Turning Hype Into Lemonade

So, let me get this straight…. Lemonade has a whole lot of bad indie rock samples and/or collaborations, plus “characters”? Honestly intrigued by the marital strife angle (though I have no real interest in Beyoncé’s personal life one way or the other), but the more I hear about it, the less I want to hear it. (Also, the NYTimes yesterday said the ’60s Kaleidoscope band she sampled is from Puerto Rico?? Which is either an embarrassing mistake or a disappointment or confusing, given how much I love the David Lindley Kaleidoscope from L.A.). Mainly, though, all the oppressive “Everybody has to listen to this NOW” stuff just makes me want to run the other way.

I will probably listen to it eventually. By the end of the year, if I can manage it. And not that I need an excuse, but I have a few — one major one being, there are so many other albums out there that seem like they’d be way more interesting, so I want to hear those first.

On facebook, University of Wisconsin-Madison Ethnic Studies professor Alexander Shashko responded that, “Much as I sympathize with resisting the ‘everyone must listen to this NOW’ cacophony because it give voice to the fastest and loudest responses, I’m not sure it’s any worse than the old, ‘everyone must endure six months of hype for an album before it’s released’ cacophony, which was numbing in its own way.”

To me, though, that seemed WAY easier to ignore. And facebook (and the Internet in general) has a lot to do with that But also, “spread over six months, competing with lots of other diffuse hype” would seem way more avoidable than “one album monopolizing all the talk for 48 or 72 hours, until the next fleeting story comes along.” Though to be honest, I really don’t remember the six-months-of-hype cycle at all. But then, I delete lots of publicity emails! And before email, where would I have even confronted it?

Really, though, what we’re seeing now is just an extension/ magnification of the obsession with reviewing every album the week it comes out and hence pretending that advertising that new product is now in stores is “news” (and also hence, conjuring an opinion REALLY FAST — just even faster now, hours instead of days), which I’ve always blamed on two events in the early ’90s: (1) the birth of SoundScan, which put a huge and unprecedented emphasis on first week sales á la Hollywood; and (2) the birth of Entertainment Weekly, first magazine I remember codifying this silly practice. I really miss the days when it was perfectly normal to run/write reviews of albums weeks or even months down the line, after you’ve lived with them. But those days have been dying for decades, dating before the Internet even.

“It would be interesting to talk to the artists about this transformation,” Shashko suggested. “Artists like Beyoncé and Kanye pretty clearly consider their music an extension of a broader narrative that they tell through other endeavors, social media and personal narrative. Do they expect or even want their music to be considered outside a fevered few days of communal debate?”

Would be interesting to hear their answers, I suppose. But I’m not sure why that should have any bearing on what critics (who don’t work for Beyoncé or Kanye, after all) actually do.

Shasko again, flattering me at first: “One of your great strengths as a critic is that you resist letting preordained expectations dictate your critical response. You insist upon the time and space to hear interesting music by otherwise ignored artists, for starters. But there is an argument that the expectations and process are part of the experience, too, and it does seem that wildly popular artists are releasing their music now under the assumption that it should be heard within the broader context of its creation. So it could matter to critics if those are the terms upon which they hope their music is judged, especially if that’s actually how most listeners are approaching it, too.”

There’s some validity to that last point, especially. I’m not denying it might be interesting to experience these albums like the audience does (though I’m guessing it’s a stretch to assume that that’s necessarily how most listeners do experience it — how would we even know?) Either way, though, I don’t see why it would be a requirement. This goes along with my belief that being outside the target demographic for music of whatever genre doesn’t make one ineligible to express an opinion about it; sometimes, it might be more interesting for writers to talk about the context they experience the music in, even if that’s not how most fans do. Like every album made ever, I’m sure Lemonade has many uses.

I don’t always write about metal like most metal fans would; why should I? And how is that different? Even when music has an identifiable target audience, the idea that only people within that marketing demographic have a right to express an opinion about it has always ranked with the dumbest, most defensive cliches in the book. (Though, especially from an ex-editor standpoint, I do see a value in greater diversity of music critics. But I have to interject here that if I only listened to music that was “made for me,” I probably wouldn’t be able to listen to any music, period.)

