Saturday, April 25, 2009

did you know

...that "nightmare on elm street III" and "boogeyman II" are very, very simmilar movies? the former stars a young larry fishburne; while the latter showcases anne from "arrested development" dying at the hands of, yes, the boogeyman. both films are classic "gather some kids and kill all but two of them" stories, both taking place in mental assylums, hellholes where even after half of them are dead, the inmates cannot reach the outside world.

the only difference, aside from two decades of AMERICUH, is that freddy kruger is astonishingly vulgar (pretty chill about calling jailbait horror movie starlets "bitch" and "cunt"); while "boogeyman II" spends much more time graphically destroying the flesh of young hot institutionalized teenagers.

teenage mutilation is HOT -- teenage sexuality is NOT.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

you know, this band makes me think of this band which makes me think -- wait, what's playing?

Art Brut
Hold Steady
Counting Crowes
Bloc Party
Franz Ferdinand
Velvet Underground
Gang of Four
John Darnielle
Jeffery Lewis
Jens Leckman
Los Campesinos!
The Tough Alliance
Jonathan Richman
Frank Black
Brian Eno
The Smiths
Death Cab for Cutie
Travis Kooks
Kaiser Chiefs
Iggy Pop
Vampire Weekend
Beatles vs. Stones

ok, what do all of these bands have in common? they are all mentioned in pitchfork's review of the new Art Brut record, "Art Brut v. Satan" which i'm fairly confident will suck just as much as everything they've ever put out.

the record recieves a 7.7 rating, while drawing the critic's attention to no less than 26 bands whose records he isn't reviewing. i've read tepid reviews of tepid records where the critic has actually talked about the music. for, like, the whole thing. imagine that!

in the few parts when he's not dropping names, you kind of wish he would. "It's not irony, it's self-aware sincerity."

"The beautiful people and their sycophants will always outnumber lovable losers. But this is a record I like."

and my personal favorite...: "Not that Satan gives a damn about songs that communicate aspects of everyday life with clarity and human charm."
check it, "human charm". way better for music than "horse charm". even better is the idea that the album "communicates aspects of everyday life"; which aspects are being communicated really doesn't seem to matter. so long as the songs aren't challenging to figure out ("clarity"), and are delivered with the Supreme Ironic Pose of the Decade ("self-aware sincerity").

we are told that Art Brut's 2005 piece of shit full-length "Bang Bang Rock & Roll" is "the closest our decade has come to The Modern Lovers", and i suppose that's meant as praise. putting aside the fact that the album was obviously, stunningly awful, isn't it a little wierd that this guy (Marc Hogan), who seems to like this band very much, can't find much of anything to say about what the record sounds like? all he can talk about are other bands that he likes, and a few that he doesn't. are the sounds on this album really that forgettable? that they receed into the background while making you wish you were listening to iggy pop? IS THAT GOOD?!?!

we are left to assume that Art Brut is now filling the middle ground between the Mountain Goats, Gang of Four, Velvet Underground, U2, and Vampire Weekend. i admit, i've often had mad visions of fusing all of those styles together, but it's kind of like that scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, where the fat guy orders the whole menu. the waiter asks, "would you like each dish individually, or mixed up in a bucket?"

Friday, April 17, 2009

just LOOK at this asshole

i stopped writing here precisely because i didn't want to sound like this asshole. now, i think people who use "twitter" are fucking retarted. my anti-technology streak is so strong now that i struggle to stop myself from knocking perfect strangers' phones out of their hands, while they check their screens to look at a map which can show them EXACTLY WHERE THEY ARE!!!
William Bowers, over at the pitched fork, feels the same way. but he can't just say as much. he has to use a lot of space to make clear how sincere his luddite pose really is.
"You want gauche? I got no game console. I got no cell phone. I've never been in an American Apparel store, despite their advertising's relentless, almost artless ass-baiting. You want archaica? I still read books. In a rocking chair. On a porch." to which my response is: (1) who gives a fuck you miserably self-involved piece of shit?! you have a rocking chair? and a porch? you read BOOKS? and here i was thinking hundreds of millions of americans read books in chairs every single fucking day. (2) so you refuse to buy american apparel, bully for you. but short of a full-on consumer boycott, you're essentially doing their market research for them (i.e. since you've given no particular reason to avoid the company aside from your general disposition, and since you've indicated no opposition to "buying stuff" per se, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the brand doesn't resonate with you).
he also, of course, needs to anticipate his reader's reaction and pre-empt it with a subtle blend of self-mockery and masturbatory reference-dropping (no quotes necessary; follow the link if you don't already know exactly what this sounds like.)
among many other objections (the fact that a pitchfork writer is bemoaning our culture's deteriorating attention span is one; the fact that, "It champions impulsive utterance at the same time that it highlights the disposability of that utterance. It reduces communication to the parameters of an advertisement. Make your pitch, bark your slogan, get out," is written about twitter and not about pitchfork would be another), i'd like to point out that the word "populist" has been sucked dry of any meaning whatsoever.
consider: "It is a lot more populist and I think that can be attributed to Twitter's significantly larger userbase. Everyone from teenage Hannah Montana fans to Rachmaninov-loving college professors are on Twitter. So you get a pretty interesting diversity between the songs typically tweeted about." in this quote, from an unnamed executive at a private company, people who are too poor to afford computers simply don't exist. "everyone... are [sic] on twitter."
but many of us make exactly this mistake: technology that costs a hell of a lot of money to access is "democratizing". the ability for people with cell phones and computers to communicate with other people who have cell phones and computers -- of course that means "everyone can talk to everyone." who else is there?
with all the references that William Bowers tosses into the mix (bon iver, kubrick, voltaire, emily dickensen... you get the point, motherfucker's been to school and back), almost none of them seem to have any relevance to his argument, whatever that might be. they are, at best, tangentially related to tangents. so, i'm gonna suggest one, that could have saved the author a lot of mental gymnastics. (something tells me, however, that the gymnastics are precisely what he enjoys, in which case, has he tried twitter?)
a simple line from thoreau, which could really substitute for the entire article and still have more resonance: "can it be, perhaps, that massachusets and texas have nothing to talk about?"