Oh Ian Cohen-This is a Bridge Too Far

PITCHFORK writes the Andrew W.K. apologia. WE JUST DIDN’T GET YOU ANDREW W.K.!!!! Compare to Ry Schry’s original take:

And yet, some of these ‘punk’ and ‘indie’ kids are still willing to back WK up with a number of ridiculous excuses that they deep-down know are inherently flawed. “It’s catchy” is no kind of argument. Every pop song you’ve ever truly hated is catchy. “It’s ironic” is wack, too, since there’s exactly zero irony to be had on any of I Get Wet or in WK’s motivational interviews. “It’s fun” is about the only legitimate excuse a guy could come up with– and that’s the one thing I’ll give it to warrant the .6 in the rating– but this world of music which history has graced us with is loaded with fun music. Even fun music with substance, fun music that doesn’t talk to you like you’re some kinda total dipshit that wouldn’t know Boredoms from buzzworthy. And you don’t even have to look that hard! So then, what is the excuse for a typically elitist music nerd to bow to Andrew WK’s blistering tard-rock? That’s right, folks: there isn’t one.

SHORTER SHREIBER: “YOU, READING THIS, YOU AREN’T AN IDIOT, ARE YOU? I MEAN I CLEARLY DON’T THINK YOU ARE, AND SINCE YOU AREN’T, YOU CLEARLY DON’T LIKE ANDREW W.K., DO YOU? I KNEW YOU DIDN’T. THANK GOD WE GOT PREVIEW COPIES OF THE LATEST BOREDOMS 7 INCH FROM THE FUTURE. IN FACT I HAVE BUILT A TIME MACHINE TO ENSURE THAT IT IS NEVER RELEASED AND YOU SHALL NEVER HEAR OF IT. I WILL DESCRIBE IT TO YOU IN WAYS THAT YOU SHALL NOT UNDERSTAND, BUT SURELY YOU WILL RECOGNIZE HOW MUCH IT MAKES YOU A DIPSHIT.”

Here is Ian Cohen on the exact same album:

It was one of the last great bizarre major label experiments. Coming at a time when the New Rock Revolution was meant to depose nu-metal, it was staunchly anti-intellectual, undeniably a commercial flop, and yet, you’ve heard it nearly everywhere. A full decade later, Andrew W.K. maintains enough pop culture juice to end up on TV with striking frequency [PP adds- Pitchfork TV?]. Musically, I Get Wet started no trends and influenced no one. It’s often scoffed at as one of the dumbest records ever made, but I’ve heard equally compelling and cogent [PP adds: compelling AND cogent. PLEAS DO TELL] arguments comparing it to Daft Punk’s Discovery in how its treats euphoria as an actual [PP adds: instead of…?] musical [PP adds: as opposed to?] genre.

I almost love this part the best. He could have actually written about bands that kind of go for a little bit of that euphoria feeling/sound, even if their topics are maybe a little less over the top (Maybe (and I actually mean “Maybe” not “Maybe as sarcastic definitely” Japandroids doing in garage instead of arena plastic/meatloaf-metal rock? Maybe [same as above example- true maybe] Torche working in happy pop metal???). Kind of like happy emo triumphant rock instead of sad/important triumphant rock. W.K. doesn’t have to have influenced people per se, but recognizing that he could have been, you know, working along some lines that aren’t wholly unique. Maybe that is what the Daft Punk thing is all about, but then again, I don’t major in Andrew W.K. studies. Jesus Christ, why didn’t Ian even bother to invent a genre with a catchy phrase like Glee™ Rock?

You simply can’t divorce the sensational effect of I Get Wet from its emotional one [PP adds: then why are you writing a master’s thesis of pretentious nothingness to explain this simple and direct point], and the music truly is the message: “It’s Time to Party” immediately triggers I Get Wet’s enduring effect, the same pit-in-the-stomach feeling of boarding a roller coaster, asking someone out, or looking at your bank account after a particularly brutal weekend. It’s thrilling, it’s nauseating, there’s no going back.

OK- so music that is immediate and mindless that is about euphoria and excitement, even if fleeting, is compared to the pit in your stomach due to gravity [rollercoaster], the pit your stomach due to existential or situational stress [financial woes] and the feeling of nervousness and excitement of asking someone out. I think all of these things feel different, and I think they feel different from the feeling of “IT’S TIME TO PARTY”. For example, yelling IT’S TIME TO PARTY suggests to me that I have just won the lottery [reversal of financial woes] or someone has said yes to my asking them out [dating]. It seems pretty simple. Perhaps I am emotionally unsophisticated, because I trivially separate these distinct emotions.

