OK, is this the worst piece of music writing ever?

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From this week's R&R (Reviewed & Rated) section of Exeter University Guild Of Students' magnificent student paper, Exeposé...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v236/njsouthall/Screengrabs/onsellingoutexepose.jpg

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Argh, nu-ilx has shrunk it slightly past readable; here's a direct link - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v236/njsouthall/Screengrabs/onsellingoutexepose.jpg

I just boggled at this over my lunch.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Jonny" is a name for gaywads

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This only proves again that editors and writers are two different professions. Hence the two names.

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

You are actually posting a scan of an article from a student newspaper as the basis for a thread, aren't you? Good lord.

Matt DC, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's a screengrab from the pdf off the website! They didn't have a normal text version...

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

can you link to the website? photobucket seems to be banned here.

acrobat, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://www.exepose.ex.ac.uk

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

goes from strength to strength -- feeder mention is possibly the high point.

That one guy that quit, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

System of a Down's top 20 single was six and a half years ago, fact fans.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Recent developments in music have given Architechs a top 5 single"

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

surely this can't be THE jonny garrett?

http://www.myspace.com/chasingfaces

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(yeah, they have a myspace already, the sellouts)

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I suspect it must be, StanM.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I assume, from their name that they like Snow Patrol and The Small Faces.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

um, holding up articles by students as examples of 'bad music writing'? talk about shooting fish in a barrel. Matt DC OTM.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Following in the footsteps of West Country acts like Muse and Thirteen Senses by already winning over interest from various major and independent record labels, things are definitely looking good for the boys. Having recently been asked to support New Zealand favourites The Checks who have just finished touring with the likes of JET and Oasis.

"I know someone who knows someone who knows the guy from Young Heart Attack quite well"

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

blueski and Matt DC offtm, this is the new web2.0 media era, we're all critics now, user provided content is the new professionally written content.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Even in the realm of student media this is BAAAAAAAAD though, Steve - I flick through Exepose every week and this is BY FAR the worst thing I've ever seen in it; hence not starting a thread every week.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Haha I used to write for that paper. I wonder how long before he Googles his own name and finds it.

Matt DC, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It would be so wonderful if he googled this thread and responded. What an utterly thrilling discussion and exchange of views that could lead to.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Hey, with any luck he might hop over to ILE and start posting about his sex life or something.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

(my question: is the article motivated by his own band possibly signing to a major soon?)

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Maybe I should unleash the views of Chris Erasmus at you all?

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Haha, yeah, I'd imagine so, StanM.

Scik Mouthy, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Hello Jonny's mom! No, he hasn't posted about his sex life yet. Try again later. Bye, ILX.

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

blueski and Matt DC offtm, this is the new web2.0 media era, we're all critics now, user provided content is the new professionally written content.

-- Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:36 (11 minutes ago) Link

Dom is entirely correct here. I mean, the chuckle factor is diminished by him being a student, but the democratization of criticism basically leaves us with this sort of landscape (coughcoughP.E.W.cough).

sanskrit, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

also why do nearly all student newspaper writers write in what feels like the same voice? there's certain syntax and word choices that only student newspapers ever seem to have.

acrobat, Monday, 18 June 2007 12:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Nobody knows how to sub-edit when they're 21, that's why.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

^^not unrelated to why writers in the say, New York Times tend to sound the same. for that matter, ever read Blender? Despite the bylines it seems to be written by one many-armed poprockbot.

m coleman, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

that really is quite incredible.

jed_, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:07 (eleven years ago) Permalink

New York Times doesn't have sub-editors? That's crazy!

acrobat, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Hey Jonny, your band fucking suck.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:10 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Jonny Garrett of Exeter University, that is.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think you mean <a href="OK, is this the worst piece of music writing ever?;>Jonny Garrett</a> of Exeter University.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

BOO HTML

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Kudos on sticking it to Westlife, tho, Jonny Garrett of Exeter University. Those bastards have had it their own way for too long.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Does Westlife even exist anymore?

Tuomas, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

highlights:

"...bands like westlife who can, quite frankly, go screw themselves with a rusty spoon and get tetanus"

"had nirvana not signed to sub pop... we would probably never have heard one of the most influential artists of our time and dave grohl may have never founded the foo fighters."

the pathos!

jed_, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

but the democratization of criticism basically leaves us with this sort of landscape (coughcoughP.E.W.cough).

democratization of criticism = people slagging this shit off just because they can rather than for any constructive cause. it's just easy target practice, who gives a shit? no-one/nothing is ever going to stop under-grads inheriting these absurd ideas about 'how things should be' in the music industry. surely we've all read this same article many times in the past.

i'm just more relieved than ever my music writing from college days was too soon for blog-era internet heh.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"had nirvana not signed to sub pop... we would probably never have heard of..." Sub Pop.