As for the broader context, music has always been part of a larger package. And while I’ve often written about, say, music videos or album covers or the drummer’s haircut (sometimes even making fun of them!), I don’t think very many people would have argued in that past that you have to deal with all that stuff if you’re reviewing the album they’re associated with. (Michael Jackson videos might be an exception, but not even necessarily then.) So yeah, all artists have marketing strategies, and they often might argue that those marketing strategies are part of their art. Which maybe they are. But once critics become beholden to those marketing strategies, once artists get to set the agenda of what has to be written about and how and when, I’d say criticism might as well just pack it in.

Alex McPherson, who lives in London and whose facebook cover photo shows a building painted with graffiti proclaiming ‘Liberté Egalité Beyoncé,” argues that “the didactic you MUST hear this album NOW’ thing long predates the Internet, what else were all those identical ‘100 greatest albums ever’ lists in ye olde rocke presse about? I’m enjoying that hivemind aligning with an amazing artist who I think deserves every bit of praise she gets. The 24-hour churn of immediate reactions and no time for the art to marinate is complete poison, though. Even the decent thinkpieces would have 100% been better in a week’s or a month’s time”

Virginia-born webmaster and former member of Medea Connection Daniel Brockman, to me: “In the olden days, it was all about sales– now, the bean counters can tell when people are actually listening to something, even and especially in the privacy of their own what-have-you. Thus the Lemonade experience — instead of getting people to line up at a record store at midnight, they can get people to watch TV at midnight, which is what is typically known as a ‘TV show’, which is essentially what the event album experience is now, for better/worse (it’s def. more inclusive)”

But but but what if you don’t have cable? Or Tidal? How inclusive is it then?? (Though to be honest I’m not entirely clear on what “having Tidal” entails. Plus, yeah yeah I know, MTV videos. And presidential debates. And midnight being way past my bedtime. Etc.) (Also, to address Alex’s point, personally I don’t think those rarely useful “100 greatest albums” lists emphasized the NOW — as in TODAY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE, or you’ve lost out!! — element nearly as much.)

“I guess i mean it this way,” Brockman responds. “To go to one of those midnight sales, you needed to live somewhere near one, and be there at midnight. whereas watching television, even some subscriber service, makes the whole thing available to more. it’s an arguably lamer experience, of course, but it is what it is in this world we live in etc.”

Ha ha I have never been to a midnight sale, either! I do like a ton of music videos, but not many hour-long ones I can remember, especially when I’m iffy on the artist in the first place.

Ann Powers, elsewhere on facebook: “I’m overwhelmed by the hyperbole surrounding Lemonade, yet I do think Beyoncé might be the one to have finally and fully defeated rockism.”

But think about it: This is a Significant Piece of Work by One Of The Most Important Artists of Our Time, and if you’re ignoring it, you’re out of the loop. If “rockism” ever meant anything (and I’m doubtful), there it is right there. (At least with rock’s old “classics” — the vast majority of which probably also involved collaborations with other humans — we weren’t oppressively required to hear them the night they came out. So with this one, does it make me “rockist” or “poptimist” that I plan to keep procrastinating for a while?)

I mean, in 2016, Lemonade is probably “rockist” simply by being an ALBUM…and a CONCEPT ALBUM no less, right? How prog is that? (By the way, whatever problems I’ve had with Beyoncé’s music in general, calling her “pretentious” or “prog” — the latter of which I’ve heard her as since Destiny days — is in no way an insult in and of itself. I like a ton of pretentious music, too. Hell, I wrote a book about metal.) Right now, I’m too busy trying to keep up with all the great norteño, country, dancehall, grime, Afrobeats, r&b, metal, Latin pop, K-pop, and, uh, just plain pop singles that have come out in the past few months but somehow haven’t been monopolizing 50% of my facebook feed (the other 50% being an auteur so rockist he often preferred not to collaborate on his albums with other humans at all). I plan to get around to your Respected Genius eventually, sure; just not the biggest priority right now, you know? How rockist of me! (Apparently the difference is that Beyoncé is not a white man. Which might matter? Otherwise, I see no difference at all.)

