cokemachineglow, you are reliably terrible

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to actually throw a name out there, I don't always agree with him but Nitsuh Abebe is probably the best writer of his generation

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

who

markers, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

sorry markers, thats "david shapiro"

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nitsuh Abebe is probably the best writer of his generation

it's true. the guy is killing the game right now.

caulk the wagon and float it, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

for a second i thought we were acclaiming him as the best writer of anything at all rather than just of music crit, which er

thomp, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

markers, he is the maker of some of your favorite snacks I'm sure

mh, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have repped for it elsewhere on ILM, but gonna restate that I find Dusted Magazine to be a very reliable source of reviews and occasional features. Very few dud or bad reviews IMO (and no ratings). You need to check it out for a bit to see if their coverage is for you (covers some jazz, modern classical, and noise/weirdo stuff), but they do cover a lot of big, usual suspect-y records as well.

grandavis, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://www.cokemachineglow.com/record_review/936/can-reissues-2004

^obv not a patch on D Leone, this would be an example of where CMG's over-contorted prose actually almost...works? the overarching conceit/concept actually sounds a lot more tired & tiresome than it ends up being, which is why I'm not going to discuss it atm

http://www.cokemachineglow.com/record_review/3289/erykahbadu-newamerykahpartone-2008

I really thought this was one of the best reviews of this album, almost on a patch of Rev's legendary posts in the 4th World War poll, though obv this may or may not be a bit suspect:

Badu’s made a subtly radical shift in how she’s welding together her performance with the tracks, creating a symbiosis between singer and beat that might be without a complete precedent.

still its pretty great reading

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

hahahahaha you should have put the next sentence up:

It’s a lot like what she’s done in the past, just controlled in a new and exacting way that makes her voice sinew to the bones of these hip-hop grooves.

"It's a totally new way of doing exactly what she's done before!"

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

MARK PRINDLE, ALL THE WAY

Poliopolice, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^ the only music writer worth reading

Poliopolice, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

nah

lebron traveled (am0n), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nitsuh Abebe is a good writer and fairly insightful, but to me, he's the music reviewer equivalent of DJ Spooky; academicized readings of shit you're better off not intellectualizing and just feeling instead. Reading Prindle is like having an interesting conversation with someone who's enthusiastic about his shit, and even if he doesn't dissect everything, his experience is less cognitive and more phenomenological-- which to me makes it far more interesting.

Poliopolice, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Even more blatantly, “Me” ends with a sort of scat exercise where Badu and a sax run hand-in-hand through a complicated melodic line.

Personally, I think if you can't tell the difference between a trumpet and a saxophone, you have no business writing about music. (Let's not even get into how he doesn't know what "scat" singing is.)

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw, i am fully expecting a gang of ILM thugs to rush me and tell me I'm wrong for having this opinion, xp

Poliopolice, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

how is an "academicized" reading – whatever that means (and I'm in academe!) – not one imbued with "feeling"? Is this the old heart/brain divide?

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

brain/no brain divide

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have reservations about Nitsuh but I would call neither his prose nor way of thinking "academic." Quite the opposite! He's writing to and for a mass audience.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

for a certain era of Prindle writing, yes, but I get the feeling that he didn't really care for the last few years before he closed up shop, though some of his new reviews are still great. As much as I like him (or have liked him in the past) reading through some of it now gives me the impression that A) he probably doesn't listen to the albums he reviews more than once or twice and B) he probably doesn't read his reviews after he's done writing them

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

Actually I'm not going to let the scat singing thing go; the two biggest hallmarks of scat singing are:

- nonsense syllables
- improvising

Singing a complicated, all over the place melody in lockstep with an instrument is the exact opposite of scat singing; calling that part of the song "a sort of scat exercise" shows a fundamental lack of musical knowledge hiding behind terms the author and the editors don't actually understand. It's a pathetic reminder of the destruction/sabotage of general music education in the modern era and, if that's the best CMG has to offer, they should really find something else to do.

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

now tweet that

thomp, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

hahaha I think joining Twitter just to chastise them for a four-year-old review is probably worse than writing/publishing a terrible review in the first place

not that I wasn't tempted

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

It’s a lot like what she’s done in the past, just controlled in a new and exacting way that makes her voice sinew to the bones of these hip-hop grooves.

hey dummy sinew is not a verb

goole, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think he forgot an article.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

"a sinew" maybe? Ugh.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

that makes her voice (the) sinew to the bones of these hip-hop grooves

I didn't have a problem with the phrasing, just the entire untenable thesis ("she is, in a startling new development, doing exactly what she did before")

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

isnt it possible that maybe the author just didn't know how to describe exactly what words to use to describe this and so fell back on describing it as scat, without totally and completely adhering to the jazz-scat tradition?

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

or at all to the jazz-scat tradition actually;nvm. I just relistened and remembered what he was talking about.

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

how is an "academicized" reading – whatever that means (and I'm in academe!) – not one imbued with "feeling"? Is this the old heart/brain divide?

I suppose, but that's perhaps a bit limited of a view. I think for me, a big part of it is that 'academicized' writing forces you (at gunpoint) to contextualize music within some cultural/social/political/ideological/etc sphere when I'm not necessarily interested in getting into all that, especially when we're talking about pop culture. Sometimes that can be very interesting (particularly when we're talking history), but most of the time, what's interesting to me about music writing is more about stories and characters, and hearing about how people react to things. It's a personal preference.

Poliopolice, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

sorry DJP you are actually p much otm there. my bad.

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Quietus tends towards CMG territory a fair amount of the time, I find.

