Song of the day – 566: Blanche Blanche Blanche
I’m stealing this one from Scott Creney.
Fourteen minutes ago he announced via Facebook that he’s got a new favourite band of 2013 and – “about goddamn time too”.
Frankly, that’s enough of a recommendation for me all by its lonesome to run with Blanche Blanche Blanche in this here coveted slot (I don’t need to listen, just use my fucking imagination… something the despoilers of music criticism would have us believe is unnecessary) but I decided I’d treat myself, go have a listen. After all, the song’s only 1.42 minutes long. Go on. Why don’t you too?
In the meantime, here is some incidental wordage.
This is an interesting question, the question about why music criticism still exists. I can agree that it’s not really fair to you to say that you’re a dilettante just because you don’t like music criticism at all, and prefer to live without it.
But – as someone who cares about music, someone who is a musician and who makes that a big part of his life, I have to say: the way you’re putting it precludes any discussion or discourse about music. You’re describing a world where people choose the music they want, and then listen to what appeals to them, without ever once talking to other people about it. And I can see how that might be sort of an ideal. Some people feel like talking about music is utterly pointless, because (as is often said) music is beyond words. There’s a pithy phrase people sometimes use – “talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” Why not just let people enjoy whatever music appeals to them, and leave it at that?
Well, because: human beings like talking about things. We like having discussions, we like arguing, we like disagreeing. We still have music criticism because apparently it turns out that all along the point of music criticism wasn’t to inform purchases; it was to satisfy our desire to talk with each other about the things that really matter to us.
So, yes, I am going to continue to read music criticism (both professional and amateur) and write music criticism (exceedingly amateur) and argue about the state of jazz today and whether Nirvana was important and whether there’s anything worthwhile in the latest Mountain Goats album and things like that. I’ll particularly continue to enjoy music criticism like the music criticism linked in the post above. Why? Not because it expresses so well what disappoints me about certain musics – although it does do that. Music is a shared thing; and the things we share are the things we talk about, the things we argue about and turn over in our minds and try to come to grips with. What I find so vital about this writing is that it seems to consistently strive to communicate those moments of epiphany that are part of why music is so worth listening to.
In other words: I like it when people write about music in such a way that they can make me love things I didn’t realize I could love before. That, I think, is a very noble reason why writing and talking about music can be so worthwhile.
posted by koeselitz at 7:55 PM on March 22
For me, music is an incredible social tool. I love when people try to explain why they love music: not when they outright recommend me music, because most people are bad at that, but when they try to explain why they like something I don’t particularly care about. And I like explaining my own tastes back. And sometimes I meet somebody who has such a solid idea of “what good music is” that they can recommend me anything and I’ll probably like it. Even if it’s nothing at all like what I know I enjoy today.
This is a blog of people who know good music. They dismiss some music I love, and I’m curious about their reasonings. They recommend some things I don’t care for, and I love seeing why they love those things so much. It is a treasure trove for people who are interested in why they like what they like.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:40 AM on March 2
Creney has updated his Facebook status even as I type:
Hey E. P4K gave it a 7.0 yesterday. Said it sounded like Devo. Or Ariel Pink. To quote you, “Bangs wept.”
Probably P4K were irritated by the fact it was ladeeez on stage having fun. (Dudes on stage having fun? Sure. But the ladeeez still have something to prove, right?) Jerk-offs. Worth a 7.1 at least.
Here’s another song.
This is more fun than three rounds of fun staring at a wall of Jad Fair papercuts. This is more lo-falutin’ than a disco full of Teena Marie fans dancing to your momma’s collection of Minor Threat demos. This is as uplifting and soulful as D-Wizz 2.0 when he’s on a Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen trip. It’s very hit and miss, but that’s the beauty of it. Sooner or later, someone’s going to give them a 7.2 and it’ll go to their heads and they’ll turn into Sentridoh, so catch ’em quick before it happens.
NOTE: The band biography is better-written than most music criticism I’ve read in recent years.
Blanche Blanche Blanche – a two-piece who keep changing – are from Vermont. I went to Vermont one time, made up the interview with the band whose record company flew me in (they never spoke to me again), raved about the girlfriends’ band (which wasn’t supposed to be real but got signed after I left), got frostbite on top of a mountain and played a manic game of chess interviewing Dinosaur Jr. Everything sounded like this.
It’s a trip, a real trap man.