pitchfork is dumb (#34985859340293849494 in a series.)

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Donald
Oh my God, what just happened at P-Fork
Mon Apr 1 07:08:25 2002
63.167.209.146

I'm not going to spew any elitist bullshit, but Alanis Morrissette, Kylie Minogue? Oh my fucking God. I'll stay for a little while to see if P-Fork still serves my needs, but with today's front page, I'm not counting on it. I understand the career move, but I just don't think it's going to serve me any more.

jess, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

stu Re: Oh my God, what just happened at P-Fork Mon Apr 1 07:41:08 2002 65.92.243.96

I wonder if it's going to serve anyone's needs. I don't think a web- only publication can attract readers interested in Alanis Morissette and Kylie Minogue. To my knowledge, no one actually hunts down information about such artists. People just hear about it on tv and that's it. Let's give Pitchfork a few months, until the corporate contributors pull the plug.

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I am very disappointed. Could they have made it any more obvious? COME ON, PEOPLE.

David Raposa, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think a web- only publication can attract readers interested in Alanis Morissette and Kylie Minogue.

QUOTE OF THE YEAR.

jess, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

What makes me think that things will be back to normal by tomorrow? ;)

Sean Carruthers, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't know Sean... it would be April 2nd, which would make it one day after...

Andy K, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

You scalawags, you make me laff. Perhaps.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Speaking of which, HEY NED! My Bloody Valentine are finally releasing their new album!

Sean Carruthers, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

We thought about that as one of the news items.

Dare, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"i for one will not be returning to this site if you're seriously going to be reviewing alanis. like i can't read that shit everywhere and anywhere? the reason i had pitchfork as my home page was because i could actually find out about the shit i care about. i'm glad you can pay your rent now, it's too bad that you sold out your millions of readers for britney fans in body glitter to do it."

Dare, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

pitchfork as your homepage, classic or dud?

the first thing i thought (after, well, this is no all cure all the time) was that i wished they really had "sold out" (what the fuck, is this 93?), because maybe it would mean LESS GODDAMN PROG.

jess, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

he's calling you out, leone. FITE!

Todd Burns, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I think I'd rather read about Alanis and Kylie than most of the stuff they normally review.

Sean, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Their funniest joke came months ago.

Nicole, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't know what all you fools are talking about... I only WISH all of it were true.

Well, the Albini thing practically is...

mr. sparkle, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

We thought about that as one of the news items.

Makes sense, really.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't know what all you fools are talking about... I only WISH all of it were true.

Well, the Albini thing practically is... huh???

Brock K., Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

LESS GODDAMN PROG

So, does that mean we'll write about the next Radiohead album, or not?

dleone, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

And that Flaming Lips thing actually is true. I think.

powertonevolume, Monday, 1 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Hein? Is the joke that Pitchfork reviewed some pop musik?? Even their KYLIE review was as dull as www.defra.gov.uk/farm/sustain/default.htm ARRRGHHHHHHHHH!! Then again Pitchfork = dull is a big shocker along the lines of Nelson in COLUMN!!!!!! shocker.

Sarah, Tuesday, 2 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

'On' column? 'HAS' column?! I can see him from my bladdy window but does that help my BRANE I think NICHT.

Sarah, Tuesday, 2 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Dom, how much of the Kylie review was farce? "The song exudes a catchiness that belies its inherent simplicity, so reassuring during an era when chart acts sound increasingly baroque and producers race to see who can ape electronic music trends first" sounds at least semi-serious.

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Tuesday, 2 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

best e-mail address ever, eh starbar?

dudley, Tuesday, 2 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

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

Sarah, Wednesday, 3 April 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

five 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 (twelve years ago) link

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

Z S, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:01 (twelve years ago) link

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

nabisco, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:10 (twelve years ago) link

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

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:11 (twelve years ago) link

it's more that they used that as their _hook_

x-post

lukas, Thursday, 1 November 2007 19:20 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

omg that is horrorshow

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

HI DERE, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:18 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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

Mr. Que, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:23 (twelve years ago) link

I'm more bothered by beck as impeccable influence

dmr, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:24 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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

lukas, Thursday, 1 November 2007 20:35 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

ugh, "impeccable influences" is really repulsive.

