worn in red and an icp treat for you juggaloes

April 18th, 2010 · 68 Comments · By

Worn in Red is playing at The Jefferson tonight. No Idea! records in Gainesville, Florida put out their most recent release and that’s a pretty big deal. They’ve since been hyped in AP magazine, which you can have a glimpse at here. Nailgun founder and Eardrum curator John Ruscher actually used to be in Worn in Red, which seems kind of strange.

It makes sense for them to play with headliners Against Me! since they got their start on No Idea. In my opinion they quit releasing listenable music when they left the label. I actually saw them in 2002 at a Mexican restaurant in Lynchburg during a blizzard. The show should have probably been canceled and we all risked our lives getting there but we persevered because we were so excited a band we liked was coming to town (that never happened in Lynchburg back then.) It was a really exciting event at the time and my English teacher even gave us extra credit for going to the show. I don’t really know what they’ve been up to since 2003 but they did play at Plan 9 in Richmond yesterday with my absolute favorites: The Super Vacations. Also on the bill tonight are Dead to Me and Money Brother.  Doors are at 7 and it’s $15.

On an unrelated note, I was exposed to this Insane Clown Posse gem yesterday and I have pretty much been laughing ever since. How is this not a Lonely Island song?

Tags: preview · rants & rambles

68 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jon bray // Apr 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    fuckin magnets — how do they work!?

  • 2 James // Apr 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I think this explains it pretty well:
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/learn-your-motherfuckin-science-with-the-icp

  • 3 Matthew // Apr 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Just got word that Worn In Red will be going on at 7:45pm, sharp! Can’t wait to see them perform at The Jefferson. Truly making fellow C’villians extra proud. Also, if you haven’t seen this before, check it out: http://www.vimeo.com/8949190

  • 4 baconfat // Apr 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    against me! show at plan 9 yesterday didn’t happen due to bus breakdown issue. but they rescheduled it for today at noon; which means if you’re reading this now you already missed it. *sadface*

  • 5 Jacob // Apr 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Also, I hear there’s another night of storytelling at Random Row and a nice folky songstress named Dawn Landes at the Tea Bazaar tonight.

    Sunday shows at the Tea Bazaar — especially listening room type stuff — tend to be really nice because the place is operating as more of a venue than a restaurant — no milkshake machine in the background or frat dudes looking for hookahs. Very serene. Actually, you could probably still get a milkshake. Just wait for in between sets!

  • 6 Vijith Assar // Apr 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Look, I’m just gonna come right out and say it: Violent J is a way better rapper than Shaggy.

  • 7 Vijith Assar // Apr 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Also, I don’t think “juggalo” gets an E when you pluralize it. It’s not like “potatoes,” it’s more like “hos.” (Yes, I checked that last one against AP style conventions.)

  • 8 sarah // Apr 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    omg snl parody is amazing
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–QxAuRpGdU

  • 9 nick // Apr 18, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    “Also I figured you wouldn’t know what indigo is so I just made it red.” ha!@

  • 10 Bradical // Apr 19, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for the plug Sarah! I’m glad at least one local media outlet gives a shit about our band. Ha ha.

  • 11 Sarah // Apr 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    yeah it was terrible you were not mentioned in the hook.

  • 12 Vijith Assar // Apr 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    We’ll probably have a few more days of hand-wringing by the bands who weren’t included, but this one seems particularly odd given that 1) Sarah, if you read the article you’d have gathered that it was about up-and-coming bands, whereas Worn In Red has been around for ages 2) Brad, as you know I’m typically emailing you to inquire about your shows before you’ve announced them and 3) none of the Nailgun writers who were asked for their input nominated Worn In Red, probably because they understood point #1.

    But please, let’s get this back on track. Have you guys seen the Law & Order episode where the bad guys turn out to be juggalos?

