Friday, August 31, 2007

Professionally Scribed Bullcrap (and it's horrible effects)

If you have trolled the pages of Pitchforkmedia recently, you would've noticed their obsession with naming albums they love as "Best New Music."

They review 5 albums a day, and they usually manage to sneak in a best new music every week. Seems like a lot, huh?

Well, it is. Anyways, a little while ago they busted their collective nuts over Deerhunter's Cryptograms. I was working in a record store at the time of its impending release. It's an album of drones and quasi-psychedelia, a pretty safe sounding indie venture. Nothing to write home about, just a predictable second album.

Well, Pitchfork will not shut up about them, making it their mission to boost visibility for the group and ride the critical coattails if any fame is found (a la Dismemberment Plan). So, they write anything about the band. Anything.

You think I'm kidding? Look at this piece of tripe titled "Hey, Remember Deerhunter? We Haven't Written About Them in, Like, a Week! Did You Miss Them?"

No, I didn't miss them. In fact, I was just getting used to your stupid webpage forgetting about your stupid mission of hype. Perhaps I'm jumping the gun here. Let's see what this bit of news has to say about the band's music.

In the market for a Macbook Pro battery? Perhaps a slightly used pair of men's sneakers, sized 10.5? Or how 'bout an embroidered "Makaveli Branded" Tupac t-shirt? I knew we'd get you with that last one.

Typical indie sarcasm leads off this bit. And no, I don't want any of these items. I thought this article was about Deerhunter.

You'll want to make your way over to the world's dustbin-- eBay, that is-- where Deerhunter frontguy Bradford Cox is selling all this and more.

This is a music website. It is about music and music criticism. This article's, well, a plug for an eBay sale. Unless they were superdrunk, they didn't have any reason to write this, other than the fact that they are obviously in bed with Deerhunter and their label, Kranky. Sorry Kranky, I love you as a record label, but this is some fucked up collusion shit. There is no other explanation for this article. Since when has a band used a well-regarded music website to trumpet their eBay sale? Never, and for a good fucking reason. It's wrong.

The article goes on a for a little while but the damage was done. I'm sure it's not the only reason, but guitarist Colin Mee left Deerhunter today for the following reasons:

"This sense of being overwhelmed was exacerbated by the fact that I felt we were receiving (and creating) too much press that had nothing to do with any new music being created. I don't want to be overexposed. I don't want the world to know what our excrement looks like or what we are selling on eBay or whether we got robbed. I think that it devalues the music and it is just a way to maintain attention when the music should just speak for itself.

Nice one Pitchfork, you contributed to the loss of a guitarist! Now YOU, Pitchfork, are the news, which is what you wanted all along, right? It was pathetic enough to let that article be printed and available to read to the general public, but now, upon realizing that your article had an impact on the band, you must be REALLY pleased with yourselves.

This is the exact kind of bullshit I can't stand. The critics and music news companies should be respected, and yes, they have to push their own product, but it's depressing and sad to see this display of media manipulation.

Who the fuck needs needs to know about a fucking eBay sale?! Save that shit for the band's unofficial fan website, where they probably talk about the band's wardrobe, who played Magic: The Gathering growing up, or who sucks at checkers. Save the bullshit for the fans.

Don't become the bullshit.


EVAN said...

I had to review cryptograms for the radio station. Good god I hated it. Having to listen to it all the way through in a single sitting multiple times: torture. I couldn't stand how boring it was. It was hard not to criticize them with more venom since the hype machine was pointed in their direction....

mr. kranky said...

whether or not someone likes a particular release is all subjective. but "collusion"? an empty claim since p-fork champions no other bands we work with, and we have not given them a single advertising dollar since their inception. so where is the evidence that we have collaborated with them on hyping this band? it only exists in your imagination.

mr. kranky

J. Temperance said...

hey hey, it was an angry day. the collusion thing was an empty claim, I was pissed that a retarded website contributed in any way to a band splintering apart.

in other words, i've enjoyed Kranky's releases for the past 8-9 years, especially the early Goodspeed. Thank you for your records. Don't take anything too personally,

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