Thursday, January 31, 2008

xiu xiu is not that weird

a few odd nuggets from pitchforks 7.9 review of xiu xiu's women as lovers:

"more scarily fucked-up than sensitive or emotionally open."

"a squeaking-helium hell of noise."

"women as lovers sounds no more conceptual than a spurting artery."

why is he pretending to like the record? also, the review says: "[xiu xiu's] art seems to be more about who he is than who he'd like to be."

this frustrates me. half of jamie stewart's songs are first person narratives from the perspective of a woman. how can it be about "who he is?"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ingrid Michaelson-VH1 Indie Strumpet

Here is our newfound friend Ingrid. She's tiny and glasses faced, and she sings touchy feely indie tunez.

"I try to express all my feelings in as little words possible."

Wow, a true innovator. Never has a lyricist ever gone after such an approach. Thanks VH1 for all of your groundbreaking work introducing new talent to the world.

Doesn't Ingrid remind you of someone?

Lisa Loeb, ladies and gentlemen, Lisa Loeb.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Simon Cowell, thou art an ass-face!

I love metacritic. Especially for posting reviews of ex-American Idols albums. For the record I believe only two members of American Idol (Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry) have any kind of career, Carrie thanks to her sudden switch to Christian Nashville, Daughtry thanks to record company. Clay Aiken continues to thrive on his "I'm tiny and probably gay" thing, and Ruben Studdard is still fat and has been dropped by his label. Taylor Hicks? Dropped from the label. That idiot white kid who beat boxed with Doug E. Fresh? Who cares?

This brings up another point: White people, you should not be beat-boxing. I'm white, I should know. Do you know what beatboxing is when white people take part? It's called acapella percussion. Did I just make you throw up? Good, at least you're not beatboxing anymore, asshole.

Anyways, I was perusing metacritic and found reviews of Jordan Sparks (this past year's Idol winner) new record. An eponymous release, the album received middling reviews from critics who obviously could not give less than a damn. Also, users chimed in, which is where the fun is truly begotten!!! Note: the albums are rated from 0 (terrible) to 10 (perfect).

Max A. gave it a 3:
Melinda Doolittle better than her.

This is sad as all hell. Max gave the record a bad score because he thought a different contestant deserved to win. Oh sad. He actually watched the show. He's basing his analysis on chagrin. Amazing.

Nick C. gave it a 0:
You know "music journalism" is in the sh.thole when this dumb slut gets good reviews. Pure corporate soulless auto-tuned garbage.

Ah, a man of my own tastes. Notice how he censors the word "sh.t" and then proceeds to call jordin a "dumb slut". Nothing like a little auto-tuning to make your ears bleed with outrageously perfect pitch.

Tikiri K gave it a 9:
An incredible effort for a debut CD - cutting edge R&B with modern POP inflections. The vocals are smoother than can be expected fro a 17 year old.

Dear Tikiri, please read Nick's section about auto-tuning. It should explain the unexpected vocal smoothness. Thanks.

Jonathan F. gave it a 3:
Honestly, how critics can respect artists like Jordan Sparks and Carrie Underwood more than Kelly Clarkson is beyond me.

This one threw me for a loop. At first, I was like, "Hey, he doesn't like the record. Maybe he'll say something snarky." And then I was like, "Oh. So you gave her a negative review for receiving better press than Kelly Clarkson?" Sad. I don't even know what to say. How do you measure past winners against each other (besides having a new season where past winners battle for right to say "Hey, I beat everyone else! I'ma gonna have a record contract!" and then they get dropped and end up having a career in informercials. Woof.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Greatest Thing I've Ever Seen. Ever.

A brief look into past angry finger-pointing

A long time ago, I was angry at Pitchfork. Big surprise, I know. They were in the midst of a huge Deerhunter campaign, attempting to mention the band at least once a day at some points last year. So I wrote a ridiculous rant that in effect accused Kranky Records and Pitchfork of collusion. Well, looking back through comments the other week I found this response, from a certain "Mr. Kranky":

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

September 11, 2007 10:07 AM

Whoops. Looks like I hit a nerve. To clear up the issue, I was indeed making an empty assumption. I didn't care for the band's "Cryptograms", nor the subsequent fawning over said album. I was angry a band lost a member due to over-exposure, something any supposed taste-maker should be able to control. Who knows, it might've been Kranky records actually scolding us. But, something tells me it may be one of my friends (yes, I have friends, at least, as far as you know)trying to convince me that the site is actually being read. Read this section in particular:

"an empty claim since p-fork champions no other bands we work with..."


how about Godspeed You Black Emperor? How about Low? How about Stars of the Lid? How about Chris Herbert? How about Out Hud?

C'mon, that's just a lie. Godspeed's the most obvious of them all, but all of this is besides the point. I rescind my accusation, I really don't think there's any collusion going on. I've always enjoyed Kranky releases (some more than others, obviously) and it's good to see a label that supports experimental bands still alive and kicking.*

Uticas, good to see you back. Otherwise, we would've sunk into a horrible bog of drum boners, keytars and Nickelback references. Actually, that doesn't sound too bad at all...

