“Pitchfork” Bows Out Of The Black Kids Debate With The Help Of Some Adorable Pugs

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danielgibson77: are they apologizing to their readership?
danielgibson77: for promoting the band in the first place?
mauraatidolator: i think so
danielgibson77: i would appreciate a more extensive apology, then.
danielgibson77: i’ve had to tell my son this, but part of apologizing is trying to be better in the future.

(And for you eagle-eyed readers who were up at 5 and saw an earlier, more sternly numbered version of the review–hey, I know there are some of you out there–Scott Plagenhoef has provided a semi-official statement on the whole thing. Honestly, I’m just glad that this review ran on the same day as their writeup of Ida Maria, i.e. an artist who actually deserves the coverage-slash-hype.)

Partie Traumatic [Pitchfork]

idolator
  • Dead Air ummm Dead Air

    Pitchfork totally hyping a mediocre band and then apologizing for it later used to be cool, but now I’m so over it. However, pugs are the new irony.

  • villagegreen

    Oh my god, this is getting so old. Can we just leave this band and their fans alone already? Jeez. Black Kids hating is so October 2007.

  • Maura Johnston

    @Dead Air ummm Dead Air: i want a pug :(

  • Halfway Crook

    It all makes so much sense now. The initial hype was just part of Schreiber’s master plan to get pictures of his dogs on the site. Dog people.

  • MTS

    I hate pugs. And this band.

  • Anonymous

    seriously lame of p-fork. they’re the ones largely responsible for this band’s hype in the first place and then they disavow them once their lp comes out. it all seems a little overly impulsive and childish of them.

    i really pity this band. it’s like scoring a date with the the really hot popular chick and then having her inexplicably drop you like a bad habit the next day. poor black kids.

  • Anonymous

    The original “0.0″ review ran with the text “We all make mistakes” in addition to the dog picture. It did not include the “Sorry :/”
    - Eagle-eye

  • Anonymous

    Oh pitchfork. Even pugs are played out.

  • Halfwit

    @Maura Johnston: Dammit Pitchfork! I was so psyched about seeing an Ida Maria review, and now I see that it’s an import only release, a week away, with no plans (or distribution?) in the states. Dammit Pitchfork!

    Also… pugs weird me out a little; plus all the inbreeding leads to really weird nasal diseases down the line.

  • TheRunningboard7

    @Maura Johnston: Forget pugs. If they really wanted to apologize, they’d take my yellow lab.
    (jk, I love him, despite it all)

  • westartedthis

    i liked their “overlooked records” feature. overlooked? you mean, “records lots of other people and publications have been rocking out to for the last 7 months, but we were too busy destroying the reputations of Black Kids and Tapes N’ Tapes to bother talking about,”?

  • graeffufighting

    @westartedthis: yeah, seriously. As great as Ponytail, Shearwater, and Black Mountain are, they’ve been records that have been given a mention or two on the blogs. It’s not like these are obscure choices here, Shearwater in particular.

    Did anyone else see the Shearwater/Frog Eyes/Evangelicals tour? Very solid lineup and show.

  • RaptorAvatar

    Just to clarify what I think of this record, I’d like to admit that I’ve been masturbating to this review all morning. However, one odd thing did occur to me. How come
    Vampire Weekend (white musicians ripping off black music)= 8.8 while Black Kids (black musicians ripping off white music)= 3.3? Both bands suck and make soulless, subliterate pablum. Why can’t pitchfork celebrate racial transcendance by slamming or overrating all terrible bands equally?

  • Halfwit

    @RaptorAvatar: Because, just maybe, the guy who listened to the Vampire Weekend album liked it and the guy who listened to the Black Kids album (or the editorial board in this case) didn’t?

    I honestly enjoy the Vampire Weekend album, and don’t quite understand the spitting hatred that seems to be directed towards those guys. Having seen Black Kids live, though (and having not seen VW), I can definitely say that BK’re pretty awful (still not worthy of an embolism, though).

  • AquaLung

    It’s disappointing that Pitchfork couldn’t have just described what they liked so much about the band’s EP (8.4) in the first place and why that didn’t translate to the LP. Didn’t seem like it’d be that hard. Guess it’s easier to just be dismissive.

  • Captain Wrong

    Pug Rock?

    Pug as Fuck?

    Pug’s not dead?

    Ok, that’s all I got.

  • RaptorAvatar

    @Captain Wrong: Post-Pug. It’s a genre of music reviewing where (having apologized for past unwarrented effusiveness) you review things based on what they are, not what you imagine your readership wants them to be.

  • breedavies

    Snooze, Pitchfork. Back-peddling are we?

