Music criticism is as much an affliction as an occupation -- especially these days, it's far more reliable as a sickness than a paycheck. Things Music Critics Hate is an occasional series that will attempt to diagnose and explain the broadly shared beliefs and biases that shape the landscape of music criticism -- and also to discover what qualities (if any) professional observers generally agree make music good.
Many people love Skrillex, who in real life is 23-year-old Sonny Moore, onetime S.F. resident and former screamo bandleader. In less than two years, he's gone from virtual unknown to landing songs on charts worldwide. He's nominated for five Grammy awards this year. He draws sprawling crowds in San Francisco and at festivals like Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival. Last year, he even made the cover of SPIN. That pale countenance belonging to Sonny Moore is pretty much the face of America's newfound obsession with electronic dance music.
A smaller, but no less vociferous crowd hates Skrillex and the mechanical bass detonations of his sound. Among music aficionados and many professional critics, Skrillex might as well be Satan's spawn, a strange-looking little demon who likes Korn and aims to spoil the precious soul of dance with a wobblestorm of hyperactive farting.