* I still reserve the right to accuse Pitchfork of collusion, only because it's Pitchfork**

** Well, unless we are sued for defamation, at which point, no way, it was PITCHFORK that accused US of collusion***

*** Get your facts straight before you sue us, you pompous ass-faces!****

**** This is not funny anymore*****

***** It's just obnoxious

up from the slums of shaolin

hey bitches. i'm back again after another hiatus again. thanks again to j-temp for having me.

i was going to write a big long year-end post about how lists R STOOPID, how lcd soundsystem sucks in a way that perfectly captures the idiocy of "indie" music fans, and how negative it is when critics foist their tastes upon lonely impressionable youths... but i never got around to it. i actually chose not to get around to it, because i realized that no matter how many years of awful lists go by, no matter how many times some bullshit record leaps to the front of a list because four critics love it, no matter how the specifics played out, the list itself is a COMMERCIAL exercise, which means they won't stop until people stop paying for music altogether (two years? three?).

when people complain about lists, they usually pick one or two, name a few records that shouldn't have been left off, and then generalize from those omissions until the writer settles on something that he can comfortably call a problem. but this method is silly. obviously readers won't agree with every item on every list. the issue is bigger than that. the project of whittling down every record released over a twelve month period into a list of 50 "essential" ones is hopeless. no amount of "expertise" can help a person accomplish this goal.

simply put, there is too much music. thousands of records slip beneath the collective critical radar. it would be impossible to listen to them all, foolish to try. unfortunately for critics, despite all of their analytical expertise, there just aren't enough days in the year. it hurts me, but i can't fault critics for this.

moving right along to what IS their fault, as soon as a group of these experts decides to compile a list of the "50 best" records of the year, they start lying about what their expertise is good for.

now, the fact that deerhoof's brilliant "friend opportunity" was exactly four worse than arcade fire's utterly embarrassing "neon bible", or the fact that bonnie "prince" billy's "the letting go" was inexplicably left off every 2006 best of list, the fact that the rapture outright sucks -- these sorts of things don't matter. specific injustices pale in comparison to the larger, more important injustice, which is that THOUSANDS OF RECORDS DON'T EVEN HAVE THE CANCE TO GET ON THESE LISTS, BECAUSE CRITICS HAVE NEVER HEARD THEM!!!!

of course, it's not an accident which records they don't hear. different groups of critics have different pools to choose from (which is why this list isn't the same as this list). important question: how are these pools settled upon, and who decides what gets left out?

i have a hunch the answer has to do with money and advertising (i.e. of course they were going to like the new animal collective album [released by domino records]; they'll like the next one too). i'm not making any specific payola accusations -- these schemes are more complex than record labels handing out bags of cash to quasi-intellectual under-sexed writers (if i'm wrong, i'd like my bag of cash now please now).

but this isn't about bribes. it's about interdependent business models doing what they need to in order to survive. as i hinted at above, there isn't much time left for the record industry. music is already free, and things don't become unfree -- unless of course demand outpaces supply, and anyone who's been to a record store in the last few years (anyone?) knows that isn't about to happen. this shit will not sell itself.

people just won't give their money to merge or matador without a little shove. and shoving people is, for the time being at least, a moderately profitable industry itself. neither business can survive without the other. and that is what these year-end lists are (except for the lists that are one voice's personal opinion, which are just narcissistic): a collaborative effort between record companies and record reviewers to keep their fledgling industries afloat for another few years.

kinda sad when you think about it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Scott Stapp is Lording over you, goddamn it! Get Lorded!

WTF, OMG, guys, Serious

This is just strange. What a weird year 2007 was, and 2008 has come and the direction of rock music is indiscernible. We've seen indie-shmindie, twee, indie dance, indie pop, indie rap, indie-cross-over, indie metal, indie industrial, and indie rock, of course.

It's been over 30 years since the seeds of this now bland, watered-down amalgamation first touched the inner ears of the disenfranchised youth. To celebrate, I'm planning on listening to a Sebadoh record, followed up immediately with Pitchfork's new best music selection. Supposedly the album is made up of home recordings! Sound familiar?????

- M.I.A.'s sophomore mash "Kala" received album of the year from Rolling Stone. Really? Album of the year? I mean, yeah, she's a lot better than some of her RnB, rap, and rock contemporaries, but I refuse to believe that there wasn't a better album out there. Where's my Nickelback nomination? Didn't they release an album? Seven Mary Three? How about them? Anyone?

- When will the Edge release a solo album? Son of a bitch just stands back there with the digital delay left on, swinging his arms and being bald. Also, how about The Edge and Larry Mullen re-make a popular television theme song turned major motion picture? Get Smart seems the perfect fit for some horrible electro-pop stylings...

- Eminem is still alive, and I still don't give a damn. He was overrated/still is. I read something recently where he was cited as the 21st century's most important artist. I started to laugh, and then I felt angry, kind of like having a great satisfying fart only to realize your crush is walking up to you and your fume.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year, Same Fucking Sick Drumsssssssss

Eat it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beware, futher drum set-ups await in your future.

Like this.


Pitchfork is hereby prohibitted from referring to the flow of any rapper as a "weary drawl." Motion passed!

Oh yeah, and I like the Of Montreal record. It's no Gay Parade, but hey.