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The Breakdown: Dethklok, Foo Fighters, Jose Gonzalez, Iron and Wine, Manu Katche, matt pond PA, Pat Metheny, Pearl Jam

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It gets harder and harder as the weeks count down to Christmas to determine what is a priority release and what can wait. Something has to wait, as there are simply too many great things popping up to hold off on for the next couple months.

Here’s my selection of difficult choices this week:

Dethklok – Dethalbum: Admit it, you’re a little intrigued. Brendon Small, creator of the brilliant and hilarious Home Movies and the series from which this album is inspired, Metalocolypse, (about a fictional death metal band), went all the way here and — instead of just using some short pieces from the show — actually re-recorded the “band’s” music so it would actually come out as songs.

Surpisingly, the music comes off fairly legit. What I’ve heard here and there is a bit too melodic and sensible to be real death metal, but it’s actually decent music, which is a lot more than can be said about many death metal bands’ music. Be on the look out for a “deluxe” two disc version of this album, that includes a lot more music on the second disc. It’s sure to be a rarity someday, as this won’t likely be a big seller even in its one-disc incarnation.

I have to admit that I don’t really have too much interest in owning this, but it’s such a unique thing that I know someone else will. It just deserves attention.

Foo Fighters – Echoes Silence Patience & Grace: Honestly, what can be said about the Fighters of Foo? They do good, simple, fun rock that happily isn’t also stupid. And they do more of it here, this time with The Colour and the Shape producer Gil Norton back behind the boards once again.

Jose Gonzalez – In Our Nature: Gonzalez won over a small contingent of listeners with last year’s Veneer, a satisfying listen of Nick Drake-inspired acoustic pop. Can he maintain the charm that Veneer hooked listeners with last year? I guess we’ll find out.

Iron and Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog: I have to give it to Sam Beam. The man is working in a genre that should paint him into a corner pretty quick — lo-fi acoustic indie rock. But he’s managed to add just enough twists with each album to keep things fresh and interesting. This album carries on in the vein of last year’s brilliant, beautiful collaborative EP with Calexico, In the Reins, with more emphasis on “band” songs, rather than the more stripped down template. Which, he easily could have kept working with for a few more albums before anyone would complain too much. But don’t fear — nothing much has changed. The Shepherd’s Dog still possesses that haunted, hushed quality that sucked you in before. There’s just a bit more flesh in the surroundings, and that’s a good thing.

Manu Katche – Playground: I have to admit that I noticed this one because of Mark Saleski’s list. Regardless, I missed out on the previous album, Neighborhood, despite having it in the back of my mind for the longest time. I won’t miss out on this one. Katche is one of my favorite drummers, having mesmerized me with his skills in Peter Gabriel’s live video, Secret World Live, and I’ve long lamented that he only pops up here and there on other artists’ offerings, despite his incredible skills and tasteful delivery.

matt pond PA – Last Light: Like Iron and Wine, matt pond PA doesn’t change so much as just develop forward, but maybe at a slower pace. With the recent If You Want Blood EP, the band added a bit of an edge to their songs, but nothing that should be shockingly different for the casual fan.

As much as I hate to do so, if you didn’t buy that previous EP, I’m going to have to recommend heading to the Itunes store for this one. For less than the price of the CD, you get the album, that EP, and three additional songs. You can also buy those extra songs (“Curves in the Road,” “First Light,” and the clean version of “Sunlight”) seperately, if you already committed to the CDs and just have to have them.

Pat Metheny – Secret Story Deluxe Edition: The Metheny remaster campaign carries on with this now two-disc set, adding 5 additional, previously unreleased tracks to the run-time. I wish I had more to offer, but I haven’t actually heard this album in either this version or its previous, shorter incarnation. It’s Pat Metheny, and it seems that once a Metheny fan, always a Metheny fan. You either buy into him or you don’t. I didn’t used to, but now I’m counted among the converts.

Pearl Jam – Immagine in Cornice: Picture in a Frame DVD: In September, 2006, Pearl Jam undertook a short tour of Italy and asked friend of the band, Danny Clinch, to record the shows for later release. From what I gather, the result is less a concert than a film about the band in Italy – music and their activities between shows. You know, it’s more a documentary than straight concert film. If you didn’t like Radiohead’s Meeting People is Easy, you likely won’t like this either. It’s about the band and not just the music.

