Patrick MacDonald – Seattle Times Rock Nobody?

What a great job that must be – “rock critic” for the Seattle Times.   Currently, that position is filled by one Patrick MacDonald.    One has to wonder if he knows anything at all about music.   I can’t imagine the Seattle Times would be able to attract anyone of quality to that position.  Here’s an excerpt of his review of George Michael’s concert from Wednesday night…

The huge, flashy extravaganza, which played KeyArena’s lower bowl Wednesday night, would have befitted a superstar, which he was, for a minute, about 20 years ago. He’s a nostalgia act now, a relic of the disco era.

LOL!  Yeah, right.  I mean – I know this guy is only working for some crumby local paper, but there’s no excuse for being so clueless.    Patrick, if you read this – you have a lot to learn.  Right now, I’m not sure you’re even qualified to write for a publication like the Seattle Times. Here’s some tips for you:

  1. Learn some music history.  In particular, I recommend researching which years the “disco era” spanned.
  2. Learn to take an international perspective.   Right now, you’re embarrassing yourself with your small-town, poorly educated view of the world.

By any reasonable definition, George Michael has maintained his success around the world continuously for the last 25 years or so.   It’s fine for the great unwashed in the United States not to be aware of this.    Professionals, or those that aspire to be professionals, really should know better…

13 thoughts on “Patrick MacDonald – Seattle Times Rock Nobody?

  1. My response to Peter Macdonald of the Seattle Times:

    Why is your review of the George Michael concert so negative and pissy? Is it because he’s from the 80s and once wore Day-Glo? Aren’t those pretty superficial reasons? Sure, it was once cool to dis the guy (especially after his L.A. cruising arrest), but with the passage of time most critics have come around and acknowledged (sometimes grudgingly) his talent and historical relevance in the pop pantheon.

    By summer’s end I will have seen him four times on the 25LIVE Tour — twice in Paris, San Diego and Chicago. I’ve never seen any performer this many times, but I made the exception for George Michael because he’s been a superb pop music craftsman and wrote “Careless Whisper” in the back of a bus when he was a mere 17 years of age.

    Perhaps you are not aware of this, but George Michael has sold up to 85 million records worldwide for a reason: he’s that talented. He not only sings, but writes, arranges, and produces all of his own music. Sometimes he even plays the bass and drums. It has always been this way, even when he was in Wham!, his teenbopper days. As a solo artist, he has proven time and time again that he is not a flash in the 80s pan, that his music is enduring and classic pop. From the jazzy Chet Baker-like “Kissing a Fool” to the soulful “You Know that You Want to” to the celebratory “Freedom 90” and countless other songs, George Michael has proven that he is a serious artist unafraid of explording a vast landscape of musical possibilities. He has more talent than Madonna, more versatility and style spectrum than Prince, and a more versatile singing range than most of his contemporaries. He’s been on a global World Tour since 2006, selling out stadiums and arenas across Europe and Russia. This is no accident. He’s the Burt Bacharach of his generation.

    Finally, you keep referencing disco, Studio 54, and cocaine spoons in your article. You got the wrong decade, dude. Those are all classic 70s-era artifacts, a time period when George Michael would have been in middle-school and high school. He was in a ska band with his friends at the end of that decade, playing the drums. By 1980 he and Andrew Ridgely hooked up and formed what was to eventually become Wham! Learn your history before making incorrect references and assumptions.

  2. He’s obviously an idiot. He couldn’t even manage to get the name of the tour right.

  3. Wow.. Just wow.

    Let’s pick it apart, shall we…

    1. “two hourlong sets, divided by an encore” — You don’t divide a show by an encore, you divide by an intermission.

    2. “Day-Glo light patterns and impressive visuals were projected onto its undulating lines, creating a futuristic, space-age lightshow” — Ummm.. Far from Day-glo or projected.. They are LEDs.

    3. “Two smaller, similarly-shaped sections were on either side, and also had visuals projected onto them” — See #2

    4. “Not all the songs were disco.” — According to the show I saw in San Diego, none of the songs were disco.

    5. “loved the thump-thump disco beat ” — Is this guy for real?

    6. “Arriving through a doorway on the ski jump” — His set is hardly a ski jump.

    I am writing to this bonehead and sending him a link to this article on Buzzin. Maybe he can at least see that there is a world outside of his 1 bedroom apartment full of cats.

