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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Opinions, Assholes

posted by on January 23 at 21:08 PM

From this week’s Fucking in the Streets:

For his solo set, Deacon lowered his table of electronics onto the floor, hoisted his trademark neon green skull onto a pike (the hoisting of this freak flag elicited ridiculously huge cheers), and proceeded to complain about my review of Ultimate Reality from last week’s paper.

“Have you ever had to play a show after reading a really bad review of yourself in the Seattle Stranger that says you ripped off your friends?” he asked. “Let’s just try to expunge that from our minds.”

I understand the appeal of Dan Deacon’s live show. He’s a natural entertainer—funny and absurd and (usually) relentlessly positive. But with a few exceptions—”Crystal Cat,” “Wham City”—the music just feels like it’s there to pad out his odd monologues and audience-participation stunts. It’s like watching Tim Harrington or Atom & His Package without any of the songwriting, and being friends with Paper Rad (ooh) doesn’t make his aesthetic any less of a melted-down pastiche. Still, when he finally launched into “Crystal Cat,” by far the catchiest song from last year’s Spiderman of the Rings, the crowd became a surging mosh pit, speckled with flashes of Day- Glo apparel.

I took off, but apparently later Deacon accused me of having not even watched Ultimate Reality (which I did) before writing my review and complained that I shouldn’t have been on the guest list for the show if I’m such a hater (so much for expunging). No one’s ever going to accuse Deacon of not being tacky, but what kind of guy needs to bitch about one bad review in front of a 400-person-deep crowd of rabid, wild-eyed fans? I’m just one critic not drinking the Kool-Aid, dude. No need to be an asshole about it.

The offending Ultimate Reality review may be read here.

RSS icon Comments


less writing about yourself, and more just about music please. thanks.

"I took off"
Do you ever stay for a full show? Isn't that kind of what music critics do?

Posted by keepin' it real. | January 23, 2008 11:14 PM

Well, anonymous blog commenter, you're the expert on being a music critic.

Posted by Eric Grandy | January 24, 2008 1:46 AM

oh wow Grandy, that's a real dagger of a response. Would have liked to see some kind of answer to one of the 65 comments to your wack-ass post about the King Cobra from the other day, and most of those people were not posting anonymously.

Posted by you're a pussy Grandy | January 24, 2008 8:04 AM

More Jennifer Maerz less Kathleen Wilson please.

This shouldn't be about you, it should be about the music you are covering.

Posted by Jeff | January 24, 2008 8:23 AM

good critics get criticized, keep up the good work.

Posted by blip | January 24, 2008 8:38 AM

True, @5, but if a critic is going to dish it out he should be able to take a little bit without getting his feelings hurt. If Deacon had called Grandy an asshole it would be a bigger deal.

Posted by awstep4 | January 24, 2008 8:42 AM

True Blip, but good critics tend to have thicker skin.

Posted by Yoyoyoyoyoyoyo | January 24, 2008 8:43 AM

Eric, I loved your review and I love your writing and I love your thoughts on Seattle music and I'm glad you're music editor of the Stranger.

It's like these people think you got elected to some public office or something.

For all the haters:

If Grandy sucks so bad, let's see you write a better review. Right here. Right now. I'm interested.

I'm sure you will say, "But that's not my job. I'm not a music critic."

Let me hear YOU back your shit up. And if you stray from what I think you should be writing, I'm all over your fucking ass.

The comments are yours - take it away...

Posted by I am not Legend | January 24, 2008 8:58 AM

i don't see why a lot of people are seemingly wanting reviews with the kid gloves on. sometimes people have to be called out for sucking, there are plenty of other newspapers that will blindly give out honorable mention sashes to everyone. anyone who is offended by opinion based writing can go look at spin magazine's pages upon pages of three star album reviews.

i thought this show review was good and deacon acts as if he is living in a fantasy land where commercial praise is not based on the legitimacy of music.

Posted by cosby | January 24, 2008 9:21 AM

@6 and 7. Thanks for proving my point.

Posted by blip | January 24, 2008 9:57 AM

Someone actually compared Eric to KW?


Meinert was totally correct. The fact that most of Eric's posts break double digit comments kinda solidifies and partially justifies Eric's position at the Stranger alone. Thankfully, Eric's a great writer too, which is the rest of the justification completed.

Anyway, why do touring musicians with large fanbases have to be so goddamn insecure? I mean Dan Deacon "invented the FUTURE SHOCK GENRE GASP OMG" and, more to the point, has more than enough fans in Seattle to overshadow one not-so-positive local review.

Did Cex ever used to do this? Is this a B-more thing?

Posted by mackro mackro | January 24, 2008 9:58 AM

Maybe it's the WWE's fault. Wasn't Dan Deacon a wrestler once?

Posted by mackro mackro | January 24, 2008 10:00 AM

Look, I don't know who this Dan Deacon douche-o-rama is, but you have to admit that some of these commenters have a point: this column is basically about you, not music.

I like your writing better when you're actually writing about someone else's music.

