What do you think of Mark Prindle/George Starostin/et al?

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What's your opinion on these web reviewers? Mark's been going at for 15 years by now. I think I've matured past his juvenile sense of humor,
but he reviews tons of bands and even better are the loads of interviews on his site. http://www.markprindle.com/

George's site is massive and comprehensive. Some people think it's pompous but I enjoyed the complicated ratings system he assigned to
bands at his old site. http://starling.rinet.ru/music/index.htm He abandoned that for a blog that frankly isn't nearly as interesting.
A thumbs up or a thumbs down isn't terribly exciting. http://only-solitaire.blogspot.com/

Wilson and Alroy have been around forever, but ever since Alroy left they haven't reviewed anything interesting in years. Still worth
a check out for the classic reviews from the late '90s and early '00s. http://www.warr.org

I used to read Creative Noise back in the late '90s until Brian Burks abandoned it. http://starling.rinet.ru/music/temp/music-1.html It pleased
me no end to find out that he's back! The long layoff seems to have rejuvenated him, the writing on the new blog is better than on his old
site. I just hope he doesn't abandon it once again, not before he finished reviewing every Fall album like he promised. http://c--noise.blogspot.com/

sheeptrigger, Thursday, 19 May 2011 01:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

No responses, seriously? Geez this place is awful slow these days.

sheeptrigger, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 17:31 (seven years ago) Permalink

I love prindle, probably esp. for his "juvenile sense of humor". most of those other sites i've looked at in the past, but these days if i want to get a sense of what is most desirable or best avoided from an artist's discography, i will just search for a thread on here. multiplicity of opinions from interesting ppl who have listened to and absorbed and thought about a shit-ton of music. i mean, if i go to prindle's site it's to read his interviews, which are always great...or to read his reviews for the humor quotient; not b/c i take cues from him on what to check out or ignore. our tastes are too divergent for that to work.

dell (del), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 17:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

these sites always get mad robbed when da capo publishes its "best music writing of the year" books. seriously. like, mark's (original) review of frank black's christmass ranks up there with any music criticism i've ever read.

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 18:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

"No responses, seriously? Geez this place is awful slow these days."

Mark Prindle: Classic or Dud?

Mark Prindle Props Thred

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 19:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

this is hilarious: http://www.markprindle.com/hatfield-i.htm

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

Mark Prindle's review of This American Life is an awe-inspiring rant even if reviewing the actual music was an afterthought. he does jokey, ego-driven (though I'd never accuse him of self-importance) concept review better than just about anyone, and loads better than anyone at, say, Pitchfork.

gtforia estfufan (unregistered), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

(Madonna's American Life, I mean)

gtforia estfufan (unregistered), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

Pitchfork should totally hire him. He needs the money, and they could use some humor.

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 21:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

he could use an editor too. i mean obviously you can write whatever you want on your own website but i can't read too much on there at one time cuzza the length/blab factor. for the converted i'm sure its all good.

scott seward, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

Reading bloggers that try to be the next Mark Prindle have managed to somewhat dilute my enjoyment of his stuff, but he can be a tremendously great read at times.

'what are you, the Hymen Protection League of America?' (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

he does jokey, ego-driven (though I'd never accuse him of self-importance) concept review better than just about anyone, and loads better than anyone at, say, Pitchfork.

pitchfork hasn't really run reviews like this since the early 2000s but ok!

anyway, the problem with prindle afaict is that he doesn't have particularly good or interesting taste!

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

Mark Prindle writes about what he likes and the style works pretty well with the music he covers. As I said in the other thread, the whole of the interviews on his site is a pretty good overview of a certain time and sound.

earlnash, Thursday, 26 May 2011 03:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

Prindle Rules.

Hinklepicker, Thursday, 26 May 2011 08:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

I used to read these sites a while ago and even started one myself (click my profile to see it)

I don't really like Starostin's new site, it looks like he's trying to cover every artist known to man alphabetically, and without the ratings the whole endevor seems kind of pointless. Like anyone really wants to know what the guy thinks of Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morrisette's discography?

Wilson and Alroy I like better (because they're generally more interesting writers) but they go the "bargain bin" route too much and don't really cover much interesting ground past the 80's. I'm not a Radiohead fan either but their review page of them is a complete joke.

