Posts Tagged ‘idiocy’

Statements of ignorance

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

PopMatters has a very nice review of the reissue of Mogwai’s classic debut, Young Team, but it includes this statement with which I am extremely uncomfortable, and for me colors the reviewer’s credibility quite a bit:

Take the epochal “Mogwai Fear Satan”, still one of the few real epics modern music has produced… [emphasis mine]

Making a blanket statement like that strikes me as… well, absolutely ridiculous.

Cutting-edge music - shirt, tie, soullessness required

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

An update to the actual site is coming tomorrow evening, but two quick things tonight:

One: I’ve been listening to the new Meshuggah all night tonight. It’s already my favorite of theirs so far, although admittedly it’s been a while since I listened to Destroy Erase Improve.

Two: There is an article at Georgetowner lamenting the state of independent music in DC and hailing “a new indie scene” starting up in Georgetown. Now, if you know anything about Georgetown, you’re probably already skeptical. And rightfully so: the Georgetowner’s idea of an “indie music” scene involves shows at a venue where there’s a jacket and tie dress code, tickets are $60 at the door, and one of the headlining artists boasts on his Myspace page that he is featured in an issue of DC Modern Luxury Magazine.

Some highlights from the article include:

There are those that dismiss the independent art world as catering to the common people. But let us not forget that some of the most celebrated works of William Shakespeare and Mozart played in the common theatre houses during their lifetimes. At times, their work was not widely accepted by the power elite of their day. It was often viewed as subversive, offensive, and a direct challenge to those in power. It is only years later that we realize their artistic contributions are a preservation of the politics, struggles, and social ideologies of the age. Are we marginalizing the next great commentator of our time?” (emphasis mine, because, just… wow.)

Or even better, “[DC INDIE's founder] realized that DC’s power elite were searching for a richer environment than the local night club to while away there [sic] evening hours.” Ah yes, because the REAL audience of indie music is obviously DC’s power elite! Seriously… these folks are like the bastard children of two of the most annoying types of people in our society: one, the ignoramuses who whine about how “music was so much better when…” while calling anything remotely innovative “just noise.” And two, the fucking assholes who sit in their multimillion-dollar homes wondering why all those poor people out there don’t just work harder so they, too, can afford two BMWs and a house in Georgetown. I guess it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to “while away there evening hours” at a grungy nightclub with the filthy unwashed masses.

Naturally, these clueless folks are getting hammered by anyone who feels like they have a claim to the label “indie music” in DC. Perhaps the most gratifying response is at Brightest Young Things (the picture of the venue is priceless). “In case you forget your collared shirt, Banana Republic is located next door… KICK OUT THE JAMS MOTHER FUCKERS!!” Amusement at the expense of Georgetown aristocratic tools whose idea of cutting-edge “indie music” is fine dining with a generic downtempo electronica artist playing in the background: priceless!

In the end, though, I suppose live and let live: those people can fork out $60 and feel like they are helping out the cause of cutting-edge indie music. I’ll keep going to Transparent Productions shows, or Velvet Lounge shows, or whatnot. I can get the same feeling for 15-25% of the price. And without having to put on a fucking jacket and tie.

Gibberish rearticulated as gibberish

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

You gotta love the Internet sometimes, for providing a medium for people to write bloated, rambling, aimless 2000-word “review” essays that include sentences like this:

The pig Latin-ish morphemes “-sa,” “-si,” and “-sa” encode Jung’s technical term to child-code foolery; Norwegian geek-squad the Shining use the reference (I think) not because of the psychoanalytic implications of men unable to access their feminine sides, but because the structural modification of this theoretically loaded term into meaningless, magical words encapsulates the way the band views music: importance disguised with inanity, erudition breathed through giggling lips, lucidity rearticulated as gibberish.

And that’s just in the first paragraph (and yes, I read the whole damn thing). If you couldn’t tell (what’s wrong with you?), this review is about Shining’s new one, Grindstone, which is pretty cool if just as disjointed as its predecessor. I might be reviewing it at some point in the near future, but I don’t think it’s quite good enough to inspire me to write 2000 words.

Gem from the comment section

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

News flash: crazy corporate hack (Google “Andrew Langer” and you’ll see what I mean, and he links to corporate front group/hack scientists/global warming deniers/free-market fundamentalists the Competitive Enterprise Institute) posts comment at Ground & Sky! Re Conrad’s review of ELP’s Trilogy:

Nah, the best synth player ever is Pete Townshend. Emerson is into classical music and that’s just worthless music, has nothing over guitars. Also, Emerson and his pals never took a political stand and that’s what makes for vial music. Pete Seeger can’t play a million notes a second like these guys but he has something to say.

