pitchfork is dumb (#34985859340293849494 in a series.)

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that is because kylie is, like sophie ellis bextor, going for a retro- mancuso/levan vibe, with all the classicism inherent in such an endeavour.

gareth, Tuesday, 2 April 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Actually, I did try to write about that record in the same way I would have for anything else at Pitchfork. I thought the gag would be better if people really thought we were changing styles, and Spin may be full of ads, but at least the reviews aren't jokes! As far as I know, anyway. Dullness wasn't intentional though.

dleone, Tuesday, 2 April 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

best e-mail address ever, eh starbar?

dudley, Tuesday, 2 April 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Dead right sir. Power shandies all round to the geezer behind it eh?

Sarah, Wednesday, 3 April 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

From: DWilliams@EQRWORLD.com Subject: NO, Just Admit You Like It Up There

You have completed your learning of life's lessons. Now, you suck ass just like all the other bores before you. Kylie, Alanis? Whatever, bitch. I am sure you already have the defense mechanisms in place so, this will mean nothing but, another exercise in...oh, who cares. Looking elsewhere for reality...or maybe I can pretend to be a rubber worm like pitchwhore.com...here big fishie, look, I rounded 'em up for you in a arrel. A whole demographic!

Not Funny

Dare, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

5 years pass...

Y'know sometimes they really are asking for it:

"White Williams issues a debut album layered with impeccable influences-- including Roxy Music, Beck, and T. Rex-- and a sense of calculated disaffection."

Well shit SIGN ME UP.

lukas, Thursday, 1 November 2007 18:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that was a bit of a repellant blurb if I ever saw one.

Z S, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

Wait, are you saying that doesn't seem accurate?

nabisco, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:10 (7 years ago) Permalink

I read 'White' as 'While' and thought "The Saul Williams album sounds like that?"

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

it's more that they used that as their _hook_

x-post

lukas, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:20 (7 years ago) Permalink

The front blurbs are always stripped/condensed summary descriptions from the review inside -- in this case

His songs are thin and languorous, with impeccable influences and the sort of calculated disaffection that comes from an MFA in design and a good weed connection.

nabisco, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

omg that is horrorshow

The blurb >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> the article quote

HI DERE, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

I assume that's an article quote; nabisco, if you just made that up then SHAME ON YOU.

HI DERE, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

why would a critic ever try to guess where a song comes from?

Mr. Que, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:23 (7 years ago) Permalink

I'm more bothered by beck as impeccable influence

dmr, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:24 (7 years ago) Permalink

Wait, are you saying that doesn't seem accurate?

The description of "a sense of calculated disaffection", a combination of words that makes me imagine the shittiest band of all time, followed by "recommended" was repellant for me. I guess I like my disaffection to be natural, not carefully planned, so I would never recommend something like that.

Then again, I've never heard it so what do I know and so on.

Z S, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

b-but someone at pfork said "hm, how can we get people to read this review? I know! we'll mention the artist's impeccable influences and calculated disaffection! that'll reel 'em in!"

RIP satire etc

lukas, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:34 (7 years ago) Permalink

they could have collaged+mis-used _anything_ from the article, and they collaged+mis-used that

lukas, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

The White Williams album reminds me much more of late 10cc and Bread than of Roxy Music. That bit was like the classic "Let's over-hip our influences" review.

I eat cannibals, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:54 (7 years ago) Permalink

The description of "a sense of calculated disaffection", a combination of words that makes me imagine the shittiest band of all time, followed by "recommended" was repellant for me.

See, this sounds like the blurb WORKED for you -- i.e., efficiently let you know you would probably not like this act.

I agree, though, it looks kind of weird to have such a neutral-to-disparaging summary blurb on a recommended album.

nabisco, Thursday, 1 November 2007 22:04 (7 years ago) Permalink

I like how they gave the new Babyshambles, which is actually tuneful and a good all around album, a 4.0, but gave the first one, which is dreadful and hard to listen to / bloated, a 7.3,

Yeah, it was definitely TWICE as good as the new one. Fuckin' morons.

