This Just In: Pitchfork Writers Are Weak
It's not news that Pitchfork is full of hot air, or that they need some serious copy editors (as Kyle's happily been pointing out lately). By no shakes do I claim to be a great music writer either. Occasional music writer yes, great, no. And there surely is a considerable degree of defensiveness in my reaction to this particular Pitchfork piece, since it's about one of my very favorite bands which I know to be comprised of very nice fellows. Very nice, dreamy fellows. So just throw any notion of objectivity out the window.
Disclaimers disclaimed, come on now, Jason Crock. I won't even take this opportunity to make a pun on your name. Let us, instead, meander through the bizarre web of contradictions you've published.
Your first complaint is that people have to pay for this album. Aside from the fact that that makes you sound a bit ridiculous, if you look just above your piece, to the banner ad running above it, you'll notice something. An ad for FREE streaming of the album you're talking about. (At least, that ad was there at the time I read it -- trust me.)
You also go on to talk about how The Walkmen are a perfect fit to cover Nilsson. Then go on to talk about how they were all wrong. I agree there's a certain degree of worthlessness in carbon copy covers, but in my humble opinion, this album avoids most of the trappings you're acusing it of. The songs sound like they could be The Walkmen's own. Isn't that the idea behind a great cover?
You claim to be a fan of the band's, then complain that every song The Walkmen write isn't "The Rat." Or as well orchestrated as their work on Pussycats is. Pussycats -- which you don't like. You purport to be a fan of their live shows, then mock them for playing "illustrious venues like the Bait Shop" (a dig at their performance on The O.C.).
You say this ablum is too stodgy, then recognize the fact that it's a lark. That the band shows up on the album's cover dressed as fruit and other silly costumes.
Then there's the kicker: you complain that this album has no "lost weekend" to justify it -- no spontineity. Then in the greatest, "but wait, actually there was" moment of this piece, you go on to tell the tale of the last days of the band's Marcata studio, when and where the album was recorded, with a host of their friends in a raucus quick experiment for pure fun.
Is Pussycats Starring The Walkmen perfect? No. Is it a damn good tribute with some crazy fun high points? Hell yes. I dare you to sit still while "Loop de Loop" is playing. And Crock's complaint about "Many Rivers to Cross" are just insane. That song is bad. ass. So "Subterranean Homesick Blues" sounds a bit like Kenny Loggins. Everything else is pretty effing great.
Basically, Mr. Crock, I'd just like you to make up your mind. Or at least, sit down and think about your article before you write it. On a site ready by every iPod-weilding hipster across the land. Make sure it makes sense. The tens of people that read this blog don't really mind if my posts make no sense, most of the time at least. But show a little credibility. Try. Please?