Monday, September 22, 2008

Review sites will always suck

Everytime i come back to this page i think to myself, "what can i say about what i'm listening to that lends any importance to an album that is likely already being reviewed by a thousand other embarrassingly amateur weblogs and music critic's websites?"
So unless i find myself with a lot more time on my hands, i'm not going to give number ratings and pretend to know more about an album than the artists that make them. I don't consider myself qualified. I'll keep this informal, which will let me write more. I hate to be so wishy washy, but i think i tried to do something that i really just can't bring myself to do. I was fooling.

I visited The Silent Ballet today (once linked on this blog, now removed) and saw 3 things off the bat:
They gave Mogwai's new album a 6.5. They gave Talkdemonic's new disc a 2.5 (what?!- is that even professional?). They gave my friend Jason's disc a 6. And it's not that they aren't entitled to their opinions. They are. It's just that, all of their reviews are by different writers, all varying in skill level, all varying in editing taste, all with very DIFFERENT opinions. What thousands of people are receiving in the form of a number score is just one pimple-faced college radio dj or aspiring "music journalist"s passing opinion. There is no cohesiveness. If i was the editor of that magazine, i'd never let anyone give a score as low as a 2.5, especially to such a great, creative, talented band like Talkdemonic. There seems to be no filter. Just a bunch of kids sitting in basements enjoying all the free promo cds in return for writing a shitty piece of paragraph once a month. I hate that website now, and i hate postrockxchange, for the same reason. They devour, not devote time to, music. Though they do pick good music to review, their reviews of them suck.
It's as many new bands as you can learn, as obscure as you can get. Microwave fishsticks. Instant gratification. Why pay homage to a band like Mogwai- to whom you owe the whole reason your stupid website was started- when you can shuffle right on by to find the next "new" thrilling group. Somebody to impress your friends with by obscurity.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spiritualized/David Foster Wallace

I am going to see Spiritualized tonight at Berbati's. A band that has influenced pretty much everybody i know that makes music, i'm hoping this will be a special night.

EDIT: while getting ready to leave for the show tonight i learned that David Foster Wallace has apparently committed suicide. though i'm not very familiar with his works, many of my friends going tonight are literary people, and a wave of shock is happening on the way to the show. wallace had been depressed and medicated for the last 20 years "and just couldn't take it anymore", his dad said.
many spiritualized songs revolve around medication, drugs, depression, and salvation from it.
tonight is going to be a lot more somber as we reflect on how real those things are.

Saturday, September 13, 2008



Tonight i went to see Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.
I've been waiting a long time to see this movie as i've had the soundtrack for almost a year (scored by Mogwai). It never seemed to have gained US distribution.
I was able to see it as a part of the still ongoing T:BA Festival here in Portland.
It was very special, though cumbersome at times do to its intense focus on Zinedine Zidane's every movement, which, of course, weren't always completely compelling, as the 17 35mm cameras captured his waiting, walking, talking, sweating, looking around, spitting. Every detail.
The idea and aspect here is unique, beautiful, and was at times quite moving. Mogwai's score helped.
I went to the movie thinking it would be a study on movement, on Zidane's motions as a profoundly chiseled, trained, and talented athlete. I was surprised to find that most of the movie utilized sound- the sounds around him in the crowd, the warm, startling thump of the soccer ball being kicked, and also Zidane's own voice. His inner voice played a big part too, as it was juxtaposed via text from interview material ontop of Mogwai's minor key compositions. You felt as if you were hearing his thoughts on the field from deep within his consciousness.

All in all, a film i won't forget.