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Author Topic: Pitchfork pans tour, album  (Read 7666 times)
Wirestone
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« on: June 25, 2012, 08:13:30 PM »

For those who expected any respect from the erstwhile indie site -- it has steadfastly refused to review the record, and here are its brief takes on recent developments.

"Parks' comment to Pecknold and Rossen as they loped onstage to join him for the song-- "Hello Robin. Hello Daniel. Welcome to the abattoir"-- sparked pangs of sadness for the ways in which the song's creators now play live: Parks long belatedly given the credit for these sublime albums, while his most fabled collaborator perches behind a piano each night on a world tour, a gamely smiling void at the center of a facsimile of the joy that he once created."

http://pitchfork.com/news/46970-report-van-dyke-parks-with-grizzly-bears-daniel-rossen-and-fleet-foxes-robin-pecknold-in-london/

"The songs from the new That's Why God Made the Radio are awfully schlocky and over-arranged."

http://pitchfork.com/features/articles/8864-bonnaroo-2012/
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Zach95
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 08:18:11 PM »

I read the latter comment when reading the Bonnaroo article, and as I understood the comment it was speaking in regards to the live renditions of the songs, not the album cuts themselves. 
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Wirestone
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 08:22:47 PM »

I read the latter comment when reading the Bonnaroo article, and as I understood the comment it was speaking in regards to the live renditions of the songs, not the album cuts themselves. 

You think they would find the album versions less schlocky or over-arranged?
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Zach95
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 08:24:52 PM »

I read the latter comment when reading the Bonnaroo article, and as I understood the comment it was speaking in regards to the live renditions of the songs, not the album cuts themselves. 

You think they would find the album versions less schlocky or over-arranged?

Well they were referring to the fact that the live renditions are difficult to perform live, and taken in the context of the article, not of necessity to hear at a music festival.  Pitchfork would never criticize something like TWGMTR or Isn't It Time to be over-arranged on record, simply because they're not, for the most part the instrumentation is simple and basic.
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 08:28:54 PM »

As if Pitchfork needed another reason to prove just how irrelevant they are...
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Wirestone
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 08:33:48 PM »

I read the latter comment when reading the Bonnaroo article, and as I understood the comment it was speaking in regards to the live renditions of the songs, not the album cuts themselves. 

You think they would find the album versions less schlocky or over-arranged?

Well they were referring to the fact that the live renditions are difficult to perform live, and taken in the context of the article, not of necessity to hear at a music festival.  Pitchfork would never criticize something like TWGMTR or Isn't It Time to be over-arranged on record, simply because they're not, for the most part the instrumentation is simple and basic.

You're giving Pitchfork way more credit than I would, my friend. They don't say "the live versions of these songs" are that way. They say the songs are that way.
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 08:35:35 PM »

so are we just blatantly spinning information to fit our threads now or what?  taken from wirestone's link:

It was another reclusive-genius type who provided the weekend with its biggest surprise. The Beach Boys' Sunday afternoon set had all the trappings of sad-making state fair fodder: there's another band serving as a safety net behind the remaining five Boys, and villain/hero Mike Love still has the slight scent of used car salesman on him. The tempos have slowed some, the harmonies certainly don't pop like they used to, and 20 seconds into "Do It Again", it wasn't clear if everybody knew they'd gotten started. A few songs in, though, things got good, and kept getting better.
The cars-and-surfboards songs are all but etched into America's DNA at this point, but no amount of boomer-ish mistiness for some imagined past can dull those melodies. And Mike Love pays just enough lip service to Brian Wilson that you almost forgive him for all those lousy years when John Stamos had him convinced he was Jimmy Buffett. Al Jardine's voice is spot-on, David Marks got off a couple truly ripping solos, and Bruce Johnston's clearly having a ball. Wilson, behind the piano through most of the set, isn't singing much, and when he does, it's a little shaky; he's got both a teleprompter and a guy to help finish his lines when he can't hit the notes. But when he takes the baton-- on "Heroes and Villains", a mini Pet Sounds-suite, and a knockout performance of "Sail On, Sailor"-- that cheaply nostalgic "'member when" feeling all but melts away. The songs from the new That's Why God Made the Radio are awfully schlocky and over-arranged, and nobody really needs to hear "Surfin' USA" and "Surfin' Safari" in a half-hour span. But they sounded better than any band who survived both Uncle Jesse and "Kokomo" ought to, and they absolutely nailed "Wouldn't It Be Nice". That's a good one to nail.

