Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kings of Leon Vs. The Strokes: An Assessment

I was recently asked about how the Kings of Leon overtook the Strokes. Let me highlight the key differences in these two bands and weigh in. As stated many times before, Kings of Leon went all U2 and they have not stopped being all U2. I think one of the worst things that could have happened to them was to have mega hits. Kings of Leon is over the top now mainstream, the Strokes took the less is more strategy. The Strokes, in contrast, went all...let's see who our fans really are. They made an album steaming with 80's pop sounds absolutely alienating any fans of Is This It. The next difference is that Kings of Leon wants to be big, famous, popular, loved, adored, interviewed and so on. I never get that vibe about the Strokes. They take their time with their music, are never rushed, and never give the media anything resembling a story. They keep everyone guessing. Once again, there is the less is more mystery to the Strokes. Do they hate each other, do they not? I am absolutely intrigued by the fact that they did not do any publicity for the last album. Uhh, what channel and piece of media did we not see Kings of Leon saying they had a new album out. Here is the thing about album comparisons too, Kings of Leon's Only By the Night is completely overrated. Beside the two hits, the album is complete filler besides maybe 17. They then go on to make an album that makes them sound even more Southern. Kings of Leon just never changes. Always the same pretty much, but the Strokes simply said to hell with that idea. They changed everything about themselves to save the band. Contrary to any ignorant opinions, the Strokes are together, will do more music, and not breaking up. Get some new information next and perhaps something a little more accurate. The best comparison I can say is that as far as the Eastern seaboard is concerned the Strokes are Radiohead, while Kings of Leon are U2. I guess you could say that yes the Kings of Leon did surpass the Strokes as the bigger band, but I cannot say they did so artistically. The Strokes have taken two steps forward in that regard, while Kings of Leon seem to be running in place.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Featured Rappers Showing Up Everywhere Except on Their Own Album

I have a made a universal observation about rappers, hip-hop singers, and their albums. This fact cannot be denied. They perform on almost every album released in any given year. Jesus, it seemed like every other album had Rihanna or Beyonce doing a solo on it. Jay-Z was supposedly retired to run Def Jam, but you heard him more on other people's albums than you probably did on his own albums at the end of his so-called active rap career. I mean what are you to make of Kendrick Lamar going on another guy's album and basically calling him out. If I were Big Sean, why in the hell would I even want to put this on my own record? I know there is a history here of mixtapes and collaborations and rap battles, but can you say overexposure? The Beastie Boys did not make an album for 5-6 years, but you never heard about them making numerous guest appearances on other albums. I am not singling out rappers alone because sometimes this has happened with rock stars like Dave Grohl. Do we actually need another side project from him? Yet, in rap, it seems to be part of the culture. Their albums are always thought of as solo kinds of projects, but are they really that solo? Are you really making a true solo artistic piece of work when you have 8 other guys on it? Hell, the only time you don't hear from a rapper for a while is when they go to prison like Lil Wayne. In comparison, you really do not see this in rock and pop music. What do you attribute to this? I really could not provide a true answer. Perhaps, it is because rappers are like Lebron James and need a little help from their friends. Perhaps, it is the culture in that rappers just invite rappers to partake in their albums. I find it hard to believe that with this collaboration that goes on everywhere that violence ever erupted anywhere over rap lyrics. Perhaps, it is the artform itself. Singing, playing guitar, playing drums simply does not lend itself to the enormous amount of collaboration that we see in rap on a consistent basis. For me personally, I think that not enough attention is paid to the concept of the album. Too many rappers see the album as less of a cohesive concept and more as simple a group of multiple tracks. For whatever reason, the incredible amount of guest appearances is pretty staggering. I will sit there and say to myself: don't these guys want to keep any credit for themselves? Don't they ever want to work on something without anybody else? Or is this simply not a realistic scenario in today's rap and hip-hop world? Go out and get as many big names as possible before starting because that sells records. What if the Killers brought in Julian Casablancas for guest vocals, Dave Grohl for guest drums, and Jonny Greenwood for guest guitar on their next album? This not be unheard of in any sense, but it rarely happens in rock. My running joke is that I don't need to buy a rapper's album because he will just make some guest appearance next week on another album. Also, they may make a mistake and forget to rap on their own album or list themselves as guests on it. I simply find it as a bizarre trend in popular music and I do have a theory about it. These rappers want to be in a band. They all want to join together and be in a band. I say, why not...I say, more power to them.  Let's start an NYC band  called the HOVA West Boys and it will be Jay-Z, Kanye, Mike-D, and Ad-Rock.  I know there have been rap groups or bands before, but there have not been that many. I am talking about 50% of the current rappers joining bands. This all makes perfect sense. How about a band called Emimar with Kendrick Lamar, J Cole and Eminem. Watch the Throne was only the first step because rappers need to start bands as soon as possible, which will rid the world of these silly guest appearances on every other album, except their own.

