11/16/2004

everyday I read the book

Because I work from home, and my mail goes into the office of the magazine I work for, there's often significant lag time between the arrival of a piece of music and me dragging myself down to pick it up. In the interim, excited publicists will invariably remind me that there is something awaiting my consideration.

Here's a rather characteristic example (below) of the type of email I get daily, this one from a particularly voracious publicist named Peter Bottomley who runs Skyscraper Media in Boulder. The poor guy has a history of representing way too much crap way too aggressively, and I've always sympathized with him because he's never had much to work with. I've felt considerably fortunate of late, as he has taken on both GSL and Gern Blandsten, two labels that I think are putting out a lot of great music. At least far more quality stuff than this dude was pushing before.

"By now you've hopefully listened to...the WATCHERS "The Dunes Phase" CDEP (out Feb 22 on Gern Blandsten). I just wanted to check in and see what you thought of [this] release."

"Chicago's WATCHERS are back with five short, sharp shots of groove-fueled power and inspiration. "The Dunes Phase" EP finds the band perfecting and expanding upon their unique brand of tightly wound avant-rock and infectious dance-funk [what funk isn't "dance funk" (a mere typo removed from "dance-punk")?]. Throwing down snatches of Ethiopiques, early XTC, Can, Pop Group, ACR, no wave, soul, dub, ZE Records and '60s Dutch psychedelia with an endless sense of experimentation, Watchers chart a nimble course through the secret history of pop music, infusing each moment with a sense of urgency, tension and release."

Could he possibly have hit more indie-friendly trendy buzzwords/bands? What does No Wave even mean anymore when everyone from The Rapture to !!! is associated with the term? What would a cross between Ethiopiques (a vast catalogue of music involving hundreds of different musicians over the course of how many years?) and A Certain Ratio (a bit of variety there, too, wouldn't you say?), with a little soul and dub thrown in for good measure, sound like when it also sounds like XTC? And I'm not the biggest music fan in the world, so grant me the allowance of underexposure, but what the fuck constitutes "'60s Dutch psychedelia?"

Shall we even bother skewering "chart a nimble course through the secret history of pop music?" Needless to say, this record had better be good (could they ever measure up).

But this is totally normal. This was like one-of-four today.

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