Erock Zombie, Friday, 2 November 2007 18:30 (7 years ago) Permalink

ugh, "impeccable influences" is really repulsive.

Hurting 2, Friday, 2 November 2007 18:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

(xpost) was that a parody or are you really getting worked up about an internet score for babyshambles

dmr, Friday, 2 November 2007 18:47 (7 years ago) Permalink

He was worked up?

roxymuzak, Friday, 2 November 2007 18:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

wait, i thought the grading scale was logarithmic. like 5 is twice as good as 4. somebody email ryan schreiber to find out.

elan, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

shit, now i need to reevaluate all my purchases of the last five years.

elan, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

It's actually modelled after the Richter Scale, hence the superlative designations of various well-reviewed albums as either "Reccomended," "Best New Music," or "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On."

Alex in Baltimore, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:24 (7 years ago) Permalink

"White Williams issues a debut album layered with impeccable influences-- including Roxy Music, Beck, and T. Rex-- and a sense of calculated disaffection."

if anything, that reads like a good reason not to check out the album....

stephen, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

richter scale is logarithmic xpost

but kudos nonetheless

elan, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

yeah sorry the "actually" sounded like I was disagreeing when it more of an "yeah and" thing

Alex in Baltimore, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

No band has marked indie's prog revival more definitively than Battles: Their debut, Mirrored, took rock for a set of puzzle pieces, but was ultimately defined by its pictorial sensibility-- each song felt like a cartoon soundtrack-- and the incorporation of jokes into the most historically humorless music in the known world.

latebloomer, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

wtf, wtf -- wtf? -- wtf!

Hurting 2, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

the incorporation of JOKES

s1ocki, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

ya i saw that too... pretty lazy writing

s1ocki, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

How can you get paid to write if you don't know what "but" means?

HI DERE, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:51 (7 years ago) Permalink

jokes?!?!? has dude ever read the back of a don cab/a minor forest/whoever cd?

YGS, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:53 (7 years ago) Permalink

That bothers me more in a semantic sense: I think the album has a sense of humor, sure, but I don't know what "jokes" refers to in a largely instrumental piece of work.

jaymc, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

joeks, bruv

Ned Raggett, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

You can here an interpolation of classic knock-knock jokes in "Atlas".

HI DERE, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

<i>jokes?!?!? has dude ever read the back of a don cab/a minor forest/whoever cd?

-- YGS, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:53 (10 minutes ago) Link</i>

"jokes" was horrible word choice on my part--john is right--but come on, do you really think that having a punny song title is the same as making music that is formally and sonically <i>humorous</i>? eh. don cab always struck me as definitively unfunny, they just tried to compensate with SURREAL HEADLINES.

mike powell, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ha, I didn't even read the review, so I didn't know it was you, Mike.

jaymc, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

There is a strong semantic difference between "humor" and "jokes"; they shouldn't be used interchangeably and, based on your followup here, you definitely meant the former.

Also, why did you use "but" as your conjunction? The second clause does not invert, negate, contradict or palpably change the meaning of the first clause (Mirrored being defined by pictoral sensibility and humor is not a condition that lies in opposition to it viewing rock as a set of puzzle pieces), so your sentence winds up not making any sense; you've either left out a critical piece of information or just flat-out used the wrong word.

HI DERE, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:19 (7 years ago) Permalink

There is a strong semantic difference between "humor" and "jokes"; they shouldn't be used interchangeably and, based on your followup here, you definitely meant the former.

Also, why did you use "but" as your conjunction? The second clause does not invert, negate, contradict or palpably change the meaning of the first clause (Mirrored being defined by pictoral sensibility and humor is not a condition that lies in opposition to it viewing rock as a set of puzzle pieces), so your sentence winds up not making any sense; you've either left out a critical piece of information or just flat-out used the wrong word.