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About Tom Johnson

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    Secret Story is an interesting record. very…uhm, what’s the word….cinematic

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “bit too melodic and sensible to be real death metal.

    Umm, yea,is that why there is Melodic Death Metal. Maybe abit too sensible for the people who don’t understand the genre.

    “but it’s actually decent music, which is a lot more than can be said about many death metal bands’ music.”

    Like who??

    To be honest, this Dethlok CD is very generic without a trace of integrity for Metal nevermind “Death”. It touches upon all the cliches as opposed to covering its own ground which,to me, means that it was material that should’ve stayed in the mock-like cartoon where it was derived. Overall production sounds like it was recorded on a PC and I am absoulutely suprised that they had Gene Hoglan on the kit. Well, it’s a paying gig, unfortunately this doesn’t showcase the man’s talent.

    Instead, pick up Ron Jarzombek’s latest:
    Blotted Science – Machinations of Dementia
    Extreme Metal/fusion/Complete Mindf*ck!!
    A soundtrack for the insane….

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Brian, I’m really not sure how to take your comment. My first reaction is that you don’t get the concept going on here. I’d be surprised if you weren’t watching the show – all of the show’s in-jokes are aimed at fans of the genre like you. You know, like a restaurant in the show is named “Dimmu Burger,” stuff like that. Dethklok is just a parody, using those cliches for humor. Don’t take it too seriously. My commentary on this was simply to say that it’s not so off-putting to the 99% of people who think even “melodic death metal” still sounds like just plain ol’ death metal. And, honestly, most really, really dark death and black metal sounds like a joke to me.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “And, honestly, most really, really dark death and black metal sounds like a joke to me.”

    So, how can you say that this sounds decent compared to most? That, to me, makes you sound inexperienced when it comes to this style of music. You don’t take it seriously, so you wouldn’t go looking for the stuff that isn’t just drone-like, drudging crap.

    If you don’t understand my comment…Well, too bad.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    I never said I was an expert, or even all that interested in the genre. My interests in that general genre known as “death metal” is really pretty light – Opeth, Meshuggah, and Cynic. Before you jump on that statement, realize that I know they’re not all the same kind of music, but they all live on the same end of the musical spectrum, and to most people, ALL things “death metal” sound exactly alike, just like to people who don’t listen to rap, all rap sounds alike, and to people who don’t listen to pop, all pop sounds alike. I simply dabble here and there in lots of things, and I developed an interest in the bands above. When I’ve gone looking for other bands in the genre, I’ve found only things that either turn me off because I find them boring, or I’ve found things that simply make me giggle with their ridiculousness.

    I never mentioned any bands specifically and yet you somehow take offense. I can’t do anything about that. My opinion is my opinion.

    If you really want to make a difference, get a blog and sign up. I think a few of us have suggested you do the same – we’re not kidding. I guarantee you would be a welcome addition – you are insightful in genres not too many of us here delve into, you write well, and you seem to be itching to say something. So educate us with your wisdom – I’ll definitely be reading. Hell, if you want help setting up a simple blog on blogspot.com or wordpress.com, go to my site, leave a comment, and I’ll grab your email from there. We’ll get you hooked up.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Okay, Brian– here’s a test. Where did they get the name “Deathlok?”

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Okay, Ray– Uh, Who Cares??

    As for Mr. Johnson, I don’t need to start a blog to voice my opinion. I do that just fine here…
    I really don’t have the time nor do I want to invest that time into something that will get lost in the Sea O’Blogs. I would much rather get back to writing some reviews here and continue voicing my opinion about other people’s articles.
    I’m pretty sure some people here have mentioned to you that the comment section is what really makes this place shine. God knows it aint the music section because besides pop & indie it doesn’t seem like to many people around here really know music…Except for the occasional pleasure that Mr. Mark Saleski drops from obscure jazz land.

    *Warning – Cheap Plug*
    You can check out my B.C. material here

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    All I can say, Brian, is that people who want to do nothing but complain about the quality and accuracy of writing on a site that is open to just about anyone who wants to write are the kind of people who seem to ONLY want to complain. If you have something you feel is legitimate and meaningful to say about a music style you think is either unrepresented or misrepresented, get off your ass and start posting content that clears up the problem. You may think it’s a cliche, but it’s reality: you can choose to either lead or follow. Right now you’re a follower.

