[ | | | 32 interested person(s) ]

There are records that get insane praise over the mp3 blogosphere and hipster/yupster online spots like Pitchfork. Some of the more recently baffling to me have been Danielson's Ships, Tapes 'n Tapes Loon, Sufjan Stevens' Avanlanches etc. etc. and Girl Talk's Night Ripper. All of these albums are top sellers on Insound.com as well.

I find all of them equally marginal. At some level there must be some type of group mentality thing going on. Seriously, how else is a statement that "Tapes 'n Tapes are the new Pavement" not get somebody slapped across their dark rimmed glasses face.

Perhaps I just lack the sophistication that draws a person to such bands/artists. Across the board there are so many better alternatives then these groups. Here is what I think you should be listening to instead of this stuff.

1. Instead of Tapes n' Tapes listen to TV On the Radio.
2. Danielson. This record is like a crapier version of the Polyponic Spree (who's 2003 record was alright). Jesus this record makes my ears bleed.
3. Sufjan Stevens...this guy is back again? Damn it. I guess you just get this guy or you don't. I don't. I'll continue to listen to Jose Gonzalez or Seu Jorge and leave it to others to consume this guys' records and fartsy folk melodies.
4. Girl Talk...ok this record has been out since May 9th. It was released on eMusic. I listened to it then and found it easily forgettable. Then all of a sudden a couple months later its the talk of the town. Are you serious? This is like mashups on ADD. If you want to hear a mixup record go get something from A-Trak or the Hollertronix clan.

Sorry for all the negativity I need to cut back on the haterade. Or maybe I just need to be educated (thats what the commenting section is for!), but I am just struggling to see why so many people enjoy these records when there is so much stuff being dropped in 2006 that goes unacknowledged.

Mp3: DJ A-Trak - "Knucklehead"
Mp3: TV on the Radio - "Staring at the Sun" (Hollertronix Mix)

32 interested person(s)

J Mil said... @ 7/28/2006 10:16:00 AM

Word up.

dexter said... @ 7/28/2006 10:24:00 AM

that a-trak song is great! thanks for the heads up.

Nordy said... @ 7/28/2006 10:36:00 AM

I don't know about the others, but I'll go to bat for Tapes N Tapes. Now, by "going to bat" I mean that I'll defend the band...I can't necessarily defend the level of hype surrounding the band.

You're definitely right...they're no TV On the Radio. But really, who is? I don't think TNT is really trying to push the boundaries like that. What they've done is made a very consistent album of good, solid rock music. There's something to be said for that. There are few bands that can make an album that's grounded, yet still interesting. None of the tracks by themselves will blow you away. But give it another shot, and sit down with the whole album. Like I said, it's not going to blow you away, but I think it's incredibly consistent and solid. And on repeated listenings, it grows and grows on you.

They "hype" band of the moment that I don't get is Ratatat. I like some of their hip-hop remixes, but their own stuff sounds like Tortoise crossed with Nintendo music. I just don't get it.

K. said... @ 7/28/2006 10:45:00 AM

Nordy I guess I don't necessarily dislike the TnT album I just don't think its anything fantastic or to gush about. Like you said there is definitely merit in making a solid record I just feel like they are overhyped thats all.

Hell I liked Gnarls Barkley when it first dropped but the hysteria and hype its getting is really killing it for me. I was debating on throwing it up there as well but I think the listening public would probably stone me.

Hear you as well on Ratatat while good its nothing groundbreaking for me. I have been listening to it and I do enjoy it but its not going to be a top record for me this year.

DJ Tone said... @ 7/28/2006 11:04:00 AM

You're completely right. Especially that Sufjan dude... what a bunch of wank.

But those indie rock kids are just waiting for someone to tell them who the next hype is, rather than going out and determining it themselves. Half of the bands they are masturbating over today will be gone and forgotten by Christmas...

Love your blog BTW... one of the best out there. Peace

kristjan said... @ 7/28/2006 11:17:00 AM

man...this is my first stop every moring at work. right after i check my email, i check this site. and as usual. you hit the nail on the head. and for this post so did your readers. sorry if i seem excited. i am a freekin dork. i think the hipster kids are getting out of control. they dont want to be the outcasts of new cool music so they jump on. but then they try so hard to be different. "i dont conform" "i wear really tight jeans and have long hair" " i am different"...thats why all you kids all look the same. more that us. wise man once said "you are different, just like everyone else" i would comment on the bands, but everyone else said exactly what i would have said. nice post

Flatlander said... @ 7/28/2006 11:28:00 AM

TnT? Half agree. The album is half-baked. For that reason, I think it deserves some attention but the hype has exceeded it's quality.

Danielson? 100% agree. The fact that album is getting hype is one of the greatest cases of taste-making and group think in the blogosphere.

