2/25/2005

next thursday: interpol to sign breast live in nyc (omg)

Lucy Hurst over at Matador (aka Beggars) unwittingly informs me that Interpol will be signing shit on March 3rd at Tower on 4th and B'way from 7-8pm. That's right, one hour. Don't ever say they don't do it for the kids.

As is noted in the right column over there, Matador ignores me, and that's not rhetorical. But some (I'm guessing) mischievous soul whose writing I just happen to respect a lot (note my Pavlovian response to the following suggestion) sent me an Interpol press release earlier today with the (again, I'm guessing mischievous) proposal that I "blow up this spot now." Which is funny because there are probably eight dozen Interpol fansites with more readers than this blog, and my ability to blow anything up (aside from my ego that time Hopper gave me the nod) is questionable.

And, it's been on the website for a minute.

Journalistic integrity and all that--I can't really say whether or not this press release sent to me by a third party is valid. Just wanted to get that out there. Although it looks pretty accurate, given my nagging willingness to believe promotional copy about music is only contextually about music.

According to the press release, "Interpol signings are usually [stupid] events." (I think that's what she was trying to say. Quoter's license. Like I said, I can't vouch for the authenticity of this thing.)

"Their fans can be somewhat obsessive," Hurst goes on. "Other similar events have witnessed lines around the block, screaming fans, crying girls, girls with 'marry me carlos' sprawled on their chests, fans chasing the band's car, and even the occasional breast signing. Should be a crazy day!" Indeed!

Now, I have never been near an Interpol live situation, so I have no idea, but I dare somebody to verify that it's only girls crying at these things. I'm skeptical. It's kind of hard for me to believe that dudes who look like Interpol are not attracting a significant male audience. I mean, if I'm a guy and I'm going to be attracted to another guy, he might look a little something like Carlos D. But that's just me. And I just don't buy the "screaming fans, crying girls" couplet; the gender qualification feels forced and plainly unbelievable.

"For more info [on the sexual identification of Interpol's audience] contact Lucy at Matador/Beggars"

2/24/2005

cowboyz 'n' poodles (aka rock is dead)

Some former little buckaroo over at DFA tells me that Pixeltan is set to perform its first live show in 4 years this Friday at Rothko (although this is old news). With Kid 606 no less. Good show, folks.

And from Music Video Distributors in late March comes the GG Allin: Savage South – Best of 1992 Tour DVD. (I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy this, but I just tend to think that any piece of information including the words "GG Allin" is innately funny.)

(There's always going to be a 12-year old boy inside of me.)

The DVD material is culled from three shows in Febrary '92, including nights in Atlanta, San Antonio and Austin. There's apparently also an "ultra-rare previously unreleased GG Interview."

The cheesy but totally appropriate copy, provided by Merle Allin, GG's corny brother, runs as follows:
In February of 1992, GG Allin & the Murder Junkies would continue to pave a bloody path of destruction across the land. GG's shows were becoming more and more violent and confrontational. He started to describe his concerts as a war between him and his audience. His mind was a machine gun, his body the bullets and anyone in the way was the target.

Each night, GG would attack an already hostile crowd, creating a riot-like atmosphere. It was without a doubt the most dangerous yet thrilling experience I have ever encountered. Unfortunately, GG's reign of terror would end abruptly when he was arrested for disorderly conduct and endangering the lives of his audience. He was extradited back to Michigan to serve out the final years of his original prison sentence. The Savage South Tour will go down in history as one of the most violent tours ever. These shows have all of the intensity and insanity people have come to expect from a GG Allin performance… and more.

2/21/2005

gonzo ambivalence

Some journalist is going to find something kind to say about the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson, but it's not going to be me.

2/20/2005

bulimic blog blues

The following was written in response to a message from a member of a band whose press release I wrote about here some time ago, which I am just getting around to responding to. This person was very nice and asked me to be confidential about the correspondence, but--lazy prick that I am--I can hardly be expected to pass up the chance to post relevant material here when I've been so negligent in my blogging duties of late. At any rate, I've taken out the names.