Friday, September 6, 2013

When Saying You Made a Good Album Goes Wrong

I just finished skimming the new Arctic Monkeys review on It brought an interesting conundrum when it comes to album reviews. I have not heard this album yet and I like the Arctic Monkeys overall. Thus far, I have only focused on how reviews can negatively help influence how one objectively perceives a listening experience. Yet, this can work the other way around as well. This particular review gives the album a perfect 10 saying it is pure genius and the best album to come out in the last ten years. I highly doubt that. The comments following the review are near unanimous in this diagnosis. This is not the greatest album of the last ten years. Most people who have followed this band say it is a great album, but they will not say it is a perfect 10. This brings up a couple of issues with me as a serious music fan. This review has somewhat diminished or partially ruined the album for me. Previously, I was comparing this album primarily to Suck It and See, but now they are going up against Kanye, TV on the Radio, The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, The Killers. The reviewer has created heightened expectations that will be hard to compete with and the Arctic Monkeys don't deserve that because now the band must live up to such expectations. It will be impossible for them to surpass those expectations because they are not new. Arctic Monkeys have been around for a few years, which always means you will have critics. Bands always have critics. The only ones who don't have critics are the ones who have not been around long enough for reviewers to actually care two shits about them. Throwing around the term genius is for writers analyzing the legacy of someone who rocked 20 years ago like Bowie. You don't use that term in the present because that can be misinterpreted so easily. The other issue at play here is a serious question that threatens the credibility of the article itself. Is this reviewer just a fan boy? Is he worshiping at the altar of Arctic Monkeys? This needs to be answered before we start to look upon this album as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now, I saw this band in 2009 and I have heard their other albums, so next week I will listen to this album and see if it the best album of the past ten years. If I had known 5 years ago that this band was genius about to create the greatest album this side of 1999, then I would not have done all that Vicodin that night.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dear Lady Gaga, I Am Really Pulling For You (Has Hell Frozen Over?)