Sufjan? Half agree. I don't think the new album deserves a ton of praise but Illinois is an amazing record. Our generation's Pet Sounds. Yes, he deserves a kick in the balls for singing about crying in a van with his friends. But the variety and orchestral pop he created for that album is beyond anything else being put out right now.

Girl Talk? I've never even heard of this band and I waste hours a day reading about indie rock/pop.

Gnarls Barkley? They passed from "hype" to actual "kings of the charts". They're getting played on friggin' The Point (104.7 WNCS) now. They're out of hands now.

Jose Gonzalez? A bit over-hyped in my book. He doesn't do it for me.

Seu Jorge? Not much buzz around him but his stuff is pretty good.

Besides Danielson, I'd argue that Beirut is over-hyped. I like one or two of their songs but an entire album of gypsy music is enough to drive a man batty.

K. said... @ 7/28/2006 11:42:00 AM

Ooo "group think" very 1982 of you Flatlander. You have a better pulse of the indie rock world than I. Never really given Beruit much of a listen. And of course some of this just boils down to a matter of taste.

jb said... @ 7/28/2006 12:27:00 PM

Daaaaammmnnn you're good.

I just spent half my afternoon tracking down a copy of Knucklehead on some random Polish blog - ignoring deadlines like i was axl rose - then pop back for a pre-dinner AG fix and you'd posted it. And yet I still don't begrudge you - awesome selection again, my man.

Once more i can't fault your reasoning - Soulwax did that Girltalk mashup thing with a bunch of more interesting and mildly more thoughtful records on 2ManyDJs and to my bored, hipster ears NightRipper just sounds like 2ManyMySpacePagesOpenAtOnce... And I won't even start on that Danielson Famile stuff... "Yes, sir, I did step on your trumpet and for good reason...."

Anonymous said... @ 7/28/2006 12:36:00 PM

thanks for the a-trak mp3...although i do have to disagree with you on the sufjan bit. his live show is the least pretensious thing i have ever seen i indie rock.

troy. said... @ 7/28/2006 02:17:00 PM

I agree on both TnT and Sufjan. Neither ever did it for me, enough to deserve the critical acclaim.

And aren't mash-ups like so 2004? There is a huge difference between what Diplo does and what, for instance, Girl Talk, is doing. MP3's and fancy-smancy computers have made it too easy for the average Joe to "mix" two (or a hundred) songs together. The end result is too much crap, very little quality. Thus, the whole bar has been lowered.

Throw in an old P.E. record and check Terminator X on some of those mixes. Or, even better, a live Beastie Boys joint w/ the Mixmaster puttin' another set of decks out of commission!

I know...I'm mixing apples and oranges, but it's the Comments section, not my dissertation.

At the end of the day, I guess it's each man for himself, and each woman for her's. Good music lies in the ear of the beholder. Peace!

OfJoseph said... @ 7/28/2006 06:06:00 PM

i'd get the new tv on the radio if they didn't make it so god damned dificult to pick up a copy of it by releasing the import only, my local record store can't get a copy from any distributor, you'd think a band like tvotr would make it cheaper or at least easy for the music-lovers to get their new music

Niall said... @ 7/28/2006 07:33:00 PM

I totally agree with you but rather than a group mentality post, I think it's more a lot of blogs out there ADORE sufjan and indie in general, so when a half decent indie album gets released they are all over it.

Whereas speaking for myself, I think I have a more eclectic taste than most, it doesn't register with me because there is plenty of other music I could be listening to rather than an OK indie rock album.

As for Girltalk, from what I've heard, it's rubbish and gimmicky (see how many tracks you recognise) but it lacks edge and original mixing. I don't really like mashups anyway.

Danielson - one good song
Tapes n Tapes - One good song
Sufjan - Sufjans brings automatic page hits
Plenty of others I just don't get, but that's cool that means I must be doing something right, as are yourself.

Thanks for the comment on the blog btw. I've noticed a freaky similarity in some of the artists we've covered.

JT said... @ 7/28/2006 08:46:00 PM

It almost seems like if ya want to be one of the big blog boys on the scene, ya have to keep shouting and raving about some of these bands because that is what a lot of people want.

Kinda depressing that such practices have trickled down to our grass-roots kinda music blogs, but I can see it happening.

Guys like Sufjan are almost like a badge of respect or a secret handshake, so if you champion them, people will want to tune in. If you keep throwing stuff at them that they've never heard of, the average Joe might not tune in.

Kinda like PBS vs MTV I guess?

Thankfully not everyone is that way, but the influence of mp3 blog aggregators and Hype Machine-type stuff means that it's hard to invest a lot of time in downloading the obscure stuff, and if ya see a b-side by a guy like Sufjan on a blog, that's where ya might go first.

This is kinda off the cuff ranting, so please, tell me I'm wrong. Tell me it's not this way.

K. said... @ 7/28/2006 09:04:00 PM

I think you hit it right on the head Jt.

callmemickey said... @ 7/28/2006 11:46:00 PM

k. i think you know where i stand on this.

and.... a-trak is a must.

