why do writers like Matthew Murphy at Pitchfork always review my favorite records and never rate them outside of the 7-7.9 realm?

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matthew, that's right I'm talking to you. Are you not allowed to be the guy who is like let's do this "best new music" shit, and let's do it now. seems you always write nice reviews, and about bands I love that are often passed over. You working your way up? Seems only some writers are allowed to give the gift of "best new music"

mrgoodman, Tuesday, 27 September 2005 22:40 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah wtf scott! i've never gotten one either come to think of it!

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 22:43 (fourteen years ago) link

OMG STLYUS DROOLS, PITCHFORK 4EVA!11!

Zimmer026 (Zimmer026), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 22:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Wait didn't you review Total 6, Jess? Isn't that in there Best New Music ting?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 22:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh wait no I see it's just "recommended".

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 22:57 (fourteen years ago) link

wtf they have beards and everything!

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 22:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I've only 4 of the records on the "Best New Music" list. Most of this stuff looks godawful.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 23:00 (fourteen years ago) link

damn straight they do. matthew. come on. what's your problem. be a man! stand up!!!

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 00:19 (fourteen years ago) link

pitchfork in not having particularly good taste shockah.

Ian John50n (orion), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 01:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Is it just me or is the distinction between "Best New Music" and "Recommended" and no special status at all completely arbitrary? For example, the Devendra Banhart getting 8.4 and being "Best New Music" vs. the David Banner getting 8.4 and being absolutely nothing... (is there only room for one "D.B." in the best new music section?) And then there's something like that Jóhann Jóhannsson album, which gets a meagre 7.5 and manages to find itself a nice, cushy spot in "Recommended". It's all so very strange.

Ross Godfrey (scatter), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 01:54 (fourteen years ago) link

now I feel like I have to post a disclaimer, you know, "not that I care about Pitchfork, but..." ;)

Ross Godfrey (scatter), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 01:59 (fourteen years ago) link

haha that's what a STRONG EDITORIAL VISION will get you

andrew s (andrew s), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 02:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, am I the only one that thinks the new "Also Recommended" section is a lot of damning with faint praise? Or am I the only one who cares?

owen moorhead (i heart daniel miller), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 02:25 (fourteen years ago) link

yes

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 02:28 (fourteen years ago) link

if you buy into numerical rating systems, the terrorists have already won

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 02:29 (fourteen years ago) link

jess, how come i like you again?

ian johnsooon, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 02:37 (fourteen years ago) link

ours is not to wonder why, ian my lad

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 02:44 (fourteen years ago) link

why do pitchfork writers never want to, you know, ROCK?

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Because rocking makes our sweaters bunch up around our mantits.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Perhaps I can help explain the site's admittedly complex album designations:

- Best New Music: Albums in this category are considered some of the best new music.

- Also Recommended: Albums in this category are recommended, as well.

- Nothing: Albums in this category are albums.

Sorry, that's all the time I have for now. I know it's complicated, though, so if you want to leave questions here, I'll try to answer them as soon as I'm able.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:24 (fourteen years ago) link

why do pitchfork writers never want to, you know, ROCK?

Their moms have advised against it.

Confounded (Confounded), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Perhaps I can help explain the site's admittedly complex album designations:

- Best New Music: Albums in this category are pushed by labels that bought long-range repeating banner ads on the main page

- Also Recommended: Albums in this category are from friends' bands, and/or friends' labels as well.

- Nothing: Albums in this category are albums that don't offer any financial gain for PF.

Sorry, that's all the time I have for now. I know it's complicated, though, so if you want to leave questions here, I'll try to answer them as soon as I'm able.

-- nabisco (--...), September 28th, 2005 12:24 PM.

ah, that makes it clear as a bell. thanks nabby

:-)

rentboy (rentboy), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:34 (fourteen years ago) link

how would you explain CYHSY
oh wait, i heard the back story, insound met with pfork and CYHSY's manager and decided to demonstrate their "power"

well they sure did

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Nabisco, what happened here in your Sire box review?

