PITCHFORK is an American online magazine launched in 1995 by Ryan
Schreiber, based in
The site generally concentrates on new music, but Pitchfork journalists have also reviewed reissues and box sets . The site has also published "best-of" lists – such as the best albums of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and the best songs of the 1960s – as well as annual features detailing the best albums and tracks of each year since 1999.
* 1 History
* 2 Influence
* 2.1 Publicity and artist popularity * 2.2 Size, readership and site traffic
* 3 Criticism
* 3.1 Parodies * 3.2 Leaked music * 3.3 Deleted and changed reviews * 3.4 Misinformation
* 5 Music festivals
* 6 Rating system
* 6.1 Initial release 10.0 rated albums
* 7 Pitchfork awards
* 7.1 Pitchfork Album of the Year * 7.2 Pitchfork Track of the Year
* 8 See also * 9 References
* 10 External links
* 10.1 Pitchfork sites * 10.2 Other links
Previous Pitchfork logos See also: The Dissolve
In late 1995, Ryan Schreiber, a recent high school graduate, created
the magazine in
In early 1999, Schreiber relocated Pitchfork to Chicago,
Pitchfork has launched a variety of subsidiary websites. Pitchfork.tv, a website displaying videos related to many independent music acts, launched in April 2008. It features bands that are typically found on Pitchfork . In July 2010, Pitchfork announced Altered Zones, a blog aggregator devoted to underground and do it yourself music. On 21 May 2011, Pitchfork announced a partnership with Kill Screen , in which Pitchfork would publish some of their articles. Altered Zones was closed on November 30. On December 26, 2012, Pitchfork launched Nothing Major, a website that covered visual arts such as fine art and photography. Nothing Major closed in October 2013. On October 13, 2015, Condé Nast announced that it had acquired Pitchfork. Following the sale, Schreiber remained as editor-in-chief.
On March 13, 2016, Pitchfork was redesigned. According to an announcement post during the redesign, they said:
“ We last redesigned in the fall of 2011. A lot about the online world has changed since then. This iteration, more than a year in the making, brings Pitchfork into a new era, improving functionality and inviting deeper exploration while simplifying the experience to make browsing, searching, reading, listening, and watching easier. ”
PUBLICITY AND ARTIST POPULARITY
Pitchfork's opinions have gained increased cultural currency; some in the mainstream media view the site as a barometer of the independent music scene, and positive quotes from its reviews are increasingly used in press releases and affixed to the front of CDs.
Some publications have cited Pitchfork in having played a part in
"breaking" artists such as
Arcade Fire ,
Sufjan Stevens , Clap Your
Hands Say Yeah , Interpol ,
The Go! Team ,
Conversely, Pitchfork has also been seen as being a negative influence on some indie artists. As suggested in a Washington Post article in April 2006, Pitchfork's reviews can have a significant influence on an album's popularity, especially if it had only been available to a limited audience or had been released on an independent record label . A dismissive 0.0 review of former Dismemberment Plan frontman Travis Morrison 's Travistan album led to a large sales drop and a virtual college radio blacklist. On the other hand, "an endorsement from Pitchfork—which dispenses its approval one-tenth of a point at a time, up to a maximum of 10 points—is very valuable, indeed."
Examples of Pitchfork's impact include:
Arcade Fire is among the bands most commonly cited to have
benefited from a Pitchfork review. In a 2005
* Clap Your Hands Say Yeah member Lee Sargent has discussed the impact of Pitchfork's influence on their album, saying, "The thing about a publication like Pitchfork is that they can decide when that happens. You know what I mean? They can say, 'We're going to speed up the process and this is going to happen...now!' And it was a kick in the pants for us, because we lost control of everything."
SIZE, READERSHIP AND SITE TRAFFIC
Pitchfork now receives an audience of more than 240,000 readers per day, and more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month, making it the most popular independent-focused music publication online. On October 24, 2003, the author of Pitchformula.com reported that Pitchfork had published 5,575 reviews from 158 different authors, with an average length of just over 520 words. Together, the reviews featured a total of 2,901,650 words.
One common complaint is that the website's journalism suffers from a narrow view of independent music, favoring lo-fi and often obscure indie rock and giving only cursory treatment to other genres . Some critics have suggested that the site rates albums from particular music scenes or artists more favorably in order to bolster its influence when the music becomes popular.