  • 13 sarah // Apr 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    vijith, if you lived in charlottesville maybe you would know adam smith has been playing as the invisible hand for years yet his band was the cover band. he has been playing with thomas dean, jon bray, and adam brock for two years now and he has been playing most of the songs they play together as a band for way longer than that.

  • 14 Vijith Assar // Apr 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    JUGGALOL! Yeah, but WIR’s history stretches back much farther than that, and also there was a massive increase in Adam’s activity with the Invisible Hand after his prior band Truman Sparks dissolved, which is probably why even two years in they were such a popular answer for so many of the folks we polled (again, including the Nailgun guys).

  • 15 sarah // Apr 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    another reason why the music issue is kind of weak: why does the author ask each girlless band why there isn’t a girl in their bands when she doesn’t even quote any women as authoritative sources in her article?

  • 16 Chris T. // Apr 19, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Too interject a lil — here’s a fascinating article on ICP and it’s latest video by my favorite pop culture writer. Enjoy. http://www.slate.com/id/2250217/

  • 17 Bradical // Apr 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Vijith – For you to classify this as “hand-wringing” is disingenuous. I’m simply incredibly proud of what WIR has experienced over the last year. Yes, our history goes back about 5 years, but just over 2 years ago we had a huge line-up change (new vocalists and bassist), which “massively increased our activity” as you say. This has taken the form of a new LP/CD, a 6.5 week tour, shows at some pretty incredible festivals, and an upcoming European tour…pretty unusual for a band from here, and I’m proud. I didn’t mean for my comment to be taken so seriously (hence the “ha ha” at the end). It was just a quip in response to a line Sarah originally had at the beginning of the second paragraph…which now isn’t there, and so now my comment seems out of context and perhaps snipe-y. Not my intent.

    But now that we’re on it, I do think discussing The Hook’s methods for cobbling together this issue are interesting. I’m guessing the lack of ANY heavy Charlottesville bands on the list had more to do with the fact that (despite them being sweet folks) the people quoted in the article have a certain sound and a certain set of local bands they’re into…AND they’re simply not huge fans of crazy loud screamy rock music (e.g., A Cosmonaut’s Ruin, Empire, and yes, WIR). Which brings me to a larger point (and this is only MY personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of WIR Conglomerate International, its subsidiaries, or clients):

    It’s not that I don’t respect the opinion of the Nailgun writers, Andy Gems, and the guy from The Corner, but there is a decent punk and metal scene in this town, and The Hook failed to represent that on their panel. There’s also a huge hip-hop scene here, and I didn’t see anyone from that community either. Point being, I think The Hook could have done a better job of 1) Getting more diverse panel, and 2) Editing the final list so that you don’t have any 2 bands that sound similar, or are coming from the same clique, or whatever. This is not to say that any of the bands on the list are bad or not deserving, but it just seems like The Hook didn’t really didn’t do much in terms of direction or oversight. It is my opinion that a paper touting Charlottesville’s music culture as a “hook” for why people come here and stay here might want to spend a little more time and effort researching and editing an issue like this. If I saw that kind of sharpness going into a “up and coming local music” issue then I wouldn’t give a shit if my band was in there or not.

  • 18 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Brad — well said, thank you.

    For the record, I think Worn in Red is great, and I agree that it’s a shame that you guys sometimes don’t get the respect in your own hometown that you’ve garnished elsewhere. Also, I certainly don’t want to give the impression that Nailgun “doesn’t cover” heavy music — over the years we’ve written plenty about stuff like Worn in Red, Corsair, Horsefang, Kiste, Red Wizard, Ostinato, Sangvine, Order, Ultra Dolphins, Cosmonaut’s Ruin, and plenty of other acts in the same vein. Our detractors may like to infer all sorts of things about our perceived attempts to appeal to some sort of (mostly imaginary) “hipster” demographic, but at the end of the day we’re just writing about what we like, and we like a lot of that stuff.

