03 November 2006
JUSTICE FOR ALL
IT'S NOT LIKE I'M A SYMPATHIZER OR ANYTHING
But the "Touch the Sky" video is better than the Justice vs. Simian thing.
02 November 2006
MY PR FIRM COULD BE YOUR LIFE
The Rules of Indie Rock
Download: Jonathan Richman's "I Was Dancing In A Lesbian Bar"
For those not in the know-nothing, and this will blow your fucking face off, apparently bloggers on the internet who like bands are not only writing about the bands they like and sharing photos, but now they're signing on to do PR for them, and even booking their gigs. Criminy! They might even be making money off all this! They might even be getting some sweet non-blogger tail! Next thing you know they'll be taking The Hun off their bookmarks!
From what I understand, here's what's at stake. If you are a critic, and you talk to a band about their music, you're pretty much shooting yourself in the face five times. What if they tell you things that affect the listening experience? Wherefore the unadulterated critical take! You might end up liking a song because you like the band as people! You might hear things that you wouldn't have heard before! What the fuck!
So now there's this huge effort, partly self-policing, to make sure the PR people stay on one side, the critics on another, the rock bands on the left, and the label guys on the right, and the just regular fans on like this shitty fifth wall that the other sides look down on. Everybody's so skeptical of each other: rockers think critics are failed rockers; critics think PR people are failed critics; label guys think critics play favorites and are buzz-susceptible; critics think label guys are just in it for the money; everybody thinks PR people have questionable taste because they'll say they totally love Band X even when it's impossible for anyone ever to like let alone love Band X; everybody thinks critics are failed rockers; PR people, critics, label guys, and rockers all seem weirdly distrusting of normal fans, annoyed by their babbling, or (more weirdly) validated by them.
It makes sense that a niche DIY community would soon swell into an increasingly lucrative industry, with every person stratified into one role (just pick one), what with how Chris described the 'do what makes you happy for a living' fuck-the-man conundrum many liberal and artsy DIY-type people have obviously gotten themselves into. But the more I see Devendra Banhart types treated/feted/followed about like Where's Waldo characters around New York, the more I see of this everybody-needs-celebrities side to the city, the more of these ridiculous divides between band and non-band, fan and industry mechanisma-- the more of all that, the less immediate of a music this shit has become.
How fucked up is it that in order to get in touch with a guy named Girl Talk, who is a guy with a laptop who does mashups and daylights at a deskjob in Pittsburgh during the weeks-- this totally regular guy if you ask me-- if you want to call him up or email him and ask him about a sample, you have to go through a PR person, who in turn figures out whether or not you're worth his "client"'s time? Don't give me no MySpace shit. And how fucked up is it that if you want to book Girl Talk for a show, just like some fun thing you wanted to do, maybe a private party, whatever it is, you have to go through his booking agent who tries to get $2500 $3500 maybe even $5000 just so his 20% cut is tasty? All this quote critical quote professional distance has created a lot of low-paying jobs for people who love what they're doing, but I'm not really sure if the music's any better for it.
And that's a wrap!
01 November 2006
FACEPAINT ALL OVER YOUR FACE
"Status Ain't Hood: Quarterly Report: Riffs"
THE MONTH IN: RIFFNO
93 RIFFS. LCD Soundsystem works for Nike and I think it's OK. I'm anxiously waiting for one of those shitball online news magazines to commission their pocket hip-to-9s writer for the token "I ran on a treadmill with James Murphy and this is what happened" piece. Take it away, Salon!
85 RIFFS. Assman Crazy Carl and Jake the Snake's new blog. I think Assman's sister is posting there too but as usual it's all very hush-hush.
77 RIFFS. The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars play to like 35 people. There's also a pretty awesome Balkan/gypsy rock piece up on Salon.com that Bob wrote which is pretty much beyond the Riff scale. But let's just play it safe and give it 74 RIFFS.
72 RIFFS. Beyonce's album is better than everyone says it is. Admittedly it's not that great but it's definitely in the Top 500 LPs of 2006.
66 RIFFS. More artists should make music that sorta sounds like famous music, as a win-win deal with ad guys. I also failed to mention that the Colbert Report theme song sorta sounds like Foo Fighters' "Monkey Wrench." Q.E.D.
Yo La Tengo: "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind"
Tree Wave: "Sleep"
Void: "Who Are You?"
Lexx: "Slow Burning (Mudd Remix)"
Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas: "Sykkelsong"
Jonathan Richman: "She Doesn't Laugh At My Jokes"
31 October 2006
NONSTOP CMJ BLOGGING COMING YOUR WAY
Looks like the dude from Liars
Riff Market Exclusive: What Rappers Are Dressing Up As For Halloween
This year all rappers are dressing up as Rhymefest:
Download: Sonic Youth: "Halloween" (Sub Pop Singles Club 12/88)
30 October 2006
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BIGGEST STUNT YET
In 7th grade. She just sent me the student council speech she read in front of her school last week. She was running for Vice-President. Here is an excerpt:
"There might be some of you who know me, and some who don’t. Those who know me know that I am that fun-loving kind of girl! For those ho don’t know me, let me tell you a little bit about myself. For starters, I have mastered the moonwalk. I have memorized every word from the movie “Dodgeball.” I make silly faces, when you least expect, and I like the bands that you’ve probably never heard of. I am the person who bursts out laughing when nothing’s been said or done. Last of all, and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s always time for the perculator!! With all of these qualities, I am still the person who thinks outside of the box, is willing to work for you, and is truly unique."