Here's a couple of good ones if you're interested:

http://www.disclaimerband.com/dmra.html - hasn't been updated in a while but it covers a lot of modern music, has lots of great writing

http://jhendrix110.tripod.com/Music.html - very infrequently updated but contains a lot of neat obscurities from the 60's and 70's, his writing style is great

frogbs, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 13:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

Like anyone really wants to know what the guy thinks of Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morrisette's discography?

I get curious about stuff like that. There is a site whose name escapes me (I just remember that the word "pop" is part of the title) but anyhow I used to enjoy reading these pieces they ran in which they would go through the entire discography of say, Mike and the Mechanics or someone. I always found it interesting to learn that these artists I had thought of as being one hit wonders whose recording output had ended 30 years ago were still putting out records into the 2000's or whatever.al

dell (del), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 16:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

Oh man I totally want to check out that site now dell, that sounds cool. I have always been fascinated by that kind of stuff too!

the fey bloggers are onto the zagat tweets (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 16:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

xp I like that kind of stuff too, when it comes from say one of the sites I mentioned, just not from George Starostin who IMO over-analyzes everything and is not really all that much fun to read.

That said he played a huge part in getting me into a lot of the music I am today.

frogbs, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 16:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

The Prindle site has never jarred me and been such a safe haven for insecure fucks like me looking for approval in their shit tastes.

Last time I logged on there, he was toying with throwing in the towel?

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 17:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

wilson and alroy were the first music writers i ever followed regularly, on the net or otherwise, and it's kinda funny to see that their site still looks more or less the same as it did when i was reading it in 1997. i'm sure some unexamined opinions i inadvertently absorbed from them back then are still lodged in my brain -- i avoided steely dan for years based on some throwaway diss of them from either W or A!

prindle is the best writer of the bunch, often laugh-out-loud hilarious at his best, but yeah, could definitely use an editor. lester bangs wouldn't have made it as a writer if he'd spent his whole career writing the way he did in that essay where he imagines he's slowly turning into elvis.

burks i stayed with the longest, but his sorta-middlebrow tastes eventually wore on me.

it's funny how glenn mcdonald never gets grouped in with these guys. probably because he barely writes about music.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 18:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

glenn is great. For some reason I never discovered The War Against Silence until late last year. Even though my tastes only overlapped with about 3% of what he wrote about it during its run, it was always always a great read. I tore through the back issues in about a month or so. I understand how much work that must have been, but damn do I wish he was still writing more, especially seeing where his tastes are these days on the rolling metal threads.

the fey bloggers are onto the zagat tweets (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 18:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

Last time I logged on there, he was toying with throwing in the towel?

Read this as "throwing up in the towel" for some reason

Starostin - I love the look of his site and his convoluted rating system, and he's obviously a real smart guy, but I don't read him too often because he dislikes a lot of things I love. (Real mature, huh?) And he can be so repetitive - if there's a particular thing (or things) he hates about an album, he'll mention it three times (or more) in the review, phrased slightly different each time. And also, he should (mis)using the terms "boogie woogie" and "country-western" so often, at least until he completely understands what they mean, and then he can USE OTHER WORDS PLEASE.

a "goaty"-style beard (Myonga Vön Bontee), Wednesday, 8 June 2011 04:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

Prindle's wife left him last year I think then he went on a binge drinking bingathon which kind of (unsurprisingly if you know his style) crept into his writing. It was quite terrifying and sad. Now i think hes given up the booze, new GF and happy again. Still very funny though.

Hinklepicker, Wednesday, 8 June 2011 05:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah that's one thing I appreciate (and am sorta creeped out) about Prindle, he really leaves everything out there. there was one weird story he told on the Sparks page about him having a mental breakdown and screaming at his wife and nearly killing himself or whatever, but it was told in such a weird way, I figured he was just making it all up, but lately i've realized that all that stuff is likely true.

i do understand in a way why his wife left him, he seems to be very mentally disturbed sometimes, I was legit scared for the guy afterwards, since on his fb he'd be telling stories about his binge drinking and take pictures of himself with a black eye, thought at some point he'd be hospitalized or commit suicide, but he seems to have picked up the pieces lately

frogbs, Wednesday, 8 June 2011 13:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

Ok, here's the thing about Starostin - he started the blog in July of '09 (covering the "A"s), and now is just starting the "B"s, including 44 B.B. King albums, all while constantly updating his "A" entries. He's going to be dead like, midway through the alphabet at this pace. I admire his determination though.

frogbs, Friday, 10 June 2011 16:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

"44 B.B. King albums"


scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 16:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

lol. 43 more to go!

