OK, is this the worst piece of music writing ever?

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From this week's R&R (Reviewed & Rated) section of Exeter University Guild Of Students' magnificent student paper, Exeposé...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v236/njsouthall/Screengrabs/onsellingoutexepose.jpg

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:17 (twelve years ago) link

Argh, nu-ilx has shrunk it slightly past readable; here's a direct link - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v236/njsouthall/Screengrabs/onsellingoutexepose.jpg

I just boggled at this over my lunch.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:18 (twelve years ago) link

"Jonny" is a name for gaywads

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:20 (twelve years ago) link

This only proves again that editors and writers are two different professions. Hence the two names.

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:22 (twelve years ago) link

You are actually posting a scan of an article from a student newspaper as the basis for a thread, aren't you? Good lord.

Matt DC, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:25 (twelve years ago) link

It's a screengrab from the pdf off the website! They didn't have a normal text version...

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:28 (twelve years ago) link

can you link to the website? photobucket seems to be banned here.

acrobat, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:29 (twelve years ago) link

http://www.exepose.ex.ac.uk

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:30 (twelve years ago) link

goes from strength to strength -- feeder mention is possibly the high point.

That one guy that quit, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:31 (twelve years ago) link

System of a Down's top 20 single was six and a half years ago, fact fans.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:32 (twelve years ago) link

"Recent developments in music have given Architechs a top 5 single"

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:33 (twelve years ago) link

surely this can't be THE jonny garrett?

http://www.myspace.com/chasingfaces

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:33 (twelve years ago) link

(yeah, they have a myspace already, the sellouts)

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:34 (twelve years ago) link

I suspect it must be, StanM.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:34 (twelve years ago) link

I assume, from their name that they like Snow Patrol and The Small Faces.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

um, holding up articles by students as examples of 'bad music writing'? talk about shooting fish in a barrel. Matt DC OTM.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

Following in the footsteps of West Country acts like Muse and Thirteen Senses by already winning over interest from various major and independent record labels, things are definitely looking good for the boys. Having recently been asked to support New Zealand favourites The Checks who have just finished touring with the likes of JET and Oasis.

"I know someone who knows someone who knows the guy from Young Heart Attack quite well"

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:36 (twelve years ago) link

blueski and Matt DC offtm, this is the new web2.0 media era, we're all critics now, user provided content is the new professionally written content.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:36 (twelve years ago) link

Even in the realm of student media this is BAAAAAAAAD though, Steve - I flick through Exepose every week and this is BY FAR the worst thing I've ever seen in it; hence not starting a thread every week.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:37 (twelve years ago) link

Haha I used to write for that paper. I wonder how long before he Googles his own name and finds it.

Matt DC, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:39 (twelve years ago) link

It would be so wonderful if he googled this thread and responded. What an utterly thrilling discussion and exchange of views that could lead to.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:40 (twelve years ago) link

Hey, with any luck he might hop over to ILE and start posting about his sex life or something.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:41 (twelve years ago) link

(my question: is the article motivated by his own band possibly signing to a major soon?)

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:42 (twelve years ago) link

Maybe I should unleash the views of Chris Erasmus at you all?

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:42 (twelve years ago) link

Haha, yeah, I'd imagine so, StanM.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:43 (twelve years ago) link

Hello Jonny's mom! No, he hasn't posted about his sex life yet. Try again later. Bye, ILX.

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:43 (twelve years ago) link

blueski and Matt DC offtm, this is the new web2.0 media era, we're all critics now, user provided content is the new professionally written content.

-- Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:36 (11 minutes ago) Link

Dom is entirely correct here. I mean, the chuckle factor is diminished by him being a student, but the democratization of criticism basically leaves us with this sort of landscape (coughcoughP.E.W.cough).

sanskrit, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:54 (twelve years ago) link

also why do nearly all student newspaper writers write in what feels like the same voice? there's certain syntax and word choices that only student newspapers ever seem to have.

acrobat, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:59 (twelve years ago) link

Nobody knows how to sub-edit when they're 21, that's why.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:03 (twelve years ago) link

^^not unrelated to why writers in the say, New York Times tend to sound the same. for that matter, ever read Blender? Despite the bylines it seems to be written by one many-armed poprockbot.

m coleman, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:04 (twelve years ago) link

that really is quite incredible.

jed_, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:07 (twelve years ago) link

New York Times doesn't have sub-editors? That's crazy!

acrobat, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:08 (twelve years ago) link

Hey Jonny, your band fucking suck.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:10 (twelve years ago) link

Jonny Garrett of Exeter University, that is.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:11 (twelve years ago) link

I think you mean <a href="OK, is this the worst piece of music writing ever?;>Jonny Garrett</a> of Exeter University.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:14 (twelve years ago) link

BOO HTML

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:14 (twelve years ago) link

Kudos on sticking it to Westlife, tho, Jonny Garrett of Exeter University. Those bastards have had it their own way for too long.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:15 (twelve years ago) link

Does Westlife even exist anymore?

