My Albums of the Decade

10 thoughts on “My Albums of the Decade”

  1. Save a few like Queens of the Stone Age, System of a Down and Muse, this list is comprised of over 20 items of rubbish – not much will be remembered past… well, next year. Now as to albums that might actually mean something to someone decades from now: Dirt Farmer (Levon Helm); Live in Dublin (Bruce Springsteen); Yoshimi… (The Flaming Lips) [I had to go back – did he/she really leave out the Lips?? Yep]; Is This It? (The Strokes) [Again, did he/she really? Yep, he/she did]; along with albums by Johnny Cash, Primal Scream, Wilco, Kings of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss… CAT POWER? LCD SOUNDSYSTEM? [Hello?? Is this thing on?] RADIOHEAD?

    Now I understand what you’re trying to do – finding the gems that didn’t make it ‘big’ is a wonderful hobby, but sometimes a big success is successful because (ta-da!) it’s GREAT. Avoiding popular music just because it’s popular is just ig’nant; avoiding hooks because they’re catchy is no way to compose a great list of a decade’s worth of great music.

    Toss Blink and add Me First & The Gimme Gimmes.
    Jz

    1. That was hilarious. Haha

      I can’t really argue with you on some of those points, especially the overly dramatic lyrics and failed attempts at being deep. Regardless, I don’t really appreciate your use of the word “faggot”. It’s demeaning and in poor taste.

      ANYWAY, I do enjoy their approach to punk. It’s heavy, time-signature bending and all-in-all fantastic musicianship by a bunch of college kids. It’s lo-fi because they don’t have a big budget. If you listen to the new stuff they’re recording, it’s better quality and put together nicely. I don’t really believe it’s part of some aesthetic or attempt at seeming authentic. They are an underground band that probably doesn’t have the facilities available to them to produce a cleaner sound.

      I chose this album because it opened the world of power violence up to me. I feel in love with bands like pageninetynine and Orchid because of them. I became aware of a new genre, and I fell in love with their brand of tenacity and aggressiveness.

      They are trying to do their own thing, and for that they shouldn’t be scolded. If you don’t like it, that’s great, but you spent an awful lot of time writing that proof. That was time you could have spent creating something instead of harshly criticizing someone you don’t know for doing what they love.

      Anyway, I respect your opinion, and you’re a wonderful writer. I will be adding you to my GoogleReader. You’re insightful, even if I don’t agree with what I just read. :D

      Best,
      Dago

  2. Thanks for reading it, and for the compliments, even if you disagree. You’re probably right that some of my word choices are in poor taste, even if I disclaim some of their homophobic implications.

    As for the two other bands you’ve mentioned, I can only really speak about Orchid. The other band I have never heard. I resent Orchid, however, for their illicit invocations of Adorno and Nietzsche (the latter of whose name they misspell in their song booklet). I also think they suck. But hey, this is just a matter of personal taste.

    And you’re right, it did take a couple hours to write up that whole proof and make sure it was coherent. If you actually go through all the propositions and axioms, you’ll see that it actually does work out. Maybe I shouldn’t devote so much time to hating a band for doing something that makes them happy. I’m just a bitter person, though. Part of it is comic anyway. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read it. It might just be a one-time post.

    1. I never really bother analyzing/remember bands’ lyrics. I’m always that guy that hums along. Haha. I wish I could actually dissect lyrics and draw these conclusions from them. I just don’t have the patience. I think it might have started with my hatred of poetry in high school. Meh.

      I never even realized that Orchid wrote about Adorno and Nietzsche. I <3 Adorno. Theodor and I go way back. :D

      Well, if you decide to actually pursue regularly writing a blog, I will definitely read it. (That's me telling you to do it.)

  3. I appreciate your encouragement, but am afraid that once classes start up again there simply won’t be time to maintain a blog like this.

    Props on liking Adorno. He was the last truly great critic/philosopher/sociologist of the 20th century, and certainly no one in this century has any claim to rival him. My review was modeled on Spinoza’s Ethics, which you might have read. Teddy and I go way back, too, but me and Baruch go all the way back to the days of the Amsterdam ghetto.