Lady Gaga's album ArtPop is going to be released in November and I have a confession to make. I am going to really be pulling for her. Why would such a statement by me be such a big deal? Well, back in 2010 I hated Lady Gaga with the passion of a thousand suns. What was it that I hated? I guess it was the fact that every song she released on that first album was a number one hit. Perhaps it was the fact that she totally upstaged my favorite band at Lollapalooza. Perhaps it was my absolute intolerance towards her shock music display. I felt that nobody listened to the music because they were more intrigued as to how much she planned to shock you, instead of the quality of her music. I am a big guy when it comes to the music. Most people will say that I never said this, but in my heart of hearts I know that I did say this to people: Just wait until her second album, just you wait. This continually happens in music. Artists can never be new again. They will always be old at some point. They can reboot, reinvent, and reignite, but they can never recreate themselves completely. I said further that the shock part of her act would only work if her music continued to evolve, grow, or at the very actually good. With a hell of a lot of hype, her second album was released. She was accused of copying Madonna, but the songs when released never really got the buzz of before. Yet, something funny happened along the way. I actually liked one of her songs, Born This Way. Now it did not turn me into a little monster, but I enjoyed the song, which I felt was better than Madonna. It said to the listener that if I am weird, hey, I was born this way. This is another reason I hope to like this album. I am a sucker for good, new music. I am not ashamed to admit when I am wrong, which is quite often. Bring me good, new music and I will shut the hell up. Now, fast forward to the present as Lady Gaga releases her first single on the same day as Katy Perry. Perhaps, that is another reason I am pulling for Lady Gaga. I hate Katy Perry. Well, I guess it was time to hate somebody new because my friends are beginning to tire of my complaints about EDM. Yet, the reviews came out and they said that the new song was mediocre. Welcome to the backlash, Miss Gaga. They said the song was completely out of touch with today's music. Yet, I do know that she did not want to release this, but instead was forced because it had been leaked. I am hoping the rest of the album is great and this song was just an outlier. I am also hoping it is great because I want that douchebag Perez Hilton to shut the fuck up. I hate people like him who ride the coattails of artists and seem to think that they are on equal footing. Perez Hilton has contributed nothing to our society. His blog is unentertaining, boring, and very 2005. Hey Perez, why don't you go back to school and learn a trade instead of being the world's gigantic tool. Yet, I have been over this terrain before. The only way to get your critics and naysayers to shut the fuck up is to consistently make good music. In the end, this is probably the primary reason why I am now rooting for Lady Gaga and her new album. I want her to make all these know-it-all but actually know nothing critics shut the fuck up for once in their miserable lives.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

E=MC5: Kick Out The Theories Motherfucker

I have always had these strange theories about music, bands, albums, songs, singers. Today, I thought I would lay out for you some of these observations.
  • Most artists put all these great songs on their first album because they probably don't know whey they will get the chance again. I had the crazy idea that an artist should hold back 1-2 songs that they know to be good. This song will be saved until they need it possibly during a sophomore slump album. The record company would say: Quick! Lady Gaga's Born This Way is slumping! Let's put Pokerface on there! Imagine that Pokerface had not been released yet. My theory is that an artist's first songs are usually their best because they have generally spent years trying to come up with them, while a second album or third album merely covers a few years, if that
  • A band's second or third album would probably be just as groundbreaking or popular, if the band in question was new. I have always felt that The Strokes second album would have been just as seminal a force as Is This It if they had been given the benefit of the newness factor. Second album's are generally extensions of the first album anyway, but the second album is always the killer for pleasing anyone. It is many times called the First Album Part 2, but if in subsequent albums, the band does not do that, people then get pissed. Bands are in a no win situation. If they like The Strokes make a Room on Fire, then people say this is nice but I heard it before. If they like Weezer make a Pinkerton, then people say this is nice but I really liked the Blue Album better. Many bands do not go the Pinkerton direction until the 3rd or 4th album, then find out they probably should make the same thing over and over if they want to make any money. Fans hate change. Some critics hate change. The real bands. Those that really last are the ones that give those groups a big middle finger and do whatever they want. Yet, people never account for the fact that an artist is brand new. I think what happens is that people overload on something brand new so much that they are sick of it after awhile. Lady Gaga is a prime example of that phenomenon. After that first wave, how successful your career is will ultimately depend upon how hard the artist works at making good albums. Strong music always can cancel out the fact an artist is old hat to a lot of people. Take for example successful reboots by U2 and Kings of Leon.
  • Bands that break up should never put out an album of original material after reuniting. I was get an empty feeling when listening to this music. These groups should only do live shows, not try to recreate the music. They could recreate a shining replica of one of their classic albums, but what happened is 20 years have passed. Time has a way of fucking with how people even hear new music. The other part of it is that every song the listener will seek out the former magic that these groups can no longer attain. I have never seen a reunited older band make a buzzworthy album. I cannot even explain this phenomenon, but it like they completely forgot how to make good hooks, good lyrics. The Stones are prime culprits of this fact. Mick's lyrics from Big Bang Theory are borderline moronic. So when I hear that an old band is making an album of original material, I don't get too excited. Expectations become too high, the disappoint that these guys are no longer younger sets in, and it probably just sucks anyway. That is the other thing here. Maybe the music just ain't as good as it used to be. Music needs a time and a place. This time and place is always very pertinent to the experience of listening.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Does EDM Stand for Early Demise?