    As for the lack of Hip Hop coverage — well, unfortunately there’s a lack of Hip Hop performance in this town, for a number of reasons (one being the unfortunate difficulty of actually booking Hip Hop shows here). And of the stuff that does get booked — while Cville does have a history of Hip Hop highlights, there’s not huge amount of stuff that’s really catching my ear these days… Unspoken Heard haven’t been around for a while now; the Beetnix are a flying a little to high on the radar (and surfacing a little too infrequently) to really have any sort of month-to-month presence as a performing act, that I’m aware of (although I know Damani does a ton of laudable behind-the-scenes work in town) — so, out of the Hip Hop acts I’ve heard&seen in Cville over the past few years, the only consistently great performer I’ve noticed is the always-excellent Q*Black.

    Now, I am aware that there’s a huge number of unsigned, unaffiliated, off-the-rader bedroom / myspace rappers here in town, who are totally lacking for any sort of support from the wider community. And that’s a shame, b/c I’m sure at least a few of them are pretty good (or could be, given the chance). I’m fully in favor of any and all parties who want to take the time to seek those acts out, help find them their footing, and help them establish a dependable foothold of performing / recording / appearing in the larger community, if that’s even a thing that any of them want or are looking for. On the other hand, I am almost certainly not the appropriate person to do that; mostly because my own tastes in Hip-Hop are extremely picky and subjective — I listen to almost nothing from after 2002 — which is probably gonna make any outreach efforts I’d make pretty fruitless, and they’d probably be perceived as condescending as well (I mean, who wants to hear a nerdy white guy in his late 20′s whine for the nth time about how the stuff from NY in the early 90′s was the best shit?)

    Anyhow, I’ve been having some interesting conversations recently about what that issue DIDN’T include, and what a true survey of Charlottesville music might look like. So if all goes as planned, you may see an idea which sprang from those conversations in this space soon.

  • 19 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 1:26 am

    As one of the folks who was asked to contribute to the Hook‘s music issue, I should point out that my choices were partly self-filtered — my own tastes whittled down to what sort of things I thought the Hook might actually be interested in writing about. I should also point out that I was pulling explicitly from a pool of bands that are currently performing, recording, etc and have been around a lot in the past 2 years — there are several awesome things that didn’t make my own personal cut because they were too new, too infrequent, or had recently broken up or gone on hiatus.

    Furthermore, the last-minute nature of my submission (there was some weird e-mail glitch thing) meant that I’m still kicking myself over things I should have included… Plus, of course, there are plenty of things i DID suggest which didn’t make the cut. Not entirely shocking that the Hook doesn’t want to write about noise bands; that’s fine, I have a space to write about them here. But my list of suggestions did include noise bands, rock bands, pop acts, singer/songwriters, and more, and not all of them were all white guys. The Hook picked the bands they picked, for reasons which are their own and which are up to them to defend.

    I’m of two minds about this:

    1) Articles like that are always gonna be problematic. For one thing, I can’t STAND the framing device of “who’s gonna be the next DMB / Parachute / etc” etc. It implies that that being interested in local music is something like playing the lottery — waiting to see if any of the folks now working on a grassroots level are gonna “make it big” enough to “count” — fuck that. I’m interested in local bands because I like the fact that I live in a community that has a lot of creative and talented people in / around / near it. I contribute to Nailgun because I love the fact that almost every night of the week, there’s something great and worth seeing happening here, and I think THAT itself is valuable; to be honest, I couldn’t care less about which (if any) of those bands “make it big” (although, understandably, the bands themselves often have a somewhat different view.)

    Secondly, it’s true that this article DOES lack for diversity. This can, in part, be attributed to the lack of diversity in selecting outside participants. When you ask a lot of the same people from the same backgrounds (Dom and I are both on WTJU and have both worked at Plan 9, Jacob and I both write for Nailgun and have done music things at the Tea House, worked with The Bridge, etc) you’re going to get a lot of overlap in your answers.

