Hey Pitchfork. Blow it Out Your Ass!

by oz on July 3, 2007


Did you know that Pitchfork’s review of Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds inspired me to start this blog? Sorry this post is so long, but Pitchfork is spouting off from the wrong orifice…once again.

After visiting Bloodshot Records to pull some mp3’s for my last post on Scott H. Biram, I ran across a letter Biram wrote to Pitchfork in response to their negative review of his album “The Dirty Old One Man Band.” Pitchfork compared his album to roadkill, explaining that “the point of the dead possum comparison is this: like that particular type of roadkill, Biram’s mock-blues songs are Southern kitsch, their musical elements deep-fried and trucker-capped to the point of caricature.” They continued to rip him and gave him a 4.3 rating (out of 10).

Yesterday Pitchfork ripped another blues act, Radio Moscow, for their lack of originality saying “They’re barely recreating anything more complicated than atonal finger exercises, a drawback that ultimately makes this debut such a bitch slap to the face of the musical genre that helped proliferate words like “hook” and “riff” in our lexicon.” Radio Moscow received a rating of 4.0.

Pitchfork author, Adam Moerder, started off his review by saying “Ah, this is such stuff as beer commercials and Super Bowl ads are made on. Corn-fed Iowa blues-rock trio Radio Moscow have taken a number and are currently waiting in line at the revival deli, hoping today’s special will be watered-down sports bar rock. Go ahead, try listening to the first 30 seconds of their self-titled debut without having a Pavlovian flashback to schlubby thirtysomethings high-fiving in a bar as girls in bikinis chug drinks and play touch-football on the Rocky Mountains.”

I’m not quite a schlubby thirtysomething, but I aspire to be one very soon. In December, when I hit my thirty year milestone, I will run to the nearest bar, plug my iPod into the soundsystem and blare Radio Moscow’s “Frustrating Sound” throughout the joint. I’ll then slap high-fives with every dude around, order two Coors Lights, shake them vigorously, rip the bottlecaps off with my teeth, and pour them over my head. I will not play touch football, however. That’s just weird.

I’m not sure what kind of music Pitchfork is into these days (Justin Timberlake rated 8.1), but I personally love bands like Radio Moscow and singer-songwriters like Biram that don’t reinvent the wheel, but play with passion, grit and a heavy hand. And maybe they are just “revival” bands, but is that a bad thing? If it ain’t broke, spray paint it, put some new wheels on, and keep riding. It’s still enjoyable and I will always toast you for your hard work.

I listen to all sorts of music. When I’m ready to blow off steam, down some brews, and leave the house for a night of live music, I’m looking for Biram or Radio Moscow and their flavor of sweaty rock n’ roll over the Mountain Goats any day. It’s unfortunate that Pitchfork prefers to take shots at them for what most of us consider solid efforts.

If you’re Radio Moscow, I guess it could be worse. You could be The Bravery.

Scott H. Biram – No Way

Radio Moscow – Frustrating Sound

Rock Plaza Central – SexyBack

The Mountain Goats – This Year (courtesy of Under the Rotunda)

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

chris July 3, 2007 at 11:50 am

well said

sean July 3, 2007 at 12:00 pm

pitchfork blows. they never like anything good.

Woody July 4, 2007 at 6:02 am

I don’t mind them not liking it. That’s certainly the right of the reviewer, but what really pissed me off is the manner of his review. Comparing it to a lame beer commercial. Its so sensationalistic that its pathetic.

Pitchfork thinks that they are the creme de la creme of music reviewers but when they peddle this, all they do is show themselves as hacks. What are they trying to accomplish by tearing this band down?

Personally I think Radio Moscow is amazing and I think Parker Griggs is one of the true rising stars in today’s scene. I met him briefly a couple of months ago and besides being an phenomenal guitarits, he’s also a nice guy.

The best way to say a big f- you to Pitchfork is buy/download this CD and go see them live. I will do my part by showing up at Schubas in August to see them along with labelmates Black Diamond Heavies and the always-amazing Scott H. Biram.

Drinking Buddy July 5, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Great graphic choice. Who is that guy and how did he get that bugle in there?

oz July 5, 2007 at 6:34 pm

I’ve been waiting for a “Rectum? Damn near killed him” joke, but you’ve all disappointed me.

I just can’t believe he’s riding a bike. I have enough trouble playing the ass bugle while standing still. That guy has real talent. He’s the Tiger Woods of ass bugle-ing.

Joel July 6, 2007 at 5:38 am

Nice post. I love that Radio Moscow LP. Its so good. Pitchfork has no idea whats going on in the rock n roll and blues scenes. They like weird mash-ups and a lot of crappy arty indie bands. I look at the site everyday but typically stay clear of the review unless I already own the album. I hear no sprots bar or hive five slapping in Radio Moscows music, just some awesome swampy licks. I think Radio Moscow will be putting out some amazing records if they follow up this amazing debut.

DAve July 9, 2007 at 2:50 am

What a lame pejorative dissertation on what is essentially a genre that lets rip and gives a cool two handed salute to the pretentious hum huhs and do do’s of Pitchfork. How was that for coherence and erudition!? Pitchforkmedia reviewers often equals a mob of duplicitous show pony pretentious wankers that often switch their opinion of an artist once there is a groundswell of the very people they try to pretend they have the know all over. i.e. Justice released new album and suddenly, yay, they are so brilliant, huh, what was that!? Pitchfork panned the Waters of Nazareth release just a year ago for the very things it is praising the new album.

