Sunday, February 05, 2006

This Week's Reason to Hate The Voice

Like a grandfather who has his car keys taken away after one too many close calls, Robert Christgau should have all writing implements and mp3 files forcibly removed from his home. I don't know Christgau's age. I would guess 172, but I really don't think that would leave him with the energy he must need to complete the majority of his tortured sentences. The latest issue of The Village Voice features the paper's annual "Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll" (no, that's not a typo; it's what passes for cleverness at the Voice), and I always have a good time picking out the worst/most confounding sentences in Christgau's lead essay. (That's not entirely accurate: first I get a severe headache from trying to figure out what he's talking about; then I get enraged at him and myself, respectively, for creating and seeking out this muddle; then I have a good time coming to terms with my rage and laughing at the most impressive examples of his nonsensical pyrotechnics.)

Actually, this year's model struck me as fairly light on mind-numbing examples of poser-dom, but without further ado, here are three that kept me guessing/angered/entertained. The first serves as the essay's subtitle.
-Eclectic Neoclassicism versus childhood-oriented avant-primitivism as global warming swamps our history.

-In a year when the fashion in hip-hop realness was a grotesque crack nostalgia -- powered, in the case of Young Jeezy and Three 6 Mafia, by Anglo-ethnic victory-fanfare and scary-strings beats whose wholly 'hood authenticity was indistinguishable from their Hollywood schlockitude -- moralistic sellouts have got it going on.

-James Murphy seems like a nice guy in interviews, but as an artist he's a scenester, and the poker-faced ennui of LCD Soundsystem taught me once and for all that it wasn't just arthritic knees and parenting hours that kept me away from techno -- it was the disco way of escapism.


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