This blog is (at least supposed to be) about promotional materials and the way that they intersect with and come to represent the music they are linked with. I was trying less to indict your band with that post than I was attempting to utilize your record's one-sheet within the larger theme of independent music's very uncomfortable relationship to the selling of product--a theme that is very important to this blog and one that, if your email is any indication, is also an issue for you.

My stance on all this is that there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money--even a lot of money--from your art. I think that honest, independently funded music that attempts to avoid taking part in a commercialized distributional/promotional machine (what I'll often refer to as "major label" music, but which is also a big part of how many indie labels operate--the main point being a greater concern for profit than for the art) is exactly what the popular music buying public needs, in my opinion. And there's nothing wrong with that sort of art generating income. I think it only gets a little dodgy when the promotional/marketing/distributional tools attempt to manipulate the audience--and this can be anything from pressuring media outlets to play or review certain artists to using exaggerated, hyperbolic or plain inaccurate rhetoric in a press release. As I tend to prefer indie music to Top 40 pop, I deal with that latter scenario more often than the former.

My goal with this blog is to create a check to what I see as some really disturbing trends in independent music promotion. I remember a time not too long ago when most indie labels I dealt with did all their promo inhouse. The rise of PR companies catering to indie labels in the last several years has been phenomenal, and lot of the people working in this sort of indie PR space are coming from very commercial environments and have brought with them some of the sell-at-any-cost ethos common to popular marketing. I'm just trying to remind people that Indie can mean something in terms of character and credibility and respect for an audience.

So, again, not at all to complain about your music, but merely to take issue with some of the methods utilized to promote your music. In terms of your record's one-sheet, I see an inconsistency in "trying to make fun of [your]selves" for promoting the record when it's plainly done within the larger environment of record promotion. Criticizing yourself for engaging in behavior you do not believe in does not absolve you from the behavior. This is a line that a lot of indie bands/PR companies are trying to walk, based in a concern that I see very commonly among people who care a lot about their art and have strong convictions about not making a product out of it.

I think commodification of the art is already taking place when you record the music. I think that the point should not be to avoid making product out of art--you've, in my opinion, already done that by making a record with a price tag on it. The point should rather be to offer this very good, very reasonably priced recording of the art in a way that is fair to consumers. Selling the product along with the disclaimer that you don't really want to be selling the product is neither fair to the critics (who receive this message and pass it on to the public) or to yourselves.

Again, this is all just my opinion. It's easy for me to sit out here and bark about this stuff from behind the shield of anonymity, a way to protect my own self interest in this project--to not cut off my supply from publicists that I'm turning around and criticizing. But I don't think the kind of distance (from the material I'm criticizing) in which I'm working is unique in the world of criticism. I don't think this dialogue is all that different from what generally goes on between a critic and a piece of art. I'm just taking on the mundane shit.

2/17/2005

run the road

I guess the real issue last night, when I was up too late running the mouth with that last post, was that Vice sent me the grime comp without any kind of promotional copy.

Under normal circumstances I'm grateful to be spared the bullshit, I listen to the record and just go for it. But, frankly, I know fuck all about grime. Isn't the point of this comp to bring grime it to an underexposed American audience? You'd think the label would have thought to offer some details beside a track listing. (Anyone more important than me who did get a one-sheet is encourages to send it over.)

Although anything I would have to say about the album, here or elsewhere, will undoubtedly be lost in the shadow of Pitchfork (or, of course, Stylus--but still, this thing comes out the second week of next month--where's the etiquette?). Because is hip-hop going to pay any real attention to this comp? Hell if I know.

I am curious to see what actually happens with this album.

(Either way, I think burying the white midget twelve tracks deep was a bad move. Am I right?)

(Am I right? Incidentally, I'm not trying to suggest any conflict of interest there. I wouldn't.)

I'll probably be doing this, probably forever

"Popvert is not a band...it's a project"

Several different manifestations of being that asshole who sits around and mocks other people present themselves when I read the statement above, but I'm going to try to narrow it down.

First off, a musical project involving a bunch of musicians who don't want to be called a band had ought to have something to do with theater or therapy, or maybe specialized carpentry. It's just not a good premise for a group of people that make pop music. My problem with these sort of "beyond mere music" statements about music is that I just don't think there's anything wrong with music. It would be one thing if these people made sound art, but they do a straight-ahead OMD cover here.

