clap clap blog: we have moved

Thursday, May 20, 2004
So wait, I'm confused: Scott P.'s review was supposed to, imitating me? I'm confused.

Here's the rundown: Scott Plagenhoef's review of the new Magnetic Fields album was conceptually supposed to be a blog entry that quoted (fake) reviews of the album from the Guardian, Slate, Pitchfork, etc., and then decried their negativity. I "got it," but I didn't actually get it--so what was the point? Then comes an update of the letters column, and he explains:

The review was meant to parody the reaction/critical hypocrisy surrounding last year's Liz Phair record, which I mistakenly believed would be apparent due to the number of references and parallels to that LP which was included in the piece. I had also assumed that including a quote from Pitchfork itself would indicate that all of the "excerpts" were phony, but to many readers that seems to have done little to prevent confusion. I had hoped readers would recognize that the critical comments were meant to be ridiculous and groundless attempts at skewering the work of Mr. Merritt (and, by extension, Ms. Phair), an artist whom I deeply respect and whose music I have loved for years.

Ooooooh. OK. Well, obviously I'm not going to complain about another shot fired on Liz's behalf, but I can see why the comparison was hard to get: they're very different animals, i and Liz Phair. Merritt's production hasn't actually changed any since 69 Love Songs, aside from dropping the synths: he's still recording at home, except for the drums, which he did in a $40/hour Chelsea studio. It's still low-rent, and hammer dulcimer solos are a whole long way from the Matrix's guitar crunch, or even Michael Mann's FX'ed electrics. Much as I would like to point out an incongruity in the different treatment of these two albums, I don't think there is one. I disagree with the standards, but, right or not, they are being consistently applied, at least in this case.

Scott P's a good guy, incidentally--I think he even posted to Fluxblog once--but he does seem to have a hard time actually influencing PF editorial policy much. And that's OK, too.

Incidentally, I do have more things to post, about the new Magnetic Fields even, but I am absolutely friggin' swamped and only managed to crank this out on my lunch break. More later, maybe, but also maybe not for a while.