The majority of criticism, however, is aimed at the site's album reviewing style. Critics argue the site often emphasizes a reviewers' own writing over the actual music being reviewed, sometimes not even reviewing the album and instead criticising the artist's integrity. Pitchfork is also known to give "0" ratings, deeming the work, essentially and critically, worthless. One critic wrote that the rating of a particular album amounts to no more than a "cheap publicity stunt" for a website that "thrives on controversy." The critic also hypothetically asked how a neo-Nazi punk record would be scored in comparison to these "0" albums, based on Pitchfork standards.
* When Pitchfork asked comedian
David Cross to compile a list of his
favorite albums, he instead provided them with a list of "Albums to
Listen to While Reading Overwrought Pitchfork Reviews". In it, he
satirically piled over-the-top praise on fictional indie rock records,
mocking Pitchfork's reviewing style.
* In 2004, comedy website
Something Awful created a parody of
Pitchfork's front page. Entitled "RichDork Media", the page makes
reference to nonexistent, obscure-sounding indie-rock bands in its
reviews, news headlines and advertisements. The rating system measures
music on its proximity to the band
In August 2006, a directory on Pitchfork's servers containing over
300 albums was compromised. A web surfer managed to discover and
download the collection, which included
The Decemberists ' The Crane
TV on the Radio
DELETED AND CHANGED REVIEWS
This section POSSIBLY CONTAINS ORIGINAL RESEARCH . Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations . Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (September 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message )
Pitchfork has been criticized for deleting older reviews from their
archive in an effort to keep up with the changing trends in indie
music. One such example is the 9.5/10 review written for ska band
Save Ferris ' album
It Means Everything . Similarly, the original
Psyence Fiction by
Negative reviews of two
By Divine Right albums were also removed from
Pitchfork after members
Brendan Canning and
Leslie Feist became
successful with the band
Broken Social Scene and their own solo work.
Steven Byrd's deleted review of By Divine Right's Bless This Mess, on
which Canning and Feist play bass and guitar, went so far as to
compare the band to "retard(s) with a guitar" who "wouldn't know Rock
and Roll if she broke into their house and beat up their children,"
rating the album 1.8. After
Belle and Sebastian
Pitchfork has also removed the 9.4 review for the album Things Fall
The Roots . They also removed the 1998 review of In the
Aeroplane Over the Sea by
Neutral Milk Hotel , which initially
received an 8.7. Schreiber's review of the
John Coltrane album Live!
at the Village Vanguard was deleted after attaining notoriety for its
supposedly poor writing and alleged racist stereotypes , particularly
in the lines, "It's like a dream I had: I floated on the River
Pitchfork has been criticized directly by artists for
misrepresentation, most famously in 2007 by the artist M.I.A. for what
one of their writers later described as "perpetuating the male-led
ingenue myth" with regard to her work. Some have argued this is not
isolated to Pitchfork in the music press, while this incident was
later cited and similarly condemned by the artist
THE PITCHFORK REVIEW
Main article: The Pitchfork Review Logo of The Pitchfork Review
In December 2013, Pitchfork Media debuted The Pitchfork Review, a
quarterly print journal focused on long-form music writing and
design-focused content. J.C. Gabel, its first editor, had been the
The Chicagoan and founding publisher of
Stop Smiling .
Pitchfork planned a limited-edition quarterly publication of about
10,000 copies of each issue, perfect bound , and printed on glossy,
high-quality 8-by-10¼ paper. It was expected that about two-thirds
of the content would be original, with the remaining one-third
recycled from the Pitchfork website. The International Business Times
likened the publication's literary aspirations to
The New Yorker
Pitchfork Music Festival logo.
INTONATION MUSIC FESTIVAL
Main article: Intonation Music Festival
In 2005, Pitchfork curated the Intonation Music Festival, attracting
approximately 15,000 attendees to
PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL
Main article: Pitchfork Music Festival
On July 29 and 30, 2006, the publication premiered its own Pitchfork
Music Festival in the same park. The event attracted over 18,000
attendees per day. More than 40 bands performed at the inaugural
festival, including Spoon and
Yo La Tengo
The Pitchfork Music Festival was held again in 2007. It was expanded to three days (Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 15), with the first day being a collaboration between Pitchfork and the British music festival All Tomorrow\'s Parties as part of the latter's "Don't Look Back" series, in which seminal artists perform their most legendary albums in their entirety. Performers that evening included Sonic Youth playing Daydream Nation , Slint playing Spiderland , and GZA/Genius playing Liquid Swords . Some of the other artists who performed over the weekend included Yoko Ono , De La Soul , Cat Power , The New Pornographers , Stephen Malkmus , Clipse , Iron ">'s music reviews use two different rating systems:
* Individual track reviews were formerly ranked from 1 to 5 stars, but on January 15, 2007, the site introduced a new system called "Forkcast". In it, instead of assigning tracks a particular rating, reviewers simply label them one of the self-explanatory categories "New Music"; "Old Music"; "Video"; "Advanced Music"; "Rising"; "WTF"; "On Repeat", the category of their most favorably regarded songs; and "Delete", for the least favored songs. As of 2009 , the site had officially removed this system, opting to instead simply review tracks, while giving some a label of "Best New Track". * Album reviews are given a rating out of 10.0, specific to one decimal point.
