Friday, June 13, 2008

You're Talking Out Your Ass And I Know It

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Not for nothing, but I felt like pointing out that I really like this photo of Dillinger Escape Plan from the latest issue of Skyscraper (just go to your nearest Borders, I'm sure they still have a ton of 'em). The guitar player jamming out in the background juxtaposed against the brutus beefcake singer-guy acting all Cappo and shit looks pretty damn hard; then to top it off, you've got all the people up front with their hands in the air, and if you look closely you'll see that a couple of 'em even has X's on their hands (join the fight, Messrs. Nailed To The X!).

Honestly, though, the first time I saw the name Dillinger Escape Plan it sorta ticked me off, because Dillinger Four already had a cool name and now here was some dipshit pseudo-math metal band coming around and ruining it. That was the full extent of my knowledge of Dillinger Escape Plan up 'til a couple of months ago, when I was watching On Demand on TV and stumbled upon the video for "Milk Lizard" (, and whaddya know-- these bitches rock! These bitches flock! For once in their puny little lives, Dillinger Escape Plan were seriously kicking my ass, even though this is their big sell-out song, I guess. I mean, they were rocking out almost like they were goddamn Rye Coalition or some shit! Until about a minute and a half into the video, and then they started losing me. So there you have it, that's about all I have to say regarding Dillinger Escape Plan... buncha metal pussies.

If you happen to be stuck at the dentist's office and get to read the new issue of Skyscraper, though, you'll find an article right around the middle of the ish claiming that music blogs really suck and they're all crappy and stuff. Not really a difficult argument to make, I know, but the guy (Bryan Ferry or something) does a particularly hack job of it. If you click on the two images below, you can read the whole article.

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Now, I'm not a profesional editor or anything like that, but I did notice that you can remove the entire first paragraph of the article and it doesn't change it one bit. You know you've got some long-windedness ahead of you when that happens.

The article first aims its wrath at No Age, who must be evil because, among other things, they have a MySpace page (SRSLY? NO FUCKING WAY!), and because they don't have day jobs. You'll notice that no one's asking how many of Skyscraper's staffers have day jobs, so I guess that's only important if you're in a band, or something.

Next, the writer goes after mp3 blogs that "pre-release the 'single' or most radio-friendly album track well before consumers have the opportunity to purchase the album... and will have already heard enough of these artists by the time the physical versions hit stores." Well, no shit. Isn't that what singles are for, anyway? It's standard practice to get a lead-off song and video on the airwaves before the album is officialy released. It's called promotion, dumb-ass.

Another main point of the article is that writing about music on the internet will cause "the entire music community to lose out on developing real musicians with long-term careers. There will be no Rolling Stones of the twenty-first century. There will never again be a Beatles, Bob Dylan, or David Bowie. There won't even be another U2 or Sonic Youth, legacy artists with careers that span a lifetime." Now, wait just a second. The internet can do all that?

First of all, not having another U2 (or Eric Clapton, even) isn't a bad idea. But I remember the same sort of thing being said about music videos-- that videos will ruin our attention spans and shorten musical careers-- and guess what, the 25-plus years that U2 and Sonic Youth have been around (to use the writer's own examples) coincide almost exactly with the existence of MTV. So much for that. Most people buying CDs or records aren't even aware of what's being written about them by rock critics, anyway.

Which, it turns out, is exactly what's getting Skyscraper all hot and bothered. "Real credentialed journalists and once highly respected fanzine writers have lost their role as gatekeepers of the music world," says the article. Aww, too fucking bad. Hey, I got news for you: nobody fucking likes rock critics anyway, except the dumb promotions guys whose job it is to feed them freebies. The more of you industry assholes who get kicked to the curb the better, especially the ones who think they're the friggin "gatekeepers of the music world."

Now onto the Dillinger band that ain't a buncha metal pussies-- Dillinger Four.

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About ten years ago I made a tape of Dillinger Four's Mutant Pop EP and "The Kids Are All Dead" to listen to in the car, as well as to save the vinyl from getting ruined. Well, the saving the vinyl part didn't work, because at one point or another the two D4 seven-inchers that I used to own got into a fight with each other or something, so now they're either gone or unplayable. I still have the tape, though-- and the sleeve and lyric sheet to "The Kids Are All Dead", though nothing else, sadly enough, because I think the record's worth about 8 bucks now. Woo hoo!

I did buy a copy of "This Shit Is Genius" along the way, which compiles a bunch of the early Dillinger Four singles onto one album and includes "The Kids Are All Dead". That's where these two rips are from, as well as the picture of the orange vinyl-looking thing at the bottom of this post. Yes, note: that picture is not some obscure version of the D4 seven-inch! It is the compilation LP! Do not be alarmed!

Man, if I knew that writing about music on the internet was gonna kill David Bowie, I'd post every friggin' day if I had to.

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Dillinger Four -

"Hi-Pro Glow"

"Two Cents"

(these files are now listen-only)

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gabbagabbahey said...

yeah, that article's pretty weak. I didn't actually read the first paragraph... the whole thing's full of a low-level scare factor. Never actually explains how marketing firms "utilize and post entries to... over five million blogs and discussion forums".

I think if people want to hype the latest internet band, they will; just like the rest of us will keep blogging obscure and overlooked stuff, because it's what interests us.

ib said...

Nice put-down, brushback.

Never mind amateur bloggers curtailing the shelfspan of Sonic Youth ; what I want is a blog which can kill the career of a U2 before they even get started.

Now that's gotta be worth a PayPal donate button!

Thanks for the link-back too, while I'm at it. It's crazy shit like that which forces MOJO staffers to queue in a wellfare line!

Brushback said...

Fittingly enough, Skyscraper zine has their own web site (, although the content isn't exactly fresh. I guess they're doing what they can to hold back on their internet presence so that, you know, the Beatles can still sell records and stuff.

d. said...

Hilarious post! I love the juxtaposition of "metal" and "pussy" especially when describing Dillinger Escape Plan. There music has always caused me nothing but headaches.

scott12xu said...

D, you've obviously never heard of the Daughters (from Providence, RI). If DEP gives you headaches, Daughters will give you day-long migranes.

See what they started? Bastards.

Nazz Nomad said...

groovy. saw em over the weekend. still fat, drunk and kick-ass.

Brushback said...

D4's coming around here (NYC/RI) in October, for anyone who wants to run out and buy tickets.

Hey, Nazz, you've got some neat tunes on your blog-- I'll be downloading some of those as soon as I get the time...

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. For those of you who missed the boat, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files.