The Gist Ryan Schreiber was barely out of high school in when he began publishing reviews of obscure independent music on this newfangled thing called the Internet. His creation, Pitchfork Media , has been instructing indie geeks about what to like ever since. Pitchfork's overwritten-to-the-point-of-meaninglessness reviews make the online publication an easy target Music blog Idolator used to run a regular "Pick of the Fork" feature in which readers guessed which lines came from a real Pitchfork review and which didn't; "for every bold crescendo, an incongruous tangent can disrupt the music's linearity" was, unfortunately, real but despite its haughty attitude, the website knows what it's doing.
It sold so many copies that the album went out of print for a week. Conversely, a devastating review can kill an album. Pitchfork has been publishing "best-of" lists for years their annual singles and album wrap-ups are especially popular so it seems natural that they'd turn their penchant for classifying and cataloging music into a book. The Pitchfork uses 42 critics to cover 30 years of music, from punk to crunk, and all the starry-eyed, acoustic acts in between.
Generally, people fall into two camps. If they have at one time considered it a "guilty pleasure," a dim-witted power ballad made by guys with bad haircuts to be enjoyed despite its inherent cheesiness, they probably identify most with indie music of some stripe. If they just plain like it and always have, then they've probably spent their lives enjoying whatever was on the radio. Check out the video of its first public performance on the With the Lights Out DVD; as soon as the drums kick in, the whole room learns how to levitate.
But the closer you listen, the more it sounds like straight pop. That four-power-chord sequence that never ever changes? It's got the rhythm from Boston's "More Than a Feeling," but it's not a riff anyone had heard before. Kurt knocked the world on its ass by choosing Db instead. Big Boi may have steered clearer of potential embarrassment, but it was Andre's "Hey Ya" that sold both halves.
You could play it in a forest with nobody to hear it and have complete faith that the very trees would throw up their branches.
The Pitchfork has some gems hidden within its pages bonus points for giving The B's "Private Idaho" the respect it deserves , as well as some questionable decisions The Stone Roses' "I Wanna Be Adored" is way better than the book's choice of "She Bangs the Drums," that can be chocked up to a matter of taste.
But for the most part, the project comes off like a personal message that High Fidelity's Rob Gordon might obsessively attach to a mix-tape. A Brief History of Chinese Democracy. Battle of the Fake Bands.
Speaking of, where's the sample CD, Pitchfork?!More...