Uncommon music criticized by the common man. (Or, exercises in futility masquerading as critical thought.)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lollapalooza 2006 line-up has been announced. Now with 100% more Matisyahu.

Friday, March 10, 2006

On a whim, I hopped over to teh Sonic Youth website. They've got a new release coming in June, and are also re-issuing a few albums, including their first. Except for that album and a couple of their SYR releases, I have just about everything they've done. I may not pull them off the shelf as much as I used to, but there are times when they are the only band in the universe who can scratch my musical itch. I think it's getting to be one of those times. I really wish I had already loaded their stuff on my iPod, because it's too late to blast EVOL on the stereo right now.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This post is stirring up a huge amount of debate over on the I Love Music board, which is actually an entertaining and informative site (with a surprising number of well-circulated, oft-published critics posting) despite how quickly a shitstorm can be scared up.

Of course, it's the whole My Chemical Romance = Nirvana thing that has the critics (both professional and non-) on the board offering their venomous barbs smirking dismissals two cents.

I think the post is pretty pointless in and of itself and isn't the first time I've seen the whole "critics ain't in touch with the kids, maaaan" (really?). I do think that she's well off on this one point, though:
Most music journalists have no clue whatsoever what kids like. They're 35 year old men writing for other 35 year old men who think they're actually writing to 21 year old college kids.

First of all, the majority of critics don't write for mags like Blender or Rolling Stone, where broader pop cultural/musical knowledge is necessary to communicate with the readers who generally don't have a specific taste in music. I think most write for specialized mags and, naturally, listen to a particular genre of music. And quite frankly, we're better for it. I wouldn't value the opinion of someone who draws from a broad musical spectrum as much as I would someone who specialized in the genre they are critiquing. The value of the former comes when they are trying to bridge two disparate genres in order to expand the horizons of their reader. In the magazines that cater to this kind of across-the-board audience, this is the ideal writer for them. However, that should, by no means, be the standard. So, I see no reason for there to be an imperative for any writer, let alone older writers, to know who My Chemical Romance or any other hot band of the moment is. Further, unless it's their job/inclination to do so, I do not feel they need to "recognize" any band's historical relevance. Not every music critic is a historian. The essential job of any critic is to give you reasons why you should search out or avoid new music/writing/film/etc. Music reviews, no matter how artfully rendered, are really nothing more than buyer's guides in the end. That is not to say they should not be thoughtful, or avoid any sort of historical analysis if it's appropriate. They just need to remember to make sure the reader gives a damn one way or the other after reading the review, or else they've really failed.

On a tangentially related note, where the fuck is my book deal?! I mean, honestly.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Quick Hits:

  • I have been listening to the first single from Prince's upcoming album, 3121 a whole helluva lot. It is, how you say, a hot track. If the rest of the album is even close to being this good, I will gladly spend my hard-earned ducats on it.
  • I've hit a lull in terms of ripping music onto my iPod. Still tons more I want to add, as I've concentrated on getting music I haven't touched in a while into the device. I figure this is a great way to reconnect with artists with whom I've fallen out of touch, or mostly ignored. Some major artists, in terms of their representation in my collection, have yet to be loaded (Sonic Youth and Stereolab, most notably). I also have very little jazz loaded.
  • One band to whom I am paying particular attention is Mudhoney, who were my favorite band in the world for a few years before falling by the wayside as I got into different stuff. I think I need to get their two most recent releases (2002's Since We've Become Translucent and Under A Billion Suns, which was released today) and get up to date.
  • I think I'm going to make myself buy music more regularly this year. Instead of six or seven at a time, maybe one every week or two.
  • As iTunes shuffles to them, I must say this: Lush really were a great band. Seriously. Everything through Split was unimpeachable.

I'm kinda thinking that I might be rounding the bend on this lack of writing thing. No promises, just feel better about it.