Most TV cooking is repulsive. Frathouse cocksuckers with gimmick hairdos and catch phrases, hooting and hi-fiving, ‘bringing it,’ celebrating gluttonous sports bar chow. Dipshits abbreviating their ingredients and making childish, cutesy-poo ‘comfort food’ full of ‘yummy veggies,’ shit like that. Detestable.
Everything makes me nervous
And nothing feels good for no reason
Waking up, it’s rarely worth it
The same dark dread every morning
Senior year here in Mahwah
A new world just around the corner
Leave me behind, let me stagnate
In a fortress of solitude
I wear my headphones every day but only listen to music on the drive to and from purgatory. That is maybe three songs from me exiting the apartment to me entering the classroom. Science only knows how much time I’ve wasted behind that door selecting the proper suite. Lately, there hasn’t been a winning combination; I feel detached no matter my song selection.
It is a distinctive displeasure of mine to witness firsthand the backlash against independent music among critics across the Internet as well as those close to me. And though it is normative to reevaluate material after a time, it is unfair to render aggression upon an entire movement that was once beloved. A prejudice against Pitchfork arose long before this curious practice of dismissing current trends as tripe and, while it is deserved to a degree based on the quality of writing in certain instances, the anger associated with it has reached an unreasonable fervor that turns friends into foes when engaging in light conversation.
I am of the strongly held opinion (and I would venture to present it to you as fact) that the much maligned Web site in question is worth accessing due to its role as a competent, if not authoritative aggregate of information regarding independent music; an interesting array of styles and tastes that produce wide-ranging and thought-provoking editorials; and a simple yet functional web design that hosts a sizable database of exclusive video content.
These qualities make the Web site an indispensable utility as a news source. In light of this almost inarguable usefulness, it is befuddling to hear a former fanatic of independent music use the Web site as a weapon against a fellow connoisseur of aural indulgences. Pitchfork is a single stop on the long and winding road of Web Web sites that I follow, including those that the giant culls much of its “best new music” from. Often by the time Pitchfork has even reported on a work, I have already sought it out and formed my own independent consensus. Given the fifty percent chance that the institution might agree with my stance, it becomes laughable that I should be slagged for conformity. To do so is painfully impersonal to the other party and reduces the highbrow discussion to a contest of flinging feces. I must admit that on rare occasions an especially persuasive review lying on any Web site can be cause for second thought on the subject matter. Even the mighty Pitchfork scores a rhetorical knockout once in a while. However, this should not constitute hypocrisy to any informed individual. I contend that it is necessary to have your constitution challenged constantly or else develop an impenetrable culture shield that promotes ignorance. While it firmly clings to these features, Pitchfork will remain relevant in critical circles for the foreseeable future.
Cymbals Eat Guitars recently appeared on Pitchfork’s Don’t Look Down concert series (embedded above), which placed the quartet atop New York City’s skyline while they performed a rowsing set of songs from their beloved Why There Are Mountains.
Already halfway through the year there have been several exceptional albums immediately deserving of the lavish praise being hurled upon them. Some of the bands responsible for composing these impressive works are esteemed musical veterans, while others are wide-eyed newcomers to the scene. One of the most pleasant surprises to find its way into my library is the debut album by Cymbals Eat Guitars. Based in Staten Island, the band is yet to be signed by a label, which is a crying shame considering their freshman effort has easily become one of my favorite records. The album, entitled Why There Are Mountains, is frenetic yet earnest, containing nine deeply compelling songs that forceably launch the listener upwards with each wrenching crescendo. Lead singer Joseph D’Agostino’s demeanor may seem serene sometimes, but don’t let the fading façade fool you: he belts out a rebel yell when the proper moment arrives. His lyrics imagine sauntering excursions past suburban neighborhoods and sprawling landscapes, recounting those past escapades through hindsight with frightening fervor. Why There Are Mountains sets the bar absurdly high for any future output from the four-piece. Fortunately, two new songs have recently appeared online and are embedded for you below. “Tunguska” and “Plainclothes” indicate immense promise and ensure that Cymbals Eat Guitars is far from finished and destined for great success.
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