(originally published during SXSW 2002)
1. Writing for rollingstone.com isn’t the same as writing for Rolling Stone. But then, these days writing for Rolling Stone isn’t the same as writing for Rolling Stone.
2. The first person is not the First Amendment. It’s a privilege, not a right.
3. Stop trying to make Richard Thompson famous. Ain’t gonna happen.
4. Using rap slang in your reviews only makes you come off more like a white kid from the suburbs.
5. Guitars do not “ring” or “chime.” Bells do.
6. Ryan Adams has no talent.
7. It’s a record review, not a term paper.
8. Do not quote other rock critics. Hanging out with them is pathetic enough.
9. Your band sucks.
10. Greil Marcus has earned the right to not make sense. You haven’t.
11. Dude, I can’t believe we went to the same concert.
12. Three of the most frightening words ever: “Robert Christgau protege.”
13. Go ahead and give Willie Nelson a bad review. You know you want to.
14. Would you please stop that incessant, jerky, head-bobbing? Standing behind you at a show is like staring at a strobe light.
16. Saying you like Radiohead’s “difficult” albums will only encourage them.
17. Alejandro Escovedo doesn’t really like you — he’s using you.
18. Lou Reed doesn’t really hate you — he’s just using you.
19. Dressing like a rock star doesn’t make you look like a rock star: It only reinforces the stereotype that critics are musician wannabes (Boy, that’s three David Fricke refs in a row.)
20. Having Courtney Love hit on you during an interview is as special as a free coffee refill.
21. You don’t really like heavy metal. So stop writing about it already.
22. Who the hell is encouraging all those telemarketers posing as publicists?
23. If you’ve ever received a rejection from No Depression, you might want to consider another career path.
24. Don’t you dare cross the street to avoid Mojo Nixon. Five years ago you were sucking up to him.
25. If you’ve ever shared a hot tub with a rock star, please keep it to yourself.
26. Let’s see if you can write a concert review without using any of these words: pulsating, pounding, post-(something).
27. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. (If you’re from out of town, Cheapo buys everything.)