Facebook, 26 April – 10 May 2016

2 comments

  1. ( I liked Lemonade pretty well when it first came out, haven’t listened in past couple years) Re a tropical Kaleidoscope, here’s what I sad about it on an ILM thread about various bands named Kaleidoscope (I suppose it could be good for a sample here or there, toward the end, at least)Just listened to Kaleidoscope, Shadoks SHAD130CD, 2011. “The band was not actually from Mexico, the musicians came from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain, and the album was recorded in 1967 in the Dominican Republic. The manager took it to Mexico where it has a tiny release of 200 copies on the Orlean label.” Shadoks adds three tracks, the most engaging by far, on first listening anyway: “Cairo Blues” is kinda Steppenwolfstential, with some razory sustain (organ? guitar? both?) and unidentified sonics in backgrounds; “Take It To The Limit” is a bit (not too much) like Morrison Hotel Doors meet Lynyrd Skynyrd demos. These are credited to members Bodo Molitor and Frank Tirado, might be a side project w other players, cos the preceding studio tracks tend to lose momentum behind the organ. However, the whole band does well on a fast live cover finale, “Season of the Witch.” Wouldn’t mind checking a whole live set, and I’ll listen to this whole thing again (maybe). Def those bonuses. But unless you’re way deep into the garage clubland journeymen, save your Shadoks bucks for something else.― dow, Saturday, August 11, 2012 7:26 PM 

    Liked by 1 person

  2. via facebook:

    Phil Dellio
    Agree completely with the last point (of the first paragraph), but no different than the last Taylor Swift album. Or Kayne West, or a few other people. Basically, your post becomes you chiming in, and my comment is me chiming in. It’s the world we live in.

    Raymond Cummings
    I haven’t heard it yet and plan to but, yeah, I’m already exhausted by everyone praising it, dismissing it, dissecting it, and telling other people how to feel about it or write about it.

    Raymond Cummings
    At this point in history, whenever a release like this is announced, it’s almost like one must tune out all chatter immediately if a) it’s a record you might want to experience or b) it’s something you don’t think you’d be into.

    Chuck Eddy
    And (a) + (b) pretty much covers everything!

    Phil Dellio
    Everyone had to have an opinion on Madonna in 1990–not all that different, it’s just that the internet makes everything 10,000 times more unbearable.

    Chuck Eddy
    So wait, what was my 1990 Madonna opinion again? (I’m pretty sure I had one — oh yeah, I Iiked “Keep It Together” a lot, whew!)

    Phil Dellio
    Going by memory: I think you were gung-ho for “Justify My Love,” but then, by the time Radio On came around in ’91, you’d moved on.

    Chuck Eddy
    Really? Maybe. I just remember defending “Keep It Together” (12″ remix, specifically!), comparing it to “Family Affair.”

    Chuck Eddy
    Phil, you are right (not saying Beyonce has a monopoly on this crap), but that just makes this even more depressing. Meanwhile, here is Scott Seward chiming in.
    https://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=41&threadid=103921&fbclid=IwAR2f1Ry6Qrp-wH8GPRXMrKlOdS5irEUss3pShWyQi4HShs-ebg9iSKPvBik#unread

    Kerr Duul
    I have no opinion on Beyonces new album. Hope that makes you feel better/relieved Chuck

    Jody Rosen
    There’s a bunch of great songs; Beyoncé’s singing/rapping is spectacular throughout; and the “visual album” is insanely engrossing, even in the weaker songs, a true tour de force. You should check it out, really.

    Alexander Shashko
    At the very least, it’s an arresting initial experience to watch the film. You’re probably doing us all a favor to give some perspective after it’s been out awhile, but I definitely think you should get around to it.