they sure are panning the tour hard  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 08:36:37 PM by Runaways » Logged
Wirestone
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 08:39:32 PM »

Eh.

If I was actually interested in spinning the information, I wouldn't have included the links.

And in what world is "a gamely smiling void at the center of a facsimile of the joy that he once created" a rave?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 08:43:45 PM by Wirestone » Logged
Zach95
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 08:49:13 PM »

Here's the thing.  You've got to take those comments in the context of the article.  As Runaways pointed out, Pitchfork highlighted the Beach Boys' performance as one of the best of the festival and one of the biggest surprises.  They were talking about the setlist when discussing the TWGMTR songs, not the record itself.  That's how I take it, that's how I'm pretty darn sure the writer intended it to be, as well.  You may disagree, and that's fine! That's just my opinion.

Everyone seems to think Pitchfork is some group of stuck, snobby elitist young reviewers criticizing every album and trashing every new artist.  They're not a bunch of mean-spirited people.  It's their reputation, I understand that, but I read Pitchfork daily and really appreciate their knowledge and insight and believe their reviews to be fair.  Just an example, the new Beach House album received a 9.1 from Pitchfork.  Rolling Stone, and countless other critics gave it mediocre reviews, Rolling Stone gave it three stars (surprise, surprise).  That album will be on Pitchfork's best albums of 2012 list, and in the top 10. The point is, they're not afraid to go against the norm in terms of reviewing albums, and that goes for positive reviews and negative reviews.  Though I'm real disappointed they didn't review TWGMTR, I like Pitchfork, and their comments on the Bonnaroo article really were positive regarding the Beach Boys.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 08:51:30 PM by Zach95 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 08:51:27 PM »

Eh.

If I was actually interested in spinning the information, I wouldn't have included the links.

And in what world is "a gamely smiling void at the center of a facsimile of the joy that he once created" a rave?

Well you pulled a quote out of a show review which made a comment about two album tracks in a live setting and made it into a site-wide condemnation of the studio album.  

You also took a quote from an article that isn't a show review and made that into a site-wide condemnation of the tour, when clearly an actual review of a concert gave it praise.
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GhostyTMRS
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2012, 08:55:25 PM »

Sorry, doesn't look like a pan to me. It's just the typical snarky crap they try to pass off as "hip" on Pitchfork. Unfortunately Pitchfork thinks it has a sense of humor when it's reviews would suggest otherwise.

Even if it were a pan, the thing to always remember about Pitchfork is that if an album they trashed suddenly becomes "trendy" they'll go back and change their review or just delete it all together. That's the kind of site we're dealing with here. They're not to be taken seriously anyway.
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 09:35:34 PM »

Leave the Pitchfork back in the barncard with the cook chopping lumber. (sic)  LOL
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 12:28:32 AM »

i thought the pitchfork review was mainly positive and simply honest
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hypehat
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 01:15:42 AM »

As if Pitchfork needed another reason to prove just how irrelevant they are...

Website disagrees with you = irrelevant?
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 01:32:13 AM »

Pitchfork is actual one of the most significant music publications on the internet whether you agree with them or not. 