I have been over this again and again on why I hate EDM or electronic dance music so much. There are many reasons I find this kind of music to be less than ideal in a world filled with music. I am going to list below the easy reasons for the hatred of this music. These are all reasons that I have heard before and they do have validity in some ways, but they are not my main reasons for hating EDM.
  • EDM fans just want to get high, wear bright clothing, touch each other, and pretty act totally weird. It is true that fans of this music subscribe to many of these hobbies, while not really paying attention to anything else at all. They are today's hippies. Yet, there is a lot of other music throughout the years that was rock and roll where people got blitzed out of their mind. I can't fault anyone for being weird because who am I to judge based on my track record.
  • Some dj's have said that all some other dj's do is press play. Yes, this may be true, but I bet a lot of work goes into creating the ability to just press play. The other aspect to this comes in the fact that most dj's do really get into the performance side of it. I have seen some rock performers not move either, but do we criticize them as much. The other part of this is that I have seen a dj performance behind the scenes and know you don't just press play because the dj will want to improvise, change, mash, remix based on the crowd.
  • The guys who love EDM are pretty much a bunch of major tools. I find this to be pretty true. They willingly wear pink tanktops, feminine backpacks, let their girlfriends decide everything, and seem to be just uncool. The girls are generally no better unless dressing like a slut who should be hooking on the corner is considered a hip thing to do. Yet, I cannot knock a genre of music simply because I think the guys are douchebags and the girls are sluts.
So if those are reasons not to hate EDM, then what are the reasons to hate this music.
  • The fans are not serious music fans. As soon as someone criticizes EDM, their fans are quick to throw out reasons why it so fantastic, but the problem is that these fans cannot really articulate any distinction between good EDM and bad EDM. They throw out numbers upon numbers about the shows, but they never really offer up any aesthetic reason why the music is so good.  I do not think they even care either. Many of these fans really could not tell you why Skrillex is noticeably better than Deadmau5 or Calvin Harris. A person that I know who is a diehard EDM fan did not even know who Daft Punk was when I asked if she had heard the new album. Perhaps, she was too young to know that EDM began after many of these DJ's saw Daft Punk in 2007. I think the analogy to be made would be all style and no substance. These are more about the spectacle and less about the art created. Fans will call them emcees of a huge party, but to me, the serious music fan, I want an artist, and not a ringmaster for a bunch of high hippies wearing neon.
  • The second part of this equation emerges in the artists themselves. They have not developed whatsoever in the past couple of years. First, they were just copying Daft Punk anyway, but these idiots continue to create music that was just pasted together using Ableton on their laptop. Why is this an issue? The music gets really fucking boring. I am reminded of when the Grateful Dead pretty much stopped making anything resembling original music. Should we just call these tours EDM-Head tours where getting high is more of a priority. Never mind the fact that artists like Skrillex in my opinion make tracks that sound like he was throwing everything but the kitchen sink into it, but decided not to try to provide any structure whatsoever. Someone finally does challenge you like Daft Punk to ramp your game, you whine like little babies. Yet, a major obstacle for these djs is the fact that it is hard to be original when your entire identity is wrapped up in something you basically copied. The other obstacle is that many of these dj's have one dimensional music skills. They write or play any music, which is a major obstacle. People seem to forget that Daft Punk were actually a rock band originally touring with Phoenix. They evolved. If EDM artists do not evolve; they will be extinct along with the dinosaurs. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ten Bullet Points Summing Up Just About Every Review on The Strokes

