A Slice of Fried Gold

Times...well, they're a'changin'

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For quite some time, I've pretty much hated Pitchfork Media. They love their snide reviews, digs at albums that may or may not deserve it, and seemingly, they live to be the ultimate musical elitists. In short, they stand for everything that's wrong with music, the polar opposite of equally wrong vapid pop stars and emo stars with swooping haircuts paired with too tight jeans.

Yet with every year I become a little more accepting of them as my tastes change. While I may disagree with their hatred of Anathallo and love of Black Kids, we do have a lot of incidental overlap. Today they released their "Top 100 Tracks of 2008" and it was a list which I looked at, scoffed, shook my head, and said "not bad Pitchfork. Not bad at all."

Why's that?

Unbelievably enough, the banes of my musical existence had two songs in their top 10 that are favorites of my own this year, not to mention three others which I really, really enjoy. Their list is loaded with tracks I quite like (or even adore in some situations).

It's just so weird, seeing their list and finding my favorite track this year (M83's "Kim and Jessie") and one of probably my top five favorites (Cut Copy's "Hearts on Fire") cohabiting their top 10. Aren't I supposed to hate everything Pitchfork has to offer?

I'm afraid to find out what is the truth - are they getting more mainstream, or am I getting more elitist?



Erik said...

I love Pitchfork. I find them to be really fair in actuality. They review everything under the sun without any biased to genre or artist it seems. I've been visiting that website for sometime now and I almost always love their highly reviewed albums and sometimes enjoy their poorly reviewed albums. It does boil down to taste, but they basically tell it like it is.

I know you aren't really into older stuff quite as much, but they just released an amazing book called the pitchfork 500. That book and the 500 song playlist I've acquired have led to some good evenings of listening. That book is so well written that they basically sell you on each and every song. So much amazing information in that book, I love it. There were some major snubs in my opinion though. Not one Pearl Jam song? Really?! No Faith No more or Primus either. Very strange coming from them. Yet Kelly Clarkson made the list (the blurb behind that one is golden).

Check it out!

Their number one song is off an amazing album too if you haven't listed to Hercules and Love Affair yet. It has everyone's favorite transsexual Antony and his/her killer voice.

Erik said...

Oh, and Pitchfork TV has some amazing live performances and exclusive interviews with bands. Along with great music videos. I HDMI my laptop to my TV all the time and just watch that stuff. So good.

David Harper said...

Man, I've had that Hercules and Love Affair album since it came out, and I really can't get into it. It's pretty run of the mill dance music to me. It doesn't have the substance that Cut Copy has in my book at all. It's a nice enough song, but number one? Not so much.

My problem with Pitchfork is they are part of the hype machine that makes music like Black Kids and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! "hip" music, when in my opinion, it's pretty much trash. Requisite for my music: a voice that doesn't sound like an animal dying. Is that so much to ask? They gave their EP and album respectively both over 9's.

It kills me!

I think I've grown to like them more over the years, but they still come off as so pretentious and they tend to back some trashy things (as I previously mentioned), so they haven't earned my trust as of yet.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

David Harper said...

I actually haven't checked out Pitchfork TV yet, but perhaps I will some day. It's kind of funny how, even though I love music and especially concerts, I don't really get into live videos that much. But they do have some interesting and eclectic stuff on there.

Erik said...

I think Cut Copy is waaaaaaay more run of the mill than Hercules! I love them both though. I like both Black Kids and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! a lot as well, I think that the vocals are creative and evoke a different sort of emotion than you usually get. I love Clap's vocals for the same reason I love David Byrne's, they sound so unhinged and almost out of control yet have such an incredible range and soul. Most Critics seem to love Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! because they draw from the Heads so heavily.

Give that Hercules album another listen. Antony's voice is amazing! There is so much going on in that shit musically it's astounding! I would argue with you forever that Hercules more vocal substance than Cut Copy does. Cut Copy can come of as cheese to me from time to time while Antony's voice and prevents that from happening with Hercules.

To each their own. I find Pitchfork to be reliable and I've yet to be disappointed.

Erik said...

Pitchfork also tore the Black Kids a new one, they did not review them well.

Erik said...

They also only reviewed the Clap self titled at a 9.0. The follow-up they gave a 7.2.

David Harper said...

I was basing it off the first Clap your hands LP and the Black Kids EP. I know they tore up the LP by Black Kids, which actually managed to find a way to be worse than the EP.

I listened to Hercules today, and it just doesn't work for me.

I think it comes down to the fact I'm a lot more pop oriented than you are, while you're a bit more adventurous with your musical taste than me.

Well, that and you're stupid and not right.

That also.

Erik said...

I really wish you lived here so we could sit around and talk music. I only have one person here besides Katie I can do that with :(

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