    I couldn’t believe it when Black Kids were touring in support of a mediocre 6-song EP, but I paid too much to see them play anyway. After that show, I was back-peddling too.

  • breedavies

    @RaptorAvatar: Agreed. White College kids doing minimalist rip-offs of rip-off artist himself, Paul Simon, is so boring. Why did VP even bother to release their full-length? We all already had ripped it off the internet nine months before it’s release was announced on E!’s Daily Ten. I guess soccer moms needed a legit way to buy the record.

  • Maura Johnston

    @Captain Wrong: I’m so putting “Pug As Fuck” on a T-shirt.

  • NickEddy

    @Maura Johnston:

    PUG LIFE stomach tat.

  • HomefrontRadio

    The link to the review on the main page explains all:

    “After a well-received EP, Jacksonville’s Black Kids release a Bernard Butler-produced debut that surprisingly hit the Top 5 in the UK”

    As all elitist music twat knows, any sign of mainstream popularity means it’s time to hide a band’s records.

    Pitchfork’s recommendations are the sound of entitled american college students underachieving. I’ve yet to be turned onto anything impressive by them, let alone vital.

  • Anonymous

    This is what Ian McEwan meant when he wrote Atonement.

  • Anonymous

    Here¹s what gets me. Who hates any band this much? We¹re talking about a
    tiny little band who (contrary to the impression created by the online music
    community) wield absolutely no influence on pop culture whatsoever. Less
    than Vampire Weekend, who are still under the radar of most people on the
    planet. Pitchfork, a website that employs a number of perceptive and
    talented writers, is either a result or a cause of an oddly intense
    nastiness in music fandom. I can’t even read Stereogum anymore because
    every other comment is employing an intellectual voice to completely destroy
    someone else’s favorite band. Why? What about Vampire Weekend, or Clap
    Your Hands Say Yeah, or Tapes N Tapes or…Paul Simon, for that
    matter…wounds anyone so deeply? Relax. Put on some music *you* like, and
    examine why you’re so angry at four or five strangers who love music as much
    as you do.

  • Anonymous

    @HomefrontRadio:
    “Pitchfork’s recommendations are the sound of entitled american college students underachieving. I’ve yet to be turned onto anything impressive by them, let alone vital.”

    Really? Never? I find that hard to believe that you have never been influenced by Pitchfork at some point.

    I’m sure you have perfect taste and that are you totally free of entitlement and have never once been guilty of underachieving.

    I call bullshit.

  • spazandmojo

    @HomefrontRadio: i second your listening
    being influenced by bands that you like. i would say that 45% of what i
    have bought in life was by cover art (no laughing, it got me into
    4ad,mute, and factory in the early 80′s), 40% based on bands influences
    (i.e. depeche mode getting me in neubauten in 83-84, marc almond
    getting me into jacques brel, duran duran getting me into roxy music in
    81, etc.) and 15% on good reviews by writers who i have grown to trust
    (i.e. andy beta).

  • nonce

    @HomefrontRadio:

    As somebody subject to about as little entitlement as you can get in the good ol’ US of A, my listening habits have been equally shaped by 1) actually hearing said music in question and 2) random encounters made possible by sites like Pitchfork. (And Idolator.)

    Not to defend Pitchfork, but: I am all crazed and excited about Free Blood right now, who arrived unnoticed by me but who I found out about by virtue of seeing their video on Pitchfork.tv. Maybe I would’ve found them eventually but maybe not.

  • nonce

    @nonce:

    The point being that we can all just get along by reading fewer blogs and watching more music videos. A lot more. And support yr local music scene etc. etc.

  • Maura Johnston

    @graeffufighting: i do think the ponytail and black mountain records have been looked over by the *public*, though, as opposed to, say, the not entirely unwarranted hype surrounding no age, santogold, mgmt, bon iver, hercules & love affair. (something else to note: i am getting all those artist names, save santogold, from this week’s edition of soundscan’s ‘new artists’ chart, which lists top-selling artists whose albums haven’t cracked no. 100 on the big board. black mountain was last on this chart in april, when in the future sold about 700 copies in a week; ponytail hasn’t made it at all, which is a goddamn shame.)

    i mean, i haven’t seen a ton of blog posts on ponytail or black mountain, although i could be sensitive about that because i’m really into both those albums.

  • westartedthis

    i’m just a little mystified several of those records were chosen for both the “recommended” section AND the “overlooked” section. is pitchfork admitting that the “recommended” tag is just confusing and irrelevant given they already have a “best new music” category?

    in other news, i just can NOT get into No Age. they are influenced by many bands i love dearly, and i can’t point to any one thing they do to desecrate or be unworthy of those influences. they even seem like nice guys, which i’ve come to not really expect from young bands (it’s all “cool” to be a complete dick now, you know). i’m just having a really hard time enjoying their music very much.

