CoS Official Writer’s Manual


Index

Choosing an Article
Features
Aux.Out.
Pitching
Assignments
Communication

Writing an Article
A “Good” Formula
Eccentric Formatting, The Rules of the Road
Revision

Submitting an Article

Knowing your Login/Pass
Working with Word Press
Saving, not Publishing

Style Guide
Common Words and Forms
Loose Moratoriums on Overused Words and Cliches
Genres


Choosing an Article

Features

Deciding what you want to write is typically harder than knowing what you don’t want to write. Fortunately, we have feature after feature to choose from. It doesn’t get easier than that, right? Here’s a close look at what we can offer.

Album and Film Reviews: Traditionally, Managing Editor Adam Kivel assigns the album reviews to our staff each month, while Film Editors Dominick Suzanne-Mayer and Justin Gerber tag writers for various films months ahead of their release. However, both entities can be requested through the respective tab in the CoS Assignments Google doc.

Reviews are separated into major or minor categories. Major reviews are at least 800 words, while minor reviews are at most 400 words (500 for film). Don’t fret: We’ll tag which review is major or minor prior to assigning them.

Our rating system is the following:

— An A+ record/film is a masterpiece and future classic that rewards repeat listening/watching with new excitement and insight. It should teach you something new about yourself as a music/film fan.

— An A is a great record/film that offers lasting enjoyment and surprise throughout its length. You should expect to want to come back to it in six months or a year.

— An A- is a very good record/film. Most of its songs/qualities should satisfy repeat listens/viewings. Even if every song/aspect isn’t solid gold, they should flow in a way that is.

— A B+ is a good record/film that retains lasting interest, with a decent number of great songs/qualities.

— A B is an admirable effort that fans of the style or artist/filmmaker will probably find quite listenable/approachable.

— A B- is a competent or interesting record/film that will still feature several worthwhile cuts/qualities.

— A C+ is an okay performance/production, most likely a failed experiment or a pleasant piece of hackwork.

— A C is a record/film of clear professionalism or barely discernible inspiration, but not both.

— A C- is a basically honest but incompetent stab at something more than rote genre performance or experiment for the sake of experiment.

— A D+ is a piece of drudgery or a thoroughly botched token of sincerity.

— It is impossible to understand why anyone would buy/pay for a D record/film.

— It is impossible to understand why anyone would release a D- record/film.

— It is impossible to understand why anyone would make an F+ record/film.

— F records/films are frequently cited as proof that there is no God.

— An F- record is a masterpiece and future classic that rewards repeat listening/viewing with a sense of horror in the face of the void. It should teach you something new about yourself as an organism doomed for death.

Please include an album cover as a featured image (1000×1000), an excerpt (a tagline), and a rating. Use the appropriate rating drop down menu in the bottom section of the draft.

Album Review – Major Example

Album Review – Minor Example

Film Review – Major Example

Film Review – Minor Example

Live Reviews – These run on an incredible time table. If you can’t get the review to us within 12 hours after the event, then we’re hesitant on running them. In some cases, we’ll cancel the review. Which means we’ll be even more hesitant requesting any future shows for you. Now, if we’re being so bleak and morose, it’s only because this is an area that requires precision. Each write up should be 400 words tops and the photos must be shot by a proven photographer. Live Editor Philip Cosores puts in the requests, which you can make here. Please note that we typically cover shows early in the tour, with the only exception being acts that we somehow haven’t covered yet.

Live Review Examples

Festival Reviews – What once was a summertime event has now become a year-long pastime. Music festivals are everywhere and they pop up during every month of the calendar year. Over time, we’ve grown to be very particular about which ones we’d like to cover. Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch!, Governors Ball, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza, ACL… These are the essential reports that receive the most requests from both staff and contributors. Toss your name in the fold and you might luck out, but also be bold and suggest something that you feel deserves coverage. You’ll need a photographer and one hell of a spirit, because covering a festival, especially alone, is quite taxing on the mind, body, and soul.