Tuomas, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:16 (twelve years ago) link

highlights:

"...bands like westlife who can, quite frankly, go screw themselves with a rusty spoon and get tetanus"

"had nirvana not signed to sub pop... we would probably never have heard one of the most influential artists of our time and dave grohl may have never founded the foo fighters."

the pathos!

jed_, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:17 (twelve years ago) link

but the democratization of criticism basically leaves us with this sort of landscape (coughcoughP.E.W.cough).

democratization of criticism = people slagging this shit off just because they can rather than for any constructive cause. it's just easy target practice, who gives a shit? no-one/nothing is ever going to stop under-grads inheriting these absurd ideas about 'how things should be' in the music industry. surely we've all read this same article many times in the past.

i'm just more relieved than ever my music writing from college days was too soon for blog-era internet heh.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:19 (twelve years ago) link

"had nirvana not signed to sub pop... we would probably never have heard of..." Sub Pop.

NickB, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:21 (twelve years ago) link

Was there ever a thread for people to post their own abysmal juvenile music writings from uni days?

Michael Philip Philip Philip philip Annoyman, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:21 (twelve years ago) link

Not that I'd post on it, my capsule reviews of Kinesis singles were all fuckin bang-on.

Michael Philip Philip Philip philip Annoyman, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:21 (twelve years ago) link

perhaps one day i will post my 8/10 track by track review of 'Be Here Now' from the time.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:24 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah, you real writers are all jealous that you've lost the ability to write like that, aren't you?

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:26 (twelve years ago) link

I wrote a two-part article in my uni paper called "Rhythm & Sound", which basically stated that all rock music that's based on melody or lyrics is boring crap, and that beats and sound are the essential components of good music - hence electronic dance music (and fusion jazz) is the best music there is. I got some angry comments from the indie kids.

Tuomas, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:27 (twelve years ago) link

Kudos on sticking it to Westlife, tho, Jonny Garrett of Exeter University.

and kudos to you lot for bravely and relentlessly going after such a signifivcant target as jonny garrett. sure showed him!

ts being one of many thick students w/ bad music taste who can't write, vs being someone who actually gives a shit about what said student writes in some minor student rag

or, matt'n'steve otm, u r all losers

lex pretend, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:27 (twelve years ago) link

but the democratization of criticism basically leaves us with this sort of landscape (coughcoughP.E.W.cough).

student newspapers have nothing to do with the "democratization of criticism"

Curt1s Stephens, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:28 (twelve years ago) link

I can't copy and paste from the Exeter Expose, but if you Google you can find a review where our Jonny talks about "Indy music".

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:28 (twelve years ago) link

also why do nearly all student newspaper writers write in what feels like the same voice? there's certain syntax and word choices that only student newspapers ever seem to have.

paul please, please tell me you don't actually care about the answer to this

lex pretend, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:29 (twelve years ago) link

Jacobin is spotty at the best of times but their pop culture writing is the fuckin pits.

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 12:45 (four weeks ago) link

"Art music hot takes" might actually be the worst emerging strand of contemporary music criticism.

One must put up barriers to keep oneself intact (Sund4r), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 12:45 (four weeks ago) link

It's a genre I'm only beginning to discover, to my great dismay.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 12:56 (four weeks ago) link

Re: that Kenny G piece, 'weasel-toned saxophonist' is otm.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 12:59 (four weeks ago) link

just as "sociopolitical context" is often the scourge of pop-culture criticism, political magazines trying on pop culture is almost never a good idea (I have not read / will not read this Kenny G thing)

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 13:02 (four weeks ago) link

The funniest thing about the Kenny G piece is that the author posted it on his own blog in 2017, then talked Jacobin into re-publishing it two years later. Like, did you really need the $75 that badly?

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 13:15 (four weeks ago) link

maybe it's just the company I keep/shit I read but I'd guess I hear five mentions of Oliveros for every one of Xenakis. She's a much larger figure, imo. I think this article's take might have been a good one in, say, 1985.