    2) On the other hand, while I’ve accepted that “music issues” like this one (the Hook and/or C-Ville seem to do one every other year or so), this one is one of the LEAST dreadful that I’ve ever seen. I really, really like a lot of the performers in here; there’s none that I explicitly dislike, and only one or two I had never heard. It may not be complete, it may not be comprehensive, and it’s almost certainly not fair, BUT it IS a list of good bands with some fairly accurate and unobjectionable things said about them, and for that I am glad it exists, and proud to have contributed to it.

  • 20 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Brad, thanks for your explanation. As I mentioned, the “hand wringing” (as it were) seemed particularly out of character coming from you, so I’m glad that’s not actually the case. That said, I do expect and understand that there’s some of that going on with certain other bands, and as I said, that’s actually quite alright. A little flattering, even, since it means they care about getting a co-sign.

    I can’t really argue with any of the comments about the panel — too white, no punk rockers, too many Nailgun types (sort of including Dom in here since he’s a frequent commenter), since you all know who it consisted of. But, as in years past, it’s just a subset of the well-connected experts who we figured would make for interesting voices. Just as with trying to outline all the bands, trying to gather up a comprehensive panel would be futile. There are tons of people who could have been in on it but weren’t; Jeyon Falsini, Danny Shea, Nick Rubin, Shaun Harvey, Damani Harrison, Keith Morris, Anne Williams, Jaclyn Piermarini, James McLaughlin, and many others I’m forgetting. Each would have had an impact, some more farther afield than others — for example, that nobody has yet mentioned the lack of jazz musicians speaks to the biases of the people complaining about the bias, doesn’t it? However, I do think that James consciously limiting his answers to bands he thought we already had in mind probably didn’t help in this regard, or at the very least wasn’t really what we were hoping for. But that’s water under the bridge at this point.

    We did take a fair amount of guidance from the submissions and didn’t really try to artificially whittle things down such that we had only one alt-country band and only one pop-rock act and so forth. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that approach either, which apparently Brad would prefer, but we just didn’t try to explicitly mold things that way. Most of the deliberate decisions were things like Trees On Fire getting cut because they’re too well established for the up-and-coming premise (and were instead getting their own article the following week). If we had anointed “the punk rock band to watch” and “the hip hop act to watch” and so forth but the categories were mostly just variations of “indie rock” and “indie pop” (chillwave!) then I think we’d have institutionalized the phenomenon being discussed here a little more concretely in the manner Brad describes.

    As someone who invests far too much time in these matters, it’s interesting to me that what we’re seeing here is actually a very close parallel of what happened this year with the Village Voice’s Pazz and Jop poll, which is this thing they do every year where they get a few hundred music critic types (disclosure: I’ve participated for the past few years) to vote and comment on the year’s album releases as a single aggregate body using far more advanced statistical techniques than we used here. But nonetheless, the frustrations were similar: too much consensus, too much homogeny, too much music that sounded largely the same.

    James is right about hip hop, which can be hard to cover for a number of reasons, but whatever’s brewing with Nailgun, I think it’d be just as disingenuous to present your take as “a true survey of Charlottesville music” as it would have been for us to do the same (which we did not). Already what you’re proposing seems to bring a little baggage in that you want to provide an alternative the Hook’s take, which is fine and totally valid, but there’s a skew or bias inherent in that too. So Adam Smith might not be your lead item, then? Except that based on the wildly enthusiastic testimonials James has been posting here (“best band in town” and so on) I suspect he might be anyway. At that point we’re back to the homogeny. There’s no easy answer because there’s no definitive answer.

    My own first attempt at the annual music issue in 2005 was along the lines of something more comprehensive; I listed so many bands, including the underground hip hop guys, that I botched some of the (exceedingly brief) descriptions because I was aiming a little higher than I probably should have been. But that still didn’t generate anywhere near this degree of insightful discussion, so I think it’s clear we made the right calls here. Not to mention that James considers it only minimally dreadful.

