My Husband's Stupid Record Collection

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Still rules, doesn't deserve to be stuck in the Worst Music Writing thread

"Listening to Chrome can confuse your understanding of what makes music catchy and what feels good to listen to."

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Saturday, 25 April 2015 00:40 (five years ago) link

once i said i liked that blog OK -- not enough to read it regularly -- and whiney really "let me have it."

katherine, i think, made some good points about how she is taking up column space and book deals that could otherwise go to actual music writers. i don't know if that's the fault of this blogger though.

Treeship, Saturday, 25 April 2015 01:12 (five years ago) link

it might have been another poster who made those points.

Treeship, Saturday, 25 April 2015 01:16 (five years ago) link

The Chrome posts have been the highlight for me too. I had to check my feelings when she didn't give Alternative TV's amazing "Alternatives" much of a chance, but I got over it.

geoffreyess, Saturday, 25 April 2015 01:36 (five years ago) link

Well the thing is I like this woman a lot more than any "actual music writers" whose pieces get linked to from here, bt maybe I shouldn't judge too much from recent Pitchfork burn xp

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Saturday, 25 April 2015 01:40 (five years ago) link

Wait, she got a book deal out of this?

Small Town Pizza Lawyer (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 25 April 2015 02:16 (five years ago) link

yeah, that wasn't me, my stance is not quite that

katherine, Saturday, 25 April 2015 22:26 (five years ago) link

Am I the only one bored to pieces by the whole thing?

austinato (Austin), Saturday, 25 April 2015 22:44 (five years ago) link

The Black Sabbath reviews were kind of beautiful iirc.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Saturday, 25 April 2015 22:47 (five years ago) link

xp sorry for misattributing that point to you, katherine

Treeship, Sunday, 26 April 2015 17:20 (five years ago) link

"I kinda liked this thing, sorta, maybe, but all these fucking men liked it for the wrong reasons, so I don't like it anymore. Pay me." Awesome critical thinking, there.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Sunday, 26 April 2015 17:23 (five years ago) link

i get people feeling uncomfortable with how the dynamic of this blog reflects the patronizing, woody allen, men-explain-things-to-me thing. but i also feel like it's unfair to project that onto this blogger and her specific relationship, which isn't just a cultural trope but a thing that exists in reality. i feel two things.

Treeship, Sunday, 26 April 2015 17:29 (five years ago) link

no need to apologize, for all I remember maybe I did say that, I just feel a lot of the ire poured onto her tends to depart the realm of "I don't like the underlying reasons behind this blog getting so popular" and takes up residence in "lol look at this stupid woman and her stupid lack of musical knowledge, unlike ME."

katherine, Sunday, 26 April 2015 17:37 (five years ago) link

i think it's just the pomplamoose-y nature of the gee whiz reviews and the pictures. she certainly looks like a lot of people around my way. that's for sure! maybe i live in a pomplamoose-y part of the world. and now i notice she reviewed a bunny's a swine record! they just played at my store. they live here. first new record she's reviewed, i think. so, not actually a part of her husband's stupid collection.

scott seward, Sunday, 26 April 2015 17:37 (five years ago) link

I don't think her looks have any bearing on anything

katherine, Sunday, 26 April 2015 18:54 (five years ago) link

no, not her looks, just a specific look. that a lot of people have now. sassy indie librarian. it's a thing. especially where i live.

scott seward, Sunday, 26 April 2015 19:00 (five years ago) link

i don't think i've ever read a music-related blog where someone posted a picture of themselves with every post. so, her look is certainly noticeable and a part of her project. it's a representation. of herself. and it definitely stands out more than a jpeg of an album cover would, that's for sure.

scott seward, Sunday, 26 April 2015 19:10 (five years ago) link

i'm all for "the personal is political" up to an extent, but i'm also not entirely certain every popular blog reveals deep truths about gender relations or whatever. in terms of broader conclusions, all i can draw from it is that people like reading blogs where they feel like they have a personal relationship with the blogger, which means posting plenty of pictures, and people like blogs that are cute and funny. yeah, i'd prefer if more people liked reading 20,000 word essays about k-tel compilation albums liberally sprinkled with references to the 1960s cult television show "the prisoner", but i'm not sure that's necessarily what most people want out of the internet.

rushomancy, Sunday, 26 April 2015 20:12 (five years ago) link

So, you guys can make it through an entire post?