And secondly, those aren't my quotes, but rather the quotation marks of the publicist (ie, "'Popvert is not a band...it's a project'"). As I was reading this press release, there was this bit I was crafting in my head about the ironic subversion of sentiment when my step-mother writes, with quotation marks, "'Happy Birthday'" on birthday cards. That somehow evolved into how, if I were going to make fun of myself for being totally pretentious about this blog that I thought was artistically important and beyond mere haphazard pontification, I would say something like, "Promocopy is not a blog...it's a project," and I'd put rabbit ears in the air with my hands to indicate quotation marks.

But then, I got to the bottom of the one-sheet and saw that the "not a band" statement is repeated, and I realized that the initial quote is not a subtitle, but rather a pull quote. I can't figure out if whoever wrote this is potentially crafty enough (although simultaneously, I hope, quite naive) to believe that this kind of editorial device is going to fly in a piece of promotional copy, or rather that this person just doesn't really recognized the difference between promotional and editorial. It's a toss-up.

I guess I could go on. There's loads about the people in the band--one called Pepvert (ie, Pepvert of Popvert) and another known as "Ninja Drummer," and a reference to this album as a "'great record'" (yes, again in quotation marks), but it doesn't really matter. While this is an exaggeratedly dumb music project (at least in conception, although I'm not saying the music is good) promoted with exaggeratedly dumb language, I can't say that the techniques utilized here are much different than what I read all day long from dozens of other one-sheets. Without strong pop stats, it sometimes seems like it's all the same approach:
1. This product is incomparably unique, just because (+ strange words)
2. These are names that you recognize and should associate with this product
The point being, again, that music promotion has less to do with furnishing critics with functional details (eg, musicians involved, previous work) than it does with lamely attempting to direct critical response. It's not that I'm naive to the fact that the music industry runs on this kind of fuel, but my convictions feel a little infringed upon when this sort of crap as offered as unique and independent art. Or whatever, the shit is just stupid and annoying.

"This is not a tantrum...it's a project"

2/14/2005

breakdown (the chicken)

Apologies to readers for how little of what I'm supposed to be doing here has actually appeared here over the last couple weeks. It's a busy season with whatever I do for a living.

And so: I got the Mahjongg LP in the mail the other day, and the one-sheet says that Cold Crush is putting it out on, um, sometime after now. (Just because I can, I looked it up on the Cold Crush website: 3/22/2005.)

The promotional angle taken on this one is tricky, or possibly just confused: "Way back in the day..."--I'm slightly paraphrasing here, as the copy is really fucked up and punky (ie, "way back intheeedddayyyyy99999MaHJ?ONHHGG")--"...Mahjongg ruled the charts...[the forthcoming album] RaYDONcoNG 2005 is the pinnacle so far of Mahjongg's five albums on Cold Crush...all the facets of their platinum-plus sound."

Being passingly familiar with Mahjongg, Cold Crush and Call Girl PR, who sent me the disc + press release, I'm inclined to think that the copy is not the fault of the latter party. So, I'm not shooting any messengers today. But here's the position I'm dealing with: over-the-top sarcasm suggesting the implausible and false multi-platinum and large-back-catalogue stature of this band. But that's no big deal. I'm used to, like, totally not being serious, as well as watching kids from undergroundland fetishizing popularity positioned as the new and titillating and safe and indie-friendly ur-popularity. I think we used to call it "doing it for the wrong reasons," and its eventual outcome "selling out," but I understand this kind of name-calling is just passe, reductive, etc., these days.

Where that first bit of copy above gets tricky is when the press release goes on to state that Mahjongg's "debut EP...announced a big noise in the music world." Did anyone else hear that noise? I'm still hearing silence. But, within the scope of this one-sheet's agenda, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to take this statement seriously. Is everything in this press release supposed to be read in terms of the absurdist exaggeration of the opening lines noted above? My guess is no, and that whoever wrote this thing is just trying to sneak in the idea that Mahjongg is, well, relevant. Because the copy goes on to say that "Mahjongg is basically a bar band that got lucky," which works as self-deprecation, except that I don't see how this band ever got lucky (a Cold Crush deal?). So it's just more of the sort of "This Band Has Arrived" proclamations that indie publicists spend all day trying to get across--merely wrapped in we-don't-give-a-fuck rhetoric.

