Where’s The Street Team?: Crappy Anniversary


I tend to think of anniversaries in the romantic sense, not the musical one. Considering I’ve spent my adult years striving to have a romantic anniversary greater than two years, music-related milestones serve one purpose for me: boring, last-ditch story ideas for magazines. The music biz’s attempt to reverse awful CD sales through anniversary editions and reissues should tell you something about the pathetic lengths that labels will now go to get you inside of a soon-to-be-closed-and-turned-into-a-check-cashing-outlet retail music store.

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Where’s The Street Team?: Trendsobbing


All of us do something that’s part of a trend, some of us more so than others. Most of us do nothing unless it’s been pre-approved by a gazillion other cookie-cutter scenesters. This continues to be the case as ideas are born and worn into the ground by drones too boring to have the ideas in the first place, thus setting individuality at an all-time-low. There are no true outsiders. What you are doing, creatively, is part of a big dumb movement, so don’t get all high and mighty about what you incorrectly perceive to be original. There exists no more fertile ground for lemmings than the music industry. Let’s take a cursory look.

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Where’s The Street Team?: Heavy-Metal Parking Lot


Let’s rock out! Let’s make some metal! Better yet, let’s fake it! I’m not a metalhead. I do, however, know a lot about metal and have always listened to it alongside more obvious obsessions. I bought Mercury Rev’s Boces during the same record-store outing that netted Death’s Individual Thought Patterns. I know, whoop-dee-doo, but I want to distinguish myself from some windbag who latched onto this shit three years ago. It’s interesting to note that the only genre more clique-ish than indie rock is metal, and the invasion of one by the other has produced much whining and fruitless grandstanding. And rocking out? Rocking out is still a popular and novel way to spice up those breadwinning careers that are allergic to energy. Join me, dear friends and amusing enemies, for a look at a few clumsy mid-career crises, ones that result from a need to show the world that metal is cool. As of yesterday.

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Where’s The Street Team?: Two Thousand Sucks


It’s that time again, when I act like I have no idea what magazine I write for, exuding disgust at the artists praised within these pages. After three years of writing this thing—a comedy column, if you haven’t noticed—the funniest words printed in MAGNET still fall within the hate mail I generate on the Letters page. To those letter-writers, I issue with full confidence the following statement: You deserve it. Music is the greatest comedy that was never written. I’m sick of typing words that no longer mean anything, words whose descriptive power has been squelched by overexposure and the neutralizing of a mindset that was, maybe 10 years ago, actually fresh and cutting edge. We have a problem on our hands when Sufjan Stevens is the barometer by which adventurous music is measured, when noise bands get fashion spreads in magazines, when music writers brag about not owning turntables (I’m looking at you, Chuck Klosterman), when there are as many faux-tastemakers as there are fratboys and jam-band fans, when everything feels mainstream. What follows is the best rock and circumstances that 2006 had to offer.

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