THE AGONY SHORTHAND 24-MONTH ANNIVERSARY AWARDS.....
Two years ago this past Saturday, I embarked on a calling higher than myself -- to document every remotely music-related fart or foible that crossed my mind, and share it via the then-nascent "information superhighway" for anyone that might care. Expecting that I'd give up and slink away after a month or two, here we are 2 years later and I'm still somehow finding some time & energy to put digital pen to digital paper. With that comes a time to reflect, to ponder, to look back at what the past 733 days have wrought for good -- and for ill. Time to unveil the Agony Shorthand 24-month Anniversary Awards!
: Toss-up between MP3 blogs (in which enthusiastic and enterprising folk put up a song or two for your downloading pleasure, accompanied by a review -- the
single best try-before-you-buy method to learn about new music outside of having a friend spin his/her recent finds for you) and my perception of a general rising tide of music literacy (enabled by CD-R trading, blogs, web sites for virtually every band on the planet, file sharing, and demographically micro-targeted record stores, both online & in the real world).
A spot market for "lathe cut" records. What the hell is wrong with you people?
Some of my favorites, none of whom I'd heard before February 2003, are MODEY LEMON
, the A-FRAMES
, FIERY FURNACES
and LIGHTNING BOLT
. There are, and there likely will be, more.
How could it be anyone but the godawful BURMESE
Tie between S-S's excellent first-hand TALES OF TERROR
recollections and the awe-inspiring novella written by Darren Cifarelli on SWA
Some guy from THE SPITS
trying to defend his shamed honor with a comment along the lines of "oh yeah, well you're more of it" (unfortunately lost by my comments provider
MOST FAMOUS COMMENTER:
If you had told me 28 years ago that ALICE BAG
and CHEETAH CHROME
would have left comments on my blog, well, I wouldn't have known who those people were or what the hell you were talking about.
LEAST FAMOUS COMMENTER:
The guy who pretended to be "Don Rettman" for a few painful months before he was outed & crawled back into his shifty, ever-changing set of IP addresses at the library and Kinko's.
Oh heavens, that would have to be that two-word "Shit Sandwich" review of NAUTICAL ALMANAC
When I flipped out for about a month over COMETS ON FIRE
before wishing to god I could take it back.
The guy from Chicago act THE HAMICKS
, who posted a really funny & pointed comment when I called his combo a "middle band".
Hands down, Chris Stigliano of Black To Comm
magazine wins the All-Time Pity award for his staggering inability to ingest any criticism of his efforts, while hypocritically dishing it out to "homos" and bands of all stripes for twenty-plus years. His thin skin is now the stuff of legend.
Our tastes may be wildly different at times, but it's hard to find anything wrong with BLASTITUDE
. The layout's great, the writing is strong and the rolling content-update concept keeps 'em coming back.
Some of the most incredibly overdone reviews
of all time pop up repeatedly on PITCHFORK
. The site itself is fine, but the pompous paragraphs of twaddle regarding the most mediocre of indie rock bands can be a real hoot!