Pop Criticism, Served Fresh Daily

How do you stay fresh if you’re a popular music critic? NYT critic Ben Ratliff says it’s the most difficult thing: “The real challenge of the job – and particularly in writing for a daily – is to keep in motion, always putting more distance between you and what you thought was cool when you were in your early 20s. (You can always admire the old favourites again, but carefully: you must meet them on new ground, as a more developed person.) You have to keep going against assumptions, especially your own. Hipness is a disease, it really is. It freezes thought.”