  • Holkie

    Ah, I have no idea where they got the name “Deathklok”.

    But the name of the band is Dethklok. Brendon Small and Tommy Blancha came up with it. They are metal fans and must have thought it would fit the band.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Yea,Yea,Yea…Blah,Blah,Blah

    So soon people around here forget the name & motto of this site,don’t they?! This is what I choose to do in the world of writing. I’m sorry NOT that it makes you alittle upset.
    I can understand if would’ve said,”I personally hate alot of that Death Metal shite but for some reason this stuff appeals to me”. Ya know what, F*ck it, I still would’ve chimed in. That’s what I do here.. Maybe, I will get back to writing reviews but for right now, I’ll stick to making music and criticizing BC articles about my beloved genre. Don’t take it so serious.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    I’m not the one taking it seriously – you are. All I tried to do was present something for those people who might otherwise never touch death metal, to help them maybe have an interest in something associated with the genre, and you jumped all over me because I wasn’t fawning all over the style. It’s that kind of attitude, both from the fans and the bands in the genre, that prevents the majority of people, even metal listeners, from exploring it. Whether you like it or not, the fans are a big part of how seriously people decide to take a particular music choice. If they’re a bunch of holier-than-thou assholes, that’s what they determine the music itself is about, and most people don’t like associating with assholes. So, you be proud of your determination to not enlighten readers of this site about the music you care about. Like I said, you can do something about the problem or you just continue to contribute to it. Let me give you a hint: being a commenter isn’t going to do a damned thing. If you have something to say, put it on the front page with reviews and articles like the rest of us do. You’re just a whiner otherwise.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Sure thing Tom… Your word is gold. A person who thinks that most Death Metal isn’t sensible and is a joke, is going to educate some listeners to what the genre is really about by reviewing material that completely blows?! That’s a good one.. My complaint wasn’t your lack of fawning it was your pigeon-hole tactic,again, from someone who is rather clueless!!

    I’m not “Holier-than-thou” and I’m not an A$$hole, I just called you out on a poor review of material that should’ve stayed on Adult Swim. AND, I did refer such readers an alternative that would help them gain a better perspective on where the talent lies within this genre. As I usually do!! Personally, pointing out twits like you has been a solution to a big problem on here. The problem: Panzies who don’t really know shit about the subject matter, yet they always put in their two cents!!

    In other words, stick to your Indie crap…

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Boys, boys, boys.
    I think everyone needs to step back and take a little breather. Brian, I know how defensive you can appear to be, even if you don’t mean it, then everyone gets a little edgy…. And Tom, I think that it may be that your description was a bit poorly worded. I have been there and been called out on it.

    Anyway.

    I liked the album, and my review appears on these fine pages. It is catchy and has fun with genre cliches. No it doesn’t stand up next to real death metal, but it is what it is. It fills a niche market and could prove to be a gateway drug to the real thing.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Brian, all I have to say is that it takes a big person to put their name up front and open themselves up to criticism, and you seem highly reticent to do so yourself – regardless of whatever reasons you offer for not posting reviews yourself. If you truly cared, you’d write reviews. All I usually see from you is taking potshots at writers here, but no balls whatsoever to step up and face criticism yourself with your own writing. It’s easy to take potshots at others, but for many, it’s not so easy to put themselves in a position in which to have to take them. I can take it – can you not?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “What I’ve heard here and there is a bit too melodic and sensible to be real death metal, but it’s actually decent music, which is a lot more than can be said about many death metal bands’ music.”

    Chris, I may like your reviews but your no politician. How was this poorly worded?!
    BUT, I get what you are trying to do and I give you respect. I hear what you are saying…

    Well, Tom, I used to write reviews as I posted the link to my material. I’m not afraid of the criticism I may or may not receive because I have “battled” with some real winners, I just don’t feel,at this time, that I want to devote the little time that I do have to writing for free.
    Don’t get me wrong! BC is one of my favorite sites and they have been very good to me especially with some of the material that I received for free to write some of these reviews and the help I was given to get started. That’s why I still come here and stir up shite…

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    *one more thing*
    I am never going to apologize about my opinions because they are mine and because I don’t stoop to personal attacks unless they are brought to me.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    *one last thing*

    FACT – It was because of the comment section that I got noticed by one of my favorite guitarists Ken Bonfield. I was, basically, very passionate about people lumping in Ken,Michael Manring,Will Ackerman,etc.. as “New Age” when each musician has done soo much progression for their respective instruments and their work is far from “New Age” that he noticed my comments and thanked me for what I was saying. Plus, I got to review some of his material and he used an excerpt from that review on his concert posters.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    One last thing .. this hop, skip and a jump post is boring and poorly written (but mercifully short). It says very little about anything but that things are being released. What is it “breaking down”? The other Breakdowns, while suffering similarly have had more to say for themselves.