Because I can't. And not because it makes me mad or anything.

It's just so... uneventful.

austinato (Austin), Sunday, 26 April 2015 20:24 (five years ago) link

yeah, I like the idea of a typical music-geek record collection being worked through by someone who doesn't already 'know' where a particular act fits into the canonical rock music history or which of their albums are meant to be the good/disappointing ones etc, but I haven't really found the reality of the blog that engaging, not to say it's objectively 'bad' or anything

soref, Sunday, 26 April 2015 20:34 (five years ago) link

"it is that people like reading blogs where they feel like they have a personal relationship with the blogger, which means posting plenty of pictures, and people like blogs that are cute and funny"

yeah, i think the pictures were actually a stroke of genius. and the personal info. a lot of the later posts mention being pregnant and waiting for the baby. and the pictures are like a visual pregnancy diary of sorts. i think they keep people reading.

scott seward, Sunday, 26 April 2015 20:57 (five years ago) link

where was the original thread where this got discussed?

Mistah FAAB (sarahell), Sunday, 26 April 2015 21:08 (five years ago) link

no, not her looks, just a specific look. that a lot of people have now. sassy indie librarian. it's a thing. especially where i live.

― scott seward, Sunday, April 26, 2015 12:00 PM (2 hours ago)

same here

Mistah FAAB (sarahell), Sunday, 26 April 2015 21:08 (five years ago) link

Her writing is stylistically different from, but (speaking as a former editor frequently horrified by what gets published by putatively professional outlets in 2015) as good as, that found elsewhere. And honestly, I prefer her generally optimistic tone to the unearned snark and half-baked political bullshit found on most music sites now.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Sunday, 26 April 2015 21:12 (five years ago) link

wait, are you zinging yourself?

mattresslessness, Sunday, 26 April 2015 21:24 (five years ago) link

TS: false "gee whiz" naïveté vs. false weary, scornful "knowingness"

Treeship, Sunday, 26 April 2015 22:25 (five years ago) link

i actually teach a class at the community college on how to write scornful gee whiz faux-naive music criticism.

scott seward, Sunday, 26 April 2015 22:30 (five years ago) link

gee whiz, really?

Treeship, Sunday, 26 April 2015 22:30 (five years ago) link

i wish, the vending machines at the community college are awesome!

scott seward, Sunday, 26 April 2015 22:31 (five years ago) link

The Uncomfortable Gender Politics of Making Assumptions About O'Holla's Tone

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Sunday, 26 April 2015 22:40 (five years ago) link

i think there is something to the critique of how this plays into tropes and how this is an explanation for the blog's popularity. however, i think critics run into trouble when they move from the realm of the descriptive to the prescriptive, assigning blame to people for not actively resisting dynamics they either 1.) aren't aware of or 2.) have a different perspective on.

Treeship, Sunday, 26 April 2015 23:11 (five years ago) link

sorry, I'm still stuck on how resembling a "sassy indie librarian" is a statement on the quality of one's writing

katherine, Monday, 27 April 2015 00:12 (five years ago) link

I mean shit, several dudes now do music criticism as actual VIDEOS of themselves and yet people still mostly manage to talk about the content and not what their face looks like. for some reason.

katherine, Monday, 27 April 2015 00:14 (five years ago) link

I've seen sassy indie librarians. Sassy indie librarians are friends of mine. And stupid record collection broad, you are no sassy indie librarian.

kornrulez6969, Monday, 27 April 2015 00:15 (five years ago) link

yeah otm her appearance is immaterial. and commenting on the gender dynamics/her relative lack of knowledge to her husband can come off as similarly belittling. she should be left to do her thing

Treeship, Monday, 27 April 2015 00:28 (five years ago) link

looking back at the blog, i like how her accounts are sort of phenomenological/not bogged down by the weight of discourse. this is a boon not a weakness

Treeship, Monday, 27 April 2015 00:29 (five years ago) link

Yeah that Flavorwire piece had as much going on in the unpleasant gender politics realm as it accused the Tumblr's fans of having, so

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Monday, 27 April 2015 00:34 (five years ago) link

i don't think there's anything wrong with either the faux-naif or the withering scorn critical approach. i don't think the validity of a writer's work is determined by the framework they set for themselves or by their writing style. there's good faux-naif and bad faux-naif (which is to say, pomplamoose), just as there's good withering scorn and bad withering scorn.

rushomancy, Monday, 27 April 2015 00:41 (five years ago) link

I mean shit, several dudes now do music criticism as actual VIDEOS of themselves and yet people still mostly manage to talk about the content and not what their face looks like. for some reason.