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 13:19 (four weeks ago) link

yeah had a 'getting mad at google results based on your own previous searches' type vibe from this one

wot's the tea mum? (not beef again) (DJ Mencap), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 13:36 (four weeks ago) link

maybe it's just the company I keep/shit I read but I'd guess I hear five mentions of Oliveros for every one of Xenakis. She's a much larger figure, imo.

This is definitely true for me as well, but almost up until her death 3 1/2 years ago, she was still teaching/lecturing/performing, and probably at least 10% of my social circle has been her student at some time or another.

It's total apples and oranges, that comparison, though geez.

sarahell, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 13:36 (four weeks ago) link

Challop disclaimer should the author of that piece be an ILXor: Xenakis and Oliveros are both awesome.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 13:40 (four weeks ago) link

And today, artists more diverse (in both style and identity) than the early industrial kids see themselves traveling in the wake of Xenakis, from jazz pianist and composer Craig Taborn, to Battles' Tyondai Braxton,

the dude who wrote this article knows who Tyondai's dad is, right? ... this article is really awkward

sarahell, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 15:57 (four weeks ago) link

Braxton: It’s certainly relative to electronic music and dance music, it’s certainly relative to generative music and musique concrète. A lot of my heroes are composers like Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Schaeffer.

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:01 (four weeks ago) link

It's a well-written piece with a terrible (and vaguely sexist) thesis. There's a fucking paragraph where the author tries to posit that Pharmakon must be influenced by Xenakis, despite having never acknowledged the influence? Why are these two completely disparate composers being compared like this?

If an "I wish I was in a Ph. D. program" dude wants to stencil "it's misogyny" on to comparative pieces about "why [x] and not [y]?" composers, he should write Cage vs. Olivieros and/or Xenakis vs. Ustvolskaya-- at least do a study where the composers have similar theses, bodies of work, outlook. (I would read either of these theoretical pieces, both Ustvolskaya and Olivieros deserve equal props as their more-established male counterparts.)

Montegays and Capulez (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:11 (four weeks ago) link

So the writer brings up gender, and how Xenakis' work has been portrayed as hyper-masculine and bro-y, but he doesn't seem to take note that the examples of contemporary music he is using to support his thesis are also way heavier on the bro-factor than others? ... of the musicians he cites, all are dudes, except for Russell Butler, Black Madonna, and Pharmakon ...

sarahell, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:15 (four weeks ago) link

And Diamanda Galas, who is (in my experience) one of Xenakis's more ardent proselytizers

Montegays and Capulez (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:19 (four weeks ago) link

yeah that bit about Pharmakon is a real stretch -- I could bullshit that Holly Herndon must be influenced by Oliveros because she took a class from her in grad school.

sarahell, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:29 (four weeks ago) link

also lol at citing the Nurse with Wound list as some evidence of the primacy of Xenakis -- I mean, Lemon Kittens are also on that list, and they are such a massive influence on like, a couple dozen weirdo arty noise bands that play to audiences of 30?

sarahell, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:32 (four weeks ago) link

Contemporary women composers who cite Xenakis as an influence on their music are bros by association. To wit:

I’m also inspired by the abstraction of the late Beethoven string quartets, the power and uncompromising nature of the orchestral music of Xenakis, and the acoustic city landscapes of Varèse.

http://www.internationalartsmanager.com/features/qa-with-rebecca-saunders.html

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:36 (four weeks ago) link

Not to mention Chaya Czernowin and Unsuk Chin. And Natasha Barrett:

http://usoproject.blogspot.com/2009/01/interview-with-natasha-barrett-pt2.html

I am now ready to write a corrective article.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:46 (four weeks ago) link

"this smacks of gender!" I holler as I upend the table and dump all my compact discs on the floor

babu frik fan account (mh), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:48 (four weeks ago) link

But the biggest Greekbro of all is Oliveros herself:

Her many years of involvement in new music have given her an informed and open-minded perspective. Although her interests have changed, she continues to write music for other performers, such as a piece for violinist Malcolm Goldstein, and her interest in pure electronic music didn't end in the 60s either - she contributed to a computer music compilation in 1990. She has praise for artists who seem at first very different, such as Iannis Xenakis (although perhaps with Oliveros's interest in space and Xenakis's interest in architecture, the difference isn't all it seems).

