Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Altered Zones

As you probably know, I'm a big fan of pitchfork. Probably TOO big of a fan.

And, as one of my main sources of new music and music news, it's sometimes hard not to just repost whatever they post. In order to not duplicate them, I have basically vowed to myself to not post things that I read or hear about from pitchfork.

Anyways, with that said, this just in from pitchfork! LOL. It's an upcoming site featuring a collection of blogs that regularly post relevant and important things (news, .mp3's, pictures, etc.) about new bands, music, labels, etc.


Check it out, starting July 7th. In the mean time, read that post from pitchfork. And, if you're not reading pitchfork already, do so. That way I don't feel obligated to repost their stuff. By promoting them right now I can lie to myself and say that I already reposted their stuff... sort of.


The * is my teeth glistening.


  1. Do you have any thoughts re: the accusations that Pitchfork favors obscure bands because they're obscure, occasionally reviews the artist rather than the (so-called) art, and encourages an excessively ornate and self-important writing style? I'm asking because they gave Eminem's new album a poor rating and I am upset/confused/really, really distraught.

  2. I think it's easy to feel that Pitchfork favors obscure bands because they truly survey and review an almost incomprehensible amount of obscure and new music that us normal folk either (a) don't have easy access to or (b) don't have the time to discover. ( If you put (a) and (b) in a Venn diagram, the circles would probably overlap a little bit, but you get my point. )

    When we are shown such a large number of reviews, there are bound to be good reviews of bands we don't know. But there are also bound to be bad reviews of bands we don't know, but I'd argue that those somehow slip our minds when we look at reviews. I, for one, don't go digging through bad reviews looking for bands I don't know. I do, however, look for well reviewed bands that I don't know of... because that is how I find new music (and I don't just take anyone's word, I try to gain a feel for the reviewers taste to see if it matches mine, and it just so happens that a lot of the Pitchfork guys share similar tastes in music with me). Through this process of ignoring bad reviews and limiting our intake to mostly good reviews, I'd hope you agree that we have established quite the little bias.

    Now, here comes the final and so-far missing component of my complete and coherent thought that will ultimately, hopefully, make this perspective of mine "valid." As I look through the "best new albums" section on pitchfork, I see: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Robyn, LCD Soundsystem, Sleigh Bells, The National, Broken Social Scene, Crystal Castles, Caribou, Gorillaz, Liars, Joanna Newsom, Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, Real Estate, The Flaming Lips, Raekwon, Phoenix, Grizzly Bear, Isis, St. Vincent, Camera Obscura, ETC.

    Those are some VERY popular and non-obscure bands/groups/artists.

    Thus, there are obscure artists gettings bad reviews, and there are also plenty of popular artists getting good reviews.

    And, furthermore, Eminem's new album sucks balls. In fact, Eminem's last few albums have sucked balls. The Eminem Show was his last good work. And, just so you can see that pitchfork doesn't have it out for Eminem...

    Recovery, score of 2.8
    Relapse, score of 4.8
    Curtain Call: The Hits, score of 6.9
    Encore, score of 6.5
    The Eminem Show, score of 9.1!!!!!!!

    (I love Eminem too, but, seriously, he isn't Slim Shady anymore.)

  3. Moving on...

    Reviewing the artist rather than the (so-called) art. I feel like it might seem that this is the case in a lot of their reviews because they make a huge attempt to put it all out there. What I mean by this is that they tend to be extremely knowledgable folks in terms of the histories of scenes, styles, AND individual artists, and they often unload all of those factoids and obscure bits of "who's who" and "when who did what with who" and "how who got to know who prior to writing so-and-so album which ended up influencing previously mentioned who when they wrote their sophomore album" to the point that it's hard to see their ACTUAL review of the (so-called) art. I'm not gonna say that Pitchfork us completely void of reviews that are more about the artist. I don't doubt that some reviews occasionally review the artist rather than the art at all. But I feel like that's impossible to completely avoid no matter how great of a critic you are. I'm just trying to make a point that some amount of these accusations of pitchfork reviewing the artist
    is probably related to the tendency for Pitchfork to give lots of extraneous info in their reviews.

    Lastly, excessivley ornate and self-important writing style. My PERSONAL favorite type of writing style. Obviously. Lol.

    I don't know if they ENCOURAGE it (I have no idea how the hierarchy works within Pitchfork and whether individual reviewers are molded to write in a specific way). But I certainly see it in a lot of the reviews.

    And yes it's kind of annoying when you're trying to pull info from it. But whatever. It's entertaining. A lot of good, fun literature is excessively ornate and self-important at times, and that doesn't stop me from reading it. In fact, quite the opposite is true. I especially LIKE reading it. I, personally, feel like AHWOSG is a smidge like this. And it's fun.

    That's all for now. I think I hit all my points. TTYS!

  4. Love it! Perhaps the foundation of your argument is incommensurable with (or, at least, differs from the foundational assumptions of) mine--that is, the bands you list and call "VERY popular and non-obscure bands/groups/artists" are, in fact, very obscure bands/groups/artists. Of course, I can only speak for myself, a musical-nobody who doesn't read Pitchfork often. Clearly the contentious words here are "popular" and "obscure;" both are subjective, and we disagree too immensely about which bands/groups/artists fall into either category to reconcile our opinions--as if we are speaking different languages, almost. Meh. Clearly, I will never get you to love Celine Dion, but I want to say: I like Joanna Newsom and The Eminem Show was definitely pure genius. Pitchfork is legit and you are king.

  5. lol. I love you Vasey. BUT, I refuse to agree with "popular" being subjective. Maybe you're right about the word "obscure," but definitely not "popular." Sure, the line between an artist being popular or not popular is a large and fuzzy one, but it's definitely not outright subjective. Popularity means LOTS OF PEOPLE know about something. And LOTS OF PEOPLE know about those bands. Millions.