  4. I remember reading a review for Paul McCartney where they referred to him as “one of the lead singers of a once famous quartet called the Beatles”. …..I saved it, it was just too funny!

  5. @GK,
    would you please send the link for Paul McCartney’s review, oh my God!!! I can’t believe the American media or atleast most of it, only the most current acts get the praise no matter how bad they are, they are young and fresh so they are GREAT!!! “one of the lead singers of a once famous quartet called the Beatles” how can he refere to the Beatles (the most successful thing that ever happened in the music industry) as “once famous quartet called the Beatles”…

    he is not a music critic, and should be sued for ignorance

  6. Just read the review, it’s not all negative. He does give him some credit. But even if he didn’t, I don’t understand why you felt the need to react so strongly, Remarkable. It’s like you felt diminished on some level by it.

    Personally, most of George’s show was not my style… I would even agree with this Peter guy that to a certain degree, it looked like a flashy extravaganza. But other parts, mostly the ones I missed live look interesting on youtube. So I would say, it’s a mixed bag- at least, for me. His voice is still quite strong but I prefer it on CD. Actually, I prefer most singers’ voices on CD. Whatever digital processing they do, it works for me.

  7. I just read the article again and I ‘m a bit confused about a couple of points he’s making… Seems like he’s using some post-irony/latent sarcasm there that I may have missed the first time round… then again, maybe not. lol

    But you know what, there might be a back story to this guy and his relationship to George that we don’t know about…(!)

    Or, maybe, he’s just what he says: A Seattle Times rock critic. I mean Seattle, hello! Could George’s mainstream(mostly) pop ever stand a chance with him?

  8. Calliope Iris,
    Did you go to his concert or just watched it on YouTube? Why the comment of “there might be a back story to this guy and his relationship to George”? It’s so obvious you have a problem with George, leave him be. The so called critic is ignorant. Yogchick, loved your response.

  9. @Kim T

    I saw only the second part live- the rest on youtube.

    The comment about the “back story”… it was meant as a joke. Well, mostly. You just never know with people… why they can appear ignorant. Because this guy may be acerbic but he deff doesn’t come across as ignorant to me. Plus George claims he has slept with a few hundrd guys…so you never know… I ‘m not saying that’s what happened, I was just exploring why this guy expressed himself that way about George…

    You, on the other hand, you are ignorant about certain things… things to do with his private life & feelings.

  10. Calliope
    You don’t appear to be a person who can take jokes, much less tell jokes. Don’t kid yourself.

    As for George’s personal life – that’s his personal life. I love him for his music and don’t try to assume that everyone who writes negatively about him has slept with him or had a personal thing with him. It’s your ignorance and denial that seems to always make comments about his personal life. Stop playing the damn victim and get some therapy for your loathing

  11. I hope that this gets to Patrick:
    I have always admired Patrick’s genuine understanding of entertainment. Subsequently, I thought that it would be worth Patrick seeing a show that has a lot of people buzzing. Go to and check out the ‘Scribble 4.2’ advert. Tickets are (embarrassingly) reasonable; and ‘Scribble’ is amazing!
    Just thought that a ‘real’ critic should see a great show!
    Thanks for hearing! Kenny R

  12. Wow, speaking of idiots and speaking of kettles and pots! You all have no idea what a significant rock/music critic MacDonald is/was. In case you don’t know your history, and clearly you all don’t, Seattle is not just some shit hole backwater culturally or musically or in the history of rock and roll. That you all are defending Michael as some significant performer or rock icon shows me and most people who have read this blog not you, not MacDonald, are idiots with no perspective, no sense of history, and absolutely no bona fides as rock critics or historians. Jesus, what a bunch of losers! Now, go to your bedrooms in your mommy’s basement, cry like the babies you all are, and turn up the volume on your Michael cassettes so no one can hear your pathetic whining any longer! Wow. Losers losers losers. Get some perspective children!

  13. Really? This blog was written 2008! MacDonald was a small-time local music critic. Incidently, a few months after this blog was written, The Seattle Times parted ways with MacDonald. There were no plans for a replacement because Seattle isn’t big enough to support a full-time rock critic on the local paper.

    It appears you too have something to learn about small-time local “success” vs global success.

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