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RSS icon Comments on Wake Me Up for No Age and the Vaselines


I like Mudhoney (Touchéz moi, je suis maladé!) but I completely agree with you on Fleet Foxes. It just...does nothing for me. And I've given it like four or five chances, but honestly, that's way more than I give any other band. I just don't get it, I guess. Maybe we need to get a little older, or a little smarter, or something. And I'm like the world's biggest proto-hippy! I don't even understand why I can't get into it. But I can't. Sigh.

Sells like hotcakes, though. I'd sell it, but I wouldn't listen to it.

Posted by Ari Spool | May 16, 2008 11:32 AM

Certainly nothing wrong with not digging the Fleet Foxes, but damn, Eric, you just seem to need to remind the everyone too often that you don't like some of the really good folksy music coming out of this city right now. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I remember you gave Grand Archives the same kind of "It just does nothing for me" review where the Stranger would better serving the readers to just allow someone who IS into it do the reviewing. You're obviously just not into the folksy music and we get that. It just seems like these bands deserve more than you're giving them because there really are a lot of people digging it.

Posted by eric w. | May 16, 2008 11:51 AM

Actually, I quite like Grand Archives. I think Mat Brooke's one of the city's finest songwriters. I do wish that they'd given their full-length the sparser, gloomier treatment of their EP, though, but that's a relatively small criticism. Where did I say they weren't my thing?

Posted by Eric Grandy | May 16, 2008 11:57 AM

(I am biased for many reasons, but)

In defense of Eric, this was a response to a critical (and sort of shitty) commenter.

Further, and keep in mind that I totally dig the whole folksy/revival thing happening (as well as No Age etc), I think Fleet Foxes, Grand Archives etc (I won't mention the bands on my label by name) have gotten plenty of positive press from the Stranger (and they totally deserve it, btw). I could link to the specific articles, but I don't much feel like it.

Posted by otis | May 16, 2008 12:01 PM

@3: I'm happy to be wrong, then. I may be thinking of another similar band and can't be bothered to search for previous posts and comments- just an impression I have gotten and reinforced by your comments in this post about being bored by that end of Sub Pop's spectrum. Nevermind that GA are clearly part of that end of the spectrum, but w/e.

Posted by eric w. | May 16, 2008 12:16 PM

Key words in what I wrote are "frequently" and "minus occasional instances of truly dazzling songwriting." Grand Archives is one such happy exception.

Posted by Eric Grandy | May 16, 2008 12:18 PM


I feel for you. Being a reviewer is a painful job. I've reviewed some terrible and totally questionable bands in my day. Shit that just makes me cringe to think about it.

However, as a reviewer you have to suspend your tastes for a bit and think about the audience. That audience is who you are writing for. So let's say you had to reveiw a Trey Anistasio concert (again, I am shuddering) should you tear the shit out of the band becuase they make horrible jam-band music for rich psuedo-hippies and frat kids or should you review the show from the point of view that the crowd went completely apeshit and ate it up like it was the next coming of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians?

It's tuff out there kid, keep up the good work.

p.s. - Hey Nick it's me!

Posted by Name Withheld | May 16, 2008 12:28 PM

i don't pine for that kathleen wilson style passive-aggressive dry-snitchfest @ ALL

Posted by lar | May 16, 2008 12:37 PM

I pine for Jeff DeRoche. He was cute.

Posted by Paulus | May 16, 2008 12:57 PM

I Pine/Pike for Paulus.

Posted by Eric Grandy | May 16, 2008 12:59 PM

I miss Zwickel's reviews.

Posted by brad | May 16, 2008 1:49 PM

i'm not getting the fleet foxes backlash.. one EP, a full length not even out yet, and already people are throwing mud. whether you like a band or not, we should focus on their efforts and hard work. we are so lucky to have such a diverse music community here in seattle. it could be worse folks.

Posted by dj | May 16, 2008 2:58 PM

fleet foxes are an incredibly talented group of musicians. and judging from interviews with the band and Pecknold's posts here on Lineout, they seem like very sincere and down to earth folks. but that doesn't necessarily mean their music is going to resonate with everyone.

perhaps it's just the buzz around town, or the attention by the Pitchfork community, but they're career does appear to be escalating very very quickly. rapid ascent in the music community certainly has it's obvious advantages, but it also typically results in backlash. i wish the fleet foxes the best of luck in balancing an upward trajectory with longevity.

that said, grandy appears to be in a no-win situation. his unbiased show report resulted in criticism, and now stating that something simply isn't his thing is bringing complaints that he's not supporting the local community.

