I just wrote a review and it sucks.

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So this will probably seem totally stupid. Anyway, I guess I sort of wrote a review of the show I saw tonight in my blog. It really may made me appreciate how hard it is to write about bands and stuff. I mean, my review is completely terrible, but I'm really curious what I should look for when I go to see a live band and I want to write about it. Any help would be appreciated so much. I'm sorry to bother everyone with another of my dumbo questions. :o)

Erin Caruthers (maneki neko), Friday, 27 September 2002 06:17 (seventeen years ago) link

Welcome to the world, Erin! Reviews are a bugger aren't they? It's hard not to feel like you're slaving away on a college assignment sometimes. Anyway, for what it's worth, here are some wholly subjective "tips" on live reviews...

1. React. Live reviews ought to be reactions, primarily, not reasoned critiques - if the band you're seeing don't elicit some kind of emotional response in you, something's very wrong.

2. Try not to compare & contrast the live experience to the recorded equivalent - the moment is all, and gigs are just that: moments, snapshots of a band doing what they do, and by no means the be all and end all.

3. Look at the crowd - obvious, perhaps, but it's always helpful to have some context. Who listens to this band? Why? And *how* do they listen? Just standing there like dorks, or jumping around, or eyes shut-swaying, or whatever - it all adds to the atmosphere of the piece.

4. If you're writing for a blog or a zine/site, you can basically write what the fuck you like, obviously. But bear in mind, lots of magazine editors/subs have sets of rules they insist their writers abide by. For instance, a (formerly) top UK music rag I used to write for insisted I include at least two song titles in each review. Fuck knows why, it's not always necessary, especially if stream-of-consciousness is your thing.

5. Er...can't think of any more right now.

Hope this is helpful in some vague elliptical way - if anyone wants to shoot me down in flames for talking utter fuckshite, please feel free...

Charlie (Charlie), Friday, 27 September 2002 06:37 (seventeen years ago) link

just reread that and i sound like a dickhead. ah well. if the c(r)ap fits...

Charlie (Charlie), Friday, 27 September 2002 07:07 (seventeen years ago) link

i think your review is genius. but seriously, those bands are all made up, right?

a long way from kansas, honey, Friday, 27 September 2002 07:24 (seventeen years ago) link

you're right, that review totally sux.

heh, Friday, 27 September 2002 10:26 (seventeen years ago) link

nah, it's brandan who totally sucks

Jeff W (Jeff W), Friday, 27 September 2002 10:37 (seventeen years ago) link

I loved it. I wish you had given a little more time to what the Gluons sounded like.. but it was refreshing to read a review that wasn't one arcane refence after another. Although, I don't think you could make a career out of writing a reivew like that too many times... I mean, it seems gimmicky, even if it's unintentional.

Anyway - keep writing & keep reading...


dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 27 September 2002 11:07 (seventeen years ago) link

I should spell-cjeck...

dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 27 September 2002 11:08 (seventeen years ago) link

don't worry abt it. I've talked to a couple of music writers and it seems it takes a while to find your own voice. you'll get bettah!

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 27 September 2002 11:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Naw, the review is not bad at all; about the only thing I'd comment on is that all the really short sentences make the review flow less smoothly than it otherwise could. And yeah, if you were there to see Gluon, more comments on them would have been cool, though I think it was hilarious to read about Brandan's reactions (and he sounds completely intolerable to be with, but I guess that's just me). Anyhow..still really good. Keep at it!

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Friday, 27 September 2002 11:17 (seventeen years ago) link

Take out the LOL's. They're very annoying.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Friday, 27 September 2002 11:35 (seventeen years ago) link

yes the korrekt phrase is "i larfed non-stop and so did [insert companion here]"

mark s (mark s), Friday, 27 September 2002 11:41 (seventeen years ago) link

sorry what i said above implies that i have read the review and i thought it was bad. that's not the case becuz i haven't read it.

just to say that don't worry if you think it's good or bad. at least its out there and now keep at it.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 27 September 2002 13:17 (seventeen years ago) link

i'm still not convinced you're not made up. (we can smell our own.)

jess (dubplatestyle), Friday, 27 September 2002 15:10 (seventeen years ago) link

what do you ppl smell like?

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 27 September 2002 15:13 (seventeen years ago) link

we smell REAL julio

mark s (mark s), Friday, 27 September 2002 15:14 (seventeen years ago) link

bitter almond and vanilla that has turned

jess (dubplatestyle), Friday, 27 September 2002 15:16 (seventeen years ago) link

i had a cold when i met you see.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 27 September 2002 15:16 (seventeen years ago) link

''bitter almond and vanilla that has turned''

disgusting!