"There is definitely an attempt to find some sort of different edge here; unfortunately, in the long run One Kind Favor still ends up being «just another B. B. King album»."

scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 16:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

42 to go! its like losing a really cruel bet. for the reader AND the writer.

"Another jubilee, another batch of boring, uncomfortable duets."

scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 16:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

hahahaha! 41 to go!

"None of which surmises that anyone will ever be interested in hearing this album more than once — the usual fate for about 70% of King's output, for sure"

scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 16:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

40 to go and i think i'll stop here...

"And I feel fine, too, about giving this a thumbs up, despite the undeniable blandness of the sound — and the simple truth that this is, of course, not the best album he's re­corded in his career. Come to think of it, what's he ever done to tell his listeners what is best and what is worst?"

scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 16:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

its just weird to see him spending time writing sentences like this about Avril Lavigne:

"in all honesty, it is nothing short of a miracle that Goodbye Lullaby co­mes across as «disappointing» rather than simply Godawful (well, 'What The Hell' is Godawful). Actually, it is possible that Lavigne's worst mistake was her production team (including people like Max Martin, who has produced albums by just about every horrible teen pop artist on the planet). Apparently, Nigel Godrich couldn't be bought — or, more likely, she just doesn't know who he is in the first place."

like, are any avril fans going to read his blog? and are any Starostin fans really curious as to what he thinks about her?

frogbs, Friday, 10 June 2011 16:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

sorry, but this guy is kinda inadvertently funny a lot:

"Unfortunately, apart from the cello use, there is no real progress. We just fall back on more of the same black metal and folk metal compositions"

"it is very hard to write anything other than «Hey, cool, these guys are still going strong!» about Marrow Of The Spirit."

scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 17:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

"it is very hard to write anything other than «Hey, cool, these guys are still going strong!» about Marrow Of The Spirit."

cuz, honestly, if its very hard, then maybe don't write about it? or try harder. one or the other.

scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 17:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

i don't want to pick on the guy all day though. i'd never heard of him until i saw this thread. and blogorrhea is as common as the common cold. long may he blog!

scott seward, Friday, 10 June 2011 18:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

Oh man I totally want to check out that site now dell, that sounds cool. I have always been fascinated by that kind of stuff too!

i remembered it-- it's popdose

it's a great site (or at least the music part is, i've never read the other parts). as i mentioned they go really deeply into artist's discographies... and right now it looks like they are doing some thing where they go through alphabetically every non-Hot 100 chart-making song that made the Billboard rock charts

i used to try to read it on the reg, but i just couldn't keep up. it's all i can do to skim through ilm new answers page. too much information. too. much.

dell (del), Saturday, 11 June 2011 01:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

These are pretty funny, not at all his typical style. A little too hard to be Prindle.


sheeptrigger, Tuesday, 14 June 2011 22:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

Not sure why'd you want to be Prindle, check this out:

Ha ha! WHEE! Let me tell you about a GOOD old time I had last night!

Drinking vodka always sounds like a good idea, so away I went as the R-rated film Games Girls Play made its titillating way across my computer monitor. Hours later, we were at the local Arriba Arriba Mexican Restaurant enjoying some Paella Crepe and Salmom when suddenly the mixture of alcohol, unemployment and unpaid back wages sloshed my brain into an unrecognizable state of despair and self-pity. As usual, out came the suicidal threats. Oh! how the wife does love those drunken suicidal threats. So her three sheets to the wind RAGE rose, and some mean-spirited yelling at me occurred. As we left the restaurant, I hailed the cab, let her in first, then threw in my keys and wallet, closed the door, and walked off towards the East River to drown my sorrows in waves of Death. Next thing you know, she's chasing after me and some nicer things were said and she convinced me to come home with her and everything was just dandy, UNTIL......

