Collected Thoughts 03-18-10

Collected Thoughts

OKAY. Here’s a huge-ass post. I have some more Five Questions posts, but I’m gonna save ’em for a bit. This muther should keep you busy for days.

  • (Thanks to Web In Front for this) A Bay Area journo described Shadow Shadow Shade thusly: “The group is equal parts Edward Sharpe, Queen, Polyphonic Spree and Arcade Fire – yet not as good as any of those. In other words, they sound exactly like Matchbook 20. But, really, you probably already figured that out.”


  • I lolled:

  • I enjoyed reading Nitsuh Abebe’s essay on Pitchfork. I didn’t care for the bulk of the essay, the teeth-gnashing existential crisis of marginalized, burned-out hipsters. But this quote was insightful: “Because once the web brings everyone in a niche like this into constant contact, well: Where does the discussion go? Instead of figuring out your taste in relation to the world, you start figuring it out in relation to your immediate peers– which sometimes means distinguishing yourself from them over smaller and smaller differences.”

    The internet media has left the wild west and entered the industrial age. The freedom and innovation has been consolidated into overly powerful entities: content mills like Demand Media or monolithic, myopic institutions like Pitchfork. Abebe uses the editorial-royal we a lot in that essay. I suspect most people still measure their taste against the rest of the world. The insulated Pitchfork writer (and perhaps the marginally less insulated local music scene blogger) does not.

    I think the filter system needs to be redesigned. Publicity firms are part of the problem. A revolutionary online music magazine would refuse to accept submissions or invitations and instead send-out emissaries to scope-out live music based on their own independent inquiries and research. The word-of-mouth vine has been corrupted. Abebe smells the rot but can’t locate its source. As long as sites like Pitchfork continue to be spoon-fed their content, they’ll continue to ask the same asinine questions.

  • Here’s a statistical analysis of Pitchfork’s numerical scale in the past year. I’m surprised by how few low scores they actually hand-out. My own (apparently incorrect) observation / assumption was that they gave out way more low scores. What’d I’d really be interested in is a word analysis of the negative / positive comments in a review relative to the numerical score. Sometimes an reviewer glows but the number doesn’t reflect it. (I’ve heard, annecdotally, that the editor often shifts the numerical score to his liking / needs.)
  • Rachel Nichols cast in Conan. Red Sonya, maybe? Probably not, based on the character breakdowns for the film.

    I really wish they were doing a film or series of films based on actual stories from the canon. I’d do a film of young Conan-to-thief-to-barbarian king, a film where Conan loses his crown, and a third film where Conan reclaims his throne as an older man. There’s plenty of dramatically compelling stuff in the canon, no need to make-up characters.

  • Related: Now that nobody else wants Bryan Singer for everything, he’s crawling back to Fox to do more X-Men movies. I think X2 is the best movie based on a comic book ever made. But I am still terribly bitter at Singer for abandoning a Perfect X-Men Trilogy to make Superman Returns. I hate Supes; make mine Marvel. Not sure if I’m ready to forgive.
  • This dog hates the Law and Order theme:

  • This is right out of a William Gibson novel.
  • For a hundred grand, a jetpack can be yours! Between jetpacks, the Segway, the balloon boy debacle, this thing, and some other things I’ve seen… I wonder if private transport isn’t a big part of future consumer culture.
  • This Time article on Demand Media is about exactly why I decided pursuing a career is music bloggery was folly. I don’t want to spend my youth in a content mill.
  • We’ve talked about this before: ants rule the earth. Were they able to inhabit our bodies and colonize our flesh, they would. I proudly step on the six-legged terrors whenever I can.

    (wait for it…)

  • A central element of my liberal core is compassion for the imprisoned. “Locking up” people doesn’t address any of the causes of crime, and therefore only improves society on a cosmetic level. That we turn a blind eye to prison rape says more about the content of America’s character than just about anything.