    To pick just one, regarding Pat Metheny you say ::: I wish I had more to offer, but I haven’t actually heard this album in either this version or its previous, shorter incarnation

    What’s the point of including this then?

    You’re a middle of the road, nostalgia rock kinda guy. Should’ve left Death Metal off the list, and if not, definitely shouldn’t have led off with it and spent more words on it than any of the other releases you touch on.

    When you’re called, swallow your misplaced pride, and don’t be defensive when you haven’t earned it.

    – Temple

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    very classy temple, very classy.

    geezuz.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    One, the examples I gave show very poor writing and very little reason to get defensive when someone who knows what they’re talking about challenges your weak, uninformed point. That requires a “You’re right. i should have done better.”

    Two, you’ve overlooked way too many classless – not to mention fact-challenged – comments in other sections for your opinion on “classless” to matter, anymore.

    Third, I’m not sure every comment has to have “class.” All is not light and fluffy. There’s a lot of shit out there in the world and it can’t all be ignored for the sake of “class.”

    Temple

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    There’s a lot of shit out there in the world and it can’t all be ignored for the sake of “class.”

    yes, and you’ve added to it. proud of yourself? yes, i’m sure that you are.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    No, I don’t enjoy it at all, save that type of whining reply for others who enjoy whining. But I less enjoy people who don’t know what they’re talking about – Tom Johnson in this case – get defensive for not knowing what they’re talking about – after it’s clearly shown.

    I thought you’d come up with actual comments to support your own “classless” assertion. Please do so because so far you care enough to be empty in replying. Again, you’ve caved far too much in other areas for your opinions on debate and class to mean much but I had hoped to see some of that old spark where you reply with actual supportive comments of your own.

    For instance, what did Tom Johnson do right in starting his piece with something he doesn’t understand at all and what did he do right in spending any words on Pat Metheny in light of the above quote? Can you say this Breakdown is anything but a reiteration of release dates? If you can, please explain. Yet, Johnson still defends his ill-informed points.

    Heck, perhaps Johnson will chime in with some humility that he could have done much better. After all, in my original comment I acknowledged that his other Breakdowns were more useful. i said that because it was true.

    Say something Mark.

    – Temple

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    fine. i find it to be incredibly lacking in class to assert that something is poorly written when the person doing the asserting is supposedly a member of the community. in your case, your former membership in bc. you never, ever see this kind of thing in other online magazines, yet at bc it’s quite common. …and pathetic, i think.

    if you’ve completely divorced yourself from bc, then fine.

    as for the Metheny bit, it seems obvious to me. Tom has become a fan and is looking forward to a new (in this case, “re-“) release. sometimes, a person just picks up something on a hunch.

    and yes, i do think this breakdown is different than a plain enumeration of releases because i know tom from the body of his reviews….and if he’s interested in something, i might be too.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    For whatever it’s worth at this point in the debate, I think that the actual intention of the “Breakdown” column, is exactly what the title indicates. It is to “breakdown” some of the week’s more interesting new releases regardless of whether or not TJ has yet heard them.

    What I get out of it, is that Tom is writing from the perspective of a fan going to the record store on new release day, and looking at the display racks to see what most catches his eye as being a potentially interesting release.

    In the other weekly new release columns here at BC, Saleski does much the same thing usually from the perspective as a listener, while I simply run down the whole week’s list as a reporter in the “New CDs” column.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but in my own rather humble one, I’d rate TJ as one of our best music writers. Anybody who reads him regularly should be able to get a pretty good handle on his tastes, and should likewise be able to distinguish between an actual review, or when he is merely speculating about a potentially interesting new release.

    In any case, I agree with Saleski that going after his “skills” as a writer is both uninformed since he is obviously a good writer, and not in the best taste as part of the wider BC community.

