Saturday, April 26, 2008

REM is back (again)!

I'm glad Drischord posted the below-- I wasn't sure if any of you even cared about REM anymore, since so few do. I posted this link in my comment (which is way longer) but it's so clever that I think it's worth a separate post:


It perfectly captures the PR bullshit relationship that rock zines like Rolling Stone have with the big rock bands, in particular, the tendency with each 3.5-4 star review of an established band's new album to point out how it was a response to the faults of their previous album.


drischord said...

Wow, what an incisive indictment of Rolling Stone (and David Fricke is the biggest perpetrator of that syndrome in my opinion.) I can't say I would have thought of that on my own, but as soon as I read it, I was in FULL agreement. If you've read Rolling Stone in the past 10 years, you need to check out that link.

By the way, without offering any evidence, I'd extend that criticism to All Music Guide as well.

drischord said...

And now that I think of it, the opposite is true of my old nemesis, Pitchfork. They are so preoccupied with "breaking" new bands and being cutting edge, that they routinely ignore those acts' improvements once they're no longer vogue.

My case in point (and I've used this example before so apologies to those hearing it a second time): In either 2003 or 2004, they declared The Books' "Lemon of Pink" to be the second best album released that entire year. On the one hand, no it wasn't, but on the other hand, it was a very good record and a very interesting listen.

But then, in probably 2006, the Books released a follow-up, "Lost and Safe," which nearly every music publication agreed was a step forward and thus better than "Lemon of Pink." Everyone, that is, except for Pitchfork, who didn't even bother to include it in their Top 50 of the year.

And so both Pitchfork and Rolling Stone-- for opposite reasons-- can no longer be trusted as arbiters of good music anymore. And again, I extend that to All Music Guide as well. When do they ever give reviews less than 3 stars anymore? Even total crap (like the 2 most recent Weezer albums or that poseur band Jet) will get 4 stars from them.

Good thing for the Kittybrains Collective or there would be no sensible music critics out there.