NickB, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Was there ever a thread for people to post their own abysmal juvenile music writings from uni days?

Michael Philip Philip Philip philip Annoyman, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Not that I'd post on it, my capsule reviews of Kinesis singles were all fuckin bang-on.

Michael Philip Philip Philip philip Annoyman, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

perhaps one day i will post my 8/10 track by track review of 'Be Here Now' from the time.

blueski, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, you real writers are all jealous that you've lost the ability to write like that, aren't you?

StanM, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I wrote a two-part article in my uni paper called "Rhythm & Sound", which basically stated that all rock music that's based on melody or lyrics is boring crap, and that beats and sound are the essential components of good music - hence electronic dance music (and fusion jazz) is the best music there is. I got some angry comments from the indie kids.

Tuomas, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Kudos on sticking it to Westlife, tho, Jonny Garrett of Exeter University.

and kudos to you lot for bravely and relentlessly going after such a signifivcant target as jonny garrett. sure showed him!

ts being one of many thick students w/ bad music taste who can't write, vs being someone who actually gives a shit about what said student writes in some minor student rag

or, matt'n'steve otm, u r all losers

lex pretend, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

but the democratization of criticism basically leaves us with this sort of landscape (coughcoughP.E.W.cough).

student newspapers have nothing to do with the "democratization of criticism"

Curt1s Stephens, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I can't copy and paste from the Exeter Expose, but if you Google you can find a review where our Jonny talks about "Indy music".

Dom Passantino, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

also why do nearly all student newspaper writers write in what feels like the same voice? there's certain syntax and word choices that only student newspapers ever seem to have.

paul please, please tell me you don't actually care about the answer to this

lex pretend, Monday, 18 June 2007 13:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

he's not difficult to parse lol

― mark s, Saturday, 18 August 2018 09:38 (seven hours ago) Permalink

Ok, annoying to parse?

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:00 (one month ago) Permalink

he enumerates the songs in which she drinks herself into a ditch in the parentheses immediately after. (otherwise what would that be?)

i don't partic find much insight from the guy and haven't for awhile but i don't mind if a review sounds different from the way people talk

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Mordy otm, that’s a bad review but perfectly coherent

jeremy cmbyn (wins), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:02 (one month ago) Permalink

When a board populated by a lot of writers and musicians has a thread devoted to parsing a writer's syntax, I think "difficult to parse" (as opposed to "impossible to parse" or "incoherent") is fair.

The inexorable rise of identity condiments (Sund4r), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:04 (one month ago) Permalink

Difficult-to-parse prose has its merits and I even like the creativity and distinctiveness of his writing style. What can be frustrating is that, after the writing has been parsed, I don't always feel like I have gained much insight into or knowledge about the music.

The inexorable rise of identity condiments (Sund4r), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:08 (one month ago) Permalink

he enumerates the songs in which she drinks herself into a ditch in the parentheses immediately after. (otherwise what would that be?)

I assumed they were “key tracks” from the album, and listing a few of those is per the format of these little reviews (but I haven’t clicked over to Vice to see)

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:11 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah I mean the aphoristic style requires something from the reader, but not that much in term of rendering it legible - beyond that it does require a leap of faith that christgau absolutely doesn’t deserve

jeremy cmbyn (wins), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:11 (one month ago) Permalink

that was an xp

jeremy cmbyn (wins), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:13 (one month ago) Permalink

There’s something that Xgau has done historically (and not just him; but he does it more often than some) and that’s to basically wonder why a female musician lets guys get her down and how it shouldn’t affect them and the implicit suggestion if often that maybe their music suffers for it. It’s the “hey you should smile” of music crit.

omar little, Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:18 (one month ago) Permalink

*is often

omar little, Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:18 (one month ago) Permalink

that’s a perfect way of putting it xp

maura, Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:19 (one month ago) Permalink

another shitty review along those lines was a partic vile Brian Howe Pitchfork review of an Edith Frost LP.

omar little, Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:20 (one month ago) Permalink

