Pitchforke Cobaggery Watch 2007-Tracks 40-21-ALMOST THERE-STAY ON TARGET!!!!!!!

Rumblings around the internet label this series “tired”, “derivative”, “ultra-boring”, “concentrated neo-player hater eurotrash.” Guess they can eat it, because a certain P-fork M to the Arc of the Covenant just made the 3B Jonah G diss rap THA REMIX!

40: Beirut “Elephant Gun”

I do like this, I like the restraint of the tics and the shticks. The lush vocals towards the end should have been allowed more space from the accordion outro. Pretty good.

UC’s take:

I generally do not like Beirut that much, but this track won me over from the first note. It starts off sounding like a gentle Sufjanesque track, but acquires its own distinct voice about halfway through. Plenty of stuff to like here – fun flamenco trumpeting, above average accordionship, and all round good cacaphony. Totally worthy.

39: Sally Shapiro “He Keeps Me Alive”

Swedish Isobel Campbell (ex-Belle and Sebastian) style twee-ish disco. The cheese festival casiotone on steroids beats can’t quite wash away the unbelievable mope attack. This song should not be mixed with alcohol or any unrequited feelings whatsoever. Jesus H. Good, in spite of itself.

UC’s take:

I wanted to hate this song. I wanted to hate the slightly too produced vocals and the foreboding suckiness. But then it starting getting good. It’s weird thinking about how inherently dancy this song is. You don’t want to dance – you want to shake your head in sadness, but the beat doesn’t give you the chance. Thus the conflict generated by the lyrical/musical disocordance is what kept me fascinated. I think this is song could be better if it weren’t all IDM, but it is good at what it is.

38: Matthew Dear “Deserter”

Str8, sub-Magnetic Fields-esque technotronic. Inessential.

UC’s take:

Oooh boring. It sounds like a bummer version of Postal Service. This would be an appropriate place for some good meh lines. Let’s see. This song is utterly meh-ningless.

37: Blonde Redhead “23”

I should love this, but instead am lukewarm on it, as I was on the forerunners of Blonde Redhead, Lush. Dreamy noisepop. Decent. I feel like Seitz should love this.

UC’s take:

Love this song! I feel like it goes particularly well after recently listening to Sally Shapiro. It’s like a distant music cousin eight times removed. I bought the album on the strength of this track, but of course have to yet to open it. Maybe 2009 will be the lucky year for Blonde Redhead. This track just haunts me. Every lyric rebounds over and over again in my head, and leaves in indelible mark each time. Maybe it is the religious sentiment, but there are feelings this song evokes that remind me of some tracks from Sufjan Stevens – Seven Swans. Pinko should love this – I don’t know what the problem is. Top 10 for me.

36: Okkervil River “Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe”

UC not declaring his immediate, undying allegiance to this song is a painful wedge between us. Like a cancerous growth, it must be crushed before wrongthinking invades the brain and tastebuds. Truly wonderful.

UC’s take:

For the sake of my friendship with Pinko, let me start by saying what I like about this track. I like the title. I like the piano. They have good dynamics. Oh, and the MP3 seems to be ripped at the just the right bitrate. Hmm, the instruments are well-tuned. Maybe I just don’t care for this voice. It is a little too emo/Conor Oberts for me, and the hooks don’t quite deliver enough. I guess this is no worse than a bad Decemberists song, and certainly better than many other tracks on this CD.

35: Dirty Projectors “Rise Above”

Interesting indie electric soul folk. I guess it might grow, but can it “Rise Above” meh? It is unclear. Ask again.

UC’s take:

You know how some people just can’t listen to Devendra Banhart because of his voice and singing style? They should hate this guy. I think this is total Antony and the Johnsons knockoff and is not special by any means. Meh.

34: The Tough Alliance “Silly Crimes”

Neo Wham! Fuck off.

UC’s take:

Ugh. Just putrid. Do you know how pastrami sometimes turns just a little before it gets green? It’s still edible, but you know that it isn’t quite fresh, and might make you sick. Then again you love the taste of pastrami so much, you eat it anyway. Only to regret the act. Well that’s the taste that this song leaves in my mouth. [PP adds- don’t you mean Pastra-meh?]

33: Dinosaur Jr. “Almost Ready”

I like this more than I’ve liked seemingly exactly the same Dinosaur Jr. previously. This has a wall of of warm fuzz, reducing screechy or trebly tendencies. Good. More than good.

UC’s take:

Good, not “No, more than good.” Kind of gets annoying before it finishes.

32: R. Kelly [ft. T.I. and T-Pain] “I’m a Flirt (remix)”

We up our bounty on T-Pain’s vocoder to 4 mill cold cash. R. Kelly is a scumbag taking an auditory piss on his audience. We are all underaged now. An anthem for boner entitlement. I know, not think, less of you if you like this. Sometimes PP gotta take a stand. I hate this dude. I hate this shit.

