(above : not footage from the 2014 Austin Music Blogger Awards. I think.)

With Dino Costa protecting his twitter account of late, it would seem Austin Town Hall editor / Austin Music Blogger Awards editor Nathan Lankford has now become rather reliable cannon fodder around these parts. On Saturday, the gift-no-one-asked-for kept giving a little bit more.  Responding to reader comments that perhaps he was, y’know totally full of shit, Lankford continued to engage in a weird combination of back-tracking, sloppy stereotyping and most predictably of all,self-congratulation.

Lankford now chocks up last week’s accusations that I’m raping the scene/ lining my pockets to an unfortunate bit of poor anger management on his part.  Never mind the fact he can’t substantiate any of these claims, point to one example or even offer something as honorable as “sorry, I made shit up about you in a public forum,.”   As far as the AMBA voting and nomination process goes, he makes a feeble attempt to explain the whole thing, while claiming labels were asked to vote because “they’re a vital part of the community”.  Even if you accept the idea that labels voting for their own records (or against someone else’s) is the best way to acknowledge artistic achievement (HINT : IT ISN’T), how can it be claimed that labels like Super SecretTodo Destruido or Instincto have made fewer contributions to Austin music than 12XU?  If you wanna continue to frame a combination of parochialism, musical bigotry and sheer intellectual laziness as being “all-about-the-community”, by all means, knock yourself out.  Preferably with a brick or lead pipe.

Nathan thinks it is particularly important we know that his own personal ballot included such bands as Sweet Talk, the OBN III’s, Pharoahs and Quitters.  So there you have it, some of his best friends are punk.   He actually characterizes the debate as “Beerland vs. Bloggers”, which is only the latest example of an incredibly narrow worldview from someone who claims to champion diversity.  There’s been no shortage of artists mentioned throughout these discussions who are wildly talented and original — to continuously presume they all represent the same genre and are part of some house-band thing at Beerland could not be more incorrect.  One of the bands initially cited as an example of Lankford & co. totally missing the boat played to a sold out N.D. last night ; presumably that venue meets Lankford’s sky-high standards for sound (funny how a guy who can’t describe or evaluate music in a way that’s provocative or insightful considers himself qualified to evaluate the work of Austin’s sound engineers).

My “work harder” wasn’t meant to say that bands aren’t working their asses off in this city. Hell, even shitty bar bands I would never watch work hard to perfect their craft. I think the one thing I have wanted for some time is that Austin bridge the gap. I wish the bands would communicate with the blogs a bit more, not because I think we’re the best at what we do, but because if we like it, it’s free exposure, and often spreads from blog to blog. That’s 10000 people, a lot of them in Austin, getting to hear a new song or new album from a band…there’s just a lack of communication, and I’d love to close that gap, encourage the bands to send ATH and the other blogs their music or tweet us about shows so we can retweet and spread the word. I want all the bands I love to get that extra boost of publicity…it’s good for the bands, the bars and everyone involved.

Unfuckingbelievable. So the burden’s entirely on the artists to figure out who these blogs are and provide them with a soundcloud link and p.r. spiel that can be regurgitated. Because your seals of approval are so coveted. By all means, every artist in town needs to stop what they’re doing right now and get cracking on sending stuff to a music blog so staggeringly influential, a bunch of traffic from this very thread actually crashed their server this week.

Gerard and I are two very different people, though both with very similar approaches to things. Gerard worries only about what he thinks is good music. That’s perfectly acceptable and applauded. I, while caring about the same thing, feel a huge responsibility to Austin, as growing up here is what fostered my love of music, so I take a different approach. But in the end, we both want the same thing; we want the bands we love to have money to put out their records and to tour their asses off and enjoy the highlights of rock n’ roll. That should be the bottom line, for both of us.

Sorry, but I don’t think our approaches are particularly similar. Lovely that being an Austin native has fostered such a deep appreciation for music, but not all music is actually good or interesting. And there ought to be way, way more to “the bottom line” than putting out records, touring and “the highlights of rock’n’roll”. I mean, fuck rock’n’roll (if the Black Books are supposed to be rock’n’roll, the genre is in deep, deep trouble) And fuck music blogging. If the height of your artistic ambitions are getting paid, touring and the highlights of rock’n’roll, please, watch the movie trailer at the start of this post three or four hundred times in a row and let me know at what point it all seems shallow, sad and stupid.