"If I were rating this collection based on the pure quality of the music it contains, as opposed to a whole bunch of considerations about your time and your money, it'd be up there in the eights"

This is the most distressing thing I've seen you write and I may have to reconsider the nomination for you as president of these United States.

Was the reason for the lower rating edited out? I don't get it.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, that box is just straight up awesome.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:56 (fourteen years ago) link

He did not inhale, nor have sexual relations, nor meant to say that he voted for the plan before he voted against the plan. He does, however, have some wood to sell.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:59 (fourteen years ago) link

articles that are by mr. murphy that read like a "best new music" piece but hover in the 7's

http://pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/e/efterklang/tripper.shtml
http://pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/h/hukkelberg_hanne/little-things.shtml
http://pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/a/afrirampo/kore-ga-mayaku-da.shtml
http://pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/g/grizzly-bear/horn-of-plenty.shtml

the list goes on and on, some reach 8.0, and only Vashti gets a 9, but that's not "best new music" now is it?

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 15:59 (fourteen years ago) link

do you guys really care about this shit?

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:02 (fourteen years ago) link

it's just a message board. do any of these threads matter?

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:03 (fourteen years ago) link

no, but some of them are at least interesting.

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:04 (fourteen years ago) link

or discuss, you know, content.

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:04 (fourteen years ago) link

sometimes i'll grade something and an editor will lower the grade on me, making the disjunction between grade & text apparent and irritating.

Ian John50n (orion), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:05 (fourteen years ago) link

Jess, Jess, numbers mean more than words. And more than music, too, damnit.

I'm going to watch Sin City and drink Maple syrup.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:06 (fourteen years ago) link

the numbers are either the first or last thing i decide. they take approx. 10 seconds and i never, ever think about them again. the day i write a review where part of the gag is the numerical rating (a zero! how shocking!) is the day i die inside a little.

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:08 (fourteen years ago) link

are you mr. murphy ian? either he has no say at that place, or his ratings get fucked

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:09 (fourteen years ago) link

"part of the gag" xpost

MR GOODMAN I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!

Ian John50n (orion), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:13 (fourteen years ago) link

When Stylus was still using the decimal thing I used to roll an old ten-sided die I had from my youthful roleplaying days to determine the decimal value. I told one of the Yank kids who wrote for us back than this and I think he cried.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Or maybe, goody, a 7.0-7.9 ain't so bad, and you shouldn't feel slighted by the fact that records you like get rated thusly, and sweet sodom & gommorah maybe (like folks said) numbers ain't shit.

But since this doesn't matter, keep on w/ your bad self.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:13 (fourteen years ago) link

i am matthew, i'm just disgruntled at my boss .

xpost.stng: i'd rather chat about this than why annie chose certain tracks for her DJ kicks album

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:14 (fourteen years ago) link

naw, I was only curious b/c it seems some writers there never stand out and take a stand, this being one of them. i only notice this b/c a lot of the records he reviews I like, this is true for other records. I was bummed about the double not getting a better review either. interpol, schminterpol

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:15 (fourteen years ago) link

"i'd rather chat about this than why annie chose certain tracks for her DJ kicks album"

When did anyone profess to caring about this?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Arf, Spencer, don't make me justify ratings, I hate this stuff from the start. I think there's loads of greatness in that box, and it seems like they've done a good job with the box itself -- but at the same time, I'm short on reasons why it's essential for everyone to hear everything in there, and short on reasons why people would spend $55 on it, as opposed to other methods of sampling the artists or working through them individually. I dunno, I have issues from the start with the issue of numerical ratings, and equally big issues with how one "rates" a V/A box set in the internet age, and so ... you can always work on the assumption that I've spent roughly three minutes (and three units of caring) on the number rating, and roughly 230 minutes (and 230 units of caring) on the text below it.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:50 (fourteen years ago) link

unfortunately pfork has somehow b/c a place to check the numbers. many on here have even admitted to not reading a review unless it gets over a certain #, yes dumb on their parst, but unfortunate all around

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:55 (fourteen years ago) link

From now on, then, I'm gonna be all like "The Peppermints! 9.6! Here's a review about how I want a beagle!"

