clap clap blog: we have moved

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
So I don't get a back-and-forth but Gerald fucking Cosloy does?!?! All right, you're both on my shitlist now. I'm signing with Touch and Go.

Seriously, though, this is a major embarrassment and a major fuckup; the fact that the headline for the letter is "Matador's head cheese checks in" indicates to me that PF might not be aware of how big a deal this is. The review in question was the lead review yesterday (which has--oh sweet Jesus--been changed without comment since then!), and the band in question, Interpol, is one that Pitchfork has been major boosters of. The review was negative, based largely around the assumption that the band's US label, Matador, was using this as a lame cash-in. Unfortunately, even though the reviewer (and editor) knew it was a foreign release, they apparently blamed the label without actually checking which label it's on. It is, instead, on the French group Labels, an imprint of EMI that Matador has nothing to do with. While I don't expect music critics to know the names of record execs intimately or anything, if they're going to try and analyze music in terms of the biz behind it--which, it should be noted, there's no reason for them to do--they should know shit like, oh I dunno, the fact that indie bands often sign with different labels in different countries in order to get distribution. They should at least look at the fucking CD and spend 30 seconds doing a Google search.

And yeah, this is the problem with reactive reviewing, which the Interpol review was a classic case of: it rests on objective instead of subjective facts, and since what you're largely doing is viewing those facts in light of preconceptions you already have (in this case, apparently, a desire to tear down a well-liked band), you're likely to actually get stuff demonstrably wrong. Once again, guys: don't do reactive reviewing. Just talk about the music. If you want to respond to other reviews the music's gotten or the biz behind it, respond to those, but don't assume that has a damn thing to do with the band or the music. Because hopefully that's all we care about.

It's telling that the review has now been changed to blame the band for all this instead of Big Bad Matador. Haven't learned anything, have they? It was probably the French label's decision, and at any rate, who the fuck cares if an import EP is bad? You're not really supposed to be listening to it anyway, jackasses.