People who write promotional copy are schemers, I'm telling you. Unpack that shit.

In all honesty, I was actually a little surprised that there wasn't much excitement over the band's first EP (I really like at least half of Machinegong, and the full-length is moving on me). Not to get all Pitchfork-is-runnin'-things-indie, but I think that site is a pretty good indicator of what is popular in Indie Rock--and, as far as I can tell, the EP wasn't even reviewed there. Mahjongg strikes me as so perfectly of-the-moment and fashionable (and I say that with no hidden criticism, but rather as a suggestion that Mahjongg is so potentially hot!), except for that they're not yet hot. But maybe that's just me. Again: did I somehow miss the impact this band made? I'm willing to be persuaded.

The frustrating upshot of all of this is that the one-sheet really does attempt to satirize the act of record promotion via the use of promotional tools like one-sheets. For example: "For Fans Of: ...Duck Rock...Razor Scooters...Oxygen" and "Exists In the Same World As: ...Digital Cable...Indonesian Is the New Sumatran." I'm not completely insensitive to the idea that the promotion of pop art can be really dodgy, but the sardonic sentiment strikes me as a little disingenuous when it comes in a readymade promotional tool sent with this commodified piece of art by a company that gets paid to enable bands to make a "big noise." Although, this let's-sell-the-music-alongside-the-message-that-selling-the-music-is-lame stance is kind of a normal maneuver for indie rock PR, methinks.

“The Day Things Changed”

Touch and Go (+ Quarterstick) has a fine new website, and today's front page is raw. Publicist Miranda Lange cracks wise, "How was anyone to know that the internet was was not a fad equivalent to the CB of the 90’s? ...for a while there it really looked like it was just something set up between Star Trek fans needing to find out when the next convention was." 

Who cares?, I know, but I think it's safe for me to say that T&G is one of my all time fave labels (yeah, I'm still on the edge of my seat every time Knuckles gets sent to the glue factory), and I'm very pleased to see the label finally get rid of that "temporary" web presence that's been around for as long as I can remember.

2/13/2005

just good news (psychological methods to sell should be destroyed)

This straight from Howard Wuelfing, with no complaints from me:
The San Pedro Film Society in association with Rocket Fuel Films is proud to announce the premiere of We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen at 8PM on Friday, February 25, 2005 at San Pedro's historic Warner Grand Theatre. Minutemen Mike Watt and George Hurley along with Director Tim Irwin and Producer Keith Schieron will sit for a question and answer session with the audience after the screening...
Ten buck in Pedro, rather south of LA. Check out the trailer.
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen is a feature length documentary chronicling this ground breaking, early 80's punk rock band from their humble beginnings in the harbor town of San Pedro, CA to their untimely demise when lead singer and guitarist D. Boon was killed in a van accident in December of 1985.

Told by those who were there, We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen weaves together footage from over fifty newly shot interviews with archival interviews and live performances to capture the dynamic energy and do-it-yourself spirit of these punk rock pioneers. Newly shot interviews include Minutemen Mike Watt and George Hurley as well as Bill Morgan, Brendan Mullen, Brother Dale, Brother Matt, Byron Coley, Carla Bozulich, Carlos Guitarlos, Chris Morris, Colin Newman, Dave Markey, David Rees, Dez Cadena, Ed Crawford, Flea, Greg Ginn, Henry Rollins, Ian Mackaye, J Mascis, Jack Brewer, Jean Watt, Jello Biafra, Joe Baiza, Joe Carducci, John Doe, John Talley-jones, Keith Morris, Kevin Barrett, Kira Roessler, Kjehl Johansen, Kurt Schellenbach, Lisa Roeland, Martin Lyon, Michel C. Ford, Mike Martt, Milo Auckerman, Nannette Roeland, Nels Cline, Pat Hoed, Randy Johnson, Ray Farrell, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Bonney, Richard Derrick, Richard Hell, Richard Meltzer, Bobby Holtzman, Scott Becker, Thurston Moore, Tom Watson, Tony Platon and Vince Meghrouni.