Odds are you’ll be paired with other writers, which means you can do a Top 30 Moments, a Top 10 Performances, a round table discussion (only for certain festivals), or a time-stamped diary. There are so many ways to tackle this feature — and we’re game to hear your suggestions on alternatives — so don’t feel you have to do it a certain way. Whatever you’re comfortable with and whatever works with the vibe and nature of that festival. Though, it should be noted that the Big Four (Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, ACL) require extensive coverage, something like the Top 30 Moments. These are the highest trafficked reviews, so we they need to be comprehensive. Bookmark this form to put in your future requests.

Festival Review Examples

CoSign – This is our spotlight feature on an up and coming act. In the past, we’ve written early profiles on HAIM, The Districts, METZ, Deafheaven, and the list goes on. While we do take recommendations, it’s really up to our new music team: News Editor Ben Kaye, Assistant News Editor Michelle Geslani, and Associate Editor Sasha Geffen. Each day, they discuss a handful of young acts to cover for news and some of these names will appear in the Top Songs section that week. If they feel there’s enough buzz, then we’ll tag them for a CoSign profile.

This means that a writer will then interview said act and write a short editorial on them, complete with press photos and their top songs.Typically, these are acts that have yet to release an album and are really at the early stages of their career. Don’t be dissuaded by the curatorial aspect of this feature, however. As aforementioned, we’re always looking for recommendations, and we would love to hear your feedback. Who knows, your favorite song might lead to our favorite new band.

CoSign Examples

Dissected + Ranking – A deconstruction of a band or filmmaker’s catalogue in the abstract; from the toxicology of Pink Floyd to the number of session musicians on an average Beach Boys record. “It’s exact science by way of a few beers.” This one’s a little more difficult than others in that it’s very comprehensive and requires some wit. No Dissected piece should ever be similar, though they shouldn’t be too far off in tone, either. So, you need to find a good balance between those two things. My advice would be to read a lot of our past pieces, then find an artist or a veteran filmmaker’s catalogue you’d like to dissect, and go from there. We try to keep the subjects topical, as in those currently in the headlines. Also, writers can opt to rank their work, which we’ll then dub: Dissected + Ranking.

Dissected Examples

Dumpster Diving – Ever walk into a gas station or a CVS and see a few weird titles on a spiral or in a bin? Have you ever thought about buying them? Or did you just wonder how bad they might be? Congratulations, you’re halfway through this feature. This one, conceived by Randall Colburn, does exactly that and then attempts to come to terms with how this film exists and why it’s worth either a.) praising or b.) banishing to the landfill. Ideally, you’d want to discover titles that feature an actor or a director who has something coming out down the pipeline. That way it’s timely, apparently our favorite buzz word.

Dumpster Diving Examples

Dusting ‘Em Off – This is one of our oldest and most celebrated features, which has since been reconfigured over the years. What started out as a nostalgic write up on album has now evolved into our go-to anniversary section for both music and film, which can include multiple writers going head-to-head in a roundtable discussion, an interview with related or non-related talent, or a standard, personal essay. Don’t think of it as a review but an examination of the album or film within the pop culture lexicon that has transpired since its release. While they’re almost all anniversary releases — which you can view in the respective Assignments doc (see: Anniversaries tab) — there are always exceptions. You’ll want some time for these pieces.

Dusting ‘Em Off Examples

Interviews – These are pretty self-explanatory. Though, currently, we’re only interested in Q&As and editorialized interviews surrounding artists and filmmakers that we’re either hyping or have a captivating story. We’d like to avoid any generic puff pieces and try to reveal a unique side to the talent. This is an area reserved for Lior Phillips and Zack Ruskin, but we are always taking pitches on various stories. In that case, you’ll need to know a few things.

