Pitchfork is one of those sites that I know it’s there, but I’ve never paid it much attention (so many links, so little time), but Wired says its become the most influential (especially among indie bands) music criticism site on the Web.
One aspect of interest — while many reviewers are paid, they are not necessarily professional. They are not necessarily good writers.
I think there is a lesson there for all media companies: People gravitate toward what they consider authentic voices. The best and most popular bloggers do not necessarily write in a polished, journalistic style. They make no pretense to objectivity. They are honest, or at least perceived as credible by their fans. User-generated, fan-based content is overtaking professionally derived content all over the Web. Pay heed.