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Old 11-05-2010, 04:24 PM   #226
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AFTP overrated?
For some reason I read this as ATHF 3 times or so, and was confused as to why it was being discussed in an REM thread.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:07 PM   #227
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Something can be great and still be overrated. Think of AFTP as a beautiful woman who just happens to have a purple penis growing out of the side of her arm.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:23 PM   #228
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Speaking of AFTP and penises:

Lance's Mom-inspired art: stick it in here
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:32 PM   #229
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OK, I know you don't like Ignoreland, but that was a ridiculously off base analogy!



Also mofo, enlighten me, ATHF?
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:34 PM   #230
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I'm gonna call back to the discussion we had about veteran music critic Robert Christgau. He was pretty on-the-money with this band from the beginning:

Murmur [I.R.S., 1983]
They aren't a pop band or even an art-pop band--they're an art band, nothing less or more, and a damn smart one. If they weren't so smart they wouldn't be so emotional; in fact, if they weren't so smart no one would mistake them for a pop band. By obscuring their lyrics so artfully they insist that their ("pop") music is good for meaning as well as pleasure, but I guarantee that when they start enunciating--an almost inevitable move if they stick around--the lyrics will still be obscure. That's because their meaning and their emotion almost certainly describe the waking dream that captivates so many art and pop bands. Which leaves me wondering just how much their pleasure means. Quite a lot, I think. A-

This is a pretty good encapsulation as well:

Document [I.R.S., 1987]
Their commercial breakthrough eschews escapism without surrendering structural obliqueness, and after six years of mushmouth I wouldn't have thought it possible either. Maybe they finally figured out that intelligibility doesn't equal closure (can't, actually). Or maybe they just wanted to make sure everyone knew how pissed off they were. In any case, these dreamsongs are nightmares of a world in flames, the kind you remember in all their scary inconsistency because you woke up sweating in the middle. How it will all end I couldn't say, but it's a healthy sign that their discovery of the outside world has sharpened their sense of humor along with everything else. Inspirational Title: "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." A

and this LOL smackdown of Reveal, making fun of Stipe's cinema side-projects:

Reveal [Warner Bros., 2001]
Not as bad as it first sounds, but also not as good as they thought when they released it, or they wouldn't have, I hope. Suffused with somnolent tempos and pensive arrangements, the romantic trials and spiritual quests of struggling rock and rollers can be pretty hard to take, so why should we care about the ditto of wealthy movie producers with a record contract to fulfill and 21 individually acknowledged string players on call? Even a movie producer who knows the names of Japanese carp and French emotions that he'll happily print out in the booklet now that he's e-nun-ci-a-ting ev-ry sing-gle word? B-

If I can detour a second, I'd also recommend reading Christgau's write-ups of all the Prince albums. They're perceptive and hilarious. Again, he gets the importance of The Artist (pun intended) right from the beginning:

Dirty Mind [Warner Bros., 1980]
After going gold in 1979 as an utterly uncrossedover falsetto love man, he takes care of the songwriting, transmutes the persona, revs up the guitar, muscles into the vocals, leans down hard on a rock-steady, funk-tinged four-four, and conceptualizes--about sex, mostly. Thus he becomes the first commercially viable artist in a decade to claim the visionary high ground of Lennon and Dylan and Hendrix (and Jim Morrison), whose rebel turf has been ceded to such marginal heroes-by-fiat as Patti Smith and John Rotten-Lydon. Brashly lubricious where the typical love man plays the lead in "He's So Shy," he specializes here in full-fledged fuckbook fantasies--the kid sleeps with his sister and digs it, sleeps with his girlfriend's boyfriend and doesn't, stops a wedding by gamahuching the bride on her way to church. Mick Jagger should fold up his penis and go home. A

That last line is fucking GOLD. Also, he saves his highest rating for my own personal favorite:

Sign o' the Times [Paisley Park, 1987]
No formal breakthrough, and despite the title/lead/debut single, no social relevance move either, which given the message of "The Cross" (guess, just guess) suits me fine. Merely the most gifted pop musician of his generation proving what a motherfucker he is for two discs start to finish. With helpmate turns from Camille, Susannah, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, he's back to his one-man-band tricks, so collective creation fans should be grateful that at least the second-hottest groove here, after the galvanic "U Got the Look," is Revolution live. Elsewhere Prince-the-rhythm section works on his r&b so Prince-the-harmony-group can show off vocal chops that make Stevie Wonder sound like a struggling ventriloquist. Yet the voices put over real emotions--studio solitude hasn't reactivated his solipsism. The objects of his desire are also objects of interest, affection, and respect. Some of them he may not even fuck. A+


Interested in looking anyone up, just type in the artist name in the "CG Search" sidebar:

Robert Christgau: Home
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:41 PM   #231
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I his Prince write ups, but he's taking Reveal to task a little bit more than is necessary, granted it ain't near their pinnacle, but they never released it to the fanfare and promotional onslaught as the best thing ever the way a certain band does, so it comes off as a detour in their career, and personally, a few of my favorite R.E.M. tracks come from it. Plus, in retrospect it is a masterwork when viewed following the release of Around the Sun.


Can we get a new single yet??
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:45 AM   #232
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i like how the reveal write-up is scathing, and yet....B-. maybe i was just an underachiever when i was in school, but i sure as shit never got upset about a b-.
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:06 PM   #233
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I was reading so fast (so numb) that I didn't even notice he only gave it a B-!
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:06 PM   #234
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i like how the reveal write-up is scathing, and yet....B-. maybe i was just an underachiever when i was in school, but i sure as shit never got upset about a b-.
His rating system is compressed a bit...I think he's given out like a dozen D's in his entire time as a writer. A B- is really bad, especially for an artist he respects.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:23 PM   #235
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Yeah, he kind of subscribes to the musical "auteur" theory. If someone is really good, they don't put out crap.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:00 AM   #236
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...and Peaches, and Lenny Kaye.

I'm making a prediction: best R.E.M. album since Hi-Fi.
I'm looking forward to this album even more now.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:35 AM   #237
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I always dismissed R.E.M. as "wuss rock", guys that write songs like "Losing my religion" and "Everybody Hurts". Then my ex gf was a fan and drug me to a concert. I was blown away. I don't know what it was about the show, but they immediately pulled me in. I remember they opened with "Begin the Begin" and "WTF,K", and that really pulled me in. Then and there I realized that this band has a legacy and a huge back catalog of great songs I know nothing about. I spent the next few months collecting their entire catalog, and I'm a huge fan. My favorite era is the IRS years, but I like pretty much everything. So excited about the new album, I hope they actually come to Ohio this time so I can go see them!
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:21 AM   #238
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Also mofo, enlighten me, ATHF?
YouTube - A.T.H.F - Danger Doom
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:28 PM   #239
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Ah, right.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:13 AM   #240
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Yeah, he kind of subscribes to the musical "auteur" theory. If someone is really good, they don't put out crap.

ah, gotcha.
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