― katherine, Sunday, April 26, 2015 7:14 PM (35 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

True although IMO more ppl should def mention Anthony fantano's corny indie fuxx demeanor in discussions of his reviews

deej loaf (D-40), Monday, 27 April 2015 00:51 (five years ago) link

"sorry, I'm still stuck on how resembling a "sassy indie librarian" is a statement on the quality of one's writing"

it doesn't have anything to do with her writing. i never said it did. but the pictures of herself are a part of the presentation of her blog. they are what you see first. they are meant to be looked at. and although she is not holding a ukelele in any of the pictures i have seen, that's the vibe i get. from the pictures and actually, now that you mention it, the writing. so sue me. it's a uke vibe.

scott seward, Monday, 27 April 2015 01:28 (five years ago) link

i think the whole thing is kinda twee and cutesy. which is fine for people who like twee and cutesy. i like some twee things. i am a big fan of the sarah records catalog. but her thing is not my thing. which i said on whatever thread this originally popped up on. i think it's AWESOME if she makes money from it! like, totally. i am all for that.

scott seward, Monday, 27 April 2015 01:31 (five years ago) link

and i don't watch youtube rock reviews. so, i don't know about those. i was talking about print blogs. never seen anyone post a picture of themselves that much. on blogs that are devoted to writing about something.

scott seward, Monday, 27 April 2015 01:33 (five years ago) link

It's funny how some people start throwing things at whoever gets 'offered' a 'book deal', for whatever reason.

Mark G, Monday, 27 April 2015 10:39 (five years ago) link

folks, i really hate to resurrect the dread spectre of "rockism" here, and i'm also not wanting to pick on scott, but all this complaining about how o'holla keeps putting pictures of herself on her blog reminds me of people who used to complain about mtv for ruining christopher cross's career.

when i look at the most respected critics, the ones who have really made a name for themselves, it strikes me that they all have a voice. guys like bangs weren't just writing about the music, they were writing about themselves. current models of music criticism are all beholden to the "new journalism" of the 1960s. so if a writer gets to have a voice, what's the problem with her having a face as well?

i'm not being faux-naif myself here. i get it. i'm an utterly non-photogenic middle-aged white guy. nobody is going to read a blog to look at pictures of me unless they're really into schadenfreude. i grew up in an environment (the internet of the 1990s) where what you looked like didn't matter, all that mattered was how you expressed yourself in writing. it was beautiful, but it was also clearly only a short-lived technological accident, not some ideal form of human expression.

if what people are looking for in music journalism is less along the lines of christgau's "old self-righteous white male liberal" and more along the lines of "cute white girl", i'm not going to be so disingenous as to claim that as an example of "uncomfortable gender politics", because by and large the people it seems to really make uncomfortable are people like me who will never pass for "cute".

rushomancy, Monday, 27 April 2015 10:45 (five years ago) link

I don't think her appearance is part of her success as in "she's cute i want to look at her." I think it's more the idea of this indie couple in a cozy house listening to records that is appealing to people, maybe lonely unmarried people

Treeship, Monday, 27 April 2015 11:24 (five years ago) link

The fact that they're lps are part of it, like this dream of listening to music in a way that's not in headphones on the subway by yourself

Treeship, Monday, 27 April 2015 11:27 (five years ago) link

You Ok Treeship

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Monday, 27 April 2015 11:50 (five years ago) link

this thread is weird

deej loaf (D-40), Monday, 27 April 2015 13:26 (five years ago) link

That quote will never not be not funny.

