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pretentiousness. what a lame concept.

Above: an accurate depiction of battling pretentiousness.

Alright you bunch of douches, you wanted a post?! You GOT a post! And just for further clarification, my girlfriends are Brigitte and The Blogulator. Believe me...we've gotten into some pretty sticky situations (pun INTENDED!), all three of us combined...for some reason, the Blogulator just doesn't like being the meat in a Mark and Brigitte sandwich...but that's another topic entirely that is better suited for my personal blog.

What I really want to preach to you people about is a little word called PRETENTIOUSNESS. What is it, you say? Is it when somebody likes a band that employs some "weird" methods of doing music? Is it when somebody likes something that other people don't like and isn't afraid to do so? Well, I didn't run the numbers on this one, but I did look up the definition of the word "pretentious" on our good friend, dictionary.com:

pre·ten·tious ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-tnshs)adj.
Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious.

So, clearly, for person A to claim something to be "pretentious," he must be accusing person B of giving an unjustified position of distinction or merit. So, is it unjustified of me to say that the new Mike Doughty record sucks? Let's run the numbers with our good friend, metacritic.com

Haughty Melodic Metascore: 69 (out of 100), including reviews from publications like Tiny Mix Tapes saying, "It's just a little sad to hear Mike giving in to conventionality, even if he does do it better than most

So, there you have it, JUSTIFICATION that perhaps not everybody likes his new direction, even if it is done better than most.

What's the lesson to be learned here? You're most likely to be pretentious if you call somebody else pretentious, because pretentiousness is inherently an unjustified state of opinion.

That's right, y'all. Y'all been house'd by The Qualler.

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  1. Blogger estragon | 12:39 PM |  

    So, what I need from The Blogulator is for someone to tell me what to think about the new Death Cab album. I am torn, because while it is definitely not their best work, it's also not a total sell out pop album, it just sort of isn't very good. Which is different, I think, thank pop-ifying. So, maybe they just decided they'd do an album where they would way overdo the piano and have really, really terrible lyrics and then go back to normal. Or am I in denial about the obvious harbinger of a the band's inevitable spiral into pop-dom?

  2. Blogger Mark | 1:06 PM |  


    Please refer to my post on 9/11/05, in which I tear Death Cab a new one for releasing a really boring album. Also, I love the Panda -- I think the USA needs more omnipotent Giant Pandas to guard our public transportation systems!


  3. Blogger chris | 1:11 PM |  

    i would have to second qualler's emotion. it's boring and the lack of inventive guitar riffage makes my heart bleed, but there are officially 4 songs on the record that if i don't let my brain discern gibbard's overwrought semantics i can actually enjoy: marching bands of manhattan, brothers on a hotel bed, different names for the same thing, and summer skin. the rest i would poop on if i ever had such an opportunity.

  4. Blogger estragon | 1:40 PM |  

    I am definitely on board with this assessment, although I would narrow the list of good-ish songs to include only Marching Bands of Manhattan and Brother on a Hotel Bed. (This is somewhat of a different category than Chris' though, as I think those two are tolerable lyrically as well...)Also, I think the 9/11/05 post is pretty spot on, especially in terms of the assesment of the awful, awful lyrics and even worse song titles. Like you, when I listened to Plans, it retroactively made me re-evaluate whether or not I ever liked them in the first place.

    However, after that, I listened to Something About Airplanes, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, and Stability a bunch and I really do think they used to be good. Line of Best Fit is a damn good song (especially the You Can Play These Songs With Chords Version), and the lyrics are ambiguous enough to not be oppressively sappy. (Although, I think it might be better as an instrumental track...)

    Like I commented up there, it's just really not a very good album. But I don't think they've sold out. They just screwed up. Will they learn from this or not? I dunno.

    Also, randomly, I have met Japanese hipsters and have learned about an instrumental rock band called "toe" that I think you might find interesting.

    Also: The Japanese word for "emo" is "emo." For real. It's wordwide now, people.


  5. Blogger chris | 7:21 PM |  

    yes! toe is awesome. doug from tortoise is in that band. their records are super hard to find here though. do you not like "different names for the same thing" because of the piano-drenchedness of it? cuz that build-up is pretty sweet and is probably my favorite part in all of plans (still not saying much). i think out of context, parts of the lyrics of the aforementioned songs are good, but overall, lines like "sorrow drips into your heart through a pinhole" totally negate any goodness gibbard accidentally created with other lyrics. in any case, it's good to hear "emo" is finally catching on SOMEWHERE that i respect. does it mean the same thing as here? are japanese kids that listen to fall out boy saying "emo" or are kids that are listening to mid 90s chiacago rock music saying "emo"?

  6. Blogger estragon | 8:35 PM |  

    Actually, I like the instrumentation in "different names for the same thing," but I think the lyrics are just so half assed that I can barely stand to listen to it. It feels like they're trying to do something minimal like the title track from "Transatlanticism" or "Line of Best Fit," but instead they just say "different names for the same thing" over and over. And it just doesn't work for me. It makes me think of seasame street or something, I guess.

    As for the lyrics to "marching bands," I think maybe I can deal with because I'm just so damn emo-sad that it barely even stuck out to me.

    Emo is definitely the same same same thing here. Although, this may just be because I have found hipster kids who clearlky know What Is Up (in capital letters). For example, the one who introduced me to "toe" say that it is his favorite band and that he will burn me their albums. Mwahahaha.

    Also, Japanese hipsters are like American hipsterms times a thousand.

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