For those of you who have kept up with this blog over the past year or two, you may remember that, whenever possible, I used to like to rely on my friend Matt to say all the things about music that I simply didn't (and still don't) have the ability to put as clearly and cogently.
Matt was never the most prolific poster (perhaps overzealously taking his own advice to Ryan Adams about limiting his output), but when he spoke, he spoke volumes. (See, e.g., "On Experimentation".)
Well, I'm happy to say that Matt is back, and in as fine a form as ever. This time, he's teeing off (a bit) on Pitchfork's review of Julie Ocean's Long Gone and Nearly There. Truthfully, he's less focused on the review itself than the tendency of many reviewers, at Pitchfork and elsewhere, to constantly and simplistically deride music as "derivative power pop", yet rarely (if ever) deride blog-darlings like Fleet Foxes for their own tendencies to copy older bands.
Anyway, don't take my word for it -- go read his post. And be sure to tell him in the comments to start writing more often.
Oh, and how's this for timing? Jay Ferguson of Canadian "power pop" legends Sloan recently sat down with the Toronto Star to talk about how to write a song, and how copying from those who came before you isn't such a bad thing. (Thanks to Natalie for the heads up on the video!)