  • westartedthis

    @westartedthis: well, there’s no overlooked “section” but you know what i mean.

  • HomefrontRadio

    Believe it or not Jessica, Pitchfork is just another in a long line of reviewers that have supplied unreliable music recommendations in my life, which is why i always rely on the tried and true method of forming my own opinions about what I hear, and hunting down common influences named by bands I admired.

    This is logically what is best for everyone, because no two people on earth will have the same taste in music, so it’s pointless me recommending anything for you and vice-versa, so why people put any faith in record reviews is beyond me, especially when most good albums take 8-10 spins to appreciate and reviews are often written after 1 or 2.

    If I’ve long ago dismissed sources like the NME and Rolling Stone, then Pitchfork never stood a chance, especially with a truly obnoxious combination of an excessive pump ‘n’ dump hype cycle; pretentious wanna-be ‘gonzo’ reviews by reviewers with little life experience; and a depressingly narrow worldview of what constitutes good music:

    1) A couple of college students play basic triad chords on guitar over rock beat whilst namedropping the same influences everyone else names, and just sound a bit like an inferior version of a band you heard in 1981, without the hooks.

    2) Same thing, but with added accordion, toy piano and tape distortion to be a little ‘weird’ and ‘old timey’ like ‘the Basement Tapes’, with bonus ‘Ironic’ amateurish playing that co-incidentally also disguises actual amateurish playing.

    3) Some collective with 8-10 superfluous members all playing constantly en masse with no sense of dynamics and vanishing into an overcompressed mix.

    4) ‘Ironic’ 80′s Electro with Casiotones – this was tired when Regurgitator put out ‘Unit’ in 1996.

    5) Lo-fi art noise stuff people claim to like to prove they’re smart enough to appreciate it.

    you totally free of entitlement and have never once been guilty of underachieving.

    I never said I haven’t – i just am not arrogant enough to expect people to pay money to hear me mumble into my four track tape recorder, signing off on a shakey take as ‘good enough’. It’s not like Neutral Milk Hotel charge less for the privilege of buying their albums due to their diminished effort in recording, but it will cost you the same amount of money as something that was immaculately produced, such as ‘Spilt Milk’ by Jellyfish.

  • goldsoundz

    This band got ripped on in the fall with people claiming that Pitchfork was the only reason anyone cared yadda yadda. Now, a negative review and it’s “oh those poor Black Kids.” If you hated an over-hyped band then, why not now?

    I liked two songs of the ep, found them severely lacking live, and don’t like the recorded versions.

    I think the 3.3 is scaling the 8.4 down to reflect the 4 songs out of 10 on this album that came from the lp. They are saying that the rest deserves a 0, harsh. Then again, not much worse than what some people hear have said since CMJ.

  • Captain Wrong

    @RaptorAvatar: *slaps forehead* Of course! Post-pug. Excellent work.

  • Anonymous

    @HomefrontRadio:

    I never said I haven’t – i just am not arrogant enough to expect people to pay money to hear me mumble into my four track tape recorder, signing off on a shakey take as ‘good enough’. It’s not like Neutral Milk Hotel charge less for the privilege of buying their albums due to their diminished effort in recording, but it will cost you the same amount of money as something that was immaculately produced, such as ‘Spilt Milk’ by Jellyfish.

    There is a reason the expression “You can’t polish a turd” exists. You can produce something to an inch of it’s life but if you’re working with crap thats all you’re going to end up with.
    You need the base ingredients to be good in the first place. You can polish Jellyfish as much as you want but they’re still singularly uninteresting with particularly sub-par and derivative hooks.. and I’m a fan of harmonised hooks, falsetto and general pop pomp (even highly derivative, as long as the songwriting is strong).

    I’d rather listen to say.. God Only Knows (as an example of a well produced song) that was recorded on a 4 track by playing the original on cassette tape in a working laundromat.. than, say the subject in question here – the Black Kids if Eno or whoever spent 6 months recording the album in several billion bits per second 5th generation digital recording.
    It’s the songwriting that matters. Any idiot can string a few chords together and pay top dollar to get it produced well. There is a reason it’s so rare to find a good new band, it’s because even the greats can’t consistently hit the jackpot when it comes to pulling something as ephemeral as an demonstratably great hook/song from the ether.

  • http://gifthub.info/ Scotty Devlin

    Yay, pugs! This is probably the nicest dog breed out there. Anyone who meets mine just loves her to death.

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