This isn’t even the kind of classical music girls like. Good thing we have prostitutes! I think guys who listen to this music spend a lot of time reading John Berlau who is a good friend of mine and an expert on prostitution. Music like this will never get you a girl but Jackson Browne will any day!

Andrew

Look closely enough, and you will find a straw man argument (or maybe just a total nonsequitur), serious aesthetic self-righteousness, severe chauvinism, unintentional comedy, and complete insanity. If only all the comments on this site could be so entertaining on so many levels!

“(c)rap” is not a valid criticism of rap

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

I cannot abide listening to progressive rock fans babble on about rap and hip-hop. The extent of the vapid, self-righteous closed-mindedness of fans of what should ideally be an open-minded genre is disgusting.

People saying dumb shit

Saturday, January 11th, 2003

Eh:

European music tradition is the only important one, really. Sure, the Asian one, maybe, too, but that one has developed in other directions, and people from Western cultures (which also includes Americans, even African Americans) should stick to the European musical traditions.

That’s from rmp, in a thread full of drivel entitled “Progressive/Art Rock” (that was crossposted to a bunch of other groups, making it pretty interesting actually). There’s also a lot of the usual stuff about all rap being “c”rap (hahaha, how clever) in that thread. I love Usenet.

PopMatters has an interview with Neal Morse. It contains the sentence “Snow is not only one of the finest concept records ever recorded, but also ranks as one of the most compelling albums ever committed to disc.” Shit, and I like that site :)

About that unfortunate The Coup cover art…

Tuesday, November 13th, 2001

Hunger’s Teeth is friggin’ awesome. And Susanne Lewis’ voice is priceless. How did I live without this thing? I only have one other 5uu’s album, Regarding Purgatories, which I didn’t find nearly as interesting… but Sean claims that the upcoming album, Abandonship, is great - I’m definitely looking forward to it.

I heard some Oysterhead this weekend on a long car ride, and liked some of it. From what I heard, Trey’s guitar sounds a bit more heavy and aggressive than his work with Phish, but the bass is pure Primus. Neither is a bad thing.

The hip-hop group The Coup, whom I really like and who just moved to the 75 Ark label, just released their new album Party Music. This album’s main claim to fame is that its planned cover featured an exploding World Trade Center; the cover was pulled after September 11th, obviously, just before it went to the printer. The Coup have an anti-capitalist stance, inviting lots of criticism from people who disagree with their politics as well as people who can’t stand rap music. This is a totally incoherent rant about The Coup and their new album that I think is really funny. An excerpt:

The Coup Leader/Rapper Boots Riley says: “The intent of the cover was to use the World Trade Center to symbolize capitalism, but there is an uncanny similarity to the events of Tuesday. All life is precious and this tremendous tragedy is by no means taken lightly by The Coup. This is a very unfortunate coincidence and my condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims.”

Make no mistake here, friends. These people made their vulgar, stupid rap album with the intent of slandering and destroying the American way of life. Like the worthless evil sneaky scum they are, they hide behind “artistry” saying they only made their statement to point out the folly of capitalism, not to hurt anyone or advocate violence. “All life is precious” the rapper says after indefensible evidence of the violent nature of his music is uncovered. In the true spirit of artistic freedom, the leftist rap group’s new album art will be something less offensive, maybe they’ll have the Virgin Mary and Jesus of Nazareth as porn stars listening to Party Music!

After this misinterpretation in which the author basically accuses Boots of lying and being a murderous scoundrel, based solely on his political views, the article goes on to mention Dream Theater and the original cover of Live Scenes From New York, which features the NYC skyline - including the World Trade Center towers - aflame. The author claims that this cover is not as “vulgar” or offensive because “none of [the Dream Theater members] are avowed anti-capitalists bent on the destruction of America’s imperialism like rappers in The Coup”. Finally, he concludes that “Sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, friends, whomever asks for a CD of hardcore rap should be denied on the basis that it is overwhelmingly vulgar and un-American” and ends the article with a somewhat out-of-place, obviously rote recital of “Terror from anywhere against America will never destroy the American people. God bless America!”

Ignorance and intolerance masquerading as patriotism and compassion: God bless America indeed.

(I await the hate mail accusing me of being a pro-mass-murder terrorist sympathizer.)