"There is tremendous expansion in the so called new music scene. What used to be a village is now a metropolis. It's complex and asymmetrical. I like it. You never know where you will find a gem or in what style this gem will manifest."

http://media.hyperreal.org/zines/est/intervs/oliveros.html

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:52 (four weeks ago) link

there are plenty of Oliveros-influenced bros too

sarahell, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:53 (four weeks ago) link

Yeah, I've certainly met more Oliveros bros -- or, if you will, Oliverbros -- than Xenakis bros.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:56 (four weeks ago) link

the part of the article where he writes about the aesthetics and processes and how the ascribed masculinity is a bit arbitrary in that Xenakis' process is super nerdy -- i feel like that's kinda interesting

sarahell, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 17:02 (four weeks ago) link

There's some worthwhile insight in that piece, for sure, it's just asphyxiated by the binary premise.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 17:06 (four weeks ago) link

idk i can't really excuse this

Yet whereas Xenakis sought to apply complex formulas to emulate the stochastic rumblings of the natural world (human agency be damned), Oliveros sought similar affects from an opposite angle. To tap into these ecological systems, she privileged the very intuition, vulnerability, and receptivity to our surroundings that Xenakis's superfans find so mewling and weak.

budo jeru, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 17:11 (four weeks ago) link

it's just so icky and like "she was a woman and down with nature and her feelings"

budo jeru, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 17:12 (four weeks ago) link

I thought das Ewig-Weibliche was peak feminism?

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 17:16 (four weeks ago) link

accordions are not natural

j., Tuesday, 21 January 2020 17:19 (four weeks ago) link

But… it breathes!

pomenitul, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 17:21 (four weeks ago) link

Lol

Montegays and Capulez (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 18:44 (four weeks ago) link

three weeks pass...

https://aeon.co/ideas/why-are-pop-songs-getting-sadder-than-they-used-to-be

ok, i can't be arsed to read this, i don't care, it's probably terrible, but choosing to illustrate your "pop music used to be so much happier" argument with a picture of ABBA is so fucken stupid that i think we can save ourselves the time and effort

babby bitter (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 15 February 2020 12:45 (three days ago) link

bet this person actually thinks "Happy Together" is a song about a couple being happy together

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:15 (three days ago) link

^I skimmed it, and that seems to be exactly how their analysis works!

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:20 (three days ago) link

Look buddy I've seen lots of TV ads for soda, bubblegum and adult diapers and that's definitely what that song means

Evan, Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:21 (three days ago) link

analysing lyrics alone to judge the emotional content of music is maybe the stupidest fucking thing i’ve ever heard in my life

Homegrown Georgia speedster Ladd McConkey (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:30 (three days ago) link

Wait so what is Happy Together actually about

Οὖτις, Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:31 (three days ago) link

a sad lonely dude imagining being together with someone who either doesn't know he exists or does and doesn't gaf about him

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:36 (three days ago) link

i mean the first word is 'imagine'

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:36 (three days ago) link

It’s the A-prime example of Songs where the singer/protagonist comes off as a serious dick without meaning to

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:48 (three days ago) link

Sentiment analysis is often nonsense

totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:57 (three days ago) link

not to mention pop isn't any happier or more morose than it's ever been.

it's not like the charts are being topped by MC D-Pressed with hit single "I Ain't Shit"

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:59 (three days ago) link

How do you quantify the emotional tenor of having your horses in the back, horse tack is attached?

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Saturday, 15 February 2020 16:06 (three days ago) link

You could argue that Post Malone’s career is depressing but I doubt it would be because of his lyrics

totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Saturday, 15 February 2020 16:11 (three days ago) link

I’m not going to read the article but it’s pretty unassailable knowledge that in the last 3+ years of rap have been incredibly depressive and pop quickly followed suit

The Mandymoorian (Whiney G. Weingarten), Saturday, 15 February 2020 17:29 (three days ago) link

not to mention pop isn't any happier or more morose than it's ever been.

it's not like the charts are being topped by MC D-Pressed with hit single "I Ain't Shit"


Are you aware of XXXTentacion?

The Mandymoorian (Whiney G. Weingarten), Saturday, 15 February 2020 17:31 (three days ago) link

Their analysis stops in 2015.

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Saturday, 15 February 2020 17:32 (three days ago) link

Also, they seem to be just looking at instances of words like “happy” vs. “sad,” and major vs. minor key. Someone actually paying attn to pop trends could probably write a thing about recent depressing rap lyrics, but this ain’t it.

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Saturday, 15 February 2020 17:36 (three days ago) link

imo all “scientific” studies of pop music are bad because they’re all pretty much rooted in confirmation bias

maura, Saturday, 15 February 2020 17:40 (three days ago) link


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