UC’s take:

Egad. Just so I’m on the same page as the rest of the world, isn’t this man supposed to be in jail right now? Because I have to think that the only possibly positive thing the penal system has to offer us right now is sanctuary from R. Kelly. This song is horrible. Isn’t the list supposed to get better as the numbers get smaller? Bleargch.

31: Cortney Tidwell “Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan’s Objects in Space Remix)”

I love Cortney Tidwell so I love this by default, but Pitchfork shows what total assholes they are. A passable remix is elevated above several exceptional tracks from a stellar album. Oh, did you know that Cassie and R. Kelly made this list? It’s like, ironic or something. I AM A STABBING ROBOT!!

UC’s take:

I’m pretty sure it was Pitchfork that initially tipped me off the godliness that is Eyes Are At The Billions. So surely a clerical error of some kind must have been made, because this sounds like a different inferior song remixed by someone that is not talented. I’ll wait to hear back from Pitchfork for some kind of clarification. Oh who am I kidding. If I play with the equalizers, I can just hear Cortney singing and she’s amazing. The remix adds absolutely zero to what she already does. So sad.

30: Dan Deacon “Wham City”

I think the writer somewhat accurately described this. It is pretty good. It should be better, as there is a lot of potential awesome left on the table.

UC’s take:

Terrific track. It has all the basic minimalist elements in the background to satisfy an obligate Philip Glass parasite, yet still has more to offer. It gets awfully noisy and convoluted, but I enjoyed listening all the way through. Actually let me just upgrade this a little. I think I love this song.

29: Arcade Fire “Keep the Car Running”

Good song, but I am surprised at how fast they went from new and exciting to a brand of very particular sound. And there is a fromaggio 80s song in this one just a little bit but I can’t pull it out. Oh yeah, shades of this. I guess it’s all Springsteen.

UC’s take:

I hate to say it, but I think this Arcade Fire song sounds a little generic. It doesn’t have the sweeping string-drenched feel of Funeral, and as such, left me without a strong emotional response. It’s very well made and a fine song, but I expect better out of Arcade Fire. I expect exactly this out of Pitchfork.

28: Dizzee Rascal “Pussy’ole (Old Skool)”

Literally “pussy hole.” And the desecration of Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, plus the Placebo shout out (would have worked if Dizzee weren’t such a choad on this track). Total loser. Dizzy Rascal can eat my assyhole. This song is terrible.

UC’s take:

I can never get the time back that I spent listening to this piece of shite. I would rather eat a handful of gravel than listen to this song again. I would rather have my eyeball touched with forceps than listen to this song again. I would rather have benign rectal polyps than listen to this song again. I can’t emphasize how wretched and horrible I thought this was. Ooga.

27: Lil Mama “Lip Gloss”

Lil Mama just totally rolled Dizzee Rascal like Cesar Milan would a Chihuahua with IBS.

UC’s take:

I would rather have IBS than listen to this song again. Oh wait. Sucks to be me. Please let this get better. I don’t know if I can go on. Only the cookies are keeping me alive at this point …

26: Jay-Z “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…)”

DID HOVA JUST DROP AN UNFORGETTABLE JOINT???? Answer: no. Lil Mama takes this round in a walkover. This is probably the most phoned in track I have ever heard from J. Seriously, a Martin Lawrence vehicle toss off sounds like Mozart next to this. Do not operate heavy machinery listening to this song.

UC’s take:

Just wait. Did Jay-Z just say l’chaim? Black bar-mitzvah? What the hell is this song about? Surprisingly enough, I think this song is pretty good. This isn’t as good as the song that plays at the very of American Gangster, though. That song is excellent.

25: Kanye West “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”

A little to down tempo for me. Perhaps lyrically complex, but in this case there’s nothing else that makes me want to pay attention. I think you know where the “meh” goes, Kanye.

UC’s take:

This confirms my suspicion that Kanye West is just not all that. If this list is at all representative of the best of the year’s hip hop, and I know it’s not, but if it were, then I would have to say that the genre is in very very bad shape. Man, the mid ’20s have just been wretched.

24: Gui Boratto “Beautiful Life”

Passable trance, i guess. Better than Golden Skans, R. Kelly Golden Showers, Dizzee Rascal, etc. Who am I kidding? Platonically meh.

UC’s take:

Just like the earth …. mostly harmless.

23: Simian Mobile Disco “I Believe”

Aside from the fact that the singer sounds a little like George Michael, this song has that certain insinuating repetition that gets to me.

UC’s take:

I miss the old Simian. I can’t believe this connection even exists, but the chorus is a little Tommy-esque. Sadly the rest of the song isn’t. Si-meh-an Mobile Disco could use a little more mobile, disco, and simian.

