Monday, October 02, 2006

The Seal of Approval

My Marshall micro-amp arrived today. Great sound, perfect for an apartment dweller and even has a little belt clip so you can go play it out in the street. You can even make some nice squalling feedback with it and turn the fuzz on. Now if only it would make me play better (I'm a drummer - my hands are like ham hocks).
Onelouder's Jason writes about what's wrong in music blogs these days:

But first I would like to address a couple gripes that are germane to this post. I've seen these grievances pop up in posts and comment boards across the sphere, so I believe it's one worth discussing. While I concur with the sentiment of these generalities to a degree, I have more questions and doubts than certainties and answers. Here are the complaints:

1. Blogs talk about the same small set of bands.

And the corollary:

2. These bands aren't worth the hype.

Yes, it seems true on the surface. A number of blogs that show up in most blog rolls do appear to mention the same bands, over and over. The ad nauseam coverage raises the question of sincerity. What are the motives of these blogs? Do they really like these bands? The content is posited as personal passion (and most likely is) but in the conflagration of buzz, it can appear as no more than shilling for ad revenue, traffic numbers or ego. read the rest
To test the hypothesis that "too many blogs write about the same bands and that those bands don't deserve the hype", I did a little look through Hype Machine's 50 most popular blogs listing. Lots of Ben Kweller and Hold Steady repeated throughout, two acts that I don't know deserve the hype they are getting but otherwise a pretty diverse set of artists. But I do sometimes feel there's alot of bandwagoneering in the blogs at times. And there are a few artists who deserve the "hype" although it can get repetitive (how many blogs reposted the Sufjan Stevens live boot recently?). Should blogs (ahem) go silent when there's nothing new to write about? Jason suggests the answer is to look beyond the dozen or so blogs that everyone reads.
More blog-on-blog action - Nick Sylvester spanks Gorilla Vs. Bear:
...scroll down to the part about how people are supposed to act at a fucking rock concert and you have to wonder what's worse, what the guy's complaining about or the guy himself. I mean come the fuck on, you're still complaining about the guy who yells "Freebird"? Are you serious? That guy can't even buy a fucking ticket anymore to his favorite band Tapes N Tapes because of assholes like you. If he wants to get sloppy drunk at the Tapes N Tapes show, make out with five girls, talk during the opener, take off his clothes and yell "Freebird" seven times in a row, call up his bros about the uptight douchebag in front of him scribbling notes for his fucking concert etiquette post, then throw you at the band (this would be heckle), I'm all for it.

So like 30 minutes ago, I never heard of The Meltdowns but then Warren Ellis recommended them and I'm listening to their free 3-song "Fang" single over and over again, in particular "J'Appelle Sexx" - a stomach-punch of a song --- but what I'm confused about is if they lost their female singer, what do they sound like now, since she seems so integral to the band's sound. Download the whole single here.

The following posts receive the Vinyl Mine Seal of Approval. See?

* How to Create Your Own Seal of Approval

Update: the true(?) story of the 'stoned' Professor


music is art said...

thankyou for the lovely vinyl mine seal of approval. it is very much appreciated. :)

socialretard said...

Pardon my curiousity, but what beer do you have sitting there next to your micro-amp?

Jim H said...

Circus Ale by Magic Hat Brewery - came in a 12-pack sampler box. Probably the darkest ale in the bunch and fortunately does not taste like clownsweat or lion piss.

Spin said...

I haven't had a lot of time to devote to cruising the blogosphere lately, but every time I come here, you direct me to something good. The previous time, it was "The Stoned Professor." This time, it was the official seal of approval thing, where I just frittered away half an hour. Vinyl Mine is the Utne Reader of low-brow culture.

BTW - your Audacity mash-ups are inspiring. I'ma see if I can figure out how to do one, too.

Jim H said...

Just wish I had more time these days - this weekend my Dad was in town and the coming two weeks are "hell weeks" for a show that I am playing which opens on the 20th of October.

Billy Meltdown said...

Jim / Vinyl Mine,

This is Billy from The Meltdowns. Thanks so much for the props and the link! I'm not sure how best I could describe what we sound like now, but thanks. Fwiw, the two shows we've done as a treo were a smashing success, and reports from friends and fans were all "much better this way, don't get another singer!"

In addition to Fang, we had just put out a new EP when we parted ways with Morgan called Come Closer. If you send me an e-mail and I'll send you a copy: billy @

We're keeping some of the old material with rearranged vocals and moving forward with songs already being written when we still had Lead Vocalist. We've been messing with a lot of afrobeat. And funk. And McLusky.

We're working on more recordings now and should be playing live again in just a couple months, if you're in the greater nyc area.