  • Reviewers cannot separate one album from the history of the band.
  • Apparently, everyone wants to go back to 2001. Man, I did not realize how fucking awesome 2001 was. Jesus, now I want to go back.
  •  You can only make albums of music that made you successful in the first place. You are not allowed to make an album completely different unless you are an elitist snob into the electronic garbage Radiohead spits out. Make it the same, but not exactly the same, but kind of different, but if you go too different, then we will get you for that too.
  •  Do not ever make a solo album because reviewers will compare your new album to that.
  •  As a musician, you are not allowed to have influences, but all these reviews mention is what…their own influences of what the album sounds like…(A-ha, Technotronic, Tom Waits). 
  •  Make up your fuckin’ mind reviewers: Are the Strokes bored and lazy? Or are they working really hard to look bored and lazy? What does it matter? How can you tell if a band is working too hard or being bored? Am I just that obtuse when it comes to listening to an album one time?
  •  One trend about music reviewers: They will talk shit about everything (Muse, Mumford got 4 out of 10 in Spin). People don’t read the blogs of reviewers that say nice things. 
  • Whether it makes people feel cooler or whether they are just joining the crowd, but it is hip and cool to hate on the Strokes. Also, these moronic douchebags try to turn their reviews into high art and poetic criticism by talking about the Strokes on a cultural scale that should only be written about in a college classroom. Sometimes an album is just a fucking album.
  •  The Strokes are not new, and are mainstream. They arrived in 2001. Places like Pitchfork hate them. Anything that comes out of their mouths is always going to be looked upon as unoriginal.
  •  The Strokes don’t give a fuck. They already saved rock once. They can do whatever the fuck they want.

Kendrick Lamar: Much Ado About Nothing

Oh, Kendrick, Kendrick, Kendrick. Well, apparently you threw down the gauntlet on hip-hop on a verse that was leaked and now will not be released. In case you missed it, here is what Kendrick Lamar did last week that has everyone going absolutely fucking nuts.

But it's his extended verse on "Control (HOF)," a Big Sean track that didn't make it onto Sean's upcoming "Hall of Fame" due to licensing issues, that had Twitter gasping for air Monday night. Lamar appears with Sean and elusive rap demi-god Jay Electronica, but they're not spared from his venom. 

After memorably half-mocking Funkmaster Flex for dropping so many bomb sounds on songs he debuts, calling himself the King of New York (Lamar's from Compton, California), once again ripping molly's current place in rap and shouting out John Lennon Paul McCartney and Bob Marley, the 26-year-old sets up the real meat of the verse

By putting everyone on notice, Lamar solidifies his place as not only one of rap's most gifted lyricists, but positions himself as a defender of the culture, inspiring his peers to put in more effort into their work. By doing so on a song that includes two of the rappers he's ripping, Lamar also once again reminds his fellow artists and fans that while he has plenty of emotional, "conscious" tracks, he's also here for the competition.