On October 24, 2003, Pitchformula.com made a survey of the 5,575 reviews available on Pitchfork at that time, showing that:
* 6.7 was the average rating * 2,339 reviews had been awarded a rating of 7.4 or higher * 2,362 reviews had been awarded a rating of between 5.0 and 7.3 * 873 reviews had been awarded a rating of less than 5.0
British Sea Power's 2008 album Do You Like Rock Music? was initially awarded a tongue-in-cheek rating of "U.2", however the page now gives a rating of 8.2, seemingly at odds with the critical review. Their rating of Run the Jewels ' remix album Meow the Jewels (2015) was a pictogram of a cat's head with hearts for eyes – highlighting the pictogram and right-clicking on it reveals that the actual score is 7.0. Their review of Pope Francis ' album Wake Up! featured the rating "3:16 ," though using the same method of revealing Meow the Jewels' actual score reveals the score to be 5.0.
INITIAL RELEASE 10.0 RATED ALBUMS
The following is a list of albums given Pitchfork's highest possible
rating, on initial release. The score is rare and has only been given
to eleven albums since the site was launched in 1995. Many more albums
have been given a 10 on re-release. Note that Pitchfork has since
deleted the reviews for 12 Rods, Amon Tobin, Walt Mink, The Flaming
Relaxation of the Asshole , a comedy album by Guided by Voices singer Robert Pollard , was awarded a dual 0 and 10 on initial release. A later site redesign changed the rating to 0 only, although the explanation for the unusual rating remains in the text of the review.
ARTIST TITLE YEAR SOURCE
Amon Tobin Bricolage 1997
Bonnie \'Prince\' Billy I See a Darkness 1999
Walt Mink El Producto 1996
PITCHFORK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
YEAR ARTIST ALBUM NATION SOURCE
1999 The Dismemberment Plan Emergency -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">
* ^ "Pitchfork.com Traffic, Demographics and Competitors". Alexa .
Retrieved April 28, 2017.
* ^ Singer, Dan (November 13, 2014). "Are Professional Music
Critics an Endangered Species?". American
* ^ "RichDork Media and Music Reviews and General Pretentiousness".
Something Awful . 2004. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
* ^ Whitmore, Dean. "Popdork Feature: The Dean\'s List". Sub Pop.
Archived from the original on August 6, 2004.
* ^ "Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8".
The Onion . September 5, 2007.
* ^ "David Shapiro Isn\'t Much Use to Anyone". Vice.
* ^ Nelson, Mike; Murphy, Kevin; Corbett, Bill (2016-01-22).
"Icebreaker RiffTrax". 0:31:14. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
* ^ The
Joanna Newsom leak - Music - The Phoenix
* ^ "Celebrate Pitchfork\'s acquisition with this embarrassing ska
review they deleted". Death and Taxes. 2015-10-13. Retrieved
* ^ "TIL Pitchfork Media deletes and changes reviews when it ends
up on the wrong side of musical history".
Reddit thread. 2013-03-01.
* ^ "Pitchfork Reviewed A
John Coltrane Album In Blackface".
Ratter. 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
* ^ "Critical Differences: Pitchfork\'s Lost Archives – Save
Ferris Edition". Jonnyleather.com. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
* ^ "WayBack Machine: Critical Differences: Pitchfork\'s Lost
Save Ferris Edition". Jonnyleather.com. 2010-04-27.
Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2016-08-30. CS1
maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link )
* ^ "UNKLE: Psyence Fiction: Pitchfork Record Review". Pitchfork.
Archived from the original on 2006-11-16. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
* ^ UNKLE: Never Never Land Album Reviews Pitchfork
* ^ Steven Byrd, review (via