The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'pitchfork'
Pitchfork has a new interview with Jens Lekman, in which he talks about listening to the Sly Hats, plans to move to Melbourne (where he has more friends than in Gothenburg), the Arthur Russell covers EP he has put together, and incurring the wrath of the South Swedish Elvis Society:
There's one song with Frida [Hyvönen] that is a song that we wrote together in Finnish that I think is coming out sometime. I played it for a lot of people. It almost made it onto the album, actually. I think it would have actually fit pretty good on the album. But we just took the four phrases that we knew in Finnish-- she knew two phrases, I knew two phrases-- and we just wrote them down and realized, "Oh, this would actually make a really great song." And it starts off, like, I sing, "I love you," and she sings, "I'm sorry, I don't understand." And I repeat, "I love you," and she says, "I'm sorry, I don't understand." And then the chorus goes, "Wonderful, cutie-pie, wonderful." And that's the whole song, but it's a really beautiful song. Yeah, you will love it. I think you will really like it.
So I was thinking of just trying to settle down. I think I need a new home and a new place and to see how that place and home and how the people who live there will influence my music. I guess that will be Melbourne, if I don't find something else before that. It's going to be interesting.
No, I don't have a girlfriend. No, I don't. I haven't had a relationship in years, actually. But yeah, I'm still looking. It's kind of nice to be looking for a home at the same time. And I really think I need to find a home. I don't know if that includes a girlfriend or not, but first I need to find a home, definitely. Because I felt pretty homeless in the last couple of years, and I never felt at home here in Kortedala. So it's time to find someplace where I feel like it's home.
Jens Lekman talks to Pitchfork about his upcoming album, Night Falls over Kortedala, his travel plans, and the travails of sample clearance:
He's thinking about setting up shop in Melbourne, Australia, as part of "a huge exploration next year in the Southern Hemisphere. We're actually thinking about going to Antarctica, for a while... I've been saving for years to go there."
Jens likened his situation to that of French author/soldier Xavier de Maistre, who penned the 1794 essay Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre (Journey Around My Room). "I haven't read it myself but I think it's amazing. It's about a young man who's imprisoned in his own home, and he wrote this parody of travel stories-- you know, back in the 18th century when everyone wrote about their journeys to China and the East and West. So he wrote about traveling around in his living room. I think it's amazing. And then he wrote a sequel, A Nocturnal Journey Around My Room (Expedition nocturne de ma chambre, published in 1825 --ed.]. It was like the exact same thing except it was at night.
Frequent readers of Jens' blog may have encountered a somewhat embittered recent entry regarding securing the rights for the samples on the new record-- in which Jens expressed disappointment toward his U.S. label-- followed a few days later by a reconciliation. "I can't really talk about it that much," Jens explained, "but let's just say it worked out. I was able to replace one sample that was extremely expensive; it was like the one bad guy. And I had a guy who played with Steely Dan play it, and it came out exactly the way it sounded on the sample."
The Graun writes about The Pitchfork Effect, which is sort of like the Slashdot effect, only rather than overwhelming web servers, it propels obscure indie bands to fame and critical acclaim, on the strength of a single review in one of the new generation of independent music websites like Pitchfork and DrownedInSound. These sites can now make or break a band by word of mouth, not because they are read by many music fans, but because they reach the few passionate enough about new music to be high up the opinion-forming chain; by the time a band filters down to corporate mass media dinosaurs such as NME, and the millions of teenagers of all ages who buy their "indie" uniforms through the mail-order ads in the back hear of a band, it's overexposed and the Pitchfork coolsies have moved on to the next new thing.
But websites flourish precisely because they don't have to worry who to put on their covers, a factor that still makes or breaks magazine sales. They feel more fearless in the face of the music industry because they're not part of the system, says Schreiber. "Publications obviously seem to feel they need to watch their step and not alienate the label or the artist or the publicist or the advertising department, but that means sacrificing a lot of how you wind up feeling about a lot of the records you have to cover. We don't have to do that."
Travis buys plenty of albums from Pitchfork's recommendations, because he believes its reviews. "I trust them because Pitchfork has more independence. It's like the NME used to be, back in the day. These days it has more of an agenda. Like when Conor [McNicholas, editor of the NME] said on national TV that the NME wouldn't put Antony [of Antony and the Johnsons] on the cover after he'd won the Mercury Music Prize - because he was 'too weird'. It's staggering to hear that."Also in the Guardian: a piece on the recent wave of Balkan/Gypsy-influenced indie music.
Pitchfork interviews Jens Lekman, in which he talks about how he deleted all his unfinished songs from his computer and went to work in a bingo hall to take a break, the numerous records he has sampled, being beaten up by Morrissey fans (apparently the jock bullies in Sweden listen to Morrissey) and his coming Australian tour, backed up by Guy Blackman and members of Architecture In Helsinki.
Formulaic music isn't just for the teeny-boppers and pissed-off teenagers. Computer scientist and songwriter Loren Jan Wilson develops a system to analyse Pitchfork music reviews, finding which words have the most positive connotations, and then using that to write two songs, scientifically designed to appeal to the coolsies who write for Pitchfork.
There are positive values for "rough" and "primitive," and negative values for the words "shiny" and "polished." This points towards a preference for lo-fi recordings, which are usually associated with lower-budget independent music. This falls in line with the Pitchfork reviewers' dislike of capitalism, which I talk about a bit in the other interesting results section below.
The "sadness" group is by far the highest-scoring mood, beating the next mood ("dark") by over 1100 points. As a response to that, I've tried to make these songs as sad as possible.
The songs, Kissing God and I'm Already Dead are provided with MP3 form, along with detailed descriptions of how the analysis guided his creative decisions. The songs, as you'd expect, combine gloomy lyrics, lo-fi guitars, choppy beats and layers of effects.
It'd be interesting if he had gotten Pitchfork to review these songs before revealing their origin, if only to see whether he'd have been critically lauded as the next Radiohead or whatever.
Those bad-ass jock bullies of internet humour, Something Awful, have a new temporary front page which takes the piss out of coolsie/hipster music-news site Pitchfork.
Pitchfork's list of the 50 most common CDs in secondhand shops, each bagged with Tanya Headon-esque exactitude. The words "shoegaze", "grunge" and references to Dawson's Creek/90210 and aging yuppies disposing of their Lollapalooza merchandise upon moving to the suburbs come up repeatedly. (via VM)
Though I think they were entirely unfair to Lush's Lovelife (a good record, even if it is somewhat more mainstream than Split; tell me that Runaway or Olympia aren't good songs, and 500 (Shake Baby Shake) doesn't have a classic pop appeal).