  • 21 Matt // Apr 21, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Well said, Brad and James. I’m glad that people on Nailgun’s comment threads for the most part A) say who they are and B) write with respect for each other even when they are disagreeing massively. That stuff over on The Hook article’s comment thread is making me sad about this town.

    I think the only really valid critique of the Hook’s article (how can we really objectively debate and compare personal music taste anyway?) is that they did not clearly disclose how they selected the bands they included. As I understand it, it was based on the recommendations of local music figures, which may or may not have been respresentative. Either way, disclosing this methodology might have prevented all this anger, all these misunderstandings, and the general divisiveness that has sadly erupted.

    I don’t think anybody in this town is in it to win it. We all just love playing and seeing music and are happy to have the opportunity and happy that lots of other people are doing it too. This place isn’t anything like NY or LA and I think competitiveness between bands and performers tends not to work here.

  • 22 Sarah // Apr 21, 2010 at 10:27 am

    i just can’t believe the audacity of the article’s author to question bands why they don’t have a female band member when she clearly didn’t poll any women. and if she did happen to poll women, she didn’t quote them on their opinions like she did for all of the boy dudes who were asked to contribute. where are the girl dudes? does anyone else think that is just straight up dumb!?

  • 23 Bradical // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:22 am

    James – I like your style man. Always have. I think we are of the same mind, especially on this:
    “Secondly, it’s true that this article DOES lack for diversity. This can, in part, be attributed to the lack of diversity in selecting outside participants. When you ask a lot of the same people from the same backgrounds (Dom and I are both on WTJU and have both worked at Plan 9, Jacob and I both write for Nailgun and have done music things at the Tea House, worked with The Bridge, etc) you’re going to get a lot of overlap in your answers.”
    – First off, I KNOW you and Nailgun support heavier stuff…didn’t mean to imply otherwise. But I also know that it’s probably not first on your list of favorites, local or otherwise. And that’s obviously cool! I just wish The Hook would have found at least one panelist more PRIMARILY associated with heavier stuff in town, instead of having it be multiple people from overlapping backgrounds. As a result, that article makes it seem like the only loud bands in C’ville are coming from a garage-y/Pavement type of vibe, and that’s simply not the case. That’s obviously not your fault – it’s the fault of The Hook’s process.

    As far as hip-hop goes, as I understand it, there are actually some house parties where this scene goes down since (as you rightly mention), doing hip-hop shows at regular venues is a non-starter at the moment. I don’t really know the specifics either, but if I were a music columnist for a “weekly arts paper” (or whatever it is The Hook fancies itself), I’d be damn sure to make the journalistic effort to find out! I mean, isn’t that the function of a reporter/columnist? To investigate and dig a little deeper? So yeah, I agree with you that it would take some outreach to find out what’s going on with hip-hop in town, and I wish The Hook would have at least found a person for the panel who has inroads to that scene.

    Sarah – Yes, I do think it’s dumb. I also didn’t really get the point she was attempting to make with those questions…but then again, I’ve never really been able to pull out a clear narrative thread (or whatever you want to call it) from her interviews – including the one time I was involved in the interview. But that could be for any number of reasons, and might have as much to do with me not getting her style as her not able to coherently convey what a band is saying.

  • 24 Matt // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Sarah, I think maybe that question was asked in a spirit of jest but it seemed mostly irrelevant to me. We don’t have a lady in our band but it’s not like we’re against it. If that is the assumption then that is not audacity, it’s an agenda. I’ve been in a two bands with ladies before and I invited two other ladies to join Drunk Tigers at different points but they didn’t want to or couldn’t for whatever reason.

  • 25 Sarah // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:38 am

    by audacity, i meant it was pretty bold of her to question these bands with what i perceived to be a confrontational tone as to why they don’t have a female band member when she didn’t even include a female voice in her article.