Not that often but I'll grant you that it does sometimes unfortunately. Luke and I are overstretched to fuck so there's a lot of writing round the clock goes on and often when we get something in that is completely off piste, we don't have time to spike it and then recommission from another writer, we simply have to make the piece as presentable as possible and get it up. And I don't mind pretentious/ambitious/creative writing per se but we will not stand for bullshit that doesn't make sense. Look into that Gotye play thing and it barely means anything. That's where I'd say we were different.

And I edit the features not the reviews but I'd still say that most of the writing we publish is very straight forward really. Certainly in the features well, nearly everything is in Q and A format - you can't get much more straightforward than that.

Music crit wasn't meant to be complex but there's no reason why it can't be occasionally - it's all about a balance of voices for me.

Conan The Asshander (Doran), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

See there's the difference right there -- you gave that answer where I assume CMG would be all "YOU ARE NOT SMART ENOUGH"

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

xxp: it's actually much, much worse IMO that he called a trumpet a saxophone, which definitely contributed to why I really couldn't let the scat singing thing go

the opening torpedoes the review, which does move into less fraught/more defensible/more factually convincing territory later on, but the egregious mistakes at the beginning make me distrust the entire thing

(and, if it wasn't clear before, I blame the editors just as much if not more than the author; IMO one of your jobs is to notice blatant mistakes and unambiguous misuse of words)

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah agreed

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

of course the editors are probably going around thinking how much more intelligent they are than anyone else that they probably didn't have the time to listen to Nu Amerykah pt. 1 to even see wtf C Betz is talking about

I still like the review anyways

when will Jesus bring the composition chops? (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

I love it when vocals sound like quantum physics

I LOVE THAT TOO!

you can expect punches, kicks and even worse (frogbs), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Finally got a copy of Ekstasis and my considered opinion is: a very 4AD <i>circa</i> 1986 cover and the music in part reflects that; a sort of halfway house between Enya and Imogen Heap - fractionalisation/deconstruction of the voice and so forth, mixed with a melancholy melodic approach - but I think there's more going on than the first listen might suggest. In some ways she's acting as a female counterpart to John Maus in the sense of reactivating old/discarded music and trying to make it live and matter again. I still can't get into Mr Maus' music but JH is a lot more appealing (and with better chord changes) though no doubt that reflects my personal bias when it comes to voices/singers. Still, I'll definitely be giving it some more listens.

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nitsuh pulls off referencing other materials or other cultural aspects in a much better way than most "intellectual" reviewers, imo, because he's gotten quite good at summing up why a particular reference is relevant, concisely, without the reader having to have a detailed background to get what he means and without casting the referenced material in the wrong light.

It always makes me feel much better reading that style than something too philosophical where I'm having to interpret exactly what is trying to be conveyed, or more pandering work like Malcolm Gladwell where I have no idea if he's used his references or evidence correctly because he tends to throw out a lot of (relevant) context in order to make dubious points.

mh, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 18:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

The thing is, as countless editors and publishers have said to me over the years, writing a blog is different from writing for a wide audience. Sometimes if the blogger's canny they overlap but more often than not they're two entirely separate activities which require two entirely separate approaches. For a "mass" readership the piece ceases to be about "you" because it involves teamwork; editor, subeditor, readers, fellow writers and so on. Whereas you can get away with a lot more stuff on a blog because you're generally writing for a known minority of readers with shared knowledge and you can go off on wild tangents without fear of being pulled up for it. But it helps to have the knowledge in the first place and also, and more importantly, the ability to communicate it. Ekphrasis (a work of art inspired by another work of a different discipline of art, e.g. a piece of literature inspired by a piece of music) is a fine thing but not everyone is Hazlitt and can pull it off. It takes discipline, years of falling over and making mistakes, and a hell of a lot of application to make it work. Otherwise you come up against this situation: "they brought the arc lamps to the scene of the crime with commendable promptitude." "'With commendable promptitude'? Does Dexter mean 'quickly'?"*

*Edmund Crispin on why he wouldn't provide a cover quote for Colin Dexter's first Morse book

Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Tuesday, 17 April 2012 18:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah the JH album is pretty nice. I probably wouldn't have paid attention if it weren't for ILX having fun with that deranged review.

s.clover, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 04:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

DJP otm - but it's not news that pop/rock writers seem to feel above learning musical terminology. not above using some of the words. but above doing the groundwork of knowing what they mean.

same old song and placenta (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 18 April 2012 08:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

the escalating stack of Venn diagrams

This sounds like a great way to serve pancakes.

oppet, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

They've noticed!

Cokemachineglow

@NedRaggett Alternatively - and I know we're asking a lot - you could actually read what we publish and, y'know, draw your own conclusions.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

good marketing strategy: I know you've heard we're reliably terrible, why not find out for yourself?

rob, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

T/F: People who use the word "alternatively" are the worst people on Earth

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

what about if Chris Lowe used it?

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

that would hurt me deeply in my heart

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

you know the logic of that tweet--don't trust the opinions of your knowledgable peers--eliminates the need for music reviews. granted, they don't seem to be in the business of publishing those, so n/m

rob, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol was that tweet in response to something specific Ned, or are you just the public face of ILX?

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

The "thanks for participating in our podcast" tweets they have seem a little odd. Do artists personally respond to requests for music and send websites audio for the podcast?

I'm assuming they mean "thanks for letting us use your song / thanks to your publicist for sending a song to promote you with" or in the worst case "dude, we put your song in a podcast, hope that's cool"

mh, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost -- specific, but I had linked here.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ned, you need to send dude a link to this and say "you lost this game before you published your first review"

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lordy.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

:)

mh, Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:46 (2 years ago) Permalink


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