    My $.02

    -Glen

  • http://themidnightcafe.org Mat Brewster

    I’m going to have to agree with Glen. The point of the breakdown doesn’t seem to be to give in depth analysis of all the disks. It is more Tom’s way of highlighting interesting new releases.

    Would it be better if he gave a little more background on the releases he highlights? Sure, but what’s the point in being rude about it?

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Hitting on a bunch of things that have been brought up in the last few comments:

    Mat and Glen have it right – this is not a bunch of mini-reviews but a spotlight on the week’s releases. Most I haven’t heard – they are usually the things I’m interested in getting, and I impart whatever knowledge I have about them that I might be blessed to have. Sometimes I’ve been lucky enough to hear some of them, but most often not. If you’ll notice, this is filed under “news” and not “review” because of that fact.

    Guys, thanks for the backup, but in this case, I will admit that this week’s piece was a bit lacking. I had a bad week, got a late start on this, and so, as I mentioned to Glen last week, with this one I felt it was “better late than never.” I could have chosen to skip this week’s releases, but I noticed that I had some titles to highlight that others didn’t, so I went ahead with it. All I can say is the week got off to a bad start with a migraine, and I was just “off” all week because of it. That’s life. I really don’t get why one less-than-stellar piece should essentially get me thrown in the “bad writer” corner, though.

    I’m confounded by Temple’s attack. He’s been here about as long as I have and I don’t recall seeing him be this nasty and vindictive, at least not to me. I’m just going to pretend that someone hijacked Temple’s identity to post some nasty comments.

    I will say one thing, however. For all of Temple’s talk about “good writing,” I’m more than a little surprised that he didn’t pick up that the items I list go in alphabetical order – which is why Dethklok was the first to be talked about. I didn’t “lead off” with it – it was simply lowest in the alphabet. I will be sure to make everything I write very, very obvious from now on, for if someone of Temple’s experience couldn’t pick up on that, I doubt it’s possible that, you know, “lesser” people could.

    And, for the record, I’m not any particular “type” of guy – I like all kinds of stuff. If it isn’t plainly obvious in my choices, then you aren’t really paying attention to music.

    Even after all of this, I would still choose to talk about the Dethklok album, and I’d still say that most death metal is ridiculous. And remember, the keyword there, as above in my piece, is most (well, “many” in my piece above) – something Brian failed to notice. I mean, you’ve seen this stuff, right? (And yes, Brian, I do realize that the first two bands seen on that are parodies. That doesn’t explain the rest, however.)

  • http://www.themidnightcafe.org Mat Brewster

    Yes, this wasn’t your best Breakdown ever, but I’m one to cut you some slack.

    This is Blogcritics, not Rolling Stone. We aren’t all sitting around in some posh headquarters with the entire stack of New Releases at our disposal.

    We all have regular lives outside of BC. I’ve done a weekly column before and they are freaking tough to maintain. So I appreciate this one.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Agree with Mat there…and it actually wasn’t that bad, so you shouldn’t beat yourself up too badly over it. I’ve written stuff that I didn’t think was up to the standard I usually set for myself. It usually happens when I try to stack stuff up, like this weekend. I wrote three reviews — four if you count the Dylan review as a “twofer”. I thought one was really good, one was just good, and the third was just okay. Can you guess which is which? Cause’ I aint talking…

    -Glen

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Once again,Tom, you speak of things you don’t truly understand.

    You quoted:“and I’d still say that most death metal is ridiculous.”

    Then, you give us a link to Black Metal videos.
    It just proves my point and I would like to thank Temple Stark for “chiming” in and pointing out:

    ” But I less enjoy people who don’t know what they’re talking about – Tom Johnson in this case – get defensive for not knowing what they’re talking about – after it’s clearly shown.”

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    *BTW* This is the difference between Black Metal & Death Metal

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Yeah, wow, huge difference there. You sure set me straight.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    the fact of the matter is that most people think this stuff sounds like a wood chipper gone crazy along with a guy doing his best cookie monster impression.