  • 26 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:49 am

    {{for the record, Vijith’s comment #20 is only now seeing your eyeballs — any time a comment is posted from an unfamiliar IP, or contains a few links, or is simply a little long: then we have to go in on the site’s back-end and allow it through. you wouldn’t believe the amount of automated spam that our comments page gets, but sometimes the filter is a little overzealous.}}

  • 27 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:52 am

    A number of questions were sent out, but not all responses were printed for each band. The question about female members was included for 5 out of the 12 participating bands, only one of whom answered without using it as a launchpad for some sort of reasonably competent joke, so I don’t think any of them saw it as confrontational as you suspect.

  • 28 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    whatever’s brewing with Nailgun, I think it’d be just as disingenuous to present your take as “a true survey of Charlottesville music”

    well, yeah, of course it’s gonna be subjective. I made the decision a long time ago that my writing would be deliberately, consciously, and openly subjective. but I do think the question “what would an objective survey of charlottesville music look like?” is an fair one, and perhaps an interesting goal to aim for, even as an experiment. or perhaps a better question might be: “what are we ignoring? what does it sound like? is any of it, subjectively, good?” I’m betting the answer is yes.

  • 29 Jacob // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I think Sarah has a point. It’s ironic, at least, considering the circumstances. But I too read it as a question in jest, and didn’t take it very seriously.

  • 30 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Well said, Brad and James. I’m glad that people on Nailgun’s comment threads for the most part A) say who they are and B) write with respect for each other even when they are disagreeing massively. That stuff over on The Hook article’s comment thread is making me sad about this town.

    Same here, Matt. It’s long been my opinion / hope that people’s behavior in a forum will to some degree follow the example of the moderators/hosts, the same way any community implicitly expresses what is or isn’t acceptable. I’m really grateful that the vast majority of the folks commenting here are being honest, straightforward, and civil, despite the amount of disagreement or potential for miscommunication.

    Then again, when one’s circulation is as high&wide as the Hook’s, you’re just going to attract a certain number of jerks anyway, and those people tend to be the most overzealous about commenting; so hey, what can you do.

  • 31 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I am by no means attempting to pit the local papers against one another, but I do think it’s germane to point out that Andrew is taking a reader’s poll of the “coolest women in charlottesville rock&roll” over on the Feedback blog: http://www.bit.ly/bDkTAi

  • 32 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    …which was posted about three and a half hours after Sarah raised the criticism here in comment #15. Any conflict there certainly isn’t your doing, James.

  • 33 Andy // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I know I rushed at the last minute to get my picks in and then slapped myself for the next few days at all the bands I missed.

    In retrospect, it might have been good for the Hook to have given panelists a little more guidance on selections e.g., maybe asked us to pick from a handful of genres. I narrowed my choices down to only those acts that I’ve mixed at The Southern and I still missed WIR and Q-Black – both of which were absolutely badass when they played the room.

    I’m still constantly amazed at the amount of talent in this town.

  • 34 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Vijith – actually, the first I heard that the music issue was out, was a conversation with Andrew last week where he & a third party were griping about lack of female representation; so Sarah’s certainly not the first person to make that observation, although her point is well-taken.

  • 35 Sarah // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I mean maybe I read it as confrontational because I AM ACTUALLY A GIRL. please don’t tell anybody.

  • 36 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    It certainly isn’t somehow invalid or wrong to point out that there were no female panelists — again, you guys can all see who was involved — but I do think the author herself being female should count substantially when sizing up the gender balance of this article.

  • 37 Bradical // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    @ Vijith – “Each would have had an impact, some more farther afield than others — for example, that nobody has yet mentioned the lack of jazz musicians speaks to the biases of the people complaining about the bias, doesn’t it?”

