1. avatar Bustagut
    I've just read a review of a live show on a local website and I am sick and wholly tired of the formulaic pop critque used. These are reputable magazines, radio stations (local that is.. NB local) etc... that are submitting giddy sloppy childish hyperbole. Examples being ... think this band crossed with that at an orgy of the century ... blah blah. That whole band crossed with another. Could they not use their imagination to describe sound differently than always concocting a recipe. Is it new age vibe, with a lot of discordant guitar. You know something to go on.

    This was the gig of the decade.. no century ... nay millenium.

    Oh yeah, another that grinds me is ... with enough hooks to last till .. whenever, or catchy riffs by the bucketload ...



    I personally think the writing is awful and makes me cringe when I read the standard of some of the reviews. To big up AU, I have read some reviews and there are a few (not all) writers that give a good solid decent review and you feel confident in reading it that your getting a good idea of what an album will be like.

    Does anyone agree or like the man himself... Mugatu that is .... Do I feel like I'm thinking crazy pills?
  2. avatar Steven Dedalus
    There's some great writers out there, who month after month contribute fascinating and well written articles, reviews, features, and other bits and bobs.

    Yeah, there is some bad stuff out there too, and smoe fo it can be a bit formulaic, but that's the nature of the game.

    I've noticed that in the last year or so, people who publish this stuff are more prepared to take risks with content, and are encouraging writers to go a bit crazy and explore ideas and concepts through their writing. Which is a good thing. Music writing - at it's best - can be almost as exhilirating as listening to music itself.

    However, I have noticed lots of reviews springing up (mainly on websites) which are increasingly fallign in to "first person" style stuff, which is always dangerous territory. That kind of thing is hard to do well, and very easy to completely disregard if not done well. When it's done right, it's perhaps the best kind of writing, but more often than not, it's just lazy and slightly shoddy.

    So, anyone out there writing reviews in the first person: try not to, unless you're a literary genius like Lester Bangs or something.
  3. avatar isis
    did you just tell people NOT to be Gonzo? I don't write in the 1st person for GO but I do for Take in the scene. Writing is about creating and if you want to do that in the first person you frickin go for it. It has no rules, thats why its an art form.
    (that's not meant to sound cheeky by the way!!) :smt040
    Last edited on , 1 times in total.
  4. avatar Chi-Lite
    See while we're on the subject, why does anybody care what some spotty herbert thinks about some spotty band full of pricks?
  5. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:31d46a7dbe="Chi-Lite"]why does anybody care what some spotty herbert thinks about some spotty band full of pricks?[/quote:31d46a7dbe]

    Yeah, would you ever shut up about the bloody vals...

    Steven: why don't you show us some good vs some bad writing examples. So people can learn from it, and cos I'm bored and want something to read.
  6. avatar Steven Dedalus
    [quote:84484c5af4="isis"]did you just tell people NOT to be Gonzo? [/quote:84484c5af4]

    Yeah! Cos when most people do it, it invariably ends up as something like this:

    [quote:84484c5af4]So last night, after downing eight bottles of Buckfast, and smoking 40,000 cigarettes, I staggered out into the night in search of excitement and vengance.

    After puking into every bin on the way towards Lavery's Bunker, I found myself amidst the throng of dribbling well-wishers, gawping at the latest bunch of try-hards peddling lame-ass middle of the road shit to people who don't know any better.

    After screaming at the top of my voice, and throwing drinks in people's faces, I felt I'd enlightened the unawakened masses enough to rouse them from the torpor and start a full scale riot.

    Jumping through a plate glass window, screaming, "PUNK ROCK FOREVER, KEMOSABE!" I landed in front of a police landrover, which was so struck by my revolutionary zeal (and ability to consume drink and drugs) that it exploded into a million pieces, destryoing everyone in the queue for the M Club, whilst the newly enlightened revolutionary soldiers of GONZO unleashed a mighty cheer.

    3/10[/quote:84484c5af4]

    Or something like that.

    Ok, I'm being facetious, but I find that a lot of 'GONZO' journalists elevate themselves over the subject matter, and end up just barfing out a load of superlatives about themselves, whilst completely forgetting what they're actually writing about. With loads of sweeping statements like, "I don't like electronica, and it's a really unpopular genere" thrown in, that are purely subjective opinion rather than fact.

    I don't usually write in a 'GONZO' style, because it's too hard to do right, and if it's done wrng it's very off putting.

    I think the closest I've ever come to it was this one:

    http://www.bandwidthfilms.com/live/a-plastic-rose-ep-launch/

    Which exemplifies the best and worst of what I'm talking about.

    Perhaps.
  7. avatar feline1
    Poor Lester Bangs.
  8. avatar isis
    I do get your point but you can't deny it as a style of journalism. It's one of my favourite styles in fact, much like auteur film making, which is equally hard to do right but it doesn't mean that people shouldn't try.
  9. avatar Steven Dedalus
    [quote:f37cc5a842="isis"]I do get your point but you can't deny it as a style of journalism. It's one of my favourite styles in fact, much like auteur film making, which is equally hard to do right but it doesn't mean that people shouldn't try.[/quote:f37cc5a842]


    I don't deny it as a form, but I think the old addage of learning the rules before you break them is very pertinent.