Hurting 2, Friday, 2 November 2007 18:46 (twelve years ago) link

(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 (twelve years ago) link

He was worked up?

roxymuzak, Friday, 2 November 2007 18:49 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

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

elan, Friday, 2 November 2007 19:16 (twelve years ago) link

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 (twelve years ago) link

Just in case you’re keeping score

Rehashing shitty ‘90s nu-metal: Bad

Rehashing shitty ‘90s emo: Very, very good

The Mandymoorian (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 17:57 (two weeks ago) link

I like how korn albums sound

brimstead, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:05 (two weeks ago) link

it’s hilarious how the site has so completely lost a grip on what rock music is good or cool that they’re just like “whatever let’s let Ian Cohen BNM his shitty emo records”

flopson, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:08 (two weeks ago) link

I mentioned this on the emo thread, but in that vein the Dogleg album struck me as a fairly random and arbitrary BNM choice. Everyone knows I fuckin love emo but there's next to nothing exemplary about it.

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:36 (two weeks ago) link

reading people rave about that record and they unfailingly compare it to 1-5 bands i don't give a shit about

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 19:48 (two weeks ago) link

I’m sure there a million better actual emo comparisons but the Dogleg album reminds me of the first Placebo album but without an alien doing helium and squawking over the top.

Tim F, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 21:25 (two weeks ago) link

oh dogleg sound way too much like bloodthirsty butchers for me to totally dismiss them

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 21:46 (two weeks ago) link

would've probably given it a 7 on purpose though

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 21:48 (two weeks ago) link

Pfork's abiding love for emo, post-hardcore whatever (ie guitars drums screaming about being angry n sad etc) is so weird.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 21:51 (two weeks ago) link

like these genres that are aesthetically frozen are somehow more "vital" than other aesthetically frozen genres (take yr pick) because they feature idk sweaty young ppl

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 21:52 (two weeks ago) link

Was it always like this? It seems like a few years back, they decided that actually emo was one of the most vital things that happened in the 00's, instead of all that boring dancepunk and freakfolk that they hyped at the time

Frederik B, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 22:03 (two weeks ago) link

their current stable of writers is younger/more attached to that scene. cf. me

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 22:06 (two weeks ago) link

as a genre however it was stuck in the 7.0s until 2017 or so, so yeah i guess “few years back” tracks

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 17 March 2020 22:07 (two weeks ago) link

overlooking/skewering emo was a critical mistake in the 00s from a hardline poptimist perspective. by the same token doing revisionism now is good. not sure about rating third-wave emo revival. i like some of the brad records a lot, dislike most of the ian ones

flopson, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 22:10 (two weeks ago) link

i like how the ian records sometimes actually sound like they come from an uncool place to me. like, if there are people listening to this stuff, he must be doing some kind of journalistic service.

j., Tuesday, 17 March 2020 23:12 (two weeks ago) link

brad obviously can't help but be cool as a cucumber.

j., Tuesday, 17 March 2020 23:12 (two weeks ago) link

if there are people listening to this stuff, he must be doing some kind of journalistic service

lmao ice old

flopson, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 23:14 (two weeks ago) link

no i mean i like to check some of it out!! but it does seem like some of it might be being boosted by him out of more of a, well, like ol alex in baltimore would often be boosting the mainstream rock hits alongside the actually interesting music he repped, maybe out of personal affection but somewhat on the principle that popularity is popularity

j., Tuesday, 17 March 2020 23:29 (two weeks ago) link

FWIW i discovered the glass beach album via ian so I will always give his hype-picks at least one listen.

Tim F, Wednesday, 18 March 2020 00:59 (two weeks ago) link

do people still pay attention to Appleseed Cast? I saw them at a punk fest thing at this farm in Iowa and they were way different, kinda synth and proggy and mathy....way different than I remember...I was super messed up at that point though

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 18 March 2020 15:56 (two weeks ago) link

their most recent album is great and your impression of them is correct

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 18 March 2020 16:01 (two weeks ago) link

I haven’t heard their latest but they are great musicians

brimstead, Wednesday, 18 March 2020 17:30 (two weeks ago) link

i'm finally hearing the code orange, not sure why it merited that review at all but i am a nu-metal fr34k

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:04 (two weeks ago) link

I guess GC just felt like swimming against the tide of The Discourse, which has been generally pro-Code Orange. Can't run the risk of sparking any "Rawk is Back!" meta-narratives, after all.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:18 (two weeks ago) link

it's especially funny coming so close after their rave for Loathe, who sound so much like Deftones at times that it's uncanny. but they nod at emo and not industrial so of course.