    C’mon man, don’t be obtuse. I’m advocating for representation of punk/metal on the panel because that’s what I play – to call it “bias” is a bit much. I’m simply trying to narrow the scope of my point for the sake of clarity and brevity. I used hip-hop as another example of what I perceive to be a glaring omission – to show that it ain’t just punk/metal that was ignored. Now that you mention it though, you can also add jazz to that list. The bands listed by The Hook just seem less and less diverse the more one thinks about it. And I don’t mean that to sound overly combative…it’s just the truth as I see it.

    Implying that the choice is between and the “futility” of assembling a “comprehensive panel” and what The Hook ended up doing for that article is simply false. The Hook could have (and should have) put some up-front effort into ensuring that the panel represented various facets of music in Charlottesville. Yes, I think roughly breaking it down by genre would be a good way to do that, but I’m sure there are other equally effective ways to do it as well. All I’m asking is that The Hook (or any publication that wants to be taken seriously) TRY to keep things inclusive instead of doing what it did, which APPEARS to be calling up a few folks you know who are involved with music and getting their opinions without any regard for the similarities/diversity of their backgrounds.

    Why is that important? Because whether you claim it or not, most people reading your publication are not as involved in local music as those posting here, and they ARE possibly going to take your article as “a true survey of Charlottesville music” (however erroneous that presumption might be). That’s why I care that The Hook start putting a little more effort into its music reporting.

  • 38 stephanie marie // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Well, since this music issue was my doing, and I haven’t been speaking up about it, I might as well jump in and take the heat:

    The Hook has been doing music issues since Vijith began it in 2005. To be honest, since I’ve been with the Hook (beginning in 2008), I have been disappointed with the way it has been presented: polling “experts” (mostly people associated with Red Light) and just running their answers. I did not want to do that this year. Instead, I wanted an issue that was photo-heavy and where readers heard directly from the bands themselves. The questions I asked each band ranged from slightly serious to extremely lighthearted. This was not supposed to be an in-depth, super serious examination of influences or musical philosophies. It was just a glimpse of bands who are making waves in town and I believe that our readers would benefit from seeing some of their personalities.

    Were the questions perfect? Of course not. Again, they were very much light-hearted. That’s exactly the reason I asked the “Why aren’t there girls in your band?” I am personally a huge fan of local chick musicians (I have such a crush on Marie of Corsair). If a band had launched into a tirade about why there aren’t a bunch of girl musicians playing, I would have run it. But none of them did.

    Finally, as far as picking the bands went, I asked each of my “experts” this year to nominate 5 or 6 bands that they believe are: a) up and coming or b) they’ve been really into this past YEAR. From there, I only cut a few that we had featured before or who Vijith and I determined had been making news for more than a year or so, or who we’ve done a big piece on. Ex: 6 Day Bender, Trees on Fire. I wish someone had nominated Corsair, I personally am really into what they do. But I obviously was not going to put my own subjective opinion in this, so I simply stuck to those who were nominated.

    This was my first time doing the music issue and I appreciate everyone’s opinions on how to make it better.

  • 39 Tara // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Sarah, I found the question quite divisive, and completely unneccessary. The “haves” didn’t get questioned on why they have women in the band. Also, putting women in the band for the sake of saying you have a woman in the band is lame, and makes me question whether she understands the dynamics of why people play music together. Additionally, as you allude to, she could have included more bands with women in less traditional roles to be represented.

  • 40 Anonymous rabblerouser // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    If I were to rewrite “Our Band Could Be Your Life,” a book about all of the bands I love, it might read something like this. The music favored by white, college educated men, was becoming increasingly less relevant, so the people of the world stopped buying it. So white guys from lots of places, but especially in the Pacific NW—one of the whitest parts of the country—created a class of music for white men that was largely unlistenable so that only white dudes could enjoy it. It sounded bad, but it was art.

    Once upon a time, in 2010, a paper consulted white men about the music that they liked. And everybody wondered where the black women were.

  • 41 Matt // Apr 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Are we talking about the journalistic standards of privately-owned, advertising-funded, locally-distributed (OK, I dont actually know if all those adverbial phrases are true