    Phil Freeman
    Most of the hype is just the same hype that Beyonce gets automatically, which Saturday Night Live already put to bed a couple of years ago. The only statement regarding this album that’s bugged me so far was when some writer I normally like and respect said the country-ish song “might be the best country song of the decade,” or something equally clownish. I mean, COME THE FUCK ON. I don’t even like current country that much, but to pretend that Beyonce in her Beyonce-ness can just outdo an entire genre is one of the more insulting things I can imagine any critic saying. Even when you were calling Teena Marie metal, Chuck, you wouldn’t have said a Teena Marie song was the best metal song of the decade.

    Kerr Duul
    He wouldn’t? 😃

    Rob Kemp
    chuck said shit like that frequently

    Kevin Bozelka
    Yeah, really. That’s Chuck Eddy’s classic m.o.

    Whitney Pastorek
    It’s a pretty great country song, though.

    Chuck Eddy
    Not sure I ever said a Teena Marie song was the best metal song of any decade (though yeah, I might not put it past me.)

    John Darnielle
    people who listed Babymetal in their metal top 10 set the table for this kinda thing

    Kerr Duul
    I knew it was all Jeff Treppel’s fault

    Chuck Eddy
    I didn’t do that! Kind of like their new one though, so…

    J.D. Considine
    John Darnielle: I’m not sure I get your point about Babymetal.

    Kerr Duul
    I think JD has been too subtle about his dislike of Babymetal 😉

    J.D. Considine
    Which JD?

    Kerr Duul
    John Darnielle

    J.D. Considine
    Understood.

    Jeff Treppel
    If other metal bands put out music as good as Babymetal we wouldn’t have this problem

    Jeff Treppel
    Matthew Kirshner but… Where am I supposed to go? 😢

    Kerr Duul
    Hamster World

    Annie Zed
    The Kaleidoscope band sampled isn’t David Lindley’s group–it’s a different band, garage-psych cult act. NYT is right. Here’s background:
    https://imposemagazine.com/bytes/new-music/introducing-kaleidoscope

    Chuck Eddy
    Just noticed wiki claims the Lindley Kaleidoscope was from San Juan (which I am 99% sure is incorrect), hmmm…

    Annie Zed
    Chuck Eddy I’m guessing that’s some Wiki joker who was trying to do some post-Bey fact-checking. Definitely from California.

    Chuck Eddy
    There were a lot of Kaleidoscopes in those days, apparently!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaleidoscope_(British_band)

    Phil Dellio
    Second best Kaleidoscope after Lindley’s “Egyptian Gardens”:

    Adam Sobolak
    Actually, I find myself endeared by all the “Beyonce brought be here” comments on the Youtube Kaleidoscope clip…

    Annie Zed
    Adam Sobolak I am too!

    Adam Sobolak
    And if you like *that* track, consider its 3.3 x longer counterpart (which has become a bit of a retro-psych radio fixture around Toronto parts)

    Holly Gleason
    amen.
    and i’m glad you raised the Kaleidescope issue, too
    all i could think was “but Lindley is from Southern California…”
    though before the internet, the doubling up on names would be a lot harder to vet, especially in those smaller islands

    Kevin Bozelka
    You should listen to “Countdown” YESTERDAY! But I still haven’t heard Lemonade. Hamilton either. Many, many other albums too. But for once, I have an excellent excuse (check my wall).

    Jake Alrich
    I still haven’t listened to The Strokes’ “Is This It”. AND I’M DAMN PROUD OF IT.

    Whitney Pastorek
    Fwiw, Chuck, I find it to be a really fascinating, compelling, challenging album. I haven’t watched the video part yet. And I’m no Bey superfan. In fact I think this might be the first time I’ve ever gone beyond her singles. Been on repeat for three days. 🙂

    Howard Wuelfing
    not totally a fan of consensus reality — I like to be aware of it, but not necessarly to feel compelled to partake

    Holly Gleason
    or more “forced” to partake
    if i’m compelling, then i’m willing

    Chuck Eddy
    I kind of wish I wasn’t aware of it, to be honest.

