Pitchfork is the popular indie music Web site that has taken the listening world by storm over the last few years. I link to it on a regular basis, as it’s a fantastic and often-updated source of news about great (but relatively left-of-center) music. For film buffs unaware, think of it as the indieWIRE of the American music scene. The site now exists as the go-to source for music fans and industry looking for an alternative to the “typical” music news outlets.
Well, on the heels of its massive music festival in Chicago (held just days before this weekend’s Lollapalooza in the same town), The Austin Chronicle does all of us a favor and gets down to the bottom of what/who/why Pitchfork really is. Audra Schroeder finds the history for us:
Founder Ryan Schreiber’s vision of what Pitchfork could be was a modest one. While living with his parents in 1995, the 19-year-old record-store clerk started the Web site from the Schreibers’ suburban Minneapolis home.
“The Web was really in its infancy then, and there really wasn’t that much out there,” says Schreiber. “This was the mid-Nineties zine-scene boom, and all my friends were doing them, so that kind of inspired me, as well as national magazines like Magnet, which were just starting up. But the Web seemed like the best option; there was no overhead, which was nice because I had no money. I had no writing experience whatsoever, but I was kind of an opinionated kid, and I just wanted a way to bring that music I liked to new listeners.”