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 27 September 2002 15:17 (seventeen years ago) link

(haha, and if not: chuck eddy to thread, etc.)

jess (dubplatestyle), Friday, 27 September 2002 15:17 (seventeen years ago) link

(future music trivia question: what is the connection between Bright Eyes, Tori Amos and Ned Raggett?)

zebedee, Friday, 27 September 2002 16:04 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, I was surprised Ned was so high on the list.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Friday, 27 September 2002 16:10 (seventeen years ago) link

a bit...fishy.

jess (dubplatestyle), Friday, 27 September 2002 16:11 (seventeen years ago) link

First draft always sucks. If it's your blog, why not replace the original post a new version?

Lord Custos Alpha (Lord Custos Alpha), Friday, 27 September 2002 16:41 (seventeen years ago) link

erin, I would yank out the review part of your entry and work on polishing it more, expanding on some of the details you touched on. part of it's problem is that it's written as part of your blog in a diary style as opposed to an event in itself being described. I think you have the outline for something in there. You just need to build something up from it. For example, why does punk ska bother you so much? What was the band specifically like without your generalizations? The same goes for the Bubble Boys, too. Was the crowd that bothered you the most or the bands? Moreover, what were Conner like? Why are they so popular? You get the drift. Consider your review just your first draft, as Lord Custos suggested, if you have any desire to work on it anymore. It definitely has potential if you have the effort to spare on it.

jack cole (jackcole), Friday, 27 September 2002 17:10 (seventeen years ago) link

...

...

a wag (wagwag), Friday, 27 September 2002 17:21 (seventeen years ago) link

(future music trivia question: what is the connection between Bright Eyes, Tori Amos and Ned Raggett?)

Other then they are all prone to getting sad and weepy on you.

bnw (bnw), Friday, 27 September 2002 17:21 (seventeen years ago) link

Ok, I admit it. I'm a fake character created by Jess.

jack cole (jackcole), Friday, 27 September 2002 17:25 (seventeen years ago) link

i'd like to think i could do better!

jess (dubplatestyle), Friday, 27 September 2002 17:26 (seventeen years ago) link

also, my apologies for posting your blog as a bad blog. Sadly I didn't even remember that. It was petulant, and considering what I said on the CoFlo thread, hypcritical too.

jack cole (jackcole), Friday, 27 September 2002 18:14 (seventeen years ago) link

??

jess (dubplatestyle), Friday, 27 September 2002 18:16 (seventeen years ago) link

it's what those links are for above that a wag posted -- when I posted your blog and erin's blogs as bad blogs.

jack cole (jackcole), Friday, 27 September 2002 18:26 (seventeen years ago) link

i think it's fine as it is, erin: it has a really good flow, which polishing might easily spoil (haha says the guy who takes 18 months to write 500 words), and the diary-ness of it actually keeps the sense of music in people's life, esp. YOUR life

the problem with most reviews is that the writer is thinking "oh no!1 i'm writing a review!! OH NO!!", and uses that as an excuse to cut the life out and leave the would-be History of Important Opinions in, which the turns out to be cuttings of other people's lame generalisations

your generalisations are fun, and funny

mark s (mark s), Friday, 27 September 2002 18:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Thanks for all the suggestions! It's good to actually get some constructive criticisms instead of just criticism for once. I can't respond to every single thing, but I'm paying attention, really! Anyway...

Sean, I thought I was always taught in English class varying sentence length was 'correct'? Knowing me I misremember and it's supposed to be the other way around. ;-)

I'm not too sure how to approach the Gluons exactly. It's my brother's band (well, he's in the band he doesn't OWN it, lol) and we mostly don't get along real well. So it's hard to admit that I actually like their music. Plus I've never heard that kind of music before really so it's hard to categorize it or compare it to anything. I mean, it's probably not very original but it's new to me.

Kilian, believe me I would take out the LOLs if I could but I'm addicted! *suppressing urge to type LOL here* I don't think I CAN quit.

Zebedee, there's no connection between all of those probably. Even though I almost always update my blog twice a day I'm really bad about keeping the links up to date and in order. I keep meaning to delete the Tori Amos and Bright Eyes links and I like Ned Raggett's site alot, even though its place in the list doesn't really mean anything. Me being so poor with HTML doesn't help matters also. (c:

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I might try to rewrite it and post it again I'm not sure. I can definately see how I should be more specific and stuff. And I spent more time complaining about the crowd and Brandan (yes, he can be annoying but then completely sweet too, it's strange) than I did talking about the actual music. 8-P

Erin Caruthers (maneki neko), Friday, 27 September 2002 19:55 (seventeen years ago) link

Sean, I thought I was always taught in English class varying sentence length was 'correct'? Knowing me I misremember and it's supposed to be the other way around. ;-)
No, no, that's true, but there's a few places in there where there are a bunch of really short ones in a row, and it's like rat-a-tat-tat. In the end, I guess that's MY issue and not yours; mark s is probably right.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Friday, 27 September 2002 20:06 (seventeen years ago) link


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