I’ve been very slow in updating links to my column lately, but I’ve continued writing it monthly, My June column deals with the way Japanese popular music has no widely understood corpus of generally agreed-upon “classic” works that could act as a starting point for new listeners looking for a way in or journalists looking to put some new buzz band into context. Of course people would disagree on such a list, but that disagreement would itself help work towards keeping the “canon” as I term it a living thing able to incorporate new discoveries and new interpretations. Film has this, literature has this, but, in the English language at least, music doesn’t. Some people are obviously going to hate the idea — “Don’t tell me what to listen to! Music should be discovered freely, not decided by elites!” — but as it stands now, it’s mostly the commercial elites of the music industry that decide what we can even find information on. A lot of criticism of “elitist” journalists is really just pop fans scared of their pet faves being put into a context that makes them look bad. Anyway, read the full thing here.