Fat Cat Plankton

Nonsense in extensia

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

All This Time You Were Pretending

OK, Pitchfork, that's it - we're through. I confess that I somewhat fell under your spell three years ago, back when you had better writers like Ott, Mitchum, and William Bowers. I was an impressionable young hipster-in-training, a burgeoning elitist - in short, a douchebag. You sold me on Broken Social Scene and together we ignored mainstream hip-hop and pop.

Then I started to grow up and come around, to give the mainstream half a chance rather than write it off just to separate myself from the tragically-uninformed masses. There was actually some great stuff out there, especially rap, shit like Jay-Z, David Banner, Bubba Sparxxx, Kanye, Just Blaze, Timbaland that I'd previously mostly ignored.

You started to do the same, Pitchfork, and I thought we were still cool, but then you abruptly decided pop wasn't where it was at and retreated right back under your indie shell (maybe the Interpol fans started to bitch, I dunno).

Anyway, you unceremoniously dropped your only good hip-hop writer (Rollie Pemberton) and now you're back to bashing pop shit out of hand. I'm with Stylus now and it's better here, we review Arcade Fire AND Ashlee Simpson. It's called variety, and it's beautiful.

I check you out sometimes, Pitchfork, but you almost always let me down. Kids I talk to here in Athens know who you are, and maybe they don't know Stylus yet, I'll grant that, but they only know you as "pretentious-ass elitist hipsters" (college radio DJ Jennifer's words, not mine).

Today was the final straw, Pitchfork, because you smarmily and idiotically bashed Avril Lavigne's new single "My Happy Ending," which I happen to think is a genuinely wonderful, emotionally compelling song. It's OK for you to disagree with me, but you should have at least given Avril the credit she deserves as an artist rather than dismissing her just b/c she's "mall-punk" (yeah I saw that). Anyone can rip a pop star to shreds with transparent sarcasm that literally drips off the screen. It's much more of an accomplishment to consider an artist, any artist, seriously, to assess their songcraft with a level head and honestly consider their place in the larger musical and cultural spectrum (god bless ya, Mr. Burns).

Monday, September 13, 2004

Ashlee Simpson, Fantasy (the comma is VERY important)

I've been a slack-ass linker of late - here's me on Bjork, Clinic, and (scroll down, skip the Reggae Bob and Antibalas - not me), the World 2004 comp.

Even though I've given it a fairly-positive review in an upcoming issue of the Banner-Herald (promise I'll link this one on Thursday), I still can't quite bring myself to put Ashlee Simpson onto a CD-R. I'm pretty certain Lauren would leave me. Few would blame her (certainly not Burns, but maybe Timmerman).

Fantasy Football update - Looks like Todd "Radiohead Hater" Hutlock has got the drop on me this week thanks to his homophobic star wideout TO. Lackluster performances by Deuce McAllister, Corey Dillon, and Tony Gonzalez (three of my top four picks!) certainly didn't help my cause. Unless Ahman Green gets completely shut down AND Favre gets picked about 3 or 4 times (I've got Panthers D), looks like I'm staring down an 0-1 start.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I Love the 90s, But Not As Much As Andrew Unterberger

Over at ILM they're cookin' up a Best of the 90s poll to complement last month's highly-contentious Best of the 00s (first half) scuttlebutt. I'm not sure if I was in New Orleans or my parents were visiting, but I missed voting in the 00s poll, so here's my list for posterity:

01 Radiohead – Kid A (not ashamed to admit it like 75% of the folks who voted for it on ILM)
02 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Hearts of Oak
03 Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera
04 The Strokes – Is This It (inexplicably not nominated?!)
05 Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
06 Outkast – Stankonia (see #4, unless it just didn't get enough votes)
07 Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun (I'm callin' this 2000)
08 Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
09 Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat
10 Fiery Furnaces – Gallowsbird’s Bark
11 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Tyranny of Distance (I coulda pushed this one into the top 100)
12 Ghostface – The Pretty Toney Album
13 Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
14 The Notwist – Neon Golden
15 Dizzee Rascal - Showtime

Just for the fuck of it, here's my list if I could only select one album from each of the artists:

01 Radiohead – Kid A
02 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Hearts of Oak
03 Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera
04 The Strokes – Is This It
05 Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
06 Outkast – Stankonia
07 Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun
08 Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
09 Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat
10 Ghostface – The Pretty Toney Album
11 The Notwist – Neon Golden
12 Dizzee Rascal – Showtime
13 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
14 Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose
15 White Stripes – White Blood Cells

And now for the real excitement, here's what I'm probably gonna vote for when the 90s poll rolls around (the order will undoubtedly change though):

01 Radiohead – OK Computer
02 Pulp – Different Class
03 Bjork – Homogenic
04 Nirvana – In Utero
05 Nirvana – Nevermind
06 Hole – Live Through This
07 DJ Shadow - Entroducing
08 PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
09 Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die
10 Nas – Illmatic
11 Beck – Odelay
12 Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
13 Whiskeytown – Faithless Street
14 Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers
15 REM – New Adventures in Hi-Fi

Apologies to:

Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Radiohead – The Bends
Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out
Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen
Dr. Dre – The Chronic
Portishead – Dummy