Perhaps you’ve heard of the High Strung, a Detroit garage-rock band that’s released three well-received albums over the past few years. Well, apparently no one over at Pitchfork is paying much attention to the group, and that prompted frontman Josh Malerman to post a tongue-in-cheekish rant on the High Strung’s MySpace page:
What does a band need to do to get reviewed by you guys? Yes, yes… we all know you are the current fantasy… the big bull goose on the block… the cheese, if you will, right now and for who knows how long. I’m not convinced a bad review hurts a band but we all know what a good one can do. Ok. None of this is what concerns me… what irks me is that by refusing to review our three albums so far you are suggesting we play NO PART in the mass tapestry that is modern music. Now… if you only reviewed acts like, say, Springsteen, I would shrug my shoulders and eschew my lips and move on…. but we all know you don’t. There are thousands of reviews on yr site but none of The High Strung. Really… what does a band need to do?
Is it timing? I hear your review process works something like a round table with a pile of CDs in the center and someone has to say YES I’LL DO IT for it to “pass” into review. Is it timing then? Have our albums crossed the eyes of your brass at the same time that dozens of “bigger” (hate this word) bands? Hmmmm. I don’t buy it. What I think it is is that you guys are simply not aware of what we’ve been up to. It’s ok. We all have gaps. I still haven’t seen Fast Times At Ridgemont High and you don’t know much about the High Strung. We’ll call it even. But I’m also gonna tell you a little about us… maybe show you that we are (on some level) a part of this tapestry you refuse to grant us:
1.) 300 shows a year for 4 years. that’s 1200 shows.
2.) toured with Bob Pollard and Son Volt and Ok Go and the Capitol Years (all bands you review on the spot)
3.) forever entwined with the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame for “donating” our first tour bus to them (leaving it on their doorstep at 2 AM… if that isn’t rock n’ roll then you guys are not doing yr job)
4.) albums have been reviewed by other landmarks: Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, Playboy, Blender, Stuff. If it’s validation yr after… can’t some of it be found there?
5.) A song of ours was named runner up for SONG OF THE YEAR in The Washington Post. NPR named our first album one of the top ten of the year. Even if you totally didn’t agree with this… shouldn’t it warrant a review?
6.) NPR’s THIS AMERICAN LIFE did a feature on us… that’s right boys… for doing a library tour before that Potters band… a band you highlighted as a “show of the year” for how inovative they are a full year after we were standing on our amps and singing about over-acheivers and gravediggers to an all ages crowd.
7.) Our rhythm section is the best rhythm section in the country.
8.) What other band writes about devious museum curators? Neighborhood gentlemen? John Rambo?
Look… fellas… we’ve done the work… we’ve sold out some good sized venues… we’ve put enough work into this that Harp prediciting we’d burn out (this was 2 years ago HA!). But the fact that they predicted it must mean we’re at least in the musical map, right? Well. Do us both a favor… the next time the High Strung album lands on the royal round table in Pitchfork Media’s golden meeting room… remember these few credentials (I can right 100 of them if it’s heart and spirituality you’re looking for) and review a band that a lot of other people already know about. Dig?
Until then… I’ll write another… and another…
The High Strung
No one knows just how the grade-giving overlords at Pitchfork function, but our experience is that most record-review sections are guided by a complex formula that works out to about 70 percent personal taste, 20 percent politics and 10 percent ring-toss randomness. So maybe the band was getting the shaft, or maybe their promos just got lost in the pile; no matter what, this missive all but guarantees that the site will review its next record, and we’re betting the words “jangly” and “romp” will be used.
Dear Pitchfork… [The High Strung's MySpace Blog]