Here’s the top comment on the YouTube video for “Heaven or Las Vegas” by the Cocteau Twins: “The vibe of this song makes me feel like I’m a high school girl entering prom. I am a 30 year old man.” Not only is that funnier than most tweets, it’s an insightful statement about the song that further affirms two beliefs I hold: that much of the best music criticism actually lives in YouTube comments, and that YouTube comments are not nearly as awful as people say they are. I’d generally rather read what people have to say about a given song there than on Pitchfork. In particular, whenever I listen to house and techno from the ‘80s and ‘90s on YouTube, I always check the comments—they’re a mixture of nostalgic anecdotes from the posters’ salad days, joyful declarations of love for the music, jokes, and hybrids of the above, such as this comment on “Voodoo Ray” by A Guy Called Gerald: “I want this at my funeral…it will chill everyone out…straight onto the dance floor with free bar, and ham buttys, a Yorkshire thing.” Sorted by relevance, the good stuff always rises to the top, and the people with the most enthusiasm seem to be the ones who post.
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