When we arrived at our homeside destination, the taxi driver requested his payment, as they do. I slurred to wife, "You have my wallet." She screamed back, "NO I DON'T!" Me: "You lost my wallet?" HER: "YOU DIDN'T GIVE IT TO ME!" Me: "I threw it right next to the keys!" Her: "I DIDN'T SEE IT!" Me: (*gets out of the car; walks off towards the East River to drown my breathing in waves of water*). Her (to cabbie): "THANKS ASSHOLE! YOU JUST KILLED MY HUSBAND!"

Next thing you know, nobody's chasing after me and I'm just a few yards from the East River when I realize, "Holy Christ it's cold out here." It was like 2 degrees and I wasn't wearing my scarf. I guess the gusty winds of time (and wind) served to sober me up a bit because suddenly the idea of plunging my already cold body into an even colder body (of water) seemed like a flagrantly foul idea. So I walked home, humiliated and chilly.

But wait! There's much much more! I finally got home to my apartment building, rang the bell, got buzzed in by the wife and - because I felt so stupid - sat at the bottom of the five-flight stairway to my aptment for about five minutes. Finally I worked up the whatever to face the piper, trudged upstairs, walked in to the chipper sounds of my wife drunkenly saying, "I'm so glad you're home!" And HERE'S where a bit of common sense on my part would've saved me a whole lotta achin'.

I began yelling at her for losing my wallet. Next thing you know, she's BEATING THE HELL OUT OF ME and screaming that I'm not a man and she doesn't want to be married to me anymore. These are always great experiences for a drunken husband so I of course felt like even more of a failure and cried even more. Finally I got sick of her angry abuse, slapped her hard across the face, held her down and told her I was mad as hell and wasn't going to take it anymore. Then I went in the other room and cancelled my credit and debit card. Poor Henry The Dog was so frightened by the whole experience, he kept running up and down the stairs all nervously. When I finally went to bed, he snuggled up to me though, like a good boy. Granted, he had terrible gas all night, but come on it's the thought.

Morning came and the wife was still pissed at me. She didn't finally warm up until I told her that I don't want to drink anymore. Then I looked in the mirror and saw that she'd given me a huge red bruise on my right eyelid, which seemed to support my decision. Alcohol and unemployment just aren't mixing for me this time. If I ever get another job, I'll start drinking again but for now it hardly seems worth the risk of ending my marriage!

And wouldn't you know it: the cabbie turned my wallet in to a Bronx police precinct! All the money was apparently still in there too, although the Bronx precinct where I picked up the wallet informed me that I'd have to pick up the money at a DIFFERENT precinct next week. Not sure what that bit of red tape was all about but whatever.

The bottom line is that marriages can be difficult because life can be difficult. She can't understand how I could let myself get $9,000 in the hole with my boss, but quite frankly I only found out about it by ACCIDENT and at that point she'd owed me $13,500!

I actually talked to my ex-boss today, btw. She says that I have one check coming in the mail this week, and then a final check from Payroll coming at the end of the month. I also had a consultation with a lawyer today, just in case she once again doesn't come through. I'll keep you posted!

This album stinks.


After a 6,000-year break resulting from Roger Miller's broken ears, Mission of Burma reunited with Shellac's Bob Weston taking the role of "guy who records a vocal and then plays it back at a different speed for no reason." The mix is very tough and strong with a warm reverbed guitar tone replacing the scratchiness of old, but Miller's voice is still weak, Conley doesn't sound like Mick Jones anymore, and the two together create some of the most godawful vocal harmonies ever released. Slightly off-key with one voice too high, terrible vocal performances like "Falling," "What We Really Were" and "Fake Blood" can't help but make you wonder if Miller's ears are even more damaged than he thought.