Anonymous said... @ 7/29/2006 02:13:00 AM

Mm... Danielson's Ships is one of my favorite records of the year. Enough so that I went to see them live (and it was excellent.)

Tapes 'N Tapes I could care less about and Girl Talk's album is a great summer album, something that I play in my car, but will probably promptly forget once fall rolls around.

I'm in the camp that loves Sufjan, but if anybody seriously thinks that The Avalanche is one of the best albums of the year... I really wouldn't know what to say, other than that they're wrong.

By the way, I love TV on the Radio, saw them live a few weeks back and it was probably the best concert I've ever been to. Return to Cookie Mountain is another one of my favorites of the year.

Nordy said... @ 7/29/2006 10:10:00 AM

Terminator X didn't do the cuts on the PE albums. Learn the name...Johnny "Juice" Rosado. "Juice on the loose, electric wire". Of course, he's on MySpace.

Eric said... @ 7/29/2006 05:13:00 PM

Dude. Right on. Although I do like the Tapes n Tapes record, if you want Nu-Pavement, listen to Hockey Night. They is fantastic.

So much good stuff. Just because Pitchfork gives something an 8+ people snap that shit up like its gold. Silly silly silly.

lc said... @ 7/30/2006 10:53:00 AM

i personally think girl talk sounds like the garbage that my high school cheerleading team would do their routines to.

jesse said... @ 7/30/2006 11:03:00 AM

listen to califone.

Anonymous said... @ 7/30/2006 10:07:00 PM

I couldn't agree with this post more.. I think that sometimes the blogs I visit get a track and want to be the first to claim "we had it first" so they hype everything up only for us to find we've wasted time (and money) on music, which will not stand up to repeated listens.. Thank goodness for TV On The Radio. I haven't felt this way about a band for years

Anonymous said... @ 7/31/2006 09:32:00 PM

If Sufjan is this generation's Brian Wilson, god help this generation. (oh the irony.)

These emperors have no clothes. Sufjan, Danielson, TnT, all wank.

Drew said... @ 8/01/2006 04:21:00 PM

you know, i think you make some great points, and i agree with all of them- except the one about girl talk. you're 100 percent wrong- i think the reason that CD has caught on is because its essentially music designed FOR people with short attention spans. the ADD crowd, so to speak. personally, if you give me a rap beat that doesn't change for 4 minutes, you can have the best mc doing his best rhyme over it and i'd still get bored. variance is extremely interesting in the days of looping and sampling, and the way girl talk manages to keep changing the flow around every corner makes it interesting. it reminds me of when lil jon first hit it big, people said all his songs sounded the same... well thats why he makes a million of them, so you have a new one to listen to next week.

Chris said... @ 8/04/2006 02:08:00 AM

ranting on a music blog...its about time i say! not enough blogs get critical, even my own can be guilty of that at times and its good to see some negative critcism on this one, because isnt that what blogging is about?

K. said... @ 8/04/2006 08:05:00 AM

too true chris. sometimes the fear of being pointed out to be a fool or fear of the backlash can keep a person from being critical about music.

hell it happens to me all the time. but as I think its your blog say whatever the hell you want. if people don't like it there is a bizillion other blogs to choose from ;)

zedd said... @ 8/08/2006 03:52:00 AM

Look... there's some measure of subjectivity to music. It's hard to 'get' things like Danielson... he's been around for a long time, apparently you aren't down with the 'Famile'... but they have been making records for years and have a pretty strong cult following. I'm not gonna break down each of these records, you've heard it all before... you just don't dig it. I don't dig a lot of shit I think I probably should. Tastes are strange things.

Anonymous said... @ 8/10/2006 10:14:00 AM

Yeah, so maybe the buzz about one particular thing doesn't ultimately live up to your desire or need or criteria for the next new thing that's goint to really excite you. That's just a matter of what you think is real, or at least pleasurable. So maybe TNT is no TVOTR to you, but probably TVOTR is crap to someone who really digs Mozart or Ashlee Simpson. Who's opinion is more valid? And, who's to say the reason why someone likes something is valid or not?

K. said... @ 8/10/2006 10:30:00 AM

It really does just boil down to a matter of taste doesn't it. I am not saying one person's opinion is more valid than anothers but in a capitalistic environment who has the opinion ultimately will be of more value than somebody elses.

No saying I agree with it to throwing it out there.

Anonymous said... @ 8/10/2006 11:02:00 AM

Yes, unfortunately taste or opinion or perception is largely manufactured by the one's doing the selling, be it the pop music industry or the government, but it's still ultimately a personal responsibility to decide what to accept into one's body, mind or heart, for whatever reason.

The Dude said... @ 8/16/2006 07:03:00 PM

I have to kind've like Tapes N Tapes. They're my hometown team so it's nice to see a local band get some real praise for once.

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