That’s what the problem is to me.. if the labor is rewarded then I don’t mind... Brad nelson’s Prose (not to make this a blow smoke up an ilxor’s butt thread) sometimes takes its time getting to its point via vivid or detailed imagery but I feel like I come away w a greater understanding of the project under the microscope afterwards; xgau’s work now seems to bank off credibility he’s earned from listening to so much more than everyone but I feel like it’s at the zone of fruitless intensification point

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:20 (one month ago) Permalink

That was XP’s to wins although omar’s Point seems good also

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:21 (one month ago) Permalink

It takes the barest amount of effort to see what xgau’s at, then you do and realise “fuck this guy” and move on

jeremy cmbyn (wins), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:22 (one month ago) Permalink

thanks deej, floating on a cloud of buttsmoke rn

princess of hell (BradNelson), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:35 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm not surprised he learned nothing after patting Tracey Thorn on the head for recording her feminist bangers.

His obsession with women who love their husbands and can enjoy great sex reads like the admission of a man continuously amazed that women are as awesome as he thinks he is.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:44 (one month ago) Permalink

I assumed they were “key tracks” from the album, and listing a few of those is per the format of these little reviews (but I haven’t clicked over to Vice to see)

― stan in the place where you work (morrisp)

Full disclosure — I just checked and seems i was wrong about this

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:45 (one month ago) Permalink

Still, the fact that Shook seems pissed by the “ditch” reference suggests that it may not be an accurate characterization of those songs? (Not that a reviewer should necessarily worry about pissing off an artist, if his aim is true and he’s writing in good faith — but I question his reliability here)

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:50 (one month ago) Permalink

I didn't have the faintest idea who Robert Christgau was or what he was meant to be until I started going on the internet for the first time back in the '90s. He kept seeming to crop up - usually in musical discussions with Americans - as someone who's opinion was worth reading, even though I'd never heard of him ever, so I checked a few of his reviews out.

From that moment on, I've never been interested in a single word the guy has written or his opinion on anything and I'm amazed that people ever were.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:52 (one month ago) Permalink

As for Brad's writing - well, I'll keep my opinions to myself on that one, other than reading some of it often involves a flask of coffee and a sleeping bag.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:55 (one month ago) Permalink

Xgau also sometimes writes like someone who has no idea women read music criticism.

omar little, Saturday, 18 August 2018 17:57 (one month ago) Permalink

Christgau's been around long enough to let you know this ain't his first rodeo, and his reviews read like he forgot to do his taxes. Still, the question remains: is he the cowboy or the clown? As far as funkless wonk goes, it beats fishing. B-

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 18 August 2018 18:32 (one month ago) Permalink

i generally always found xgau's longform essays good -- his chuck berry essay is a classic -- but i always found the short reviews that everyone else seemed to love kind of frustrating and glib. tbh he's written reviews i found even grosser than the ones referenced here -- his review of pj harvey's stories from the city has a line so creepy i don't even want to quote it here.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Saturday, 18 August 2018 18:53 (one month ago) Permalink

His best essay of the last five years wasn't on music; it led me to an obscure Christina Stead novel. Maybe he should concentrate on books:

https://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/bn/2013-12.php

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 18 August 2018 18:56 (one month ago) Permalink

xpost, jeez I just read that and his Rid of Me, yuck

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 18 August 2018 19:07 (one month ago) Permalink

Just looked them up, too... O. M. G.

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Saturday, 18 August 2018 19:16 (one month ago) Permalink

It wasn't too hard to locate the exact sentence J.D. was on about, it kinda leaps out at you from the screen, that!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 18 August 2018 19:41 (one month ago) Permalink

Working a hunch, I looked up his Liz Phair reviews. Let me annotate this one:

Exile in Guyville [Matador, 1993]
She's a rebel, and if all goes well, also a pathfinder, which isn't certain mainly because the acts and attitudes that make her a rebel are so normal. (weird negging move?) Her number of partners may be over toward the right side of the bell curve. (says who? and why’s he gotta be shaming?) She may have commitment problems. But for at least two decades, bohemian women of a certain age have displayed this much desire, independence, bitchiness, self-doubt, and general weirdness (the negging continues: “female artists older than her have been doing the same thing for years”)--while continuing to pin down the unmanly emotional apercus that make "Dance of the Seven Veils" and "Divorce Song" so gender-specific (I’m honestly lost now... is the subject of the sentence still “bohemian women of a certain age”? what does this clause mean?). They can behave this way if they want--they're just not supposed to come out of the closet about it. And while Phair knows more than enough about tunes and guitars to challenge the taboo (if she were a lesser artist, would she not be allowed to challenge the taboo?), the weirdness level of her spare, intuitive, insinuating demos-plus is bohemia-specific. (...OK?) Which is apt for sure. (Huh?) But not necessarily pathfinding. (a final, summary neg!) A