Let's  get something very straight here...this uproar about how he has elevated hip-hop to another level, thrown down the gauntlet, shown artistic courage, shown his genius, is all pretty much bullshit. I am going to tear down everyone's arguments piece by piece because I just don't get the reaction out there in the blogosphere.
  • This is not Jay-Z vs. Nas. That beef got really nasty and very personal, but Kendrick says his lyrics in such a way that he didn't want to really offend anyone. I liken it to the phrase, now so and so, I love them to death, but...All he does is name drop a bunch of guys and basically say he would like to have their fans. Another analogy would be Lebron saying that he really respects Derrick Rose and even spends time with him off the court, but he will still try to kill him on the court. He doesn't get specific at all about these rappers and that is the problem. All he basically is saying: all you other good rappers, I would like your fans, but if I don't get them we can still hang out.
  • Oh, my! He dissed guys on the same song who rapped on it too. Uhh, how do you know that Big Sean wasn't in on this from the start? He leaked the track, then basically pulled it afterward most likely. This verse as a news story seems almost too calculated, too pre-planned, too good to be true. Big Sean is trying to sell a new record. Don't you think that entered anyone's mind at some point? The other weird thing was that everyone really didn't get too pissed or angry about it. The East Coast West Coast wars caused people to die. This caused people to create memes. The real rappers simply made jokes about it. I made the comment that this verse was an outtake from YOLO by The Lonely Island, which Diddy rapped on.
  • The critics and writers of hip-hop made way too big of a deal about this. Once again, they talk about rap lyrics in this high-minded, artistic, esoteric way that I just don't buy. They seem to articulate this in a way that it is the equivalent of Martin Luther nailing the 99 Theses to the church's door. That is the stupidest bullshit I ever heard. These critics are analyzing the lyrics in a profound, philosophical way that you don't see in any other art form because rap's art form is words. One of my takeaways from that is this verse was not groundbreaking as you think because one of the things about rappers is most barely finish high school. If rap is so high minded as these critics want you to think then why do so many drop out of high school or start at age 17 like Kendrick. They are talking about him as if he is a fucking Beat poet seeing his generation of rappers destroyed by madness.
  • Another piece of the puzzle that makes Lamar a complete moron is the fact that he calls himself the King of New York. First, this is not true because Jay-Z is still the king. Second, he is from Compton. This makes no sense. You cannot take seriously a statement like this from a rapper who is a protege of Dr. Dre. I think the rule is that you have to be actually from a particular city in order to be the king. I don't know, but it sounds stupid none the less.
  • Finally, is hip-hop dead? The question becomes quite relevant when you see that EDM is really the king right now. The truth is that the genre has become quite stale with the new artists Kendrick included not creating any buzz except for that of their lyrical genius. I blame this more on their over reliance on lyrics only with very little creative focus being spent on the actual music. There are no hooks to some of these songs. Lil Wayne has samples that sound exactly the same song after song after song. It is sad that this obvious, easy, lazy way to garner attention to the genre is being held up even higher than Kanye West's Yeezus. Kanye took hip-hop and threw it on it's ear by simply saying: hey rappers, your way of doing things is boring, listen to this. Kendrick Lamar is not saving hip-hop, Kanye is.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Holy Grail Magna Carta vs. Yeezus: Rap Reviews Are Moronic

Holy Grail Magna Carta vs. Yeezus: Rap Reviews Are Moronic

Rap reviews are moronic. I just reached this epiphany. Critics write hip-hop reviews in a much different manner than other types of music. These other reviews are based more on the music. Rap reviews spend all article long over analyzing the lyrics to death, while spending that same article with a total lack of any articulation about the samples and music used. The producer/DJ is usually mentioned briefly towards the end. Never was this more apparent in reviews for Jay-Z and Kanye's latest album. Many reviews continue to psychoanalyze the place in their lives that each respective rapper is in their personal life. saw Jay-Z as confronting middle age in much the same way that Mick Jagger did after the Black and Blue Album. The only difference is calling this that Rolling Stones album is giving Jay-Z too much credit. His latest album is a huge cash grab, lazy, mediocre, and sounds like he did the album in 2 weeks. The Samsung thing was pretty much the most insincere thing I have seen this side of the Rolling Stones and Best Buy, with the uhhh's not withstanding. If Black and Blue represents Jay-Z, then Kanye is still in his Exile on Main Street period. His latest offering Yeezus challenges, but also excites musically. If you don't believe me, watch the trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street. I think it is time to face facts that in a way Jay Z has ridden the coat tails of his primary producer, Kanye West. No wonder he never wanted Ye to take his turn on the microphone. The two very different albums point to an observation about these two artists. Hova is one dimensional, while Kanye is three dimensional. Jay Z is a rapper, while Kanye is a hip hop artist. He raps, sings, creates the music. I just do not believe Jay Z has ever done that successfully or could ever create the complex structures found in the work of Kanye. I liken this to the NBA player who came into the league without a 3 point shot aka Lebron or MJ. Kanye now has a 3 point shot and a deadly one at that. This where my point of this entry comes through to the reader. First, hip hop is heading in the direction where musician expertise will be a prerequisite especially with everyone being sued for use of samples. Second, I believe it is time that these reviews start to recognize that some of these albums may have incredible lyrics, but that matters not in the slightest because the beats sound like total shit. I am always dumbfounded at the people that love rappers like Lil Wayne who may be a great rapper, but the actual music is probably worse than a raccoon being run over in your backyard. Kanye was the first rap artist that created this kind of crossover where he was halfway between rap, hip hop, and r and b. With Yeezus, he has done the same thing with the industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails. Personally, let me just say that as a listener I want to be challenged, but I also desire to a greater extent lots and lots of hooks. In contrast, Jay Z is content to continue where he is at making the same kind of solo album over and over. This may be less of a blame on him as being lazy, but instead he does not have the faith in his musical abilities because he simply does not have those musical abilities. Let us also face facts: Timbaland is Kanye 2.0 not the original. I think we should just wait for Watch the Throne 2 when Kanye is back in the fold.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Let's Talk Daft Punk