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:02 (fourteen years ago) link

that sounds like a good plan

mrgoodman, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:04 (fourteen years ago) link

unfortunately pfork has somehow b/c a place to check the numbers. many on here have even admitted to not reading a review unless it gets over a certain #, yes dumb on their parst, but unfortunate all around

citations, pls.

Ian John50n (orion), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Actually Nitsuh, I guess I was wondering more about the lukewarm endorsement (regardless of the rating) despite the "pure quality of the music it contains". You went through some of it, but frankly I'd be thrilled to have this rather random box set filled with amazing music. I guess it might be hard to write about or curate or narrate in one's mind.

As for the rating, I suggest you guys spend more time thinking it because it's the first thing (and sometimes only thing) people look at. They're like photo captions in news stories.

Also, on the internet, where nobody's worried about the amount of paper being used, more information should be included in reviews (like track titles/credits etc). Please tell Pfork.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:08 (fourteen years ago) link

I think my issue was more how one reviews a box set, though. One could put some of the greatest music ever in a box and still come up with something no one would ever want to buy -- because there's no common focus to it, or because it's more readily available somewhere else, or because people own the bits they like already, or whatever else. That's what accounts for the gulf between box-rating and quality-of-music, in my mind. Admittedly, I was enough into my larger theory in that review that I didn't get to spend a whole lot of time on the things that make me wonder who'll buy the set. (And the more I thought about it afterward, the more the video DVD -- which I don't have, though I remember most of those clips -- seems like it'd be worth more of that price than I thought.)

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:20 (fourteen years ago) link

It's funny, I have so many beloved records on Sire including the greatest song ever ("Soon") and all those Just Say... comps reminds me of going through used CD racks in the early 90s. I guess I'd like to maybe hear a little bit about the Sire story?

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:30 (fourteen years ago) link

I mean, I was never sure why this sub-label on a major had all my favorite music.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:30 (fourteen years ago) link

you know, after reading the neutral milk hotel thing yesterday, i'm wondering why there's all this embarrassment pitchfork feels for artists. who cares. you'd think they never saw david bowie or little richard.

"A guy in a rock band saying he was emotionally devastated by a book everyone else in America read for a middle-school assignment? I felt embarrassed for him at first, but then, the more I thought about it and the more I heard the record, I was awed."

and then today, making fun of the warlocks by making fun of magic: the gathering cards? i mean, how snobby and inhibited are these people, and how do they remain immune to rock's ability to loosen people up? maybe this isn't the right place for this thought, but still.

tiny tim, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 20:19 (fourteen years ago) link

articles that are by mr. murphy that read like a "best new music" piece but hover in the 7's

sorry to break up the conspiracy theories, but Matthew rated all of those records in the 7s himself, and as far as I know there has never been a BNM record with a grade lower than 8.2/8.3.

Ratings are the grade given by the reviewer and BNM/rec status is chosen by the editors with input from staffers, same way I'd guess Blender or Q decides to choose which records from previous months are featured in sidebars in their reviews sections.

scott pl. (scott pl.), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 20:40 (fourteen years ago) link

you can always work on the assumption that I've spent roughly three minutes (and three units of caring) on the number rating, and roughly 230 minutes (and 230 units of caring) on the text below it.

Same here. I have never agonized over a rating and don't take the decimals seriously at all (they're useful only when you use "X.9" as a way of saying "almost X+1").

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 21:00 (fourteen years ago) link

dunno scott. just seems like the same old bands get BNM over and over. I agree this conversation is kinda dumb though. i don't know murphys reviews- but why do some writers always get the bnm bands

pure luck?

dunno, Thursday, 29 September 2005 02:21 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh snap! Hope mrgoodman isn't a Blackalicious fan.

Mr. Murphy done done it again!