Prog fans: Rap is a sign of societal decay

Thursday, November 1st, 2001

Grrr… sometimes I can’t stand prog fans. I’ll probably offend a bunch of people who read this (”never bite the hand that feeds you” and all that), but fergodsakes, why are some prog fans so goddamned snobby and narrow-minded? I suppose this criticism applies to die-hard fans of any genre, but for some reason it seems that much more egregious when it’s prog fans. Maybe it’s because many prog fans pride themselves on being open-minded to experimental, “difficult” music, so it’s that much more disappointing when it turns out that this vaunted open-mindedness only applies to a very narrow genre.

This stems from a somewhat distressing conversation I managed to get suckered into at Progressive Ears. Some samples of statements that inflamed me:

Why would anyone be a rap fan? Where can it possibly go? It seems like even rap has begun to realize that having musicians and singers is a vital necessity. Eventually rap should be forgotten….people in my age group are doing our part to fill our childrens’ ears with music…. I hope that the standards will soon be higher.
Even the stuff on radio that involves musicians seldom yields a guitar solo, certainly never a drum or keyboard solo.

If it involves scratching records, I do not deem it musical. Give me a break. Consider what we all listen to and think of it as decay.

Bootom line C(Rap) isnt worthy of being defended or even disscussed in a prog forum. Scatching records and a beat box played to shity ass lyrics dont make it music.It bottom line sucks ass hard.Its the cat fish of the musical lake strickly bottom feeders.

C(RAP) is completly valueless and the music I listen to does indeed far surpass any hip hop rap trip hop or any other lable it wants to go by.

Prog is a Rolls-Royce: not too many made, but each with impeccable quality that only a select few can appreciate.

“I do not deem it musical.” You’ve got to be kidding me - that’s got to be the most overtly snotty statement I’ve heard since the rec.music.classical thread “Our Children and Music”. And the thing about solos just cracks me up - yeah, all forms of music should be judged on their instrumental solos. There were some sane voices in the conversation, particularly the guy who said “Don’t let [rap] get to you so much. I don’t like poison oak, but I try to stay away from it.” and then went on to basically summarize my point of view very well:

Art, in whatever medium, is a thing that connects with the human spirit. Once it does that, no matter how simple or studied, it cannot be refuted with technical terms; it has already succeeded in its purpose. The study of art is to study why things succeed in this way, rather than the comparitive study of why one thing might be “better” than another.

I’m skeptical of the commercial tie-ins here, and it has nothing to do with music, but nevertheless it’s cool that the New York Times has posted their reviews of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (from the mid-fifties) as well as of The Hobbit (from 1938). Notably, two of the reviews are by W.H. Auden.

Virtuoso rock musicians

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2000

The current issue of the Atlantic Monthly landed in my mailbox yesterday; on the cover: “Internet Piracy Isn’t the Problem, The Music Industry is the Problem”, or something like that. Cool. The article is online as well.

I abandoned the “Our Children and Music” thread in rec.music.classical a while back because it had simply become too tiresome. Finding some downtime at work today, I revisited it and found some more amusing and/or sad tidbits. Well, a lot of them, actually; here’s just one.

> > This quote was based only on the first 6 years of rock
> > music, in which there were no virtuoso musicians,

> Virtuoso rock musicians….bwahahaha ha ha heh eh ….BWAHAHA HA HA HA
> HA HA <snort> HA HA HA HA HA HA heh he heh heh….BWA!HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
> HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! <gasp>

You don’t get out much, do you?

“Morally and intellectual superior”

Thursday, August 10th, 2000

I’m excited: there’s a new Godspeed You Black Emperor! album coming soon. Double LP on Constellation, double CD on Kranky. If it’s anywhere near the quality of their last release (the EP Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada), I will be a very happy person.

I’ve followed part of the rec.music.classical thread “Our children and music” with interest (man, if you thought rec.music.progressive flamewars were exasperatingly uppity, try this one); there are a couple tidbits from it summarized nicely at josh blog. “…grant me that Beethoven’s Opus 133 String Quartet is morally and intellectually superior to Pearl Jam’s Dopus Whatever…” This guy has a serious stick up his ass. The sick thing is, there are plenty of people like him: if you thought prog-snobs were grossly elitist, check out classical music snobs. Jesus. A mild (no, really) example from a few days ago:

“If I were a rock listener, I would have them forcibly detain me, shut me in a cell and play me enough classical music until I saw the errors of my ways. Do unto others….”
— “John” on rec.music.classical

Interesting reading on this topic: Lawrence Levine’s Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America.