    It's like, if you can't skate, then don't go to the skate-park - you'll look like a dick.

    The same is true for GONZO.

    The amount of terrible articles the likes of Bangs and Hunter S Thompson have inspired is embarassing.

    For thy perusal, here's an extract from a review written by the late, great Peter Laughner, which to me best exemplifies what happens when GONZO goes wrong (he died from living the lifestyle...):

    [quote:f37cc5a842]This album made me so morose and depressed when I got the advance copy that I stayed drunk for three days. I didn't go to work. I had a horrible physical fight with my wife over a stupid bottle of 10 mg. Valiums. (She threw an ashtray, a brick, and a five foot candelabra at me, but I got her down and sat on her chest and beat her head on the wooden floor.) I called up the editor of this magazine (on my bill) and did virtually nothing but cough up phlegm in an alcoholic stupor for three hours, wishing somewhere in the back of my deadened brain that he could give me a clue as to why I should like this record. I came on to my sister-in-law: "C'mon over and gimme head while I'm passed out." I cadged drinks off anyone who would come near me or let me into their apartments. I ended up the whole debacle passing out stone cold after puking and pissing myself at a band rehearsal, had to be kicked awake by my lead singer, was driven home by my long-suffering best friend and force fed by his old lady who could still find it in the boundless reaches of her good heart to smile on my absolutely incorrigible state of dissolution...I willed her all of my worldly goods before dropping six Valiums (and three vitamin B complexes, so I must've figured to wake up, or at least at the autopsy they would say my liver was OK). Well, wake up I did, after sleeping sixteen hours, and guess what was running through my head, along with the visual images of flaming metropolises and sinking ocean liners foaming and exploding in vast whirling vortexes of salt water...
    "Watch out for Charlie's girl...
    She'll turn ya in...
    doncha know...
    Ya gotta watch out for Charlie's girl..."

    Which is supposed to be the single off Coney Island Baby and therefore may be a big hit if promoted right, 'cause it's at least as catchy as "Saturday Night"...if they can just get four cute teens to impersonate Lou Reed.

    [/quote:f37cc5a842]
  10. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:ed34061051="Steven Dedalus"]I think the closest I've ever come to it was this one:

    http://www.bandwidthfilms.com/live/a-plastic-rose-ep-launch/[/quote:ed34061051]

    Out of interest...

    [img:ed34061051]http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/4180/pervg.jpg[/img:ed34061051]

    is this video a chance to watch your Boris Yeltsin like social skills in action?
  11. avatar isis
    ok ok. I see your point.
    You coming to do your show this week at feile by the way? I had to call in hungover last week. (I'm the one with the show before you by the way!)

    Loving you moves....slick. :)
  12. avatar JTM
    Is it possible to write a review of a band and not use either comparisons to other bands or big them up so that it doesn't make it sound like pretentious wank?


    I've given up to be honest. I just try and give people a laugh while trying to at least give a rough picture of what a band sounds like.
  13. avatar beamer933
    Yeah but what works better to tell you what a band sounds like

    using dissinent guitar sounds and eliquent spoken word passages, they lit up the stage like a flaming croissant

    or

    they sound a bit like sonic youth

    you have a point though comparing bands is irritating
  14. avatar Nocarsgo
    [quote:29f69deee7="JTM"]Is it possible to write a review of a band and not use either comparisons to other bands or big them up so that it doesn't make it sound like pretentious wank?
    [/quote:29f69deee7]

    If you discover that it's possible, give me a shout, lol. I'm still blurring the lines between making references to bands and trying to describe their sound. For example, do I say about the Lowly Knights "they're like Broken Social Scene/Polyphonic Spree/Arcade Fire?" and point out the obvious? Or should I draw more subtle nuances within their sound? Or, indeed, just post a picture of the band, write in block black capitals "THEY'VE GOT A CHOIR AND FUCKING MANDOLINS" and let it be?
  15. avatar whipchorus
    When I grow up, I want to be Steven Wells.
  16. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:5bb3250404="Nocarsgo"] For example, do I say about the Lowly Knights "they're like Broken Social Scene/Polyphonic Spree/Arcade Fire?" and point out the obvious?[/quote:5bb3250404]

    Its lazy comparisons like this that destroy the use of comparisons. Its like every guitar band that has some white noise gets "sounds like Sonic Youth"

    Out of the three bands listed, the Lowly Knights vaguely sound like some Arcade Fire songs occasionally. The only similarity between the others is that there's lots of them in the band, and to be honest, the Lowly Knights aren't even in that sort of league sizewise, and are only a large band by Belfast singer/guitar/bass/drums standards.

    (Not making any comment on the quality of music played by any of the 4 bands)
  17. avatar Bustagut
    Cool. I came in this morning to work wondering if anyone thought anything about it and whadayaknow.