Thing is, Andrew W.K. seems like a cool guy. I don’t know if this means “I Get Wet” is an 8.6. And maybe it isn’t a 0.6 either, but what I do know is that Ian Cohen writing about reissues, revealing to us the inner workings of historical mists of time 10 YEARS AGO, KIDS, LET MET TELL YOU OF A TIME WHERE LABELS WERE EXPERIMENTING, THESE WERE HEADY DAYS, LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU DUMB *SSHOLES WHO WE CONVINCED YEARS AGO WERE TOO STUPID TO CONSIDER THE INCREDIBLE DEPTHS OF ANDREW W.K.’s I GET WET. WE WERE TESTING YOU- YOU FELL FOR IT. ACTUALLY WE WERE JUST PLAYING YOU MORONS, IT WAS GENIUS ALL ALONG. SORRY SUCKAS. BANDWAGON WHIPLASH. I GET WET IS IN THE PANTHEON. WHAT DID WE SAY ABOUT THE DARKNESS, DID WE RECOMMEND THAT?

Ian Cohen: I don’t write in all caps, moron.

PP: You do. You really, really do. Tell me about the universally reviled dad-rock last two Ride albums?

Ian Cohen: I am the arbiter of historical facts.

PP: Here is the decidedly meh but not revulsion review for Tarantula from your very own website, called Pitchfork (I actually like how Jason Josephes writes here without the pretense of a doctoral student of cobaggery, he just writes like a normal person who likes music):

Ride used to be one of the coolest bands on the planet. Although their first EP Smile didn’t completely win me over, the thoroughly awesome Nowhere blew me away. Goin’ Blank Again was almost equally majestic. Suddenly, Ride decided to give birth to a giant poop log and disguise it as a CD. 1994’s Carnival of Light probably ranks as the biggest disappointment from a competent group to ever sour my ears. Now, they’re calling it quits, and the swan song is called Tarantula. It’s better than Carnival of Light, that’s for sure. It’s more stomp than swoon as evidenced by the lead-off “Black Nite Crash.” Another number, “Castle on the Hill,” is good vintage Ride music that made me smile. That’s about it, though. A lot of the tunes don’t fail to hold my interest, but they also don’t give me that huge, superhero glow that songs like “Seagull,” “In a Different Place,” “Twisterella,” and “Leave Them All Behind” did. Oh, well. We’ll always have Nowhere.

I’m not even mad that Ian likes the Andrew W.K. album! It is just really annoying that these guys never recognize that they write reviews about certain bands or albums where the reviews are rhetorically designed to marginalize people that do, and then turn around and write theses about liking these same albums is a badge of honor for the intelligent. But if anything in this world is passé, it is bashing on Pitchfork, and liking the Dandy Warhol’s Welcome to the Monkey House (not Ian Cohen, but an Andrew Bryant classic):

A bright spot amongst the tarnish is the Evan Dando co-write “You Were The Last High”, the song that undoubtedly gets the group another quarter of a million records sold– the A-Ha influenced composition that will cause phone company executives’ ears to perk up in advertisement bliss. Alternately sounding like the mix-tape song of choice for your average sixteen year-old girl in the throes of first-luv or a Jarvis Cocker solo release, “The Dandy Warhols Love Everyone” rounds us out as best as can be expected– doo-doo’s and wah-ooo-oooh’s augmented by electronic beats and a twice-bitten fuzzy bass line.
Unfortunately, these songs highlight the poseur mentality and insincerity that paradoxically plagues and blesses The Dandy Warhols– one side of the coin endowing them with innocent condescension of their musical roots, the other holding them accountable for their acoustic laziness in the face of so much potential. The decision rests solely with the band now as to whether future releases will make good on this latent talent, or whether they will continue to rely upon breathy sighs, the crowd-pleasing rush of hedonistic pleasure [PP emphasis added], and the infidelity of exposed nipples.

THIS IS ONLY OK WHEN WE SAY IT IS OK

In other news, 16 year old girls’ mix tapes- sounds like a progressive argument is being made!

Let’s just all have a good laugh about it, we don’t mean to hurt anyone. Criticism sucks! Please rereview Jet’s second album as a 10.0. Do it. BLOW UP THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE

Seriously, and I mean not seriously: why not just go for the 6.66 joke score and leave it at that. This is a guy that head bangs over cheapy synths and Meatloaf/Great White/Glee piano. Don’t overthink it!

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