Thursday, February 28, 2008

Maxim Only Good For One Thing

As Richard Meltzer would say, that one thing involves, "Pulling the pud." Maxim is full of pictures like this:

which would enduce any 12 to 1,000 year-old male to say, "Gee whiz, why is her body all gleaming?"

The answer of course is because she is beautiful and not photoshopped in any way, shape or form.

What Maxim is not full of is good music writing. Never in the history of 30 piece drum sets has any serious musician looked to Maxim for music reviews. Ever. So when it was revealed that a critic from their magazine had reviewed the Black Crowes new album without listening to it, was I surprised? No. Here's an excerpt from the supposed review:

"They sound pretty much like they always have: boozy, competent, and in slavish debt to the Stones, the Allmans, and the Faces."

Probably spot on, but I'd say they would make some attempt at modernizing their sound, falling flat on their stoned, Southern faces.

Look, Maxim had no actual credibility in music journalism to begin with, so this is no great blow to an empire. It's just kind of hilarious. That it would happen to a band like the Black Crowes is even more fitting. An aging group of rawkers who got rich covering a Grateful Dead song, championing pot, and marrying Goldie Hawn's similarly talent-less but cute daughter, I mean, how good can this album be? There will be worse records for sure, but better ones? Yes, umm...yes.

This is embarrassing for anyone, although the crime committed here is one that often goes unchecked and unpunished. People who get paid to review records have been known to give an album one spin on one sound system. MP3's, car speakers, shitty portable CD players, doesn't matter. They take that single experience and type it into written law. Even stranger still, they usually never reveal whether they listened to it through headphones or not.

This drives me out of my mind, as listening and experiencing music through different mediums should be a much larger topic of discussion. And no, not just the same-old, "Well I listen to vinyl," bullcrap, or the even worse, "I only listen to over-compressed, alien-frequency-filled MP3's."

If any human being is reviewing albums using computer speakers as a reference point, I will annihilate you with my mind. I swear to god, if your common sense led you to make such a decision, then your common sense should guide you quite easily off the edge of a cliff.


Mattie-O said...

You better go fix that reference to "Hard to Handle" being a "Grateful Dead song" before the cognoscenti or illuminati or glitterati or paul giamatti come and take away your Cool Kid Card!


Evan said...

I think Temps messed up that reference because I listened to the Dead's late-60s rendition of that song on repeat for two years.

J. Temperance said...

Listen, i know it's a traditional. But the Crowes were definitively ripping the Dead's version. I know, I'm biased, my father gave me San Francisco shock treatment out of the womb.

But seriously, it's the Dead version they reference the most.

Pigpen, man. Pigpen.