2/11/2005

continuing education

All I'm doing today is waxing malcontent with these people.

2/10/2005

Hey Publicists!

Put some release dates on these one-sheets! Please.

I can listen to the music and come up with my own adjectives to describe it.

behind the sweet scenes

2/09/2005

the heat is on

Word of those rascally publicists murmuring about this blog has again surfaced, once more giving me the false impression that anyone is paying attention. The Promocopy Boosters this week reported mixed responses from publicists, who, all in all, seem to like the concept at play here. But only in theory--definitely not when it's aimed directly at them. How reasonable. (Watch some other lucky wordsmith's name vanish from the roster forever--because, Wait--not all publicity is good publicity!) Said boosters were wise enough to not actually forward any email to Promocopy this time around (lest I "blog that shit" ©). So no direct quotes. Sorry, readers. I guess you're just going to have to take my word and trust my character.

There. Now that I have my smug statement of denial out of the way, and while on the topic of character: I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that the jig is up for Promocopy as it was originally envisioned. I'm just not clever, thorough or possessed with ample free time enough to cover all my bases, and inquisitive minds are on to my identity. While I've been receiving accusatory email from the beginning, this last week has shown a sharp increase in messages from folks who are keen to who's behind this thing. And a few of them appear to be particularly pleased with themselves. Well done, lads!

Stay tuned for breaking coverage of my haphazard management of multiple personality disorder, pathological lying, obsessive/compulsive behavior, and, like, my career.

exit music

Howard Wuelfing writes: "From his groundbreaking transcriptions...to his unforgettably sublime interpretations of classic and new repertoire, pianist Christopher O'Riley has redefined the possibilities of classical music"...by doing Radiohead covers.

It seems kind of late in the game to be listening to classical music for any other reason than the fact that pop music is dumb. Or are the kids hep to this stuff? "This ain't yr grandfather's classical music"? Kudos to Wuelfing for attempting to sell this oddity (or otherworldly treasure of sonic elegance, whatever) to a pop audience, although I have to wonder what this press release looks like to someone who reviews classical music. All of that said, this stuff (if a bit gimmicky) is actually pretty good. But, of course, I'm a geek.

And anyway, wasn't that gag pretty much driven into the ground by the end of that string of marginally successful alternative rock albums Wendy Carlos recorded throughout the '90s?

I obviously have neither a sense of humor nor any clue what I'm talking about.

when the levee breaks


Jason Roth at Capitol (EMI) informs me that Morningwood will be touring with The Music this spring, and that its "legendary sweat-soaked live shows, featuring their playful brand of hard distortion pop, have been known to include spirited bumping, grinding, dancing, stuffed animals and at least one known audience member being shipped off to Bellevue hospital during the set." Not to be insensitive, but: Crazy

Also noted: "Morningwood is like springtime in my pants." (Vice) Great. Thank you.

2/08/2005

rock/roll is bitchin

Anyone know anything about the etymology of the critics-are-full-of-shit argument? Is it related (in reference to music) to the music-critics-are-failed-musicians line, or is it more in the pop-culture-is-not-real-culture camp?

demon boyz?


"There's a widely held belief that [Roots Manuva's] influence in the UK is incalculable," says Trevor Seamon at Score Press. Sorta passive, but I'll take it. "...and that he opened the door for the success of The Streets, Dizzee Rascal." Um, I'd kinda hate to put it all in Rodney Smith's lap. But anyway, new album Awfully Deep out April 19 on Big Dada, although it was out last month in the UK (even Canada gets it in March). What sense does that make, Ninja Tune? Don't make me start posting mp3s. I'll do it.