    ..very much like how most folks think that modern/collectively improvised jazz sounds like a bunch of people blowing their noses.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Exactly, Mark. I completely understand why people wouldn’t like it, I know that most people don’t like it, and I don’t find the need to get upset with anyone that takes issue with that kind of music even though I enjoy it. You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t, why is it a big loss to me?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Eaxactly, Tom, No big loss to someone who doesn’t research enough before he makes broad statements.
    It all comes back to having an ear for music, being around different instrument brands, recording with them & understanding what it takes to produce quality music. Tom, you couldn’t analyze the chord structure of the theme from Sesame Street even if they gave you the tablature nevermind “getting” Death Metal. Oh, but you’ll continue to drop names because you think that gives you some sort of cred.

    ” most people think this stuff sounds like a wood chipper gone crazy along with a guy doing his best cookie monster impression.”

    Most people also use music as a backdrop for a cellphone call and those people aren’t writing poor ass reviews about a genre that they obviously don’t have clue about.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    keep digging.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    I’m going to just skip by Brian’s continued dismissal of the fact that I didn’t review Dethklok, as he asserts I did, when it was merely a mention, and just move on to other, more intriguing aspects of his last comment:

    Brian, I’m in my mid-30s. The fleeting specter of cred disappears once you hit 30, and then we’re happily free to enjoy whatever we want to. And I’m pretty sure that dropping Tesla into any conversation would immediately kill cred anyway. Cred, if you haven’t noticed, is a killjoy.

    I want to thank you, on behalf of everyone, really, for keeping us informed of the “rules of enjoyment.” I know that I, personally, wasn’t aware that, in order to enjoy music, one must be able to reproduce the music being listened to. Nor did I realize that I needed to be able to distinguish different brands of instruments. That is very interesting. Do the rest of the people in the world know this? I’m glad I know now – whew.

    Let me ask you something. Do you like movies, or TV shows – you know, visual entertainment of any kind? When you watch things of that nature, are you able to distinguish what brand of film or video they are shot on? I understand that greatly affects how much people enjoy them. Oh, and how many movies and TV shows have you made? Because you can’t really properly enjoy them, you know, if you didn’t actually make them yourself.

  • http://templestark.com/ Temple Stark

    Tom you come across as someone who is not “a big person” and who believes they are above criticism. Still. Not that mine was the most insightful but it was to the point and, in this case, accurate.

    Brian’s criticism, on the other hand was insightful because he knows what he’s talking about. Your best course of action was (and I repeat) to say, you know the subject better and you’re right. Because he was.

    That won’t and shouldn’t always be the response because a lot of people don’t know what they’re talking about. When challenged / critiqued in return if you expand on your point with facts and knowledge it helps, too. If you can’t you cede the point or at least let it go for the time being, without resorting to the overly defensive posture.

    I am not a musician and come at criticism, like you, very much from a listener’s POV because most people who listen to music aren’t musicians. So I can’t agree with Brian that you need to know the differences in instrumentation to be a music critic.

    Brian more than likely remembers when I reviewed a death metal release, and guess what, I don’t like most of it either and said so. He’s buried in the music, and he knows it better than I do. And he was able, unlike anyone else I’ve come across to describe what he liked and the differences. Because he knows. Go read, it’s an interesting, mutual conversation. Mark agreed with me there (but was a mere tangent here)

    The lead singer of Polidicks, in that case (the link above), e-mailed me a little peeved as well – didn’t like being called pointless – but enjoyed the comments that followed there.

    Here the editors come in to back you up – thrilling – but as you yourself acknowledge because it’s true, this “Breakdown” was uninspired, and empty. (My words, not yours, exactly.) It’s your choice – as it is everyone – to run a weekly column and it is open to criticism. Right?

    No, not all columns are going to be gold, but they shouldn’t include that Pat Metheny quote of yours and shouldn’t be followed by getting in the face of someone who knows what they’re talking about.

    The impotent mixture of stupidity and arrogance, especially when it’s followed by a self-defense of that clear ignorance, is not often very well received by knowledgeable people. That is this. The only thing worse, not here, is fake stupidity just to get a reaction.

    – Temple (Actually me)

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    No, not all columns are going to be gold, but they shouldn’t include that Pat Metheny quote of yours and shouldn’t be followed by getting in the face of someone who knows what they’re talking about.

    this is just pure bullshit, and AGAIN misses the point of why columns like this are written and why many people enjoying reading. go ahead and ignore what i wrote (and what others have backed me up on).

    the only stupidity and arrogance going on here is the abject lack of social graces that the internet so truly amplifies.