22: Animal Collective “Peacebone”

Exceedingly odd, yet still effective in the Animal Collective vein. Unremittingly cracked but slightly wonderful. Not better than scores of great songs ignored in place of much of the above shit, but unique enough to merit attention.

UC’s take:

This track ranks a 99.9/100, if the measurement being assayed were the certainty factor that this really was Animal Collective. It was lots of the features that make Animal Collective sounds exactly like the strange and wondrous band that they are. That said, as a single, I don’t think there is anything particularly exceptional about this. It ranks high on the interesting scale, but is microscopic on the repeated-listening scale. Too good to be meh, but not by much.

21: M.I.A. “Boyz”

Totally totally awesome. Unstoppable. I would put this higher because I know there is so much worse to come.

UC’s take:

Nope. Don’t care for it. I’m willing to suffer the consequences. If Brando likes it, the problem must be me, but I just wasn’t into any part of this song. Also, the sound quality of the video was terrible.

13 Responses to “Pitchforke Cobaggery Watch 2007-Tracks 40-21-ALMOST THERE-STAY ON TARGET!!!!!!!”

  • Something in this entry went horribly wrong.


    Blonde Redhead: Never listened to them. Too much good new music this year for me to find more good new music. Seriously, a crapload of stuff I like came out this year and I still feel like I haven’t listened to that enough. I feel I should have listened to SFA about a million more times than I have so far. But I digress.

    Cortney Tidwell: Should have been ‘Eyes’, or at the very least, the Missing Link.

    Arcade Fire: I found the new album to be very Meh-Meh-rable. It was OK. It wasn’t Funeral. And it may be cliche, but Intervention is a better song than Keep the Car Running.

  • Seitz- I fixed it. I imagine in a couple more albums, Arcade Fire and the Killers might sound the same.

  • i didnt listen to a single song on that list except the kanye west stuff(which was pretty meh TBH), and reading this list makes me glad. someone has employed BG-level bribery to get these songs up this high

    M.I.A’s singles are good, but i usually find the albums less than satisfying.

  • Not my thing. And if it’s not my thing, it should be NOBODY’S!

  • aif- I’m having a passionate affair with Paper Planes by MIA right now. Eventually it will pass, but I hyperbolically say some things about it in the next installment. I AM A FORESHADOWING ROBOT!

  • Dear Mr. Punko,

    Have you considered our request in your ombudsman’s thread? We are hoping to receive the proofs of you modeling grapefruit fashions soon.

    Yours truly,

    The Citrus Fashion Association.

  • Do you guys do an album analysis too? I forget. But you should, even though I doubt you’ll share my bafflement-even-adjusting-for-Pitchfork about their #1 choice. I like the guy’s real band fine, but Jesus…

  • Scott,

    Last years choice was so WTF? that this years felt like delicious, enticing Liberal Fascism in comparison. We like Panda Bear around here, mainly because psychedelic, wall of sound sound collages are kind of right in our wheelhouse. I think I will do a write up of the CDs I have gotten this year, although it would be great if UC did too, because everyone would be “haven’t opened yet”- he’s kind of a CD hoarder. When we post it, you should drop your two cents in.

  • I have been away on vacation-related business, but I eagerly return to enjoy another round of PP and UC snark. Neo-Wham is my favorite new non-word.

    I love that Dinosaur Jr. song and that whole album. Frenetic guitar solos and a lot of drum fills from Murph, I can skip the courtship and get married.

    I liked Sally Shapiro and Blonde Redhead enough that I may go back and listen on something better than my laptop speakers. Blonde Redhead in particular had a catchier My Bloody Valentine vibe going that I liked.

    I like Dave Chappelle’s R-Kelly much better than R-Kelly.

    30-21 left me cold. I love Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, but once again, Pitchfork picks a song that’s one of the least interesting. “Intervention” or “No Cars Go” are much better.

    The hip-hop selections either sucked or were just boring. Simian Mobile Disco was okay, but if you’re going to ape your influences (80s synth pop in this case), you should bring something to the table. Otherwise I may as well listen to OMD or Yaz.

    I don’t like Animal Collective — that’s my UC MIA confession. I appreciate what they do but can’t stand to listen to them. And I’d have to say the same about that MIA song. 90 seconds in, and I’ve heard the same six seconds of music over and over. Not for me.

  • Brando- Feels is the Animal Collective album for people that don’t like Animal Collective.

  • I think I have that one. I should say that I don’t hate it, but it’s just not the kind of thing I’m into. I like Panda Bear better but that suffers from some of the same issues. I think the best way to say it is I like Caribou better than either because I feel like they have more structure to their songs. AC and PB are interesting but ultimately leave me a little cold.

  • I never read this, I SWEAR, but you now hold an even higher spot in my mind.

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