By Scott Creney
Chuck Klosterman, former full-time music journalist (he now writes about the broader topic of ‘popular culture’) shared his thoughts this week with the readers of www.grantland.com about tUne-yArDs.
The album w h o k i l l by tUnE-yArDs was just named record of the year by voters in the 2011 Pazz & Jop poll.
Cool. Good for her. If you’re going to pick the album of the year by consensus, that’s not a bad choice. Personally, I found the album a little long. Some songs blew me away, some couldn’t end soon enough, but you have to admire the innovation, creativity, etc. They certainly could have done a lot worse. (For those of you who don’t know, he’s referring to the annual critics poll in Village Voice.)
I’m guessing this doesn’t mean much to more than (maybe) 10,000 people in the entire country. But there’s something about this situation that I find pretty fascinating, even though it’s speculative and only partially related to music.
Awesome! I love it when people are fascinated by their own guesses and speculations about music, especially when it’s only partially related to music. Me, I’m hoping the other part will be related to French cinema. Or Coldplay.
When (and if) you listen to w h o k i l l by tUnE-yArDs, you are listening to two things: a record that’s very good, and/or a record that will someday seem way worse than it actually is.
Wow. You sure are hedging your bets with that and/or. Got that everyone? People may or may not one day in the future think whokill is worse than it actually is. Have we gotten to the fascinating part yet?
And logic suggests the latter is more likely than the former, even though that’s no reflection on the value of the artist.
This logic is something that Chuck Klosterman just invented — we’ll call it ‘The Klosterman Principle’ whereby every record you like become worse and worse as time goes along. Every record you like now? Well you’re going to like it a lot less someday. This is what Chuck Klosterman calls ‘logic’.
I’m not really in a position to argue for (or against) the merits of tUnE-yArDs, simply because I’ve barely listened to w h o k i l l. Had it not won the Pazz & Jop poll, I might not have listened to it at all.
With all these disclaimers, I’m starting to wonder why Chuck bothered writing this fucking article in the first place.
It’s been on my iTunes since whenever it came out, I know my wife loved it, and I had no problem with it ideologically. I just never got around to playing it. Somehow, I hadn’t read a single story about tUnE-yArDs, so I wasn’t even sure what genre of music it was supposed to exist alongside.
We get it, Chuck. You have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. Now start telling us all about Tuneyards (I write the name however I want).
The only thing I knew was that the words “Tune Yards” were spelled “tUnE-yArDs”, which seemed like reason enough to ignore it (not a good reason, but a reason nonetheless).
Yeah, the spelling thing is pretty annoying — at the very least, it’s a pain in the ass to type. And Chuck, just so you know, the self-deprecation bit is starting to get a little old. If you feel you’re unqualified to write about the album, just don’t fucking write about it.
But then it was voted No. 1 in this poll, which made me think, I should at least know what it is. So I started playing it, totally uninformed and with no motive beside sincere curiosity. This being the Internet, you can listen to it yourself. If you don’t feel like listening to it, here’s enough information to pretend like you did:
It’s ‘besides’ not ‘beside’, and I’m sure that despite your unfamiliarity with this music, as one of the most widely published music critics of the last 20 years, you are about to have all kinds of insights into this original, complex, and at times beautiful album.