Hack journalism lives at The Other Paper

Being a professional critic is a difficult job. It's hard to go into every situation open minded, and appreciate it for what it is by leaving your preconceived notions at the door. I've done it. I was blown away by acts like MC Hammer and Motley Crue and Queensryche ... bands I'd not have on my iPod but enjoyed seeing live. Same with Bonnie Raitt, Wilco, Gomez and numerous local bands here in Columbus that I saw first, live, before I ever heard them, and then quickly added to the musical collection. Based on the live show. Because it's a show. An event. A moment in time. And I was able to remove my musical blinders and enjoy.

Sadly, that's not always the case. The Other Paper, one of the leading entertainment weekly papers here in Columbus, has an article by a guy who showed up at Rock On The Range with nothing but hatred for a majority of the performers. You can read it here ... and then read my response, which was sent as a letter to the editor of the Other Paper:
Great coverage on Rock at the Range (sarcasm). You send a guy (John Petrick) to an all-day rock festival who writes 29 paragraphs, 24 of them doing nothing but bitching about the prices of parking, beer and water; the intelligence of his fellow concert-goers and the bands picked; yet saves the final five for his love for the headliner without delivering a single bit about the headliner's performance? That's some of the saddest journalism I've seen in my life.

John, it's easy to mock bands you don't like. We've all done it. If you were only interested in Kid Rock and Rev. Run, praise them, but on their merits, as you did, and without having to spend the majority of the review bashing the bands you don't like. As for your praise of kids wearing Iron Maiden t-shirts ... ask them to name two albums NOT on the shirt, or five songs. Kids wear them because they're sold at Hot Topic and are cool, not because they necessarily know anything about the band, or even like them.

Come to think of it, they sound like your kind of person - ill informed and uninterested in looking beyond their blinders.

I hope next time Columbus as a festival that draws 28 bands and 100,000 people to town your coverage will be a bit more realistic, or at least your writer a bit more open minded.
I'm sure everyone at the event had their favorite, and least favorite, and nobody was happy about $15 parking, $8 beer and $4 water ... but that's life in the festival lane. You can be miserable about it, or accept that's what you're in for, and plan accordingly, rather than spend more time bitching about what it wasn't than enjoying what it was.

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