    Tom Lunt
    Hear, hear.
    The sole pupose of this record is to create think pieces; liner notes’ evil twin.
    In fact, I don’t think music has anything to do with it.

    Whitney Pastorek
    Maybe it can also help heal those of us who are hurting. But nah, you’re probably right. Think pieces.

    Reply6y
    Whitney Pastorek
    It’s frustrating to hear so much dismissal out of hand, when lots of people are having relatively remarkable experiences with this piece of music. That’s all. I get the rejection of the hype machine. I don’t get absolute rejection due to hype.

    Maura Johnston
    +1

    Ann Powers
    Thanks, Whitney Pastorek

    Phil Dellio
    I’m trying to think how this compares to films–not a new Star Wars or such, more like a new P.T. Anderson. I’m not sure there are any directors now who galvanize critics the way that, say, Kubrick or Altman did in the mid-’70s.

    Tom Lunt
    It fits into my category of “Tampon music” – excellent, useful product of high quality that was not made for me.

    Maura Johnston
    wow this is gross.

    Kallen Law
    ^^^ was coming in here to say
    so Tom, first you say that music has nothing to do with this record and then you say that it’s an “excellent, useful product” – which one is it?

    Whitney Pastorek
    Wow, Tom Lunt. That’s adorably offensive! Go call Becky with the good hair.

    Tom Lunt
    Not really. I could have said beard oil.

    Whitney Pastorek
    Could have. Didn’t. Boy, bye.

    Tom Lunt
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/white-commentary-on-lemonade_b_9780056

    Whitney Pastorek
    🙄

    hil Freeman
    Music is made for anyone with ears. You don’t have to know how to play jazz to review jazz (despite some jazz musicians’ arguments to the contrary); Beyonce’s music is not “made for black women, and everyone else is eavesdropping” (as I’ve seen expressed elsewhere); etc., etc. And anybody who thinks an arena-scale pop artist doesn’t want their art to be heard by as many people as possible is engaging in some truly idiotic projection.

    Chris Monsen
    Hear hear

    Maura Johnston
    this particular strain of the argument (which I find deeply flawed as well, especially since it involves one of the biggest pop stars in the world) seems to be more about diverse representation at the staff-writer level than anything else. and the people making it do have a point there…
    there’s also a huge split between the message sent by the recorded version and the visual as far as blackness goes. (and all the people looking for gossip in the lyrics are shortchanging the art for the sake of ooh-mama titillation, which is gross. infidelity is one of the oldest plots in the book!)

    Alex Macpherson
    One of the oldest plots in Beyoncé’s own book! I wonder whether everyone stuck on the celeb gossip angle paid attention to Ring The Alarm? Or Say My Name?

    Maura Johnston
    Alex Macpherson oh I saw “ring the alarm is about Rihanna” speculation get revived this week 😕

    Alex Macpherson
    Ppl with no imagination can’t conceive that artists can imagine situations 😕

    Maura Johnston
    yeah it’s very troubling

    Simon Reynolds
    Nitsuh Abebe made a similar plaint in a recent op-ed type thing in NY Times magazine, he wrote specifically about “Formation” and how he had somehow unconsciously avoided hearing it – about how there’s a kind of pop music that “actively dragoon[s] me into paying attention to it, based not primarily on sound, performance or composition, but on the rolling snowball of perspectives, close readings and ideological disputes accreting around it…. “ he says that this is pretty much all that is left of a monoculture now – folks gathering (on the net / social media) “in huge, fawning riots around towering pop singles to trade politicized takes on them”… ” one digestible thing, with millions of people standing in a circle around it, pointing and shouting and writing about it, conducting one gigantic online undergraduate seminar about it, metabolizing it on roughly the same level that cable-news debate shows metabolize a political speech. This is an ever-greater share of the public life of music.”
    that’s from here, whole thing is worth reading –

    Scott Seward
    i loved nitsuh’s intro. it was so him.

