Since the blogging's slow here, might as well mention that I've once again multiplied words over at Greg Sandow's blog. To date, there are 29 comments there responding to his provocative suggestion that pop concerts (well, certain kinds of pop concerts) provide more substantive material for newspaper reviewers than do classical concerts. It's an odd comparison for multiple reasons (many addressed by other commenters), but what intrigues me the most about the point Sandow is making is in the value he puts on extra-musical connections. I think his perspective can be summarized as follows: the classical music industry needs to understand that other artforms (film, visual, pop music) are more directly tied into current culture than the typical classical concert; therefore, a typical classical review will tend to be focused on insider music details that wouldn't attract new listeners, whereas a typical pop review has the ability to draw in new listeners. (My short answer is that I doubt either kind of review draws in many new listeners, but I could be way off.)
I'd like to reemphasize here that I think Sandow is asking good questions, even though I don't always share his point of view. Also, the long comment I posted is a bit of an experiment for me in considering my own aesthetic principles. I'm basically taking the "music is best appreciated for its own sake" argument, as opposed to the "music is about educating/provoking/transforming us" ideal. That's not to say that music can't help to accomplish those idealistic things, but rather that the typical classical music lover is primarily attracted to the music itself (whatever that means). I think that's what I think, but making sense of how the mind processes music isn't a simple task. But, rather than going on and on about it here, I'll just point you over there.