Posted by Hernandez | January 24, 2008 10:02 AM

Cex ever did do this, but because he has always been a little ahead-of-the-curve (as far as zeitgeist-y media movements), it would've been in his personal online journal—created before there was any sort of blogging/journaling tool invented. He'd just author a new HTML page by hand every day and then upload it to his webhost and handcode links to all the individual archives. Come to think of it, Cex invented the "FUTURE SHOCK GENRE GASP OMG," but it was totally on the downlow.

Posted by Nick | January 24, 2008 10:10 AM

Hernandez@13: True, except in defense here, Eric was quoting his FITS column which, as far as I can tell, *is* mainly about Eric's musings -- just like many other columns at The Stranger.
You can deal with it, like it, love it, hate it, shake your fist at it, etc.

Posted by mackro mackro | January 24, 2008 10:16 AM

Mackro Mackro and Meinert:

Copious responses to Grandy's blog entries do not by definition prove HIS relevance. *The Stranger* has relevance... people who consider it a valuable source for music news are going to respond to whack ass posts by its music editor, whoeverthefuck that is. It's not the person, it's the content. It think we'd all just like to see more objective coverage of a scene we care about.

Grandy, remember dude from The Blakes blogging so defensively about a poor review (from Megan, I think)? Remember what a douche he looked like? Granted Deacon doesn't look any better being defensive on stage, but try to stay above it ferchristsake.

Posted by Observer | January 24, 2008 10:25 AM

I would prefer to see more third-person music writing myself.

I'm not sure if this fits the Stranger's model though, which Eric doesn't have complete control over. The Stranger has been a Blog-in-print years and years before blogs came to be. The paper is probably dealing with this Slog vs. Print Edition crossroads right now. (I never pick up any weekly in Seattle anymore. I just go online.)

Feit has always been the Feit-blog in The Stranger, for instance.

So, I don't get how people are surprised that someone at The Stranger is quoting themselves from a column that essentially is a blog to generate responses. Isnt that just the business? Shrug.

And now I know Dan Deacon is insecure, and his photos are wacky. I did get something out of this after all.

Posted by mackro mackro | January 24, 2008 10:40 AM

Furthermore, "Atlasgate" is going to guarantee that people are going to spam any Eric entry with insults for probably a year now. So much for the Lineout comments being a gauge of care for The Stranger and the music scene.

Posted by mackro mackro | January 24, 2008 10:42 AM

this was my first time at a dan deacon show and it was a lot of fun. although it was annoying that he complained about a bad review and wouldn't let up. if he had read lineout at all, he would see that most people don't even care what eric grandy has to say, which is also kind of annoying. people use this space to bash him. anyway, the show was good, but not mind blowing in any way.

Posted by rs | January 24, 2008 1:34 PM

A boring, self-serving, and very very lazy piece of writing. Real nice blogs today? Only Trent and TJ actually write original articles/blogs about actual music. Not rehashes from the Weekly or articles about bands in showcases they are performing at (how many teenager artcles or art brut can one write?).

Next editor please. I second the Jennifer Maerz and disagree that the more posts you have proves your relevance. Really it just shows that the level of mediocrity in the writing and coverage of music is getting so out of hand that they are actually moved to email.

Posted by send him back to the minors | January 24, 2008 2:21 PM

Mackro Mackro, the Stranger started about the same time people started calling blogs blogs, the early '90s. And they started their actual blog late in the game, I don't think they get any innovation points there.

And yes, Meinert is correct that Eric is a great editor... if you think a great editor means writing editorials that illicit reader response. I personally think that's a valid way to measure what a great OPINION EDITOR is, but a really stupid way to judge what a great MUSIC EDITOR is. Eric Grandy is the McDonalds of music editors, cheap, loud and lousy, yet still packing them in. But you are a fucking moron if you think that makes someone a good music editor.

Posted by dan10things | January 24, 2008 3:47 PM

Eric Grandy is a great music editor! I don't know what I'd do without 20 articles, previews, reviews, line-out posts every week about the same electro/pop act. Its so great that he waits until every other trendy media outlet has already validated that act. What if he championed some DJ before Pitchfork, Fader, and Vice said it was okay to like them?

Posted by DaftPunk Superfan | January 24, 2008 4:57 PM

I'm happy for the presence of TJ and Terry in Lineout, definitely.

But face it, if Lineout or The Stranger's music section was nothing but these entries, would you guys ever be here or care?

You guys just want to argue. That's what the internet is good for. And Eric's presence here, for whatever reason, is generating a lot of haters.

Do you think your insults are hurting The Stranger or Eric even one bit?

Posted by mackro mackro | January 24, 2008 10:52 PM

Mackro Mackro, don't confuse stating the truth or attempting to set the record straight with "being a hater" or an attempt to hurt The Stranger. I can only speak in regards to my own criticism, but I like The Stranger and think quite a few people that work there rock! But I can also acknowledge its flaws and call bullshit when someone says because shit draws flies, it must be good. Personally, I want to see The Stranger covering rock'n'roll and new local bands like it did when Jennifer Maerz was music editor. I not only think the local music community would love that kind of attention and support again, I think it deserves it from any local paper that devotes a bunch of pages to music coverage and solicits advertising from local clubs and labels.

Posted by dan10things | January 25, 2008 9:36 AM

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