    Simon Reynolds
    but it’s also more than him. it struck a chord with me certainly. i had also semiconsciously avoided listening to “formation”. it might be quite a widespread feeling out there. something to do with this fever of annotation and interpretation making any kind of personal reaction impossible. you can’t cut through the thicket of discourse. you’re not meant to.

    Scott Seward
    yeah, no, it was me too. i felt similarly. it also makes me react negatively to something i haven’t even heard. and i definitely end up not reading most of what is written in the heat of the moment. so much sloppy thought/writing. it doesn’t do anyone any favors.

    Scott Seward
    it is some sort of race. and i don’t feel like racing.

    David Cooper Moore
    “Y’all haters corny with that illuminating analysis.”

    Scott Seward
    but now i want to know what he thinks of Lemonade! hahaha.

    Ian Grey
    “The marital strife angle” makes this kind of creepy, inteested and eye-rolly at once, it being all melodrama of the gods as a Rammstein/Vogue shoot. It’s also intrinsically faintly anti-music in its assumption of the superiority of the visual.

    Scott Seward
    i am deeply immersed in the back catalog of freedom fighter Siouxsie Sioux at the moment. which is why i haven’t heard Lemonade. it’ll keep though. a good lemon lasts a long time.

    Ralph Carney
    milk , milk, lemonade, round the corner fudge is made.

    Daniel Brockman
    1) popular music heroically tends to conquer efforts to enforce greater meaning, not that anyone was ever killed or injured by the attempt;
    2) you cannot blame any and all stakeholders involved for wanting to foment a pop culture explosion– it is the only thing that popular music does effectively. the entire idea of pop music can be boiled down to the singular concept of a cherubic innocent being corrupted by the subversive ideas of a piece of pop music product not officially sanctioned by a parent figure; by that rubric, “lemonade” is a resounding success, regardless of how one “judges” the “music.”;
    3) i wish “lemonade” had better singles, but then again beyonce and her team don’t work for me and they can do what they want and force me to adjust my ears accordingly. anything with jack white on it would be better without jack white, though, so there’s that.

    Ralph Carney
    check out these amazing pictures from 1968
    ttps://www.flickr.com/photos/alcue/sets/72157649121163541/page1/?fbclid=IwAR2-7Pc0EBZWzA38BgScWFEdDUR6e_PBWrnsNNQDFYw1P_GJcm7hNq52g5A

    Scott Seward
    wow, those pictures are great! thank you, ralph carney. and also thank you for tin huey.

    Ralph Carney
    you welcome Scott!

    Daniel Brockman
    Also personally the only midnight sales I ever went to were when Plan 9 Records in Charlottesville VA would have 25% off the whole store; def went to several Dave Matthews Band midnight sales just to buy other things back then (this would have been 92, 93, when DMB was just on the cusp of not being a local band anymore…)

    David Cooper Moore
    I’ve gotten pretty good at tuning out critical conversations and enjoyed “Lemonade” until Jack White showed up. (I liked the Jack White *production,* it was literally his voice that killed it, worse even than Drake showing up on “Work.”) It was hit or miss after that, and afterward I wondered whether anyone other than Chuck has called Beyonce pretentious? Pretentious isn’t a deal-breaker obvs, like I’m one to talk. (Meanwhile I went to film school for a damn decade and you couldn’t pay me to watch a “visual album.”)

    Annie Zed
    Chuck Eddy Funny you mention prog, as apparently the HBO special samples King Crimson.

    Nigel Richardson
    Yes, but…
    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/apr/25/beyonce-hillary-clinton-jay-z-lemonade-cheating

    Nicole Kessler
    Not enough eyerolls in the world for this one.

    Sundar Subramanian
    Ha, I got through two paragraphs.

    Iman Lababedi
    the album is great, everything else is background noise, her fourth great album in a row

    Tom Lunt
    It’s a record.