Let's Talk Daft Punk

In the past few months, I have observed what people are saying about Daft Punk and offer up these thoughts about their critics...
  • It is your fault not Daft Punk's that your expectations were raised much too high. Perhaps, Daft Punk fueled the fire, but can you blame them? You treat them almost like deities. You deserved this. They have basically played you for fools. Daft Punk are out to destroy EDM because there is absolutely no originality in it anymore.
  • Daft Punk was originally a rock band. Hence, the origin of the word punk. They once had a guy from Phoenix in their band, so it any wonder they would embrace human music again.
  • Disco was the original dance music and what they are saying: let's press reset on dance music because computers are horrible instruments because they cannot convey emotion. The music Skrillex, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia seem to have no sense of any structure including the ability to actually think about the music. 
  • One of the great quotes I heard was Daft Punk grew tired of being copied. Deadmau5 had even tried to copy the blueprint exactly of their sampling machine. What a douchebag. Daft Punk are essentially saying, you copied everything else, try to copy this.  The fans criticizing this album have become more boisterous possibly because they see Daft Punk's new approach to dance music as a threat to changing their favorite artist's music.
  • Critics also fail to understand that we have a point in the history of music that sometimes a type of music must take a step back to move forward. Everything old becomes new again. For example, what about that pesky synthesizer? It made a prominent return in recent years, then why not disco? The Strokes did it with 70's cool punk like the Velvet Underground, then why not disco? 
  • I can now see Julian Casablancas kinship with Daft Punk. Both had a groundbreaking, age defining 2001 album. Both seem to seek to move their music as far away from that sound as possible. They seem to feel too defined by that and if it were anyone else, they could get away with it. Yet, fans and critics alike, want to have their cake and eat it too. They want an era defining experience like that album, but they want them to recreate that sound too. Lightning only strikes once and that age defining experience is also a product of the times. You release that album now and it doesn't even make a dent in our collective psyche because times are different, conditions are different, this country's different, people are different. Daft Punk had to do something completely different or they would have never put anything out to begin with. 
  • Going along with this is the idea that the music in this album is simple, too simple. Anybody could have done it. They are dead wrong on that point too. I heard Get Lucky used hundreds and hundreds of takes before the song was finally put together. 
  • These songs are very good and very diverse. It sounds much like a labor of love for the members of Daft Punk. They know about all these people from the 70's and 80's and think they are being lost in the shuffle. At first, I felt they wanted to just kill EDM because all they did was copy them, but instead I understood their greater mission here. Daft Punk is out to kill the computer. No longer do they want dj's by themselves in hotel rooms creating albums. Get your fucking ass in the studio and surround  yourself with actual musicians.
  • Finally, Daft Punk really does not give a shit. In interviews leading up to the album, they basically said EDM artists like Deadmau5 suck and they would never listen to them. Looks like Daft Punk will get the last laugh anyway after shattering Spotify records left and right. Sometimes your album succeeds despite what the critics say.
  • Of course, this is only my opinion and I could be wrong.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Music Critics Make Shitty Historians