  4. By the way, what do you think Adorno’s take on Circle Takes the Square would be? You probably know he was a trained musicologist and a student of Alban Berg, the famed serialist composer. And everyone knows that he even hated jazz in his own day. Just curious about your opinion on this matter.

    1. You know, I don’t really know. On the one hand, they’re not really traditional, from first listen you become aware that they really don’t give a shit about what they sound like. They seem to be playing whatever the hell the want. It seems arbitrary. It definitely makes sense upon closer inspection, but I think from the outset it’s very anti-establishment in a musical sense. You’ll never hear the Foo Fighters play a song like “Crowquill”. It’s a cacophony.

      However, when you really look into emo violence, they are trendsetters. They call back to older bands. In a sense, they are a bit traditional. CTTS seems to be entrenched in this musical ghetto, and they are accompanied by loyal fans and other bands that follow that structure. There’s a scene, and I don’t think Adorno would have been okay with any sort of “scene”.

      It think it all depends on your level of awareness.

      Ever listen to Artie Shaw? He’s this fantastic clarinetist from the 1930s and 40s. Anyway, he was too legit. He wrote “Begin the Beguine” and had hits with standards like “Stardust”. Anyway, he HATED his audience. He HATED RCA Victor, because he felt that the audience, artist and production company HAD to have their separate spheres. Artie didn’t want to play FOR his audience, he wanted them to LISTEN to him and not have his artistic direction determined by the whims of the masses and critics. I loved Artie Shaw because I think that his approach toward popular music is the most correct I’ve ever seen. If you don’t fucking like it, tough, this is what I’m creating, and even though in itself, Artie was creating popular music, swing, he was doing it for himself and the pure joy of creating beautiful music that Bing Crosby could sing and dance to.

      Anyway, I think a lot of bands like CTTS fall into these sort of pressure situations that might force them to make decisions regarding their music that might seem ingenuous and contrived, which is what Artie tried to avoid by disappearing off the face of the earth for 5 years. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is:

      Yes, Adorno would have probably hated the shit out of Circle Takes the Square.

  5. …I don’t think Adorno would have been okay with any sort of “scene”…

    …Yes, Adorno would have probably hated the shit out of Circle Takes the Square.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this judgment. Though Jay Bernstein et al. have tried to revise the notion of Adorno as an “effete mandarin,” the man was clearly still an elitist. That’s okay, though, so am I. He would have easily perceived that Circle Takes the Square is working within the context of the music industry, a branch of Adorno’s more totalizing concept of the culture industry. Though ostensibly underground or whatnot, what the band actually serves is a niche market that fetishizes its seeming “unconventionality.” This is not to say that I agree with everything Adorno ever wrote. I don’t mind jazz as much as he did, though I’m not a huge fan of it. And I disagree completely with his appraisal of Stravinskii.

    I’ve never listened to Artie Shaw. From your description, I can say that I appreciate his unwillingness to bow slavishly before the demands of the public. It’s even better that he hated RCA Victor. I remember hearing that Miles Davis underwent a similar phase when he refused to play unless his back was turned to the audience. That story might be apocryphal but I think it’s the same basic concept. Still, despite my general contempt for “the masses,” I still feel that ideally music should seek to communicate something between different people. That is to say, it shouldn’t just be art for art’s sake (art pour l’art) or just be for the private pleasure of the artist. Universality is difficult (if not impossible) to achieve in art, but it should be the goal nonetheless.

    Your story intrigued me, however. I’ll check out Shaw for sure.

    Nevertheless, having listened to Circle Takes the Square at length, I am convinced that they have no such noble ideals as you’re saying Shaw might have had. At least in my judgment, their use of all the techniques I cite in my review is utterly cynical. They know that they’re manipulating people and continue to do it unscrupulously. Of course, my opinion seems to be in the extreme minority on this account. So who knows.

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