Zimmer026 (Zimmer026), Friday, 30 September 2005 12:25 (fourteen years ago) link

I reject Spencer's "suggestion" that we focus more on the rating, purely on the basis that I spend as much time thinking about the rating as I do about what I write. A number is not worth a thousand words, sir. Nor are a thousand words worth a number. Nor am I making a damn bit of sense, so I'm shutting up.

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 30 September 2005 12:50 (fourteen years ago) link

"just seems like the same old bands get BNM over and over."

i see a lot of variety on the bnm page. could it be that once a band gets BNM it gets the perception of being "the same old band," even if that's unwarranted? for example, sfa had actually never been BNM until this album. kinda don't see how the game fits into your theory, either. and i'm sure everyone was REALLY tired of cyhsy before that pitchfork review...

marc h. (marc h.), Friday, 30 September 2005 17:03 (fourteen years ago) link

I feel sorry for that Adam Moerder guy who writes for the site. It seems like he always gets stuck with all the crappy mediocre albums that nobody else wanted to bother listening to.

Ross Godfrey (scatter), Saturday, 1 October 2005 01:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Radiohead's Thom Yorke Considering Meeting With Tony Blair

Kati Llewellyn reports:
From Pitchfork's "We Keep Track of Every Move Radiohead Makes" Department:

This morning, you probably went through the "All-Stars or Pumas?" routine, moved on to a 10-minute debate over whether or not shaggy hair really does look best, and finally, sealed the deal with the choice to wear that hideous SpongeBob SquarePants watch. Celebrities, however, have real decisions to make, decisions that can impact everything from Ben Affleck's likeliness of winning another Academy Award (zilch) to the fate of planet Earth. Fortunately for all of us, Thom Yorke holds his stakes in the latter. Or sort of, anyway.

Last May, Yorke made his way to British Parliament as a representative of the Friends of the Earth campaign, in an attempt to get the government involved with decreasing the UK's impact on global warming. Writing in the the Radiohead blog Dead Air Space on Wednesday, Yorke relayed to fans the charity's latest request for his involvement.

Friends of the Earth asked this Radio head if he would meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street to discuss what the goverment "is not doing about climate change." Karma police, arrest this man! But Yorke hasn't made up his mind on whether or not he wants to go.

In a respectably honest confession, Yorke wrote, "i have no intention of being used by spider spin doctors to make it look like we make progress when it is just words. id love to know what you think but i cant ask. youd say oh ther e he goes again interfering and meddling in politics why doesnt he get on with the music and shut up. perhaps because i feel like a hypocrit if dont do anything, and equally feel like a hypocrit if i try getting involved... id love to forget about it like your average Times reader. wed all like it to go away. turn to to the rising sea and say come back later im busy right now."

He closed the entry with a request for decision-making assistance and a good ol' fashioned "politics is poision." We hope the next set of liner notes have an editor. Damn.

Yorke also gave a li'l update on the progress of Radiohead's upcoming album, announcing the titles of two tracks: "Pay Day" and "Burn the (White?) Witch". Since there are bound to be a few more in the works, we'd like to offer the following song titles as a sign of our deep Radiohead love: "Prime Time: A Day in the Life of Tony Blair" and "Googlefight: Blair VS. Bush". Do with them what you will, Mr. Yorke, do with them what you will.


AND YOU PEOPLE TAKE THIS WEBSITE SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!

Ian John50n (orion), Saturday, 1 October 2005 03:01 (fourteen years ago) link

it's not that anyone is saying "what pfork says is truth"

it's the fact they they have so much influence over the market
deny all you want, not everyone is ironic, sassy, reading ILM


the point is right now, in music, esp indie music, they have a HUGE influence

this is the problem, not about if we think what they are saying is bible or not

mrgoodman, Saturday, 1 October 2005 05:52 (fourteen years ago) link

hi coolfer

marc h. (marc h.), Saturday, 1 October 2005 15:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Who would you rather see wielding this kind of influence, Mr. Goodman?

joseph cotten (joseph cotten), Saturday, 1 October 2005 15:21 (fourteen years ago) link


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