I have an advanced degree in history. Over time I have noticed many major music reviews tend to cover the span of the bands history as they review their latest album. The one issue with this is that these reviewers are pretty goddamn shitty at it. These reviews fail to put into proper context a bands history. Again and again they use subjective methods off the top of their head to offer limited perspective on what a band was and how they are perceived currently In popular culture. Their views are impressionistic and altogether wrong. These critics only remember what were their observations at the time which may have changed but in no way can this ever be objective. No evidence is ever offered up as to where they got their information and this in fact causes a problem. In true historic scholarship evidence is presented to support argument but in today's music criticism this evidence is discarded it observations are made at random to be presumed as fact. It is a fucking joke. For example time and time again for the strokes new record I have seen reviews that when they were making the album angles Julian Casablanca's walked out on the recording sessions. These reviews make it sound like the lead singer of the strokes told the other members to basically go to hell and make the album themselves. This could not be further from the truth. No where do these reviews mention the fact that he was still finishing up touring his solo album. He emailed his recordings partially because he was not going to be done for a while with his solo tour But nowhere is this benefit of the doubt ever mentioned in any of these articles. Stuff like this just fucking pisses me off because I just want to say to a majority of these reviews why don't you fucking do some research before you goddamn write a review.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Alas, we come now to I love Pitchfork's festival. I dig some of the musician's they get to go there. For example, Vampire Weekend, Trail of Dead, Modest Mouse are all cool acts to see there. Yet, their idea of music criticism leaves a lot to be desired. They are in love with the idea of being completely indie. Even more so, than they are in love with the idea of good music. As the ecard saying goes, is so indie that they saw a band by themselves in an underground room then killed the band so they would be the only ones ever to see them. One of the first things they like to do is punish bands for wanting to make money and upgrade to better tours, equipment, houses. Second, one particular review of Pitchfork wonders whether Pitchfork likes music at all anymore. Third, they have to be completely anonymous. These tools need to understand that I want an honest review of the bands we all know, not a shit talking, dishonest review because you'd rather highlight your crap, no name, bullshit, awful fucking band. I guess what seemed like a venture that was honest and true in the beginning has become an endless mission to become the coolest hipster on the planet. Pitchfork needs a wakeup call. Here is a newsflash. Hipsters are dead. EDM in no way embraces the hipster. Nobody wants to be called a hipster. They run this site as if it were 2005. The final part of the utter hilarity that is Pitchfork comes in the fact that this site is the embodiment of hypocrisy. I am reminded of when the Strokes new album came out, Comedown Machine. They previewed the album acting like it was this buzzworthy album then proceeded to trash it a bit. Also, they called them irrelevant as they proceeded to sell Converse shoes on the same page. What a fucking crock of shit they are. These pretentious douchebags don't even let you comment on their reviews. Putting up blinders to the truth that they are all a bunch of haters with no style no substance and no integrity.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Reply to Spin on The Strokes Review

Nobody much asks what the Strokes will do next anymore. -Keith Harris
Am I wrong in that everyone wants to write about how nobody cares about the Strokes anymore, but in reality much of the media does care very much what they do whether it be fascination, interest, ridicule, jealousy, I knew it, or I told you so. I really did not see this kind of interest in a new album like the Killers with absolutely no pr whatsoever. Where was the Vevo concert? Where were the magazine covers? Where were the interviews? You know who does not care...The Strokes. I listened to the new Phoenix album which this album has been compared to...The Strokes do a better Phoenix impression on Comedown Machine than Phoenix did for the past 13 years except for 1901. Next up, not in this review, but still prevalent are the endless unoriginal headlines that this is letdown machine. My God, be original you dumbasses. Next we have to hear the endless psycho/cultural/poetic/intellectual bullshit about the Strokes, their legacy, their history, their brand, their place in time. Finally, since this review you have released 2 articles specifically mentioning the Strokes with the obvious point to show how irrelevant they are. Quick tip: to make a band seem irrelevant...stop f'ing writing about them... How about that awesome 6 bitches?