Monday, August 18, 2008

can you write? can you!?

Well, if you can write you'll be in the minority at DC's very own go-to nightlife blog, Brightest Young Things. But wait! They put out the call for contributors today. Could they actually be looking to feature writing that doesn't look like it's been written by a high school kid on MySpace?

Seriously, BYT features some of the worst writing (even for a blog) that I've seen on a site that manages to nab interviews with some of the hottest musicians who pass through DC. The latest in the grammatical and formatical (that's not a word, but when in Rome writing about BYT...) was an interview with We Are Scientists. Since I typed all my constructive criticism in the comments of that blog, I'll keep my critique here short. Simply put, BYT's write-up was unreadable.

This is particularly disheartening because the interview itself wasn't horrible, or so it seemed. The final product, though, was more than wretched -- it was horrendously wretched. (Horrwretched?) Names were misspelled, cities were misidentified, there was no flow and it fell into chaos at the end. In short, it was a gigantic waste of a decent interview, which, as a former music writer, is truly nauseating.

And since I'm unwilling to put in more than a few seconds of research into any endeavor (clearly), I'm going to hope this was this writer's first time formatting an interview, in which case I can relate. My first-ever musician interview was with Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst when I was 19. It was horrwretched to say the least, although, even so, not once did I cut him off mid-answer and then proceed to note that in the first few sentences of my write-up...

And that WAS interview is not the only case of BYT writing gone retarded. The typos alone in nearly every article are enough to make a reasonable mind wonder when spellcheck became passe...

But moving on, I must concede (especially since I link to BYT in the sidebar) that not all of BYT is a total waste of ether. Some writers -- and here I'm thinking particularly of John Foster -- understand basic grammar and voice and flow and everything else that goes into crafting something not just decent, but quite awesome. Unfortunately, those types of wordsmiths are outnumbered by what seem like starstruck college coeds hoping to sound cool (see above). Then again, I'm a child of the 1980s, so perhaps these kinds of stream of consciousness, poorly edited (or unedited?) half-paragraphs are cool to the kids nowadays, although for the sake of literacy (and my own relevance), I hope not.

However, when words are not the main focus, I must give BYT due credit. Their photo contributors are truly talented, especially those who cover live shows. They get high marks from The Anti DC Eagle of Freedom for both their quantity and quality. Two talons up!

But back to business. Do you want to write for them? You won't get paid, but you might score some sweet interviews, which is a pretty good benefit. I'll willingly take my name out of the running though not only because I probably just made a bunch of e-enemies, but because my very own pet project of complaining about nearly everything I encounter takes up too much time to think about volunteering to write full sentences for another Web site (although I guess full sentences aren't required...OH SNAP!). Also, the Olympics are still on. Table tennis!


Greg Szeto said...

hey! i write for them too!

john is probably the best though.

and you are probably wise not to try writing your site and for BYT. i'm not so smart, so i get easily over-extended on my site, and BYT ends up being highly neglected by me.

Stevious said...

What got me was the abuse of punctuation. It always makes me a bit queasy when there's apostrophe's, and, commas, all over the place.

(Although reading it did make me excited that I'll be seeing WAS this weekend)

JON said...

We're always looking for writers. HINT!

I-66 said...

My god... that was pretty bad. There were so many commas I think I'm going to not use them today just to make up the difference.



Marissa said...


Well, I'll be damned. I had no idea! I love, Love, LOVE your site, though.


I do indeed give a f*ck about an oxford comma. Glad to know you do too! Anyway, where are you seeing them? I always feel like bands sound better in Europe.


If I ever decide to write for free on another blog besides this one, you know you'll be the first person I contact.


nllm, mlln. ,

I-66 said...

mlln nllm

Yeah that's right. I crossed it up!

Stevious said...

I'm seeing them at the Reading Festival, along with about a trillion other bands. I want to go back in time and tell the fourteen-year-old me that he *will* get to see Rage Against the Machine. And to cut his hair and shower more often.

Stevious said...

Oh, and i have no clue what an Oxford Comma is, but I did go to Oxford once and got a free Boost bar from the train station vending machine. I felt the fine combination of victory and nausea on the train.

jheisel said...

ok, i couldn't make it past the first screen or so of that interview.

i met the drummer when i saw them play at the metro with art brut a couple years ago. he seemed a nice enough guy.

i think the new album isn't as good as the first one, but i don't know if that is due to the lack of a drummer.

Marissa said...




Rage Against the Machine still exists? Wow. You learn something new every day...


I agree with you re: the new vs. old album.

Greg Szeto said...

well thanks!

did you make it to that faint show? it was quite grand.

college park girl said...

BYT tries so hard at appearing to not try too hard that it appears to not try at all, which means it usually looks like shit.