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Saturday, 18 August 2018 19:45 (one month ago) Permalink

To be fair, a lot of the initial press for that record had similar slut-shamey qualities. The '90s! They were a different time!

maura, Saturday, 18 August 2018 19:47 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah to be fair if you struggle with his writing - he's not on trial. did he invent misogyny in music journalism? obviously not - is he still out there being employed to write mysogynist shit? yeah apparently, stop paying him

Noodle Vague, Saturday, 18 August 2018 19:56 (one month ago) Permalink

(weird negging move?)

He does this shit constantly, and not just with women. Search up the Chuck Berry essay Alfred cites - he describes Berry's guitar playing as "limited but brilliant" and given the context, I feel like he was much more compelled to write the first two words than the third one.

grawlix (unperson), Saturday, 18 August 2018 19:59 (one month ago) Permalink

What a time we live in to see Xgau link this on twitter and get pushback from women for his sexism, and still a MAGA chud pops up to call him a “white knight”

omar little, Saturday, 18 August 2018 20:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh man I remember that Edith Frost review, extremely shitty.

JoeStork, Saturday, 18 August 2018 20:15 (one month ago) Permalink

The story goes that Coltrane was using LSD after 1965. If so, then the overreach and incoherence of his final music, and his mingling with admiring but inferior talents like Alice Coltrane, the Yoko Ono of jazz, suggest that Coltrane might be the sixties’ first and foremost acid casualty, flailing out rather than flaming out, the peak of his late style already behind him.

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 17:40 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Coltrane’s late style began on the legendary Davis album Kind of Blue (1959), and jazz began to die there too.

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 17:40 (four weeks ago) Permalink

lol the yoko ono of jazz, great job

tylerw, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 17:46 (four weeks ago) Permalink

holy god

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 17:50 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I find the Yoko Ono of Jazz to be a kind of compelling and entertaining idea, but probably not for the reasons that writer intended

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 18:02 (four weeks ago) Permalink

innovative, collaborative, deeply spiritual, great discography, underrated and unjustly maligned thx to misogyny = yup checks all those boxes

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 18:04 (four weeks ago) Permalink

haha yeah. amazing that we're celebrating 50 years of yoko as a shitty sexist punchline this year! she must be doing something right.

tylerw, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 18:14 (four weeks ago) Permalink

https://www.xlr8r.com/reviews/review-houghton-festival-2018

do you think they regret any of the sets they missed?

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 20:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

That Yoko / Alice thing made the rounds on twitter, and while I get that it's tone deaf, I don't have a problem with it necessarily for two reasons: 1. like Οὖτις says above, it's actually a flattering and apt comparison in spite of itself, and 2. while it may be a bullshit and wrong opinion, people are allowed to have those

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 22:05 (four weeks ago) Permalink

You do have a problem with, you think it's wrong and bullshit.

Scottish Country Twerking (Tom D.), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 22:10 (four weeks ago) Permalink

omg

The next morning, rumours abounded that Jane Fitz had played a mind-bending techno set at Houghton’s secret stage deep into the small hours; while access last year required a train journey, this year it was reachable by a short walk back through the campsite. Options inside the arena were so good that I never felt the need to work out the hidden spot’s exact location, but Fitz’ performance generated some envy-inducing hype

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 22:17 (four weeks ago) Permalink

2. while it may be a bullshit and wrong opinion, people are allowed to have those

― Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, August 28, 2018 3:05 PM (forty-six minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

referring you back to the thread title

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 22:52 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Who is the Yoko ono of acid house?

Or of crunk?

Runcibly spooning (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 23:33 (four weeks ago) Permalink

That article is chock full of shitty jazz opinions besides the Alice stuff!

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 00:51 (four weeks ago) Permalink

There are some aspects of it I agree with. If I had to pick just one John Coltrane album to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be Crescent, not A Love Supreme and certainly not Ascension or anything after. I also think Hank Mobley doesn't get nearly enough critical love, and was glad to see his name pop up.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 01:33 (four weeks ago) Permalink


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