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Thursday, June 17, 2004

  Better music through criticism??

In what is certainly an interesting experiment, a recent graduate at the University of Chicago has created PitchFormula, an analysis of record reviews to search for critically favorable and unfavorable qualities. He uses the entire 5500-strong Pitchfork Media review archive, and computer code to analyze every word (his methods alone are interesting, but youve got to be a major computer nerd).

The results? Critics (at least, Pitchfork's critics) like "melody", "guitar", "electronic",and "warm" music. Theyre not big fans of "formulaic", "repetitive" music, and strangely, "lyrics" also get a bad rap, assuming any time a reviewer has to mention the lyrics it isnt favorable. The complete results arent too surprising, really, but its interesting to see them quantitatively compiled.

Also interesting is that the author decided to take it upon himself and write songs designed to appeal to critics. Obviously a flawed concept to begin with, I havent been brave enough to give them a listen, but former blogger Paul responded not-unfavorably to them. Listen at your own risk.
Andy J 4:39 PM



Sunday, June 13, 2004

  To the dearly departed

While the nation is predominantly caught up with the death of a high profile former President, I'd like to take a moment for a musical maniac...

Ray Charles

1931-2004

Camille 8:59 AM



Saturday, June 05, 2004

  Is everyone alright?

If y'all need some counseling, let me know.

Hehehehe.
Bren 1:46 PM


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

  Ich heisse Superfantastich

For those craving a little bright light of new (or at least semi-new) music but devoid of consumer inspiration, I point you to the Scottish quartet Franz Ferdinand. Some pose them as the UK's answer to the White Stripes/Strokes/Jet/Insert Apathetic Hipster Rock Band Here, and to say that FF is terribly original would be downright ignorant. Certain tracks smack of Blur, Joy Division, ancient XTC, or the Talking Heads, with nuances of the Kinks and even Elvis Costello. Most critical reviews of their self-titled debut album assail the group for being, well, derivative.

But what's the fun of discrediting a band simply because their music is derivative? The aforementioned XTC, easily one of my ten favorite artists, has made a healthy and productive career out of ripping off the Beatles. If anything, we should applaud Franz Ferdinand for choosing such respectable influences. And in all, they have a quasi-unique (pardon my modification of an absolute adjective) musical mood independent of the artists from which they borrow so much.

Stellar tracks include "Tell Her Tonight," "Dark of the Matinee," "Come on Home," and "40 ft."

Give a little clicky here for audio clips of each track on the album.

Rebecca C. Brown 5:12 PM




Contributors
Andy
Email: antyanax@uclink.berkeley.edu
Studying to: Pet Sounds, The 'Mats

Brendan
Email: gforce1718@aol.com
Blog: The Facts Machine

Camille
Email: camstar(at)berkeley.edu
On Rotation: Elliott Smith

Gary
Email: jtluge@aol.com
"Too sweet for TV"

Eamon
Email: accordionmartyr@hotmail.com

Rebecca
Email: rcbrown@uclink.berkeley.edu
Blog: CalJunket



Upcoming Album Releases:
Ani DiFranco - January 20
The Coral - January 27
Moby - February 3
Jonny Greenwood - February 24
The Hives - February 2004
Melissa auf der Maur - February 2004
Garbage - Early 2004
The Vines - Early 2004
The Who - Spring 2004
Wilco - Spring 2004
Beck - Summer 2004
Ben Folds - 2004
Chemical Brothers - 2004
Eels - 2004
Interpol - 2004
PJ Harvey - 2004
Queens Of The Stone Age - 2004
R.E.M. - 2004
U2 - 2004
Coldplay - Late 2004
Paul McCartney - Late 2004
Oasis - Late 2004


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