Pitchfork is a website which primarily focuses on reviewing indie music. Generally speaking, I like the site a lot and admit that its writers are far better at writing than I ever will be. In fact, the site's reviewers introduced me to some of my favorite acts – including MGMT and Springsteen. Occasionally, though, their writing seems as though it's trying a little too hard to prove something. "Pitchforked" highlights these moments.
The practice of taking questionable writing and making fun of it was made popular by the blog Fire Joe Morgan. FJM is defunct, but the tradition continues on at Kissing Suzy Kolber (I also love KSK's usage of all-CAPS to make a joke funnier). I don't think I'm ripping them off; rather, I'm just expanding their idea from sports to music. Still, I'd feel sleazy if I didn't credit them with the idea.
One final note: Pitchfork is known to retroactively edit posts without warning its readers. This means that some of the quotes I feature here may no longer be part of what's posted as the "official" review. Believe me - I didn't make these quotes up.
From the review of the Crystal Stilts’ In Love With Oblivion
“What’s up with that guy’s singing, anyway?”
Hipster observational comedy is not very funny. “So what’s the deal with Moleskines? And do Polaroids really need to be shaken? I mean, am I right?”
“…in 2008, when Crystal Stilts emerged as one of the more interesting acts in the lo-fi Brooklyn jangle-pop pile.”
Jangle-pop piles are the natural result of years of wind and rain slowly wearing down rocks into fashionably alternative shapes. Geologists refer to it “gentrificerosion”.
“However, you didn't really need to know what he was saying (or, for that matter, what key it was supposed to be sung in) to dive deep into the lonely, dark, and difficult-to-inhabit world of Alight of Night.”
You didn’t really need to know what was being sung or how it sounded in order to enjoy it. I don’t even have a joke here; that’s literally what the guy just wrote. I guess it’s kind of like you don’t have to know what a Pitchfork writer is talking about or what language he’s using in order to enjoy mocking him.
“The murkiness continues to recede on the band's sophomore effort”
A receeding murkline occurs in nearly 70% of indie bands by their third album. There is no cure for male pattern murkiness.
“He can be funny, too-- like on "Invisible City", when he sings about crawling into a sarcophagus with a girl before repeating, like a too-clever suspect in the interrogation room, ‘We know what happened at death/ But I don't have to say why.’”
What? How is that funny in any way at all? Again, hipster comedy is pretty stupid. “Hey, have you heard the one about the girl, the sarcophagus, and the thinly veiled existentialist comment?”
From the review of Jeremy Jay’s Dream Diary
“Though overlong by about a third, the Bishop Allen-by-way-of-Modest Mouse bends of "In the Times", and the Belle and Sebastian-like breeze of "Shayla" boast some of Jay's finest lures yet.”
This was the second-to-last sentence in the whole review and I count three references in it. The over/under for references in this review was 3.5, so I feel like there was probably some reference-shaving that led to this sentence being written.