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Thursday, March 03, 2005

I was driving in to work this morning, trying to think of how I would describe Archer Prewitt's new album Wilderness, and I discovered that I have been brainwashed by the likes of Pitchfork and Stylus and all the other hipster music-freak websites. I read these damn things because I love music and I love to get recommendations for great new stuff -- which is pretty damn critical these days because so much of the mainstream stuff sucks so hard, so often. (U2's new disc is quite good by mainstream standards, but I haven't listened to it more than 4-5 times.)

So, to get the advice, you put up with the advisor. Take all the social skills of Rob Gordon from High Fidelity and add the social skills of your average web administrator, and you get purple prose and constant name-checking of obscure bands:

The new album points to promise that was only hinted at in their earlier release, which was a four-track tape that they sold on a street corner but that we wrote about two years ago. They sound like a vibrant cross between early Turd Burglar and late Nostril Death, but without the constant Ian McChokemchilde self-indulgence that you so often see in the post-emo/skull-hop scene. Listening to their album took me way back to 1999, when I first heard The Death Rattles, at a small concert they gave in their apartment that was just me and two other guys there (so if anyone at Stylus says they were there, they're lying, I've definitely one-upped them on this one), a concert that expanded the scope of what humanity could do, what we could achieve.

As I made clear in the first paragraph, I don't like the mainstream stuff too much, but this gets ridiculous. I'm still waiting for something like this:

The latest Clay Aiken album excels. Like the best processed cheese, one always knows exactly what one will get: a smooth sound, guaranteed not to startle or offend. And that's what America needs right now.

(By the way, did I mention that Clay Aiken's "Mary Did You Know" qualified as the second-worst Christmas song last year? Or that the Nick LaChey/Jessica Simpson "Baby It's Cold Outside" was a perfect predictor of why people on the verge of a screeching divorce shouldn't sing lovey-dovey songs? Sonny Bono on line two, kids.)

Anyway.

The new Archer Prewitt album sounds a lot like what would happen if Jethro Tull decided to record an all-acoustic album of Elvis Costello's catchiest tunes.

How's that for you?

 9:40 AM

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