    Jill Blardinelli
    Chuck, Beyoncé lost me on her 2nd solo CD. Compare “SayMyName”/”Survivor”/”Bootylicious”/”NaughtyGirl”/”CrazyInLove” with “Irreplaceable/Halo/If I WereABoy/DrunkInLove (?)”!!!!! What happened to her?

    John Darnielle
    the [clears throat in disapproving way because it’s the worst term ever] “poptimists” are seriously the absolute apex of rockism: they all champion the same artists, their dedication to the building and maintenance of canons is absolute, they brook no dissent. there is no boomer Beatles-worshipper who can claim to be as single-minded about reverence for the rockist canon as the pop-thinkpiece crowd has resolved to be about its own several Rushmores

    Mark Coleman
    aka careerism

    Chuck Eddy
    That sounds about right, John. Though honestly, I’m not at all clear on who the “poptimists”-so-called are supposed to be these days. (Glad I never did anything to inspire them, heh heh.)

    Ann Powers
    I wish I had never written that sentence. Now I just feel bad.

    Steve Crawford
    Poptism/rockism/pragmatism/Baghdad-ism…all we are saying/Is give fleece a chance…

    Scott Seward
    you guys, beyonce is so last week.

    Chuck Eddy
    I figured that, too, until I saw Ann’s thread!

    Scott Woods
    I find it interesting that Beyonce

    Chuck Eddy
    ?

    Scott Seward
    grizzled old biker dude came in a week or so ago and was like – got any rock CDs? got any alice cooper? – and i was like nah i don’t think i have any alice right now – and he took one last look around – he seemed frustrated – and then he said – ooh beyonce! – and brought a beyonce cd up to the counter. and i said i thought you were looking for rock cds and he said: i like beyonce. the official end of rockism.

    Scott Woods
    owns the conversation (which, I’d say, is worth a lot these days–the new economy, so to speak), but in fact, at least in Canada, Rihanna outsells her two to one. (That’s a fact.) I almost never hear Beyoncé on the radio, and haven’t heard a song of hers dominate since “Single Ladies.” Not sure if this is relevant to anything, but it’s a pretty remarkable feat in a way — that her every move is dissected as such.

    Tom Lunt
    It’s not enough that a recording is worth thinking and writing about, it also has to be worth listening to. Me rockist? Me musicist.

    Whitney Pastorek
    I look forward to everyone’s reactions to the surprise Radiohead album that comes out on Sunday. I know all the hype will be a lot for some of you to manage. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂

    Chuck Eddy
    Are Radiohead even considered that big a deal anymore? I guess finding that out would be the biggest surprise, for me. Though, like Scott and Jaz below, I haven’t exactly kept up with them since their one great song, 13 years ago.

    Whitney Pastorek
    I was mostly kidding. 🙂

    Scott Woods
    the only thing that surprises me anymore is when someone releases a CD on Tuesday.

    Tom Lunt
    Having heard the Radiohead track once, I will listen to it again. I doubt that I will ever ruminate over it.

    Scott Seward
    not a lot of Radioheadmania in the last however many years. a while really.

    Scott Seward
    the only current brit rock band i like:

    Scott Seward
    they even reference “creep” in one of their songs. the only radiohead song i love.

    Chuck Eddy
    Ha ha — Me three: I still have a translucent 7-inch of it!

    Scott Seward
    i love hearing creep on the radio in the same way i always love hearing loser on the radio. the best one hit wonders. and pepper!

    Iman Lababedi
    elbow (to name just one) are a pretty darn good english band, and wolf alice were good but not more than good on stage

    Chuck Eddy
    Here’s my favorite British band this year:

    Scott Seward
    i like that their video is goofy. wolf alice have goofy videos too.

    Chuck Eddy
    But these guys steal Count Five riffs!

    Scott Seward
    i was really surprised that i liked wolf alice as much as i do. i haven’t liked something like that in a long time. but they do take the best parts of 90’s bands that i don’t listen to and stitch them all together in an interesting way. and they have cool riffs!

    Saptarshi Lahiri
    woa are u turning into l. bangs esq

    Like

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