Also, they didn't pan the Beach Boys at all.  They said that they sounded great live, that the new songs they played were mediocre (which I don't agree with but it's not like other critics aren't saying that) and that playing early hits like Surfin' Safari and Surfin' USA is unnecessary (which I don't agree with either... to an extent).
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Cabinessenceking
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 03:23:39 AM »

from what i heard Bonnaroo was not a very good show. some great songs, but as mentioned lots of uninteresting early hits instead of the good music that came later (which Pitchfork are aware of). It seems Brian's voice was not working out at all during that show. I only know from the few videoclips floating around, but I was cringing at many instances whilst listening. I think the reviewer of Pitchfork felt the same. Not his/her fault.
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Loaf
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2012, 03:38:49 AM »

Pitchfork is a great website with some excellent (and diverse) music writers and thinkers. You don't have to like it all, but dismissive comments about the whole site are just plain wrong.

Also, I was at the Van Dyke Parks show in London. It was superb. I was way more excited about seeing VDP in concert than the BBs reunion tour. His piano playing was inventive, dextrous, and forceful when it needed to be. His voice was strong and confident, I don't think i'd ever heard him sound so rich and rounded on live tracks or on record. He didn't sound nearly 70 years old. I spoke to him afterwards (he signed my Song Cycle LP and gave me a 'business card') Smiley


Now compare that to the BBs. Several hundred pounds/dollars for the same kind of 'meet and greet' that VDP did for free? Snotty attitude from Bruce? Voices that are a shadow of their former selves (Al excepted)? And does Brian look happy to be there? The best that one can say is that on rare occasions he does...

One show is full of art, the other is a nostalgia trip/cash-in.
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hypehat
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 03:44:22 AM »

Pitchfork is a great website with some excellent (and diverse) music writers and thinkers. You don't have to like it all, but dismissive comments about the whole site are just plain wrong.

Also, I was at the Van Dyke Parks show in London. It was superb. I was way more excited about seeing VDP in concert than the BBs reunion tour. His piano playing was inventive, dextrous, and forceful when it needed to be. His voice was strong and confident, I don't think i'd ever heard him sound so rich and rounded on live tracks or on record. He didn't sound nearly 70 years old. I spoke to him afterwards (he signed my Song Cycle LP and gave me a 'business card') Smiley


Now compare that to the BBs. Several hundred pounds/dollars for the same kind of 'meet and greet' that VDP did for free? Snotty attitude from Bruce? Voices that are a shadow of their former selves (Al excepted)? And does Brian look happy to be there? The best that one can say is that on rare occasions he does...

One show is full of art, the other is a nostalgia trip/cash-in.

Dude, so jealous you got to go to that show. I had to settle with going to see him at Rough Trade the next day because I was working. And yes, I got a business card  LOL
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2012, 03:55:56 AM »

I was at the VDP gig too, and the thing to remember about the Pitchfork writer's single-sentence dismissal of the Beach Boys tour is that *that writer will not have seen any of the Beach Boys shows, being based in the UK*. That dismissal's just based on other people's reports, and it's hardly Pitchfork 'panning' anything.

The show was as good as the report says, though I'd disagree with Loaf that VDP has never sounded better -- he sounded better both last year at the Union Chapel and in 1999 at the Royal Festival Hall. A couple of times on Saturday's gig, in fact, he was very Brianesque -- singing the second verse of Opportunity For Two instead of the first one, missing the odd vocal cue and so on. But it was still one of the best shows I've ever seen, regardless of the odd fluff, and his piano playing is extraordinary (hearing those rippling arpeggios throughout Wings Of A Dove sent shivers down my spine).

(And for Smile-philes, he did a line of lyric in Heroes & Villains I've never heard before -- "We've all had enough/of each fisticuff" -- before sunny down snuff...)