Your Favorite Album in the Cutout Bin, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:06 (five years ago) link

"obviously neither of them are pro music writers"

yeah but the husband works for a public radio show based in nyc which is how this all got spotlit in the first place. same shit different year

why did i click on this thread

maura, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:48 (five years ago) link

like... sorry that i'm not into music criticism as pinterest, i.e. the continued push toward gender essentialization in popular culture and the reactions to it? i hate ladyblogs of this ilk for the exact same reason, the tacit prescriptivism of how a 'wife' is

maura, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:49 (five years ago) link

but i guess i'm just a j e a l o u s h a t e r. too bad that can't fit on a license plate

maura, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:49 (five years ago) link

also i'm single!

maura, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:51 (five years ago) link

i guess 'swf looking for swm to defy gender norms' reads as kinda awkies though, especially when those norms seem to be working relatively ok for the intended targets

maura, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:53 (five years ago) link

My Existential Crisis's Stupid Record Collection

maura, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:53 (five years ago) link

you think a license plate is bad, try fitting that on your knuckles

ultimate american sock (mh), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:54 (five years ago) link

what makes you think i didn't

maura, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:57 (five years ago) link

fortunately, you can fit "toe-tappy" on a license plate if you spell it toe-tapi

Is It Any Wonder I'm Not the (President Keyes), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:01 (five years ago) link

my wife has clarified that her enthusiasm for my proposed project had less to do with viral public spectacle hoo-ha than her wishing i'd become an indigo girls fan, knowing that if i listen to an act long enough i usually find something i like about it

da croupier, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:15 (five years ago) link

the more you listen, the closer you are to fine amirite

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:19 (five years ago) link

indigo girls are good, if we're going to get real

tylerw, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:26 (five years ago) link

okay i finally googled the woman and found this: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2014/07/amanda_petrusich_s_do_not_sell_at_any_price_reviewed_by_sarah_o_holla.html
i still don't really think people should get ragged on for their lame tumblrs, but man, slate did amanda petrusich dirty with this piece.

"Petrusich’s writing is elegant and witty; I laughed out loud several times and felt like Petrusich and I could be friends."

cool

Leonard Pine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:28 (five years ago) link

Petrusich’s writing is elegant and witty; I laughed out loud several times and felt like Petrusich and I could be friends. And the next time I’m at a big rambling flea market or antique store, I’m going to know just where to look for an old 78; after reading this book, I might even know if it’s valuable or not. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, though. Pick up this book to find out, and maybe we’ll bump into each other wearing scuba gear at the bottom of the Milwaukee River.

this is a specific, contemporary writing style that is more specific than the word "disingenuous" (xp) allows although it is sort of disingenuous. there is a lot to be said about this style, how it narrows context in an age of infinite access to information, creates a sense of intimacy with both the product at hand and the reader, and finally seems designed to be at least at some level annoying and obstinate

Treeship, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:40 (five years ago) link

there is a lot to be said about this style

i blow goat farts, aka garts for a living (waterface), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:44 (five years ago) link

that's the style used in newspapers for the past fifty years bub

i blow goat farts, aka garts for a living (waterface), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:44 (five years ago) link

too bad "the palmer method" is already something else

da croupier, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:45 (five years ago) link

waterface please use "bub" more often i like pretending you're wolverine

da croupier, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:46 (five years ago) link

can do two live croup

i blow goat farts, aka garts for a living (waterface), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:50 (five years ago) link

*snikt*

tylerw, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:54 (five years ago) link

"Petrusich’s writing is elegant and witty; I laughed out loud several times and felt like Petrusich and I could be friends."

cool

― Leonard Pine, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 12:28 PM (36 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

you laugh but this is how most people judge writing (often in the "I like this dude's writing, I feel like I could get a beer with him"), the only difference is this piece actually cops to it

katherine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:05 (five years ago) link

* in the _context_

katherine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:06 (five years ago) link

that's definitely true, though the sentences that immediately shift from "i think the writer would be my friend" to "maybe you the reader, are also my friend"

da croupier, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:18 (five years ago) link

that immediately follow

da croupier, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:18 (five years ago) link

i don't laugh i think it sucks

Leonard Pine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:32 (five years ago) link

it's just a different approach. instead of indulging the fiction of a bland, universal reader, she creates a different fiction that the reader is her friend and that they'll meet someday in a flea market or at the bottom of a river.