  • http://templestark.com/ Temple Stark

    A strong kick in my head is due to be administered by both Mark Saleski and myself (I’m flexible). Perhaps for hours, nay days. Weeks would not be unwarranted. An anniversary special event for the next 60 years would be appealing to everyone.

    Mark, I do apologize. I was thinking of a different Mark S. when saying many other “classless” comments had been overlooked in other sections, and my mind was there.

    In this regard, I am a steaming pile of shit and I apologize again to Mark for my misdirection.

    Bugger.

    – Temple

  • http://templestark.com/ Temple Stark

    Mark, I disagree. It cannot be pure bullshit otherwise no one would need to actually research anything. I’d just throw a “I don’t know anything about this release” in my articles for kicks.

    This Breakdown is not just a quick reiteration of factual information because Johnson has thrown his opinions in the mix. As to your point, I don’t see many people enjoying these Breakdown columns enough to comment and otherwise engage. And yes, it’s true there are far more readers than people who comment etc. etc.

    Did you read the conversation after my previous review? To me a lack of social grace online or offline is to not put your hand up when you’re so clearly wrong and say as much. I did not mean to actually be an example of this in the comments, and I offer a second round of bowing and scraping apologies.

    – Temple

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Temple, once again, I never once said I was an expert, or even really cared about the genre. I pointed that out in the my piece. I still remain in that same position – not an expert, don’t care to be. To point out this Dethklok album doesn’t require expertise – it was simply a “hey, look, ‘light death metal.'” Brian got needlessly upset about a slight to the genre I made with my opinion of it. I’m allowed to have my opinion – it will not change no matter what Brian has to say about it. I’ve stated further up the comment chain how I feel about it, and for some reason he feels that I need to feel otherwise – and I feel otherwise about his feeling that I need to feel otherwise. Are you suggesting that I need to feel otherwise about feeling otherwise about feeling otherwise?

    At no point do I attempt a “self-defence of [my] clear ignorance,” as you put it. I never once stated any level of expertise. You keep bringing this up, and I keep refuting it. I can only say it so many times in so many ways, but I will do so one more time, bolded, italicized, and underlined (underlining doesn’t work, so just imagine a line under it instead), just to make sure it can’t be missed, and from now on I’ll just say “refer back to comment #__:

    I am not an expert in, nor even really care about, the genre that encompasses both death and black metal.

    As for the Metheny comment, I’m starting to get the feeling that you were just finding nits to pick. You focus on one little line that simply says “I haven’t heard it, but I’m curious,” which follows something you completely overlook: the fact that I mention that it’s a two-disc remaster with 5 previously unreleased tracks on there. Unless you really didn’t read this thorougly, you should know that, too. It’s a release primarily aimed at converts, and they know about it from the earlier version they’ve owned for 15 years (I am an anomaly – not too many newer fans just jump into brand new, expanded re-releases of albums they know little about. I do.) What long-time fans needed to know is what I just listed above – two discs, 5 extra tracks. The rest was just being, you know, “conversational.” Jesus.

    If you’re going to hold up some kind of invisible, unknowable standard that needs to be met, I expect to see you tearing holes in every single post on BC from now on. If one person has to live up to some ridiculous, nebulous, and meaningless standard, then everyone else does too. Are you applying for the title of Content Czar, Temple?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Tom, if you want to get all precise & shite about what took place then I all I did was ask you:

    excerpt:”but it’s actually decent music, which is a lot more than can be said about many death metal bands’ music.”

    Like who?? < -See, I asked you to give an example to back up your statement.

    Then you try to make my criticism of your broad statement,about a genre you don't care about(refer back to comment #41), and my own opinion about the album out to look like I’m a loose cannon. All the while,claiming that you are no expert and that this style of music is ridiculous & a joke. So, if you feel that way, then I asked how your review/breakdown/light-shining could be considered a tool to open the doors to a genre that ” the 99% of people who think even “melodic death metal” still sounds like just plain ol’ death metal.”

    Hell, I never claimed to be an expert as there are a ton, and I mean A TON, of Death Metal bands that have the talent & musicianship that I don’t find out about until I go on a search for particular band. SO, if that’s what it is like for me, then I ask you (again):

    “So, how can you say that this sounds decent compared to most?”

  • Andrew

    As that not so in my opinion.. In general, on the fan…