-- HI DERE, Friday, November 2, 2007 8:19 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

you're right, 'but' wasn't a great choice. i think the idea was to say that though it had this puzzle-like quality--you could talk about how the parts fit together, like everyone does in a math-rock review--it was, for me, defined by these more abstract qualities: its sense of humor, its ability to be pictorally evocative. sure, i get what you're saying.

but seriously--human being here, willing to engage, bristles as asinine comments like the "knock-knock joke" one. furthermore--and i'd never slag scott or mark because i know they're incredibly busy guys--i think you bring the same charges to an editor. just saying.

mike powell, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

sorry, you *could* bring the same charges. lord i grow weary of life's endless ironies.

mike powell, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

I'm just glad you're writing regularly.

jaymc, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think I'm pretty much firmly on record as someone who thinks there are a lot of editors out there who aren't doing what they should. This mostly stems from a desire to be an editor (ha).

Also I think the egregious misspelling of "hear" is more offensive than the actual knock-knock joke comment (which was an allusion to a recently-revived ILE thread).

HI DERE, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

Joke: pretending "Atlas" has a different lyric when he is very clearly singing

people like to
people like to
eat a sandwich

nabisco, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

Also I think the egregious misspelling of "hear" is more offensive than the actual knock-knock joke comment (which was an allusion to a recently-revived ILE thread).

-- HI DERE, Friday, November 2, 2007 8:35 PM (44 seconds ago) Bookmark Link

and there i thought you were just aping my ignorance and carelessness.

mike powell, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

(xpost - that's not actually funny, of course: people do like them some sandwiches)

nabisco, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:39 (7 years ago) Permalink

i always heard the "eat a sandwich" bit as "penis terror"

ciderpress, Friday, 2 November 2007 20:41 (7 years ago) Permalink

ok so we've covered the "why isn't she paying attn to ___ which is worse??" argument, i guess we can expect "she's the REAL racist" any minute now

dyl, Monday, 30 March 2015 23:16 (Yesterday) Permalink

I get that, but if your argument is predicated in no small part on "there are not enough people like me, and these are the four examples," then really every excluded or overlooked example weakens the argument. Especially if you're vague about criteria. That's why I think the essay would have worked better as a strictly personal account of what it is like to be or feel excluded, because the way it was presented the piece unfortunately boils down to the banality of numbers. But obviously there could be lots of people "just like me" and I can still feel left out, overlooked, excluded or underrepresented. The cultural blinders and insensitives of indie and really all music across the spectrum is pervasive, and I guess I would have preferred a piece along those lines as opposed to something that felt both very specific (south Asians in indie) and yet still somehow incomplete.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 30 March 2015 23:32 (Yesterday) Permalink

But obv, write-on, writer. I'd rather something provocative and incomplete than boring, and she does bring up plenty of great points regardless.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 30 March 2015 23:33 (Yesterday) Permalink

good that you made your voice heard then

J0rdan S., Monday, 30 March 2015 23:38 (Yesterday) Permalink

hey, she made me think about american indie rock and i don't even listen to american indie rock. not new american indie rock anyway. i do enjoy listening to pavement. i love those guitars!

scott seward, Monday, 30 March 2015 23:39 (Yesterday) Permalink

Good thing there is an online forum where we can post freely about such things as Music and Everything.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 30 March 2015 23:41 (Yesterday) Permalink

ok but

what if instead

you just didn't?

J0rdan S., Monday, 30 March 2015 23:57 (Yesterday) Permalink

RAP GAME SHANI DAVIS (Raymond Cummings), Monday, 30 March 2015 23:58 (Yesterday) Permalink

Man, she should turn her scope on Hollywood.

― Josh in Chicago, Monday, March 30, 2015 5:29 PM (4 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah or nazi germany!

deej loaf (D-40), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 03:22 (14 hours ago) Permalink

ffs

deej loaf (D-40), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 03:23 (14 hours ago) Permalink

lol

dyl, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 03:29 (14 hours ago) Permalink

My approach to this kind of thing lately has been "Give 'em enough rope" and I'm happy to see that JiC et al. have proven me right

, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 03:30 (14 hours ago) Permalink

they make money from music. if u want unfiltred music coverage why are u at p4k. u should only use it for news. it wants you to buy music it links to and ads to. it doesn't care what you think of its reviews or writers. The whole review scoring system is designed so certain albums cannot ever get a low score. p4k doesn't like giving things low scores.