2/07/2005

call me habitual


(Sean Booth, Member of the Biological Stakeholders Group of Placer County, CA)
Bryn Bridenthal wrote to tell me about the company that's doing pre-sale tickets for Green Day's forthcoming tour ("open to all Green Day fans"): "Cinder Block Inc. is a leading independent merchandising and licensing company...with an emphasis on quality, integrity, customer service and product innovation – principles forged from its punk rock roots." (I'm getting that once you're Green Day in 2005, who sells the tickets is more interesting than who makes the music?) Better Cinder Block than this monster, for sure. Although I'm a little uncomfortable associating "punk rock roots" with "corporate clients including Pixar, Sega, several sports teams (Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A's) and more." Local is good. Whatever.

But then: Sam Hunt, who runs Velocirecords wrote to tell me that he accidentally downloaded some Canadian singer-songwriter's album thinking it was a project by one of the guys in Autechre. (Incidentally, the two musicians have the same name.)

You have to admire Hunt's nose for opportunity, as he's now putting the guy's record out. Yeah! That's how independent music works!

2/04/2005

[So I have a few heroes]

[Big deal]

molto grazie

Huge thanks to I'm So Sinsurr and Pop Life for mentioning me earlier this week. (Oliver Wang kind of inspired me into this blog world, but more on that another time.) I'm a big fan of both of those blogs, so getting the nod is quite rewarding.

And if anyone is going to get to the bottom of that unsolved Galkin/Nickelodeon mystery, I think we know it's Catchdubs.

Also: The Fader throws a bone over here!

Bananas! says Aoki, who I briefly spoke to at that thing last night before he spotted somebody more important. Whatever. (I don't even think the dude writes his own promo copy, I'm so sure.) I later saw his sister (also Aoki) trying to get into the club after the main event. Small world, small guest list.

I didn't even know Fader had a blog.

Interrobang (?!) #1

Julianne Shepherd with a column at Pitchfork?

That's what I hear from the Unicorn's tear.

Nice.

somewhere in the amazon

At the risk of giving away my geography:

Sean, I hope you got your shit together, because I would not want to have missed what went down tonight. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like in New York, where people have been seriously preparing for this. Folks out here were just awestruck.

My only exposure to Dip so far being Florida (read: no live experience), I wasn't really prepared for what that dude brings to the club. I caught on pretty quick.

I mean, she's a great performer, totally in control of what she's doing in front of a crowd. But given her tracks versus his, in the live setting, I'm going with the latter.

Of course, she's still on top of it. Serious moments of perfection.

2/03/2005

I don't pay attention to Epitaph

New Sage Francis on Epitaph Feb. 8? News to me, but I guess that's why I follow So Many Shrimp. Really good rundown of the project over there.

With a Sixtoo track! Alias, DangerMouse, Joey Beats! Will Oldham? I mean, I really like Will Oldham.

Check out the mp3s at the bottom of that post.

You know I had to run over to Epitaph to have a look at the PR: "We may never know just how the smallest state in the Union ended up home to one of the loudest voices of our time." Some qualification may have helped that statement.

Anyway, don't let me turn you off.

(And I like The Locust. Big deal.)

no one listens anyway

OK, back to the trash talk: I think I am probably as surprised as anyone to hear that Reel Big Fish is still bothering with it. Come April 5, We're Not Happy Till You're Not Happy, the band's first album (I think) since 2002's Cheer Up, hits the bargain bins (look for the hole punch through the barcode).

Granted, attempting to criticize this Reel Big Fish's schtick is a lost cause when the inevitable, "'Dude,' you just don't 'get it'--we're only 'in' it for 'the money!'" looms snickeringly over about 98.3 percent of any form of public relations (including the music) this band has ever embarked upon. I generally don't feel comfortable being totally dismissive and plain mean to a band, but zany cynicism is Reel Big Fish's capital, so I figure I might as well just trade.

Says the one-sheet: "The new album was co-produced by Shawn Sullivan and Reel Big Fish front man Aaron Barrett," the latter being the only member of this revolving-door lineup to be mentioned in the release. Idiosyncratic Control Freak seems to be a tag that follows Barrett around, so his singular presence here may be by design. 

Two covers grace this album: Tracy Chapman's "Talkin' Bout a Revolution," and Morrissey's "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful," the latter of which I can only imagine is aimed at "the haters." Although the issue is no doubt far more complicated than I am able to comprehend, as the irony of a second-rate Suburban Rhythm tribute band thumbing a nose at its legion of fair-weather fans cannot be lost on Barrett. Who's Suburban Rhythm? Precisely.

