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.