Treeship, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:52 (five years ago) link

She also creates a fiction where I'm interested in hearing about her tumblr in a review of somebody else's book. Not cricket imo

Leonard Pine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:00 (five years ago) link

i don't think the original review mentions cricket at all

i blow goat farts, aka garts for a living (waterface), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:01 (five years ago) link

i guess you're joking but http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=its+just+not+cricket

Leonard Pine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:03 (five years ago) link

sorry if you can't appreciate my singular, australian-naif style

Leonard Pine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:05 (five years ago) link

i appreciate you Mr. Pine

i blow goat farts, aka garts for a living (waterface), Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:05 (five years ago) link

thanks friend

Leonard Pine, Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:33 (five years ago) link

subjectively? i hate her writing style. it's nails on a chalkboard to me, and it fills me with a deep sense of personal animosity against anybody who would willfully commit to paper such banalities.

objectively? there's absolutely nothing wrong with the way she writes. it's just not the kind of writing i prefer to spend my time reading.

rushomancy, Thursday, 30 April 2015 01:11 (five years ago) link

eight months pass...

I'm sorry for defending this blog and more generally for being a contrarian on threads where it wasn't needed

starkiller based god (Treeship), Thursday, 14 January 2016 04:49 (four years ago) link

she should combine this with those new vinyl collector scams, like "I'll send you one record from my husband's stupid record collection each month. He doesn't know!"

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Thursday, 14 January 2016 05:00 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

So did she never get past the Cs?

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 25 June 2020 03:30 (two weeks ago) link

must have stopped being profitable.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 25 June 2020 03:42 (two weeks ago) link

Did she stop when online started giving her shit? If so, that's pretty sad.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 25 June 2020 07:45 (two weeks ago) link

Maybe they broke up!

tired of waiting for icu (Matt #2), Thursday, 25 June 2020 08:52 (two weeks ago) link

"Want to feel old? The creator of 'My Husband's Stupid Record Collection' is 70 years old today!"

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Thursday, 25 June 2020 15:10 (two weeks ago) link

xp: They were still together as of 2018 https://offspring.lifehacker.com/how-i-parent-alex-goldman-1825426314

peace, man, Thursday, 25 June 2020 16:15 (two weeks ago) link

Did she stop when online started giving her shit? If so, that's pretty sad.

Had the same thought. I enjoyed her reviews! They were predictable: she liked anything that was mainstream rock or pop and couldn't get her head around noise-rock or free jazz. (A couple surprises, e.g. she liked Alice Coltrane.) That was part of what made the project interesting, though: it would have been interesting to see how her perceptions shifted as she exposed herself to hundreds and hundreds of those records.

Never really got the gender politics issue w her doing this, esp since I could spend all day on Youtube watching reaction videos where men do m/l the same thing. (Lost in Vegas guys are p much prog/metal experts by now.)

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 25 June 2020 16:30 (two weeks ago) link

the gender politics issue was with the reception (positive & negative) more than the actual blog

actually there were interesting things about the gendering of certain types of music & fandom implied if not actively explored by the blog but it got nasty quick when the internet got hold of it

(Lost in Vegas guys are p much prog/metal experts by now.)

I feel like I'd enjoy their videos if I watched a few but the whole reaction video concept is just totally alienating to me.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 25 June 2020 16:53 (two weeks ago) link

actually there were interesting things about the gendering of certain types of music & fandom implied if not actively explored by the blog but it got nasty quick when the internet got hold of it

I think she did explicitly address these things at times with e.g. the review of the SST comp with the rape image on the cover.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 25 June 2020 16:55 (two weeks ago) link

lost in vegas is m/l real-time music criticism by non-music journalists. 95% of what they "react" to I have no interest in tho.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Thursday, 25 June 2020 16:57 (two weeks ago) link

I think she did explicitly address these things at times with e.g. the review of the SST comp with the rape image on the cover.

Remember that she actually spoke to and quoted a gender studies professor in this one.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Thursday, 25 June 2020 17:40 (two weeks ago) link

in stick-to-itiveness, she did better than Sufjan Stevens but quite a bit worse than Sue Grafton.

the warm seafood salad that exists (Sufjan Grafton), Thursday, 25 June 2020 17:44 (two weeks ago) link


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