Arctic Noon Auk, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 07:44 (10 hours ago) Permalink

My approach to this kind of thing lately has been "Give 'em enough rope"

Yeah, this and every thread, ever. The Nazi and "give 'em enough rope" stuff goes a little too far, imo. I think it's more than fair to suggest the author could be both right and wrong, but fine. I still want to know why the Vampire Weekend guy was cut out of the piece.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 12:55 (5 hours ago) Permalink

Bc that sentence was dumb and looked bad and the essay is less objectionable without it

primal, intuitive, and relatively unmediated (Treeship), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 13:30 (4 hours ago) Permalink

Lol I was a little drunk last night but just to be clear, my approach to people who react negatively to pieces like this has been "Give 'em enough rope"

You're doing a very admirable job of dying on this little hill, JiC

, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 13:32 (4 hours ago) Permalink

p4k doesn't like giving things low scores.

― Arctic Noon Auk, Tuesday, March 31, 2015 3:44 AM (6 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i do miss the days of frequent pans (i suspect my 30 or so reviews would probably have the lowest average score of any writer in PF history), but the funny thing about them so rarely dipping below like 7.6 for well regarded artists is that people now get REALLY up in arms about a 7.5 as if it's the cruelest poison pen letter review ever.

some dude, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:12 (3 hours ago) Permalink

Sometimes a score like a 6.5 or something is even worse than a notably low one because it generates no discussion at all! In the PF universe an album with that score just kind of dissipates from the consciousness of readers without really anyone having even noticed.

Evan, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:21 (3 hours ago) Permalink

after some googling, seeing that they gave scores in the 2 range to both of the latest pixies releases (justified), 3 to gaslight anthem (kinda strange to see ian cohen of all fucking people rip a band that's more or less emo), 3.9 to dillon francis (entirely justified that shit is trash), 3.9 to a terrible/disappointing nachmystium album, and a bunch of stuff i havent listened to beyond that

are... are you saying you fucked a gazelle? (slothroprhymes), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:38 (3 hours ago) Permalink

but most of those are, in one way or another, #onbrand targets for pitchfork - like you won't see anyone breaking ranks to trash the latest pile of body fluids and sounds known as ariel pink's pom pom

are... are you saying you fucked a gazelle? (slothroprhymes), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:40 (3 hours ago) Permalink

i miss these days http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/9464-shine-on/

billstevejim, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:51 (3 hours ago) Permalink

In some UK magazines grade inflation for big acts is so established that a three-star translates as a hatchet job. Likewise any Pitchfork grade below 7 I guess.

Continue your brooding monologue (Re-Make/Re-Model), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:56 (3 hours ago) Permalink

and video games reviews, where anything under 80% is a vicious pan

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Tuesday, 31 March 2015 15:04 (3 hours ago) Permalink

there's also a lot more than 25 albums that get released every week. reviewers frequently want to write about bands that they like. if they had 10 reviews a day instead of 5, they would probably get stuck reviewing more records that they actively dislike, and the average score would likely drop.

billstevejim, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 15:17 (2 hours ago) Permalink

El-P Shares Run The Jewels 2 Clean Version

How is this a top news story?

In other news, new Sufjan album has front and back cover art

Jimmywine Dyspeptic, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 15:36 (2 hours ago) Permalink

Because they are concerned with keeping the artists they helped break in the front of your mind and tied in with PF in the process. So anytime you think of the most successful artists in the indie world you think of pitchfork.

Evan, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 15:41 (2 hours ago) Permalink

Perhaps the conversation has shifted, but I wanted to step up and defend ratings. Not Pitchfork's per se, but ratings in general. (It seems the problem with ratings, for me anyway, is a lack of dissent, but that's another argument).
As a consumer I find them a very useful starting point for discovering new music, especially when I'm doing some type of genre and/or catalog deep dive of music/band with which I'm unfamiliar.

campreverb, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 16:18 (1 hour ago) Permalink


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