I’ll admit it – I like my pop news. I want my Gaga fix, I love Kelly Clarkson, I snark on American Idol, and I should probably be able to mumble something about Beyoncé to our interns to prove I am not a total oldster.
Yet, the arena of pop news is a bleak place filled with fawning and no-calorie celebrity stories about every popstar’s walk down the street or who they were rubbing elbows with out at a club.
Popdust obsesses over Gaga, Beyoncé, Glee, Bieber, American Idol, and all other things Top 40 – but it keeps them at arm’s length, remembering that beneath the popularity there is actual artistry to be discussed and dissected. You can almost feel the eyerolls in some of their coverage (especially re: Glee), and they often go meta, talking about why they’re even bothering to talk about the things they’re talking about.
Case and point: their Gaga coverage. When Born This Way dropped Popdust covered it wall-to-wall for a week, running substantive track-by-track reviews, that took Gaga to task for her clunkers. They also landed an exclusive phoner with Mother Monster herself last week – not something most pop blog outlets could say (even if they’re attached to a major media network or print magazine). In the interview they called “Edge of Glory,” her “third best single,” and actually got Gaga herself to comment on what her best songs have been. Amazing!
After the big get I read up on Popdust’s backstory. It’s not as if it was launched by 1000x out of his parent’s garage. It has a major media pedigree, with founders who were EIC’s at Billboard and CEO’s of their own startups that sold for north of $300 million. They completed a $1mill A-Round of financing – one million, for a pop blog! Even if we include all the crazy music and comic books I buy every year as part of CK’s operating budget it is significantly less than 1% of that.
You know what? I don’t care if it takes a million dollars and rich dudes with business savvy to put together a website that takes pop seriously while keeping a tongue firmly planted in cheek. Popdust is my favorite pop news outlet of 2011.