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Comments from Brendan Boehning

Take this line of thought a bit further and you end up somewhere interesting: why can't we (speaking of States-dwellers here) make the same effort to humanize criminals that AREN'T artists? Our country is willing to execute minors and also willing to idolize girlfriend-beaters. It's a bit schizoid. IMO, the degree to which we glorify artists is the inverse of the degree to which we allow the dehumanization of the people around us in everyday life. I doubt many people would come straight out and say "artists deserve more leeway because they're artists," but it is implicit in any discussion like this, for the very reason that we're talking about Chris Brown - as if HE really matters, as opposed to the say, hundreds of millions of other people who are not Chris Brown. And in the end, don't THOSE people have a more direct impact on our actual lives, and deserve more of our efforts at understanding? I appreciate the writer's attempt to grapple with this issue, but it seems like his guilty conscience led him to over-consider one angle while neglecting another.
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February 14, 2013 on Deconstructing: Chris Brown, Surfer Blood, And Villainizing Entertainers
I, for one, hold out hope that this is turns out, magically, somehow, to be a return to form.
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March 28, 2012 on The Smashing Pumpkins Oceania Details
The Grammy's comment is more or less facetious, but it could happen - I mean Arcade Fire, Bon Iver - they're on an "indie" roll lately. The actual point is that this could be Beach House's "breakout" year - as in moving from Webster Hall to Radio City. And someone said there were no "hits" on Bloom? "Other People" anyone? Or, like, any other track....
+1 |
March 22, 2012 on Premature Evaluation: Beach House Bloom
and this leak literally hit the web like less than 30 hours ago. I know I've only had a chance to listen to the album all the way thru like 6 times, but, for me, that's enough to recognize greatness, which I think this is. And I will make a bold prediction: Beach House are the Bon Iver of next year's Grammy's. And you can quote me on that.
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March 21, 2012 on Premature Evaluation: Beach House Bloom
YES
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March 21, 2012 on Premature Evaluation: Beach House Bloom
DAMN... hit Submit too soon.... to finalize: "into its own, wholly individualized and completely realized project that is practically alchemical in the way it synthesizes both obvious influences and its own obvious musical tendencies into songs that make you say WOW while also still feel cozy and familiar at the same time." OK, the liquor's kickin' in for sure, that was not as elegant as I would've liked to put it, but I deem Beach House one of the premier acts of our day and put this at #1 on the list of Albums To Beat for 2012. drunkard, signing off............
+7 |
March 21, 2012 on Premature Evaluation: Beach House Bloom
It's "Teen Dream II" for sure, but I say it's better, and I don't think this review gets deep enough into how the Beach House aesthetic has evolved from fairly-standard bedroom-pop project into its own, wholly individualized
+9 |
March 21, 2012 on Premature Evaluation: Beach House Bloom
Yes Yes, double and triple Yes, one thousand million times yes.
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March 8, 2012 on Beach House Bloom Details
I think it's a damn fine piece of work, and the more I listen to it, the better it sounds. Luke's voice has really come into its own, and the arrangements are consistently interesting. It also works as an upbeat Indian Summer companion piece to the more somber Girls album.
+3 |
August 23, 2011 on The Rapture In The Grace Of Your Love Premature Evaluation
90 people dead in Norway. Who cares?
-23 |
July 23, 2011 on R.I.P. Amy Winehouse
To the "why the kids gloves?" question, I would counter - why would a bunch of critics sharpening their claws to shred something be a more authentic response? Not everything needs to be a love it/hate it dichotomy, and if anyone has earned a little breathing room from knee-jerk critical backlash, it's Radiohead. TKOL is simply another intricately crafted, sonically rich entry in a varied catalog, and if it isn't immediately earth-shattering, or on par with their greatest works, that isn't any reason to dredge up some extra-harsh criticism, which seems to be the implicit message of this article.
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March 29, 2011 on The Trouble With The King Of Limbs
Yes, that is a very intelligent and reasoned response. Thank you for that.
-1 |
March 10, 2011 on Iceage – “Collapse” & “New Brigade”
A more intriguing Danish band, and one whom Ice Age have opened up for, would be Darling Don't Dance. http://www.myspace.com/darlingdontdance
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March 10, 2011 on Iceage – “Collapse” & “New Brigade”
like like like
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February 19, 2011 on Lykke Li – “Love Out Of Lust”
Sometimes actors or directors receive an Oscar less because of the quality of the specific film up before the Academy, but because a general consensus forms that it is "their time." The most recent example off-hand is Scorcese for The Aviator. No one puts that movie in the top five, or even ten, of his career, but he'd never won an Oscar before, and got screwed with Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, etc., so the Academy gives him his statue, more as a lifetime achievement than anything else. Kanye managed to capture a similar zeitgeist in the press/blogosphere. I think critics just felt it was his due time, and if you look at the traditional career trajectories of major artists, it makes sense - mega-popular hits (Late Registration), to "difficult, insular" period (808s), to career summation back at peak form (MBDTF). So I think that explains the unanimous praise. Here's the thing though - I really think it's that good of an album. And it is a career summation, in the best possible way, tying together all the disparate threads of the Kanye musical universe in one coherent package. For one, it's a perfectly sequenced album, especially for a hip-hop record, which are usually horribly front-loaded. There's a relaxed pacing to MBDTF, with the first two tracks easing you into the album, and Power kicking off a truly monstrous mid-section. Things settle down a bit with So Appalled/Devil In A New Dress/Blame Game and then you get the big finale in Lost In The World. Second, sonically it's a richly detailed record. I'm still picking out strange nuances after like a hundred listens. It speaks to an impressive dedication to sonic craftsmanship. But overall, I appreciate Kanye's ambition in adapting the work of musical outliers - outliers at least to total mainstream pop music - into a chart pop framework (the Aphex Twin sample on Blame Game, and the Fripp-esque vocoder solo at the end of Runaway, etc.). That formula - adapting experimental music into the pop realm - is what made the Beatles so great, and very few, if any, megastars even attempt it today. Kanye could have kept churning out Gold Digger revamps, but he hasn't, and whatever your take on the man's persona, his body of work clearly shows he's someone driven to make the freshest music he can. That kind of ambition is rare enough in the indie world, and it's dame near non-existent in the pop world.
+2 |
January 10, 2011 on Double Take: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I'd say getting anything even remotely subversive on primetime television counts as a victory no matter which way you slice it. But I am confused as to the perspective of the Simpsons braintrust on this.
+2 |
October 12, 2010 on Banksy’s Couch Gag On The Simpsons
All due respect to (the fantastic) Black Milk, but I have a feeling Kanye's gonna drop the album of the year on us....
+1 |
September 29, 2010 on Kanye West – “Lost In The World” (Feat. Bon Iver)
the girl is very attractive and all, but this is the least interesting visual accompaniment to Embryonic yet.
0 |
September 24, 2010 on The Flaming Lips – “See The Leaves” Video (NSFW)