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).


  • At September 14, 2004 at 9:48 AM, Blogger Lauren said…

    aren't you supposed to be working?

  • At September 14, 2004 at 10:28 AM, Blogger Josh said…


  • At September 14, 2004 at 3:20 PM, Blogger hillary said…

    damn straight. i think it's an _awesome_ song, but the real point is: they didn't give any concrete reasons why it sucks. there was something about rehashing (and maybe that was a joke, since one could easily see the PF coverage as a mere rehash of every easily bashed pop song review), but there was no explanation of what. i think it's by far her best song.

  • At September 14, 2004 at 3:46 PM, Blogger Ian said…

    One measly frickin' star? You've got to be joking. I read the occasional review/news item at Pfork, but Josh has it nailed - they peaked a few years back. These days it's all indie fellation.

  • At September 14, 2004 at 4:39 PM, Blogger hillary said…

    The real problem isn't that they don't like pop. I could deal with that if they could express, well, anything at all in coherent fashion. The writing's not good, but it's also not usually competent. Makes for much annoyance.

  • At October 14, 2004 at 2:31 PM, Blogger hillary said…

    and it's officially a month today. come on, josh. i know you've got stuff to say.


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