If you’re doing a traditional Q&A, you’ll want to bold your questions and leave their responses in plain text. If there are multiple parties involved in the discussion, you can list their names like this — Tunde Adebimpe (TA): and Kyp Malone (KP): — and then begin their next response with simply TA: or KP: — make sense? On top, you’ll want to write out a three or four graph introduction that sets up the discussion and provides some context.

If it’s an editorialized interview, these shouldn’t be too exhaustive — the long-form interviews are reserved for cover stories, after all — though we can always discuss the length over e-mail. Just try to make sure the story is objective without inserting too much of yourself, only if the story is contingent on your participation. You should also make sure to avoid the mundanities and really carve out the details that take the reader to your interview.

Associate Editor Sasha Geffen handles this area.

Interviews Example

List ‘Em Carefully – There’s no specific way to do a list. We’ve seen this feature mutate into just about everything: top songs, performances, films, etc; brief histories of a band or a filmmaker; rankings of their work; anything goes. You can see all the various configurations here, but we’ve also listed out our most popular formats below.

Ranking: An extensive “from worst to best” listing that scrounges up every possible entity within that subject. So, if you’re doing John Hughes’ films, you’ll want to address every film. Leave nothing behind. This feature is often paired with the aforementioned Dissected pieces (see: Michael Mann).

In 10 Songs: A crash course on a celebrated artist. Think of this as a way for new listeners to read and walk away veteran fans. This can be a collaborative piece or something you write on your own. But, each one should have a proper breakdown that pays credence to the artist or band’s multi-faceted sound and career. [Example]

Top 10 Performances/Films/Songs: No need for a description, but here’s one anyhow: a competitive list that chisels down the subject’s work to his or her 10 best accomplishments. Again, these are tied to events, releases, anniversaries, etc.

— A Brief History: A swath of write ups listed chronologically with both analysis and context. These can be everything from an artist’s past collaborations to a collection of particular genre films. [Example]

— The Very Best: An exhaustive, full report of a specific band or artist that breaks down their best album, song, album cover, music video, 10 non-greatest hits, 10 live cuts. Usually a collaborative piece. [Example]

Marathon – This feature requires some endurance. It’s a one and done run through of a franchise or a collection of works all in a single sitting — you know, as the name implies. The writing itself could be a travelogue, a diary, or a sectioned review; regardless, it should express the time and dedication put in. As such, you might want to write in present tense or time stamp each entry, something to show you did this all in one fell swoop. It goes without saying that you’ll need some courage.

Marathon Examples

Remake This! – Blake Goble designed this feature which looks back on films that actually deserve a second (or sometimes third) go-around. The breakdown is pretty uniform at this point, so it’s a matter of looking at the past works and emulating the style. The writing’s on you, of course.

Remake This! Examples

Roundtable – You’ve probably noticed this word thrown around by now. Admittedly, this is more of a style than a feature, but we do have particular editorials that are steeped in this format: The State of Horror, The State of Comedy, The State of Bro Comedies, etc. If there’s a subject that’s been tickling your not-so-funny bone, then perhaps you should reach out to a few fellow writers (or even outside contributors) and get a discussion going. These have worked great in the past and allow for some great dialogue, especially from some of our readers, too.

Six Degrees – Kevin Bacon would appreciate this one. It’s connecting the dots between two unlikely parties. Since we cover music and film, it’s prudent we stress the connections. This one can take one musician and one filmmaker, or one actor and a band, anything you prefer … and wraps a textual wire between them through four other individuals or events. Alas, it’s six degrees of so and so. This one requires a little patience, creativity, and a few graphics to spice it up.

Sound To Screen – Editorials devoted to discussing the music of any film, typically on their anniversary or if a sequel or a reboot is coming up. This isn’t just a dissection of the soundtrack, but a unique look on what the music does for the film. Writers should find a specific angle to discuss — for example, how Sigur Rós is paramount to Steve Zissou’s catharsis — and how this relates to the rest of the film. Matt Melis also writes a companion editorial to this: Page to Screen.

