Inevitably, any music snob (and if you've read my blog at all I definitely fall in that category) has some opinion regarding Pitchfork magazine. There are whole blogs devoted to "the anti-Pitchfork" (see here for alternatives): http://stillepost.ca/boards/index.php?PHPSESSID=9ecec02a468ca8ecf8fac402742f38da&topic=13420.msg200871
) and tons of individual bloggers discuss the latest Pitchfork reviews, either dismissing or agreeing with their tastes. Whatever your opinion may be, Pitchfork is certainly influencial, the equivalent of Rolling Stone from back in it's heydey.
Speaking of which, did any of you know that Rolling Stone has archives of EVERY one of their reviews on their website, available for free? If you want to read some real music journalism, check out their reviews of Yes, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, etc. Amazing musical essays from some serious rock historians.
So, Pitchfork. I definitely fall in to the "influenced by" Pitchfork category. If it weren't for Pitchfork, I wouldn't have discovered XTC's classic Skylarking or Talk Talk's heartbreakingly beautiful avant garde masterpiece"Laughing Stock," both covered in their "Best of The 80's" feature. And for sheer comprehensiveness of new release reviews, Pitchfork is close to impossible to beat. However, their leanings towards anything Indie can be trying at times, as is their disdain of anything popular. Admit it: the Killers don't suck.
That being said, a good to great review from Pitchfork raises my eyebrows, so much so that I will get an album and listen to it at least four to five times before I form an opinion. Take Destroyer's latest album, "Destroyer's Rubies." (read the review here: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/d/destroyer/destroyers-rubies.shtml
The first time I listened to this, I thought Pitchfork had lost their marbles. Who is this moron saying esoteric things over, what I thought at the time, pretty uninteresting backgrounds? I was ready to dismiss it. However, this same album is now one of my very early contenders for album of the year. The anthemic "la la's" in the middle of the songs, usually approached in tandem with random "ragtime" piano riffts, topped off with a cherry by some beautiful bari sax and trumpet lines, is music that I'm really connecting with. And that annoying guy talking over the songs, much like The Hold Steady (please listen to them if you haven't already) sounds to me like a pained artist trying to get his story accross to anyone who will listen.
So I guess what I'm saying is, I'm much more influenced by Pitchfork than I would like to be. Their reviewers are so knowledgable and talented in their prose that I take their reviews extremely seriously. And that, my friends, is why the Pitchfork juggernaut will continue to roll through.
Next post: some more music that I've been listening to lately. For now, give the Destroyer album a try. I'm going to try and post more regularly, but I can't promise anything. Comments, as usual, are always welcome.