The Times today has a chat with the guy behind Pitchfork Reviews Reviews, a Tumblr that offers grammar-rules-flouting, surprisingly moderately snarky daily Pitchfork criticism. His name is David (just David, please), he’s 22, he lives in Brooklyn, and he plans to go to law school in a few years. For now, though, his primary focus is facing off with the indie-rock “hegemon of taste” (David’s words). And guess what? Pitchfork is pretty much cool with it! Not only do some of the site’s reviewers carry on a correspondence with him, he was even invited to a recent office party; as editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef explains, “There’s something there that represents the ideal version of our reader.”
In the course of the report, the Times also pulls the curtain back on how the site comes up with its infamous numerical ratings. What you see here may surprise you:
The ratings are not assigned lightly. “Over and over we revisit decisions before they’re on the site,” said Plagenhoef. Albums are discussed via e-mail and on a staff message board. The review is then assigned to a writer trusted to deliver the group’s opinion. Reviews have individual bylines, but they represent the Pitchfork hive-mind.
So, in summation: Pitchfork, both not as humorless and more socialist than one may have previously believed.