“Taking a Break from Conventional Posting to Assure Everyone That Music Criticism Sucks as Bad as Everything Else Does Right Now in America”

Now, I say it “sucks,” and yet we’re a country that has to put up a wall to keep people out, so it stands to reason that it doesn’t “suck” as bad as some other places. A more precise way to word my discourse here might be something along the lines of “constant horror from unprecedented gun clapping and other violence” or “sensory overload from seeing naked women everywhere all the time, including on news avenues covering a deadly hurricane.” All political decisions, at this point, seem a gravitation toward the lesser of two at-large evils, the job market/environment dichotomy currently looming perhaps the largest. On the flip side, our government does have transparency — more so that in the W. Bush days, at least.
I hope you’ll forgive me for being negative, anyway, but here in Terre Haute, Indiana where I live, I have an apartment which never RECEIVES the mail I order (granted, this time it was a “Fu** Trump / Kiss ‘em in the pu**y” shirt from Ras Kass’ website, so it’s not always the most appropriate). Lingering, anywho, with this ridiculous situation (luckily I had the foresight to recently ship a Soundgarden shirt to a Hot Topic store where I went to pick it up), is that I do GET a ton of mail. And… it’s 24-hour roadside assistance (I don’t even own a car). And… it’s something from “stamps.com.” That my friends is a lotta wasted paper and… I made the comment on Facebook pretty recently that telemarketing should be banned — it’s a clearly lecherous enough enterprise to legitimize this “do not call list,” which I’m told is controlled by paid government employees. So what we have here, literally, albeit on a microscopic level obviously, is this helpless government with a bajillion dollar deficit attempting to dam with its own resources the moral whitewater of unscrupulous capitalism. This is one hand washes the other, while the “other” plays in the mud.
And I realize I’m harping on things, people (I’m sparing plant life, for this particular time), so I’ll keep the rest of this short: basically, music crit. has been highjacked by a bunch of stiff-necked squares with no idea what rock and roll originally comes from. Rock and roll entails REBELLION. It flew in the face of every other music of its time — it was loud and fast, and more direct, and more fun, than everything that came before. It’s not its job to be “mature” (Pitchfork remarks in a review of The Dismemberment Plan’s Uncanney Valley that “You’d think all these changes… would suffuse Uncanney Valley… with a newfound maturity, whereas the band’s previous album Change is so nauseatingly “mature” it just makes me wanna stick a lighter to my a**). The exacerbated case, mind you, was Consequence of Sound attempting to commend Money Shot of one Pusicifer, Maynard James Keenan’s side project predicated on the m.o. of making fun of people and things, for its ability to exhibit “class.” I mean sure, bands can evolve, but keep in mind this is the man who not 10 but 19 years ago, uttered the heartwarming lines “Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon / I certainly hope we will / I sure could use a vacation from this / Bullsh** three ring / Circus side show”. Ok it’s not a DEFINITE fact that he’s serious here and not jesting and he sings with the sort of natural affection as to sometimes cloak these things, but still, this happens to be his most popular song to date. We shouldn’t burden him with the obligation of “class.” What’s more, we should recognize that nobody in the populace wants class either, evidenced by this song’s immense popularity. And then just today on Spin, a publication I typically get a lot from, I got a lot of heartburn. I was reading the review for Local Business, the 2012 Titus Andronicus follow-up to their critical (that’s more what it is than “commercial” these days, almost) breakthrough The Monitor, a project which opens with this extensive, exhaustively disillusioned narrative illustrating the general moral malaise in the world (no mention of this diatribe in said review), and one of the plains leveled by the scribe against Local Business was that it “never comes close to resolving any of the issues that it raises.” Umm, HUH? Are we talking about rock music here, or a fu**ing superintendent of a high school? Sheebish. That’s a new one. Nirvana ends a song “Something in the way / Ooh”, Wilco ends a song “Holy sh** there’s a company in my back” (obviously not only inconclusive but absurdist), and the scrappy punk Jerseyites (who by the way are a bit TOO punk), catch flak for not “resolving issues.” I think it’s safe to say that music and politics have switched places: presidents are supposed to be “rock stars” now and guitarists are supposed to wear J. Crew and update your computer’s virus scanning potentials. I knew, mind you, that it was a T.A. song title and not that shmo’s writing when I looked at the page just now and actually saw something remotely witty or colorful: “Titus Andronicus vs. The Absurd Universe (Third Round K.O.)” From the way the guy writes about it, you’d think he were doing dental work. Anyway, if rock music is really this bad, I sure hope it becomes extinct soon.

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