Furthermore, the experimental side of the band has taken so far a back seat that it might as well be in the trunk. Most of this is just basic guitar rock -- alternately punky, funky, indie, strummy, anthemic and emotional. A few suitably creative ideas stand out from the pack; the three-chord harmonics riff of Prescott's "The Enthusiast," alarmingly eerie cowpunk of Conley's "Nicotine Bomb" and dark'n'speedy two-note lick of Miller's "Playland" are particularly sharp. But the other highlights are just everyday rock songs that happen to hit the right melodic buttons. For example, as much I enjoy "Dirt," it could've just as easily been a Tom Petty song without his fans lashing an eyebat!

Onoffon does have its moments -- just fewer of them than ever before or since. Too many songs are mired in rotten vocals and bad decisions. Miller's Tuff-Funk-Rockers "Wounded World" and "Fever Moon" may in fact be the worst songs the band has ever recorded -- quite a feat for the guys who did "Learn How"! And did they honestly not notice that the first and fifth songs on here use the same exact chord sequence? (The first is faster, and therefore better).


frogbs, Tuesday, 14 June 2011 23:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

Never meet your heroes.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 00:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

i'm re-reading some of Starostin's original website and holy cow this guy was verbose. he seems to routinely add on several sentences nearly every paragraph that say absolutely nothing. some of it doesn't even make any sense. talking about Sting:

'If You Need Somebody Set Them Free', continuing the self-tormenting line of 'Driven To Tears' and 'O My God', only this time directing it onto the plane of personal relations, is one hell of a jazz-poppy opener, energetic, mildly bitter - I'd even say 'edgy' - and with a chorus that may be highly repetitive, but if there ever was a master of repetition on this planet, that would be Mr Ex-Cop.

huh? if there ever was a master of repeition on this planet, it would be STING? that's such an odd thing to say for a guy who's reviewed Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream isn't it?

frogbs, Wednesday, 15 June 2011 15:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

have any new sites sprung up lately or is this movement pretty much dead? (well I suppose John McFerrin is still going, but somehow the idea of a guy slowly rehashing Starostin's old opinions isn't that exciting anymore)

frogbs, Friday, 22 June 2012 19:28 (six years ago) Permalink

of course they're still around. they're just called "music blogs" now.

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 22 June 2012 21:01 (six years ago) Permalink

I think he's talking more about these grand, sweeping attempts to really pore through large swathes of music. They do all seem to have died out. Starostin has his Only Solitaire Blog still going (he's starting over and redoing old stuff and new stuff, in alphabetical order, sort of), but most of these guys have slowed to a crawl or just stopped.

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 22 June 2012 21:06 (six years ago) Permalink

trying to review 40+ bb king records will do that to a guy.

scott seward, Friday, 22 June 2012 21:16 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the guy has some sort of stamina.

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 22 June 2012 21:17 (six years ago) Permalink

How is Scaruffi doing these days

Lewis Apparition (Jon Lewis), Friday, 22 June 2012 21:40 (six years ago) Permalink

I think Scaruffi is still going. I remember he liked Sound of Silver a lot. I don't know if he's still on his "pretend to review every release ever" kick though

Looks like Starostin is still only to the B's. Read his Aphex Twin and Books reviews if you want a headache. For someone who has such an OCD-addled mind (all us web reviewers do) I'm surprised he's just on a good/bad rating system. How is he supposed to communicate how most artists could never possibly concieve of something as genius as Sgt. Pepper???

frogbs, Tuesday, 26 June 2012 13:56 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Intentional or not, props to Starostin for getting to Songs About Fucking today of all days.

an enormous bolus of flatulence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 14 February 2014 15:30 (five years ago) Permalink

still on the B's!!!

frogbs, Friday, 14 February 2014 17:14 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, he's clearly digging in deeper and massively expanding on his original database. He reviewed all the Beyonce records, for cyring out loud! Even though he seemed to hate them all except for B'day.

an enormous bolus of flatulence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 14 February 2014 17:23 (five years ago) Permalink

I think I said this on the other thread but I read Prindle's site top-to-bottom when I was a teen, and even ordered his band's music. Low-Maintenance Perennials. My favorite disc was "Jurassic Park: The Album" and it was really fun DIY 4-track Ween-style genre hopping.

I had them in one of those 300-CD books, which was stolen out of my car and lost forever. Wish he would just post the MP3s somewhere.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 14 February 2014 19:27 (five years ago) Permalink

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