Sound to Screen Examples

Strange Arcs – A tight, focused study on a series of oddball decisions by an actor, actress, or filmmaker. Did they switch to drama too fast? Was comedy a bad decision? Maybe that flop for Disney could have been avoided? Lots to discuss and plenty of these moments throughout Hollywood history.

Strange Arcs Example

Vs. – What’s better? Who’s better? These are questions two or three or even four writers can debate in this feature, which pits multiple entities in either film or music against one another. It’s a long-form debate that’s carried out through an e-mail roundtable. Each writer chooses which side they’d like to defend prior to writing and they argue their case throughout the discussion. Just think of point/counterpoint here.

Vs. Examples

What The Hell Happened?: Ever wonder where your favorite filmmaker or actor went wrong? That’s the whole point of this column, typically reserved for a roundtable discussion between other writers interested in the same question. This is a lengthy piece that should take place over a matter of days online — preferably e-mail — where you attempt to discover where they went bad and how they can do right. It’s not as cynical as you think and most of the pieces aspire to reach an optimistic conclusion.

What The Hell Happened? Examples

Aux.Out.

This is our long-form hub of the site that is currently under the direction of Contributing Editor Philip Cosores. If you have an idea or a pitch that you want to write and explore in this section, please e-mail Mr. Cosores here. In the meantime, take a look below at the current editorials that run here on a monthly basis to get a better perspective.

— Relevant Content is a bi-weekly podcast for Aux.Out. in which hosts Sasha Geffen and Philip Cosores discuss topical issues with guest industry experts and personalities.

— The Day Room is a column by Philip Cosores that features stories from the music industry that shine a light and brighten the corners.

— Brainwave is a column by Sasha Geffen, exploring the interaction between music and the mind.

— Component is a section of Aux.Out. for one-off pieces, special editorials, and lost orphans of the music discussion.

— Sensible Nonsense is a column from Robert Ham taking us into the less-explored terrain of experimental music, giving us either a lay of the land or a map back home.

— Next Little Things is a monthly round-up of limited-run, mostly experimental vinyl/tape releases, reviewed by Grant Purdum.

— Life Review, a live review section on Aux.Out that looks to expand beyond the access provided by a concert ticket.

— Aux.Out. Book Club reads and discusses either a canonical piece of music writing or something fresh off the presses.

— Trappers and Philosophers is a hip-hop column from Associate Editor Michael Madden

— Production Progress is an interview with an established producer, who will discuss his or her work on five particular albums.

Pitching

Is there something we’re not offering that you think we should? Start pitching us:

Stories: We’re always looking for stories. Whether it’s spending a week at C3 Presents… before they announce their lineups, or uncovering a scene of electronic artists in Des Moines, or pointing the spotlight on a 64-year-old soul singer who performs in the subway — there are tales beyond our apartment that are waiting to be written. We’re interested in both paying for and running these investigative pieces, so please pitch to Sasha Geffen, our Associate Editor for Stories, here.

Features: In 2014, our biggest features involved a dedicated amount of research, specifically our ranking of South Park’s songs, or Arcade Fire’s covers, etc. We want to keep up that tradition and because these pieces are both lengthy and quite expanse, we know they require time and compensation. This is something that falls out of our typical realm of Dissecteds, Top Songs/Performances, etc. So, if you have a big idea, hit up Michael Madden, our Associate Editor for Features, here.

Assignments

At the beginning of the month, Michael Roffman sends out an assignments e-mail that keeps you up to date on what’s happening at Consequence of Sound. It’s also a reminder that the CoS Assignments Google doc has been updated. If you’re a consistent enough writer here, you’ll want to check this doc at least once a week.

Not only does the doc contain all of your deadlines, color-coded in a month-long schedule, but it also includes a number of features: the requests tab for future reviews, the anniversaries tab to assist with your pitches, and the albums committee where you can offer your own grades.

