the pitchfork effect
Thanks to Steve for pointing out this article in City Pages about "how an upstart record-review site (uh, Pitchfork) won the animosity--and allegiance--of indie music scenesters and changed the rules for breakout bands." And yeah, anonymous, I know you're sick of reading about Tapes. Sorry dude.
"To be fair, the Tapes 'n Tapes whirlwind popularity wasn't entirely due to Pitchfork's review. In fact, all of the band's Austin shows had been booked before the review was even posted. The first whisperings that led to the band's blowout indie success came from mp3 blogs like Music for Robots, Gorilla vs. Bear, and Brooklyn Vegan. If Pitchfork critics are the tastemakers, these bloggers are lesser-known sometime-gatekeepers. The next big thing doesn't necessarily have to go through them before it reaches Schreiber's site, but it probably will."