Richard Beck, writing for n+1 mag, writes what is ostensibly a history of Pitchfork, before coming to a surprisingly vicious conclusion:
A Pitchfork review may ignore history, aesthetics, or the basic technical aspects of tonal music, but it will almost never fail to include a detailed taxonomy of the current hype cycle and media environment. This is a small, petty way of thinking about a large art, and as indie bands have both absorbed and refined the culture’s obsession with who is over- and underhyped, their musical ambitions have been winnowed down to almost nothing at all.
Not sure if I totally agree, but I see his point. In a footnote he uses Vampire Weekend as a critique of M.I.A., which is entertaining in itself as surely VW are a perfect example of the ultimate self-knowing Pitchfork hero band.
Pop will eat itself, indeed.