Friday, December 23, 2011

Top 5 Opening Sentences from Pitchfork's Top 50 Album Reviews

The other day I went meandering through the Pitchfork year-end lists, just to see what was there. And as you might expect, I was met with quite an overwhelming volume of words--so I decided to just read the first 2-3 sentences of any given review and then move on. Pretty soon, however, I started finding opening sentences that I found so amusing or confusing that I started cutting and pasting them to save for later. I therefore present to you: my Top 5 Opening Sentences from Pitchfork's Top 50 Album Reviews:

5."I don't give a fuck about you, you, her, him, that bitch, that nigga, y'all them," hisses DJ Quik on the very first line of his eighth album. To be fair, not many rappers will cop to "giving a fuck," but Quik is able to stay truer to his word than most.

4. On 2008's Saint Dymphna, Gang Gang Dance made their most succinct set of statements to date. Their desire to sift a broad range of pan-global signifiers through concise pop frameworks continued on this year's Eye Contact, but it also found them building bridges to their past.

3. Hymns are designed to unite a crowd of people in praise, aiming for a communal religious trance through the power of group vocalization. On Tomboy, Noah Lennox tests whether a congregational spirit can still be achieved by a single voice slathered with enough multi-tracked harmonies and reverb, a chorus of one worshipping secular matters.

2. There's a startling moment on Clams Casino's debut mixtape when a phlegm-soaked scream rises above the gorgeous murk before quickly being subsumed once again. It sounds like the last gasp of all the East Coast rap this New Jersey producer grew up on-- Dipset, Wu Tang, Mobb Deep-- making its presence known, handing the beat down.

And the #1 slot on this list goes to the review which came the closest to being 100% incomprehensible to me:

1. If you're a promising young artist partly responsible for turning a Hipster Runoff punchline into a viable (but still often maligned) subgenre, what do you do in order to stand out? Do you chart a course in a different direction, or hope that the wheat will eventually separate from the chaff? Chaz Bundick escaped the increasingly long shadow of chillwave by getting a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and (temporarily) throwing his computer out of the window.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Op-Ed of 2011

Instead of posting a single best-of list, I'll post a few things over the course of this week.  Here's my first one: My favorite op-ed of the year, written by Nicholas Kristof in June.  I'm guessing many of you read it when it first came out, but it's worth another look...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Year-End Roundup

Blog's been pretty dead lately-- any interest in doing any year-end roundups? I know Tex dutifully filed his last year and no one else followed suit. Any interest this year? Mine will, as usual, probably be more focused on the non-2011 stuff that I spent the bulk of my time listening to, but there were some worthy/interesting things released this year that may be worth discussing. Anyone? Bueller?