I spent my day on the internet, with music!

My afternoon was spent trolling around All Access, reading Idolator, Defamer and Videogum, and listening to a torrent of the Pitchfork Top 100 Songs of 08. I posted on the tumblr about this, but I wanted to add a few details. Pitchfork's list is actually pretty good. While it was always neat to have a favorite of my own pop up on the iPod, it was the new tracks that I'd either overlooked or forgotten that were exciting to hear. At the same time, some of this shit still boggles my mind. Richard Villalobos spends over sixteen minutes on some rudimentary beat with children chant singing over top of it. Explain that one to me, please.

Having inaugurated his first label, the vinyl-only Sei Es Drum, with
selections from his Fabric mix, Ricardo Villalobos chose one hell of a
follow-up. "Enfants" was essentially an extended edit of the
introduction to "Baba Yaga La Sorciere", Chrisitan Vander's 1995
recreation of his group Magma's Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh,
from 1973. But Villalobos' mildly accelerated loop– a chugging piano
line recalling Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" and a children's choir that
sounds like the Langley Schools Project speaking in tongues– somehow
captured the Zeitgeist. Whether heard amidst the throng at DC-10 or
accessed via YouTube while reading interminable blog posts about the
future of dance music, the song's combination of innocence and
melancholy was just the reality check needed. –Philip Sherburne

Reading this, I feel uninformed and stupid. What's the reality check? The fucker is nearly 20 minutes of not good and all you can give me is it's origins and the comfort that whether I'm on a plain or a train or off the coast of main, it's still going to sound like shit.

Tracks from Santogold and Hot Chip make me realize those records shouldn't have been discarded so quickly because there was some good stuff hidden(Hot Chip worked extra hard to hide the good stuff), and I actually didn't mind the No Age songs, which worked better in the context of the list than on a full album. I can't wrap my head around T.I. yet. He just sounds so boring and old. Ghostface and Jay-Z are two artists who the comments on Nah Right and Byron Crawford would easily nail as old guys for being in the game so long and having the gall to be in their late thirties(the aging process, the bastard). But if you listen to the last Jay-Z album or even the last new Ghostface, they still have that fire, they still have the swagger. T.I. is boring and dull in comparision, with tepid beats and silly samples. How did anyone in that Pitchfork office really listen to "Live Your Life" more than once. I know it was a big radio hit, but so was every single off Fergie's record. Sometimes they're insanely highbrow, followed by a lowbrow choice that is just as ill advised.

The M83 selections make me think I should relisten to Saturdays=Youth and the Shearwater song was surprisingly lovely, but like a bad apple the Hold Steady continue to ruin it for everybody. I've complained in the past about the singing, but "Constructive Summer" might stand as the perfect example of everything wrong with this band's songs. Much has been made of the Steady's chops, and that if you took away the singing you'd find the best bar band in the world. But why is the music so arbitrary? "Constructive Summer" is the sound of everyone throwing every sound they can at you, with no thought to a point. Why is there piano at the end? Probably because someone went, "Hey, lets tighten this bad boy off with a little work on the keys." "Summer" might only be about three and a half minutes but it sounds like it will go on forever.

It is easier to slam than praise here on the internet, so I'll do something hard and say that for the most part the Pitchfork list is a pretty fun listen. And there is something wonderfully insane about Portishead's "Machinegun" leading into "American Boys".

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2 Responses to “I spent my day on the internet, with music!”

  1. RyanTheThief Says:

    Are you trying to tell that in a box, with a fox, it still won't rock your socks?

  2. Lorin Says:

    I'm not sure I get the reference.

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