The frustration and irritation simmers over here at 24HPP when music “writers” we stumble across are either completely lazy or completely oblivious to what they’re writing about. It’s not that one shouldn’t write about something they’re unfamiliar with (in many cases this may lend a much needed, fresh perspective) but things like time lines are important. So, too, are the subtle uses of language that may seem innocuous to a specific writer (or even reader) but are actually lazy, dismissive tactics. Brand new example of each flickered across my desk this week and I’ll parse them here for your edification.
First, from the pages of my hometown gig Flagpole Magazine a review of the newest album by local Athens punk Guff states, in reference to the band members referring to themselves as Ash Guff, Reed Guff, etc. “…they’ve got a Ramones-type surname thing going now, it would seem…”. (Published 12.26.2007)
Well, yeah, it would seem, I guess but the use of the phrase ‘Ramones-type surname thing” makes it sound as if the writer just has this whole notion of a band sharing the same last name wrapped right up. Sure, people use this phrase all the time (I.E. “…such and such thing…”) and it always gets under my skin because this phrase doesn’t say anything. It’s presumptuous of its audience and an easy escape that allows the speaker to not explain himself.
(Granted, this is kind of a bad example because it may be reasonable to assume that the readers of a music/arts publication will understand the Ramones reference. However, it’s the latest example of this phrasing I’ve seen and, as such, it gets the bullet.)
Second, from todays (January 16, 2008) Pitchfork news on Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat touring with Black Lips, the Pitchfork writer refers to Mr. Quintron’s famous Drum Buddy as “the Dan Deacon-esque custom-made drum machine he plays”.
Um, are you fucking kidding me? Quintron invented and was using his Drum Buddy at least as early as 1994 (and used them at both performances he did here in Athens at The Ultramod [R.I.P] and Tasty World). Dan Deacon was 13 years old in 1994. Nothing Quintron does is “Dan Deacon-esque”.