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Thursday, 19 March 2020 16:23 (two weeks ago) link

I didn't realize Wayne Marshall was writing for Pitchfork these days. That "Funky Kingston" review is great.
(but to nitpick: it would have stuck the landing better without that meandering last sentence)
Also refreshing to see them refrain from giving a 10.0 to such a stone cold classic... must have been tempting.

enochroot, Sunday, 22 March 2020 13:11 (one week ago) link

Agreed on both the review and the final sentence (where's an editor when you need one)?

morrisp, Sunday, 22 March 2020 15:01 (one week ago) link

sad lol that their Kenny Rogers obit ended with a Seinfeld reference

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Sunday, 22 March 2020 15:25 (one week ago) link

it’s sad because his restaurants were pretty good. I mean, I was like 12 at the time but

brimstead, Sunday, 22 March 2020 18:02 (one week ago) link

A casual observation: it seems that every single jazz album reviewed on Pitchfork never gets more than 7.0 and never less than 8.0.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Saturday, 28 March 2020 10:18 (five days ago) link

...unless it's a jazz reissue, in which case it gets between 8.4 and 10.0.

enochroot, Saturday, 28 March 2020 13:53 (five days ago) link

(for the record, I think that reflects the curation of what they're willing to review more than anything else)

enochroot, Saturday, 28 March 2020 13:55 (five days ago) link

they gave a new release jazz album BNM back in january! it's very rare but it does happen, though this one was jeff parker from tortoise so he has indie cred. looking through their archive, the only new release jazz album to get BNM that's not kamasi washington (an obvious outlier) or a crossover act like thundercat or esperanza spalding (at least on the album she got BNM for) is A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke by Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith

ufo, Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:14 (five days ago) link

Makaya McCraven / Gil Scott-Heron was categorized as jazz as well.

Frederik B, Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:18 (five days ago) link

For a while they were reviewing everything Vijay Iyer released. It seems like Shabaka Hutchings is filling his slot at the moment.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:41 (five days ago) link

And TBF their jazz reviews aren't idiotic; they've got good writers doing them. But they're too infrequent to feel anything but tokenistic, with particular artists receiving favor for a year or so then vanishing.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:43 (five days ago) link

Yeah, it's not a genre they really have a take on. It's a bit like metal or 'global'. But it's not particularly awful either.

Frederik B, Saturday, 28 March 2020 14:48 (five days ago) link

they gave a new release jazz album BNM back in january! it's very rare but it does happen, though this one was jeff parker from tortoise so he has indie cred. looking through their archive, the only new release jazz album to get BNM that's not kamasi washington (an obvious outlier) or a crossover act like thundercat or esperanza spalding (at least on the album she got BNM for) is A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke by Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith

I had a look at the last 20-odd jazz albums they reviewed.

8.0
7.9
8.0
7.8
7.9
7.8
8.0
8.6
7.4
8.4
7.9
7.2
7.5
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.5
7.7
7.7
8.3
7.8

And I only stopped going back further because I've stuff to do in the next few minutes. That is remarkable uniformity, isn't it?

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Saturday, 28 March 2020 15:46 (five days ago) link

Actually, as it happens, the very next review is 5.9 (for Robert Glasper's mixtape thing). But then it's back to 8.1s and 7.6s.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Saturday, 28 March 2020 15:47 (five days ago) link

It’s a bit like reviewing poetry books—why even bother unless you like it

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Saturday, 28 March 2020 17:57 (five days ago) link

my sad terrible superpower is usually being able to predict Pfork scores for marquee releases within about .2 of a point just based on the surrounding narrative/buzz.

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:19 (five days ago) link

Best new mutant

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Saturday, 28 March 2020 21:00 (five days ago) link

The Pearl Jam review is well-written.

morrisp, Saturday, 28 March 2020 21:46 (five days ago) link

Sodomsky's one of their best writers.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 March 2020 21:49 (five days ago) link

especially in 2020, when they remain the last band intact from their particular scene.

https://assets.blabbermouth.net/media/kingbuzzosolo2012_638.jpg

The Mandymoorian (Whiney G. Weingarten), Saturday, 28 March 2020 22:25 (five days ago) link

6.2 means it's good

billstevejim, Monday, 30 March 2020 02:11 (three days ago) link

Back in the day when I had a blog I was probably guilty of this often, but 10 years later it gets my goat when a writer describes a group as practically "making a pop record" when said group is NOT REMOTELY pop. Like, adding vocals and making songs under 5 minutes does not mean Windy & Carl is close to making a pop record.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 30 March 2020 23:11 (three days ago) link

That was my first thought after reading that review and clicking on the embedded track... in what sense is this pop?

enochroot, Monday, 30 March 2020 23:18 (three days ago) link

I mean, the review does say, "(don’t worry, it’s not that close)" -- but yeah, that is an old saw, so to speak.

morrisp, Monday, 30 March 2020 23:39 (three days ago) link

That is one of those parentheticals where the act of writing it is an indication that you should just delete whatever came before.

(It’s like seeing “no pun intended” in print—there was a moment in the editing process where you could have removed your unintended pun, but you didn’t, so the pun was intended.)

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 03:39 (two days ago) link


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