Posted by brian cook | May 16, 2008 3:20 PM

What really disturbs me about this is that Mr. Grandy's original review is more than adequate, and as positive as can be for the viewpoint of someone who isn't really tasting his own poison. This is another case of if reviewers don't completely and utterly slobber all over everything in a hyperbolic frenzy then they haven't done their job (in the opinion of the band, their fans, and the label). The economy squeezes tighter, there's fewer jobs in traditional music journalism (non-website sales pitches, fanboy blog hysteria), and soon intelligent guys with any kind of idiosyncratic or reasonably marginal points of view will be unemployable. It fucking sucks.

Posted by Chris Estey | May 16, 2008 4:13 PM

I agree, in that I find most folk type music pretty boring, if simply because of the glut of it out there. We never really intended to be a folk type band, I don't really like alt country or country music, that's not who we are. If anything we were just trying to avoid big electric guitar rock so it came out fairly mellow, and I guess by extension boring. I grew up (mentally) on Neutral Milk Hotel, Microphones, Elliott Smith, Belle & Sebastian etc in addition to all the artists that might be obvious from listening to us and I can see how in comparison to stuff like that, our music might be less interesting to some folks.

I think the lyrics ended up a little too oblique or fabley - even though they are referencing direct life happenings it comes off too vague to grab me now. I think that's something we'd change on the next record, in addition to making the music more extreme - the quiet stuff quieter and sparser, the intense stuff more intense without being rock at all, hopefully we'll follow some weirder instincts and not worry about making a well-rounded record, more just a record of songs we like regardless of style. Being in the public eye in some small way lately has been interesting, getting comparisons to bands and genres we didn't really think we were going for - I guess for someone like me who does have a lot of self-doubt and probably spends too much time thinking stuff over it's been positive to hear what people think is lame about us and see ourselves from a non-sheltered angle through their eyes. A backlash is fine, it stands to reason the more people who know who you are, the more people there will be who don't like you, but we aren't here to cash in on anything (as evidenced by the $265.54 I currently have to my name).

On the Sub Pop folk tip, the Blitzen Trapper record coming out in September is amazing, Tiny Vipers is the best music in Seattle, and they are on the verge of signing one of my favorite California bands and I hope that works out. Those are bands I am proud to call labelmates and I think Sub Pop has done a better job than most at attracting a well rounded roster..

Gah! Why do I respond! Atonement or something? Have I sinned?

Posted by Robin Pecknold | May 16, 2008 4:26 PM

these people are bottom-feeders (omitting Chris Estey).
Narnia tonight!

Posted by Josh Tillman | May 16, 2008 5:15 PM

The only bottom feeder here is me! I'm bottom feeding right now.

Posted by R Pecknold | May 16, 2008 5:31 PM

Well, whatever the case may be with Grandy and music that has acoustic guitars in it, the Stranger's rather extensive positive coverage of the Fleet Foxes phenomenon definitely got my attention -- I was prepared to hate them as yet another trendy band du jour. This is not because of any particular flaw in the coverage, but just because I am a bitter, bitter man and the more people tell me I "have" to listen to something the more I tend to resist. "Nuts to you!, " says I.

Imagine my surprise when I finally heard Fleet Foxes and really liked them. Who knew? It is enough to make me question my own contrarian tendencies.

Posted by flamingbanjo | May 16, 2008 5:33 PM

The Fleet Foxes are grand. One well respected, but unnamed, person in the seattle music world told me recently, "I thought I had heard all the different ways to make music, but then I heard these guys." It's true.

It's easier to be a critic than an artist.

Posted by brad | May 16, 2008 5:34 PM

I heart the fleet foxes, and have for a very long time, but why the hell does everyone have to be on Grandy's nuts about a freaking line-out post? It's not even print, for gods sake.

Posted by jewritto | May 16, 2008 5:36 PM

Dude, Grandy's nuts are salty, nutritious. and packed with essential vitamins!

Again, Robin I'm having a heard time not liking your band and it has nothing to do with the music and everything to do with your attitude. It's refreshing and real.

Keep it up kid.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | May 16, 2008 5:48 PM

Hey, this is fun!

Posted by Josh Tillman | May 16, 2008 6:00 PM

Thanks Josh, and thanks Eric for being honest but still encouraging, and thanks indeed to the humble and creative Mr. Pecknold. Yeah, what a sweet love-pile.

Posted by Chris Estey | May 16, 2008 9:21 PM

this totally gets me excited about our new record.

Posted by damien jurado | May 16, 2008 10:41 PM

One thing from these comments stood out to me: When the hell is the new Blitzen Trapper album due? Can we get some inside info??

I mean, I dig me some No Age, some Fleet Foxes, and so on, but really, is there any doubt that Blitzen Trapper is the awesomest band on the planet?

Posted by truth, yo | May 17, 2008 11:47 PM

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