Micro-essays by Philip Dhingra

On New Music

The quest for taste is often the quest for obscurity, which is harder thanks to the Internet. In the age of BuzzFeed, the music nerd must disdain buzz-following. Music connoisseurs now have to camp out at small-time music festivals or listen to hundreds of new uploads on SoundCloud from unknown acts. As a result, they will become the new source for music discovery, and they will regain the throne that was temporarily held by the automatic, lazy YouTube curators.


If amateurism is the avant-garde of today, we can soon expect music labels to dabble in faux amateurism. Perhaps musicians like Rebecca Black, a teenager whose parents shelled out a few grand for her debut vanity album, will dominate the airwaves. Non-talent will soon become the new talent.