    I can't do the whole copy and paste and quote people, however I did notice someone commented on the fact, well how can you compare a band without using other bands as points of reference.

    That's totally acceptable using other bands to compare. What I really was annoyed at was the cliches used in a sloppy way. That's why I entitled the topic Pop critique, for the very fact that it was bubblegum reviewing. By the way proper pop is good. "The posies" Fucking A1. I'm using pop in it's derogotary sense.

    And I also made reference to the exaggeration in some, and I stress some (but at the same time enough and too much)local reviews. I know you can't physically stop some people wanting to write. But it's like the failed writer not seeing sense and not having the capacity to realise that they're just not cutting the mustard. People always have the potential to develop their skills, but after reading some people's work and seeing the same name crop up, it seems that they maybe think they're at the height of their career or something. Oh yes... back to the exaggeration point. Knowing from a pretty decent knowledge and background in music that a certain band are not truly special or great or original ... or even tight for that matter, and then to read some reviewer writing from their desk in la la land, championing the band and making it appear to an outsider, say someone reading from any other country, that this band deserve to be in the rock and roll hall of fame alongside Led Zep, Hendrix, Janis, and all the gang. It's embarassing and at times very laughable when you think oh fuck what must some people think when they go to the bands website and go ... what ears were they listening with. Did this band drug the poor fucker .. send the reviewer on an acid trip, hence their total altered perception of how the band actually were.

    Sorry for being the grouch character off Sesame street isn't it. But do you know what I mean about the hyping when it just should NOT BE HYPED, to save us from embarassment. This is now making reference to the local scene and my argument is veering off course. Regarding the LS, I assure you I think there is some fantastic fantastic bands on the local scene who are great. But not all that is being idolized by local press. ..... (A to the side thought) .... maybe that is what is needed to create a buzz for a scene, hype the whole lot and then at least it's a platform or a wave for the decent bands to ride on. Shit maybe that's it. Ah to hell with it.


    Good day.
  18. avatar tenrabbits
    I watched the Hunter Thompson doc last night - he's one of my favourite writers but people who try the style always forget one thing: he's brilliant at stripping away the pretension around anything to get to the truth of a subject. At heart he's a brilliant watcher of people. Which seems to me to be the point of gonzo.
  19. avatar JTM
    I like AU's approach - the "For Fans Of " tag line is handy. It saves the writer doing the whole "Think x meets y" cliché when writing a rview, and allows them some freedom to describe what's actually going on with the band.
  20. avatar Nocarsgo
    [quote:c632221767="my-angel-rocks"][quote:c632221767="Nocarsgo"] For example, do I say about the Lowly Knights "they're like Broken Social Scene/Polyphonic Spree/Arcade Fire?" and point out the obvious?[/quote:c632221767]

    Its lazy comparisons like this that destroy the use of comparisons. Its like every guitar band that has some white noise gets "sounds like Sonic Youth"

    Out of the three bands listed, the Lowly Knights vaguely sound like some Arcade Fire songs occasionally. The only similarity between the others is that there's lots of them in the band, and to be honest, the Lowly Knights aren't even in that sort of league sizewise, and are only a large band by Belfast singer/guitar/bass/drums standards.

    (Not making any comment on the quality of music played by any of the 4 bands)[/quote:c632221767]

    Well, yeah, that was the kind of point I was making. :D and I do agree with JTM's point about AU: I love that wee feature.
  21. avatar my-angel-rocks
    [quote:ca032b415b="Nocarsgo"] For example, do I say about the Lowly Knights "they're like Broken Social Scene/Polyphonic Spree/Arcade Fire?" and point out the obvious?[/quote:ca032b415b]

    <snip>

    [quote:ca032b415b]Well, yeah, that was the kind of point I was making. :D[/quote:ca032b415b]

    Maybe I misunderstood you then, but I thought you meant that saying the Lowly Knights were like the three bands listed above was pointing out the obvious, when its not obvious at all to anyone who has listened to the bands in question, as they're pretty much nothing like them. And its bad comparisons like that, that makes them useless. Thats the point I'm trying to make.
  22. avatar Nocarsgo
    Ah, see, what I meant was pointing out the obvious in terms of there's a lot of people in the Lowly Knights, so references to Broken Social Scene/Polyphonic Spree are obvious in terms of sheer numbers, not in terms of sound. Silly me. :wink:
  23. avatar my-angel-rocks
    But thats just a stupid comparison that doesn't tell people anything. There's a lot of people in the London Philharmonic Orchestra too, but I wouldn't tell people that was what the Lowly Knights were like. Or The Lowly Knights, they're kinda like Girls Aloud, but they've got some guys in it as well.
  24. avatar Nocarsgo
    [quote:ac14e5247c="my-angel-rocks"] Or The Lowly Knights, they're kinda like Girls Aloud, but they've got some guys in it as well.[/quote:ac14e5247c]

    Well, there have been worse comparisons. :D better no comparisons at all than a useless one then!