In his defense, Mike Cubillos from Earshot Media just kind of lets this shit speak for itself. I think, like the rest of us, he's confused about how to respond to (let alone promote) a band that mocks itself for making crap music and its fans for buying it.

2/02/2005

still getting random

I know this self-referential shit has got to be getting a bit tiresome, but I couldn't help noticing that someone came to Promocopy the other day via a Google search for "actress and 'only 4'11'."

Think this person is a casting agent? Or What?

Of course that Google search was funneled to an older post here on the white midget, one that was undercooked and will probably prove to be just dumb. Much as I want to dismiss her, she kind of defies my will-to-aversion. Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage equivocated this morning about some simmering commentary on the young MC, which I'm looking forward to.

And, of course, he also waxes giddy on this week's main event. Dude, I'm in your corner.

Somebody in Toronto want to write me tomorrow and tell me how it went?

one thing

Like a lot of people who listen almost exclusively to rock bands on small labels, my sense of how reasonable it is to listen to pop music has changed a lot over the last couple years. Much contemporary indie music crit is seriously addressing how, like, totally OK the Billboard singles chart is, but I'm still a little more interested in how outsider musicians are considering the pop realm.

Go on about Beyonce as much as you want, but the real draw of an artist, for me, is the fact that she's coming from the same place I am. Because I can't really relate to why public perception is of any real concern.

That said, I've always been struck by the idea (particularly in recent years) that indie music has a touch of fantasy in it, and that even the most independent of musicians is still in some ways that kid in her underwear in front of the mirror singing into a brush handle and playing popstar. No one last year spoke to me on that level so much as Khaela Maricich, who performs as The Blow: "Hock It"

And while there’s really no point in comparing Maricich’s voice to, say, Beyonce’s, I think playing pop is more and more of what independent music--even in a post-punk tradition--is about these days.

money, it's a hit

Anyone else asked for a user ID and password to look at Pitchfork this morning, about 11:00 am EST?

Redesign kink? I'm not looking forward to paying for that content.

2/01/2005

deux real action heroes

Medicom et Headbangers sont heureux de vous faire part de la naissance des 12"inch Daft Punk, un set de deux Real Action Heroes à l'effigie du célèbre duo français. Vous ne pouvez toujours pas les voir mais au moins vous pourrez les toucher! 1000 exemplaires dans le monde, 250 en France, en avant-première chez colette dès le 7 février. 300 euros.

pitchfork on high

Referring to the lead news story at Pitchfork today: It's kind of hard to tell if writer Nick Patch (Nic Patch?) is making fun of himself (or his editor?) for suggesting the site has "exclusive" information on the forthcoming Spoon release--that a new album titled Gimme Fiction, "is complete and set to be released May 10 via Merge Records." "We're pretty fucking excited," he ironizes, setting back the cause of progressive, post-irony indie rockers everywhere [rather a Pitchfork-esque turn of phrase, eh?] . "Yeah, like Who's The Boss on DVD excited." But you would think the Pitchfork editors actually are excited, because they made the decision to put "Exclusive" on the heading. But not that excited, because it wouldn't be cool.

Anyway, I digress: What does "Exclusive" mean on the internet, when this story is just sitting around waiting to be scooped and dumped on someone else's web page for immediate publication. Does the fact that Spoon, if questioned, would say they gave the release date of their album to Pitchfork before they gave it to anyone else make any difference to someone who reads the information here first?

And in case anything else in that news story is seemingly important to Spoon fans, I think versions of that tracklist have been floating about since October. Just saying.

Moving from the catty and obviously envious into the merely annoying: My criticism being that the egalitarian strengths of the internet are sort of undermined by Pitchfork politically using its weight to get information before anyone else (yes, I understand it was surely in the best interests of Spoon to cooperate) and then suggesting (although pointlessly) that this information is exclusive to the site.

You can get all that stuff here, anyway, "exclusive" or not. I read Pitchfork every day. I'll tell you about it.