So thusly pitchfork are very suspect in their reviewing not to say they aren’t well written, just you know sometimes misguided wankerism that tries to push a rather foolish outlook of being able to define objectively what is good music. Meh. Blues rock is not about articulating whole heartedly the jungian theory of dreams although that would be cool but you get my drift. Blues rock is visceral, brutal and swaggering. Not nerdy psuedo self effacing pretension.

Kevin July 9, 2007 at 3:13 pm

My head hurts.

Rick Saunders July 9, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Pitchfork is for psuedo brainy, ass-less boys who wear girl pants and the girls who love them and their fashion beards and complicated haircuts, girls who hate their dads and find sex to be messy and tedious. The major percentage of the music reviewed is souless, gutless, and utterly undanceable. it’s a site for fans of head music for those who don’t like head any more than they like shakin’ their rumps unless it’s post-ironically.

Fans of the Deep Blues would do best to ignore Pitchfork.

See y’all August 18th at the Deep Blues Festival

Ignatius August 2, 2007 at 8:17 am

Really, once you get into the second or third spin of Radio Moscow’s debut you realize that there is not much in it. Some of the guitars are good, but most is maturbatory generic blues guitar work. And how about Rigg’s voice? Dude should get someone with a soul to put up the vocals. I agree, Pitchfork’s review was harsch, but his point is made and I agree….

Blake Griggs August 3, 2007 at 1:13 am

Nicely Done Hear Ya.

My brother is lead guitarist/vocalist of Radio Moscow. That said Pitchfork media would tag me as buyist however being a musician myself I already enjoy that style of music and really admire radio moscow’s style and diversity.

I really dont even know what to think of Adam Moerder’s review… Did he even listen to the CD? Perhaps he reviewed the wrong one. All jokes aside does a psychedelic blues power trio really appeal to Beer and Football? Fillmore style psychedelic jam outs make me wanna drink a Coors and watch the Superbowl.

Oh wait.. that’s Justin Timberlake’s gig!! lol

Oh and also the ridiculous song name comparisons to bar names! Please! Apparently Adam Moerder thinks the name lickskillet was inspired by a bar name. Well my brother, Parker, actually named that song after a street , lickskillet road down in colorado, which, in my opinion, has a nice bluesy feel.
Lick my skillet, dust my broom?

Blake Griggs August 3, 2007 at 1:21 am

One last thing.

I just read Ignatius’s comment….

Ignatius, everyone has their opinions, thats fine in my opinion my brothers playing is much more that standard blues scales.

In fact Parker has been playing drums, bass, and guitar for over 10 years and the musicianship is virtuoso in my opinion.

But you did get one thing wrong.. The name is Griggs. not Riggs. I believe Adam Moerder may have made the same mistake.

Hellyeah Munny February 11, 2009 at 9:39 pm

@Ignatius: Dude, you need to see them live…
it’s a fu*king exciting night of hard psychedelic rock music,
just like Monster Magnet (Spine of God-era), Nebula (Let it Burn-Era) and Kyuss used to play.

Or should I say “Human Instinct”, “Yesterdays Children” and “Leafhound” used to play back in the early 70’s.

If you don’t know those last three bands, you really don’t know enough about the subject of acid blues rock…so trust Parker Griggs, he knows…and he’s actually talented enough deliver a song with crescendo.

The studio album doesn’t compare to their live shows.

Ack April 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Pitchfork does suck nowadays. They have some weird obsession with Justin Timberlake and Kanye.

Matt Bialer April 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm

I think that Pitchfork have done some positive things and helped bring some really cool music to the rest of us. But their reviews are pretentious and arrogant. And have gotten more so recently. And they really don’t know as much about music as they like to think they do. I think I read an interview with Ryan S. where he said he was miffed at Clap Your Hands Say Yeah because they were ungrateful. Ungrateful?Does the New York Times go around saying they don’t like a certain book author or musician or filmmaker anymore because they are ungrateful for a good review? What a unprofessional behavior. So the subtext is to be grateful to Pitchfork or else. And their attitude towards two good bands Dr. Dog and Birdmonster is laughable. They accused Dr. Dog of being a rip off of the Beatles…..which is such simplistic comment. I mean there are many, many bands that “rip off” the Beatles. Dr. Dog “riffs” on the idea of the Beatles. Don’t get me started. But the real reason they didn’t seem to like Dr. Dog is that the New York Times once wrote a long feature about them and Pitchfork used it as an opportunity to attack the Times and Dr. Dog. It almost seemed like they just had to hate this band that was trying to get a break but was not trying to get it through them. They recently accused Dr. Dog of not being the arena band that they want to be. What the fuck was that?That is a ridiculous comment. And they accused Birdmonster of making “non indie” roots music as if they commited some sort of crime. Just uninformed, malicious stuff. My last straw with them was their recent condescending review of the re-release of TEN. I am sure Pearl Jam could give a shit what Pitchfork thinks. I was never a huge Pearl Jam fan but they have grown on me over the years and they certainly are very commited to making the best music they can and to the right poltitical causes. And there probably wouldn’t be a Pitchfork if not for some of the inroads that a band like Pearl Jam made with the music establishment. Anyway, you guys at Hear Ya are my place now. I am done with Pitchfork. They can have their Justin.

dinks October 7, 2009 at 11:54 am

adam moerder is a tsunami of bad kharma
& pitchfork is a pond of sour milk.

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