"A lot of the new acts I saw [at SXSW] did seem to think in references. Their art, and the work they put into it, was more like quilting than weaving-- they'd take bits and pieces of recognizable things and recombine them in new ways. This isn't necessarily bad or hollow; sometimes it's strange and illuminating. But one night, watching one of Fiona Apple's terrific gigs, it worried me. The motor behind Apple's shows seemed to be inside her-- some kind of emotion with no cultural reference point. The idea was to take those feelings and fill a room with them. It stood out. Why weren't more of the acts I was seeing doing that? Why did so many of them feel mediated, as if the bands could only communicate with me emotionally by pointing to items on some menu laid out between us, containing all the sounds and ideas they understood and I understood, too?"
-- Nitsuh Abebe probes the Malaise - http://pitchfork.com/features/why-we-fight/8796-on-the-far-slope-of-the-uncanny-valley/
see also Mark Richardson's column on Tumblr-pop and music-as-reblog
and Scott Plagenhoef's piece on Tumblr-pop and "post-internet" musicians