. I sought them out and read as many articles I have written. I could not recall how I discovered Greg Tate, but he was instantly became one my favorite critics. He was fearless, eccentric, and thoughtful. I read everything Tate has written that I could get my hands on.
These days Tate has not written much; therefore, I have not reading much either. Sanneh had moved to the New Yorker in 2008 and started to cover sports and TVs. I occasionally read Frere-Jones’ pieces in the New Yorker, but he has now ended that eleven-year gig for Genius.
These days I subscribe to the New York Times’s Popcast to get the latest music news from Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica. I still blog about music, but my focus is mostly on Vietnamese pop. The nice thing about blogging music on my own site is that I could write whatever I like without the fear of offending or kissing up to anyone. I am not a music critic and I will never be, but that doesn’t stop me from listen to music and write down my thoughts. That makes me a music blogger.