So I know I usually talk about movies, but after immersing myself into the world of Carrie Brownstein's NPR Music blog, Monitor Mix, I would like to spend a minute giving props to NPR and their music coverage.
I have been an on-and-off listener of Bob Boilen's amazing podcast, All Songs Considered, for some time and after Brownstein's appearances on the podcast, I checked her out. In her entries, she refreshingly connects the music nerd/NPR nerd in her to her daily life and gets non-music buffs to feel welcome. Yes, she name drops like crazy, but her youthful approach is never condescending nor pedagogic.
In a blog, and perhaps in all criticsm, I'm not looking for a teacher, but an expert-of-a-friend to tell me what her/his experienced self thinks about a topic. Knowledge of the subject (and the reader's education) is inherent in the review. If you read her stuff you'll certainly see what I mean. She makes no apologies for her knowledge, dropping obscure or off-the-radar artists at will, yet brings all these references and reviews within a more general, approachable, topic such as iTunes Genius' effect on the playlist or what makes a good cover song.
Maybe for the true Rob Gordon's out there, her blog is not erudite enough, but for someone just delving into the world of music on a serious level, she's a great stepping stone.
And as a side note, I'd really like to push the aforementioned podcast, All Songs Considered, as well. Bob Boilen is a wealth of knowledge on music, and with guests, interviews, and fun topics, this soothing yet truly educational podcast is a great way to learn about new artists. Note- most of the music is of the indie-rock/folk/altrock/eclectic persuasion...you won't find much hip hop, pop, or country here.
Also, Rob Gordon is the fantastically neurotic and music-obsessed character John Cusack plays in High Fidelity.