But it's not really fair to either Parks or the Beach Boys to compare them -- they're doing different kinds of shows, for different audiences, and neither is exactly lacking in artistic merit. I enjoyed VDP's show as much as any gig I've ever been to, but that doesn't mean that I'm not ridiculously excited about seeing the Beach Boys this year.
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2012, 04:16:22 AM »

so are we just blatantly spinning information to fit our threads now or what?  taken from wirestone's link:

It was another reclusive-genius type who provided the weekend with its biggest surprise. The Beach Boys' Sunday afternoon set had all the trappings of sad-making state fair fodder: there's another band serving as a safety net behind the remaining five Boys, and villain/hero Mike Love still has the slight scent of used car salesman on him. The tempos have slowed some, the harmonies certainly don't pop like they used to, and 20 seconds into "Do It Again", it wasn't clear if everybody knew they'd gotten started. A few songs in, though, things got good, and kept getting better.
The cars-and-surfboards songs are all but etched into America's DNA at this point, but no amount of boomer-ish mistiness for some imagined past can dull those melodies. And Mike Love pays just enough lip service to Brian Wilson that you almost forgive him for all those lousy years when John Stamos had him convinced he was Jimmy Buffett. Al Jardine's voice is spot-on, David Marks got off a couple truly ripping solos, and Bruce Johnston's clearly having a ball. Wilson, behind the piano through most of the set, isn't singing much, and when he does, it's a little shaky; he's got both a teleprompter and a guy to help finish his lines when he can't hit the notes. But when he takes the baton-- on "Heroes and Villains", a mini Pet Sounds-suite, and a knockout performance of "Sail On, Sailor"-- that cheaply nostalgic "'member when" feeling all but melts away. The songs from the new That's Why God Made the Radio are awfully schlocky and over-arranged, and nobody really needs to hear "Surfin' USA" and "Surfin' Safari" in a half-hour span. But they sounded better than any band who survived both Uncle Jesse and "Kokomo" ought to, and they absolutely nailed "Wouldn't It Be Nice". That's a good one to nail.

they sure are panning the tour hard  Roll Eyes

Yeah I was also expecting a far more scathing acct of the show, given the thread title. This seems pretty positive to me.

An no one really thought Pitchfork were going to give rave reviews of the new album, surely? It's a totally different demographic. What's heartening (and appropriate) is the gushing respect they afford the band's creative peak works such as Smile proving The Beach Boys' greatest works are still a hipster's favourite!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 04:17:26 AM by buddhahat » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2012, 06:00:27 AM »

Don't get why people keep defending Pitchfork.
Let's just spit on their reviews and move on!
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« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2012, 06:06:47 AM »

I just stumbled upon some great videos from Bonnaroo, these have all audio mixes from the soundboard (I guess)
True natural mixes, no autotune etc. You can judge for yourself.

live at Bonnaroo part 5:
youtu.be/LK5djLIv2lo God Only Knows & more


Check out also more from this videojpp YouTube channel, all good sound mixes:
http://www.youtube.com/user/videojpp?feature=watch

try -> Beach Boys - Little girl I once knew (2012 - Grand Prairie, Tx) excellent version

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Mr. Cohen
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« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2012, 06:10:17 AM »

Pitchfork's take seems acceptable to me. What should they say? "The album is a 10/10 and the concerts are 100% perfect!" Certainly, the BBs are far from flawless. The shows can get a little sloppy and while the album is a small miracle at this stage in the BBs career, it's not a Pet Sounds, Sunflower, or even a Love You. That being said, considering how shamelessly  Pitchfork will hype the latest mediocre indie fad bands, I understand why people want to throw them under the bus whenever possible.
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« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2012, 06:48:09 AM »

Pitchfork's take seems acceptable to me. What should they say? "The album is a 10/10 and the concerts are 100% perfect!" Certainly, the BBs are far from flawless. The shows can get a little sloppy and while the album is a small miracle at this stage in the BBs career, it's not a Pet Sounds, Sunflower, or even a Love You. That being said, considering how shamelessly  Pitchfork will hype the latest mediocre indie fad bands, I understand why people want to throw them under the bus whenever possible.

small miracle?  A bit bigger than that in my mind.  And did pitchfork give an album review out? Nope.  So I don't know what this thread is about.
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Mr. Cohen
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« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2012, 06:53:45 AM »

Giving TLOS and the relative quality of the covers albums, I think maybe some people had too low of expectations for the new album. If it wasn't for those last three tracks, I don't think many people would be calling it a miracle - maybe just a competent album.
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