Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Contrarian

I've recently been catching up on my queue of All Songs Considered pod casts and it reminded me of a point that has been nagging me for a while..on several of the episodes I listened to host Bob Boilen bring on Pitchfork Senior New Editor Amy Phillips to go through the albums featured or, in one case, discuss the anthems of the Y Generation. Maybe it's just me, but is it a contractual obligation for Pitchfork editors/writers to be contrarians just for the sake of it?

In one episode, everyone was sort of liking the new Kimya Dawson album until we got to Amy who couldn't stand it. "Thankfully I have not heard that..." She continued "an entire record of that would drive me up the wall. Later she picked the ear pollution "Shake Your Pompom" from upcoming Missy Elliott's Block Party album as something good. Here is a video put together for the song [I don't think it is the official video]:

This is the kind of music they use to torture people in Guantanamo. This song is almost like audible assault with Missy Elliott commanding me to look at her "butty shake."

In another episode, Phillips and Boilen get into what can be called the closest thing to an argument on All Songs Considered. Boilen was agreeing with a listener who wrote in saying that what was great about the 60's music was it threw out all the previous music and invented something new [For example, there was never anything like Jimi Hendrix before Jimi Hendrix]. Phillips disagrees [of course] and says that The Rolling Stones were influenced by 50's blues. To which Boilen gets as close to blowing his stack as I've ever heard:

"It [the 1960's music] did [sound like the blues] until 1966, that's where it all shifted. And you can't can't listen to Beggers Banquet and hear "Sympathy for the Devil" and think of blues because it was really different. Sympathy for the Devil was not a blues song...there was nothing else like it."