Deadlines range from Wednesday to Sunday at noon CST. However, it is up to you to note when your deadline is coming up. It’s very accessible. Simply, click on the “Schedule and Deadlines” tab, jot down the dates in your own planner, and make sure the work is turned in before the deadline. Late assignments will not be tolerated and we work off a three strikes policy.

Communication

As Winston Churchill said, “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” In other words, be up front with us and we’ll be up front with you. That’s the only way all of this works. Otherwise, we’re just shuffling around in the twilight, waiting for answers and responses. So, please e-mail Michael Roffman or any of our helpful editors the minute you have a concern or a question or an idea. We love communication and so should you.


 

Writing the Article

A “Good” Formula

We can debate this ‘til the end of time (and probably will), but writers carry their own voice. Every writer is different. We all use words in certain ways that make us unique. That doesn’t mean we don’t follow some sort of structure. We need a skeleton to go off of…

One great structure or formula to run off of is one developed by William E. Blundell, better know as the “guy from The Wall Street Journal.” I’ve borrowed the next few paragraphs from online site, Oon Yeoh, and it should really help you with your framing of articles, especially news pieces:

Blundell’s technique is still used by the Journal and countless other papers. It’s the technique we use for most of our feature articles. Here’s a simple outline of the Blundell Technique:

1. The Lead (Intro) 2. Nut Graph (Angle) 3. Main Body (Blocks) 4. Conclusion (Ending)

Here’s the elaboration on the Blundell Technique:

1. The lead (or intro) for the article is typically three paragraphs long. It’s usually an interesting anecdote that may not, at first glance, seem to be related to the topic at hand. Its purpose is to provide an interesting and simple-to-understand illustration of the issue you are writing about (the anecdote is basically a microcosm of the bigger story you intend to tell) and to draw your readers to the Nut Graph. (By the time they read the Nut Graph, they would have understood the lead’s relevance to the story).

2. The Nut Graph is a paragraph that explains your entire article in a nutshell. Many writers find the Nut Graph to be the hardest aspect of feature writing. Once they’ve figured out their Nut Graph, everything else falls into place easily.

3. The main body of the article consists of several blocks, each representing a different aspect of the main story. It’s always a good idea to pepper your blocks with quotes and examples to make it more interesting and credible.

4. The conclusion is something that ends your story with a punch. There several types of conclusions. The best kind usually contains a passage that either sums up and/or reinforces the central message of the story.

Eccentric Formatting

When it comes to writing your article, content should be your priority. You should focus on your voice, your details, and the facts that are present in your one story. However, you should also take notice of a few formatting issues that are necessary for publication, and also to get things moving.

Now, we’re all readers. We all love books — at least some of us do. Most of you probably have wide, expansive collections, featuring everything from Hemingway to Faulkner (shudder), that collect dust and, more often than not, impress guests that come over. Those sit for a long time and probably forever. Separate from these books are what we like to call “toolbox books.” Basically, stuff you don’t really read, but rather consult.

If you’re a good journalist, you hate these books. If you’re a great journalist, you hate these books, try not to use them, but still keep them next to your desk. What two books? The miserable manual by Strunk & White called The Elements of Style and the beautiful, always handy The Associated Press Stylebook. Together they should run you $25, but they’re worth it. Trust us.

books CoS Official Writers Manual

Now, obviously not everyone is going to follow suit and buy the books, or even read through them. We wouldn’t do that to you. Instead, we’ve written some things that are mandatory to follow. So consider this your own little guide, though we do recommend you pick up those two books above. It’s for your own good.

Writing is never perfect and writing always evolves. That’s why this section will likely grow over time. Some of you may recognize these rules, some of you might consider them common knowledge. Much of this is collected from the two books, in addition to stuff our former instructors passed on to us.

Without further adieu, here you go…

1. Never refer to any band member, musician or person by the first name. You don’t know them, they don’t know you, and even if they did, you would still refer to them by their first and last name. Once the first and last name is established, you can refer to them by their last. (e.g., Jack White is an exceptional musician, yet White doesn’t regard himself as so.)

2. Books, movies, TV shows, albums are all italicized!

3. Songs should be put in quotes and when positioned in a series, should appear like so: The pivotal tracks were “Scentless Apprentice”, “Comfortably Numb”, and “Steady as She Goes”. However, place commas and periods inside the quotation marks for other things, like quotes or lyrics. (e.g., “I don’t need you no more,” Jack White sings.)

3. The first time you mention the band you’re writing about, link to the site’s tag. You can do this by adding their name in the Tags box (upper right hand), saving, and then clicking preview. Below, in the preview, you’ll find the links to the tags at the bottom. Use those.

4. Band names are capitalized, including the “The” but only if the “The” is an actual part of the band’s name. If not, it should be a lowercase “the” in other situations.

5. Bands with a singular name (Radiohead) should remain singular – Radiohead is buying a car.

6. Bands with a plural name (The Strokes) should remain plural – The Strokes are back.

7. The Internet is capitalized.

8. Check your facts! Names, dates, and album information should come in correct and factual.

9. Capitalize the first word after a colon if the phrase is a complete sentence.

10. It’s and its. It’s = it is. Its = possessive. Write that down.

11. Use serial commas! (like an Oxford comma for those VW fans!) (e.g., He sang about love, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.)

12. And, or, but — use commas when they precede a complete sentence (e.g., a second subject)

13. Compound modifiers take a hyphen unless the first word ends in an -ly

14. Aim for active voice.

15. AP style for numbers (1-9 written out, 10- are numerical)

16. When numbers start out a sentence, always spell them out.

17. Proper forms of pronouns. who (subject) vs. whom (object)

18. Avoid cliches (“They kicked up a storm”) and commonly misused phrases (Hopefully, Importantly, farther/further, among/between).

19. Locations are as such: San Francisco, California; Glasgow, UK; Hamburg, DE; Paris, FR; Earth

20. At no point should any review rely on adjectives like “amazing”, “good”, and “exceptional.” Get creative.

Revision

One of the luxuries of being an Editor or a Publisher is that we’re going to be blind by the time we’re 30 or 40, mainly because we never stop looking at the monitors all day long. We’re liable to make mistakes just as you are, but we’re constantly waxing over article after article. There needs to be some release to this, and it should start with those writing the articles.

As a writer, you should be proud of your work and it should show. Make sure the finest details portray the finest aspects of your writing. The finished overall product should represent the best of your abilities, and therefore, you should treat each story with both care and concern.

Make sure the facts are straight, that names are spelled (and on a last name basis, too), album titles are italicized, and song titles are in quotes. I’ve seen too many submissions that are littered with faults, small ones that could really be remedied with a second read through.

My advice? Read everything aloud. It should come off as natural and easy to read, and if you find yourself stumbling on words, odds are it needs to be simplified or corrected.


 

Submitting an Article

Knowing Your Login/Password

Each writer has a specific user name and a password. This is used to log into our WordPress engine, where you can save your drafts and we can edit and publish them. If you haven’t been set up into the system, or you can’t access it, please e-mail Michael Roffman and he’ll assist you.

Bookmark: The login page on the website is located here…

https://consequenceofsound.net/wp-admin/edit.php

Working with WordPress

WordPress can be tedious. To really get an idea on how to use it, the best way is to just test it out yourself. It’s a hands-on experience and if you have the time, it’s something you’ll learn pretty fast.

1. Once you log in, click “Add Post”.

2. This is your standard post. There’s the slim bar that reads “Enter title here” and then the full body where your draft will go.

3. To add media, click “add media.” Simple, right?

4. In the text bar, which starts with Bold, Italic, and Strikethrough, click the last button: “Toolbar Toggle.” This will give you the full toolbar, which includes the headline formats, text color, undo button, etc. This is important to have.

5. If you write your articles in a Word processor, then be sure to click the “Text” button, which will paste the standard text. However, if you write your articles with HTML, then click the “Text” tab, which will open a box for you to copy and paste text. Paste your HTML-laced work there, then click the Visual tab again, and, voila, the HTML will turn to rich formatting. You rule.

5. For quotes, from either artists or press releases, use the button that has [“] in it. It will shift the text over, which you can paste information into. When you are done, click the button again, to shift back. And provide right under it, the source of the link, for example, [Pitchfork], with “Pitchfork” being hyperlinked.

6. If you’re trying to add a YouTube link, simply paste the link. That’s it. This also works for Soundcloud, Vimeo, or any other streaming module.

7. On the side of the post, there is an Artists box. Write the act in it. Odds are the artist will pop up.

8. Above that, however, there are Categories. This is where you will mark what type of feature it will be. If it’s an Album Review, click “Album Review.” If it’s a Dusting ‘Em Off, click “Dusting ‘Em Off”… Eh, you get the picture.

9. If you want to help us out by providing an image, especially if you’re doing a review, you can search for the cover in our Media Libarary (usually by entering the title). Click on “Set Featured Image” to do just that.

10. In the top right, you’ll see a thing called “Screen Options.” Make sure Categories, Tags, Artists, Featured Image, Excerpt, etc. are all checked.

11. That way, you can leave a tagline or a quick one-sentence summary in the excerpt box below.

12. Once you’re finished, put a * at the end of your subject line. This tells us that it’s ready to be edited. If you’re not finished, place a # at the end. That tells us you’re still working on it. FYI: If you see % later on, that means it’s been edited. A $MR means it’s ready to roll.

Saving, not Publishing

DO NOT PUBLISH. Instead, click SAVE. Your draft will be filed and ready for editing. That’s where we come in and, if all of the above is followed, it should be an easy run, and we’ll be rolling as a strong, killer staff.


Style Guide

Here’s something you’ll want to print, bookmark, tape on your wall, etc.

I. Standardized Formatting of Common Words and Phrases

aka
side project not hyphenated
mixtape
rapper (sometimes “MC”, never “emcee” or “rap artist”)
lineup
website
break up (v.) breakup (n.)
write-up
email
full-length
MP3
tracklist
45’s, 78’s, LPs, EPs,
‘90s, ‘80s, 1990s, 1980s*
Internet
ellipses have spaces on each side
fingerpicked
side project not hyphenated
catalog (not “catalogue”)
bass line (two words)
setlist
frontman/frontwoman
OK (rather than okay)
10 a.m. (rather than 10 am or 10:00 AM or 10 :00 a.m. [exception for schedule format, in which case 10:00]
7-inch
US, UK
and co. (rather than and Co.)
Rappers that end in $ take ‘s as possessive (e.g., Joey Bada$$’s or Lucki Eck$’s)
LA, NYC
supergroup
Auto-Tune
T-shirt (rather than t-shirt)
B-side rather than b-side or B-Side
p
four-track, eight-track

II. Loose Moratoriums on overused/cliche words and phrases (Change if possible)

catchy (adj)
rock (v.)
poppy ( sometimes)
overall, in the end, in sum, ultimately
Slipshod Adjective Creation (synth-y, guitar-y, , etc…)
Slipshod Noun Creation (trippy-ness, synth-y-ness, catchy-ness)
sonic landscape
sonic-[anything]
aforementioned/said (only usually because it’s pretty clear to tell what the writer was just talking about)
highly-anticipated
[band]-esque
quasi-
“There’s no denying,”
appropriately/fittingly titled
schizophrenic/bipolar/mental illness words
indeed/in fact

III. Genres

ambient pop
American underground
British trad rock
Britpop
C-86
chamber pop
college rock
cowpunk
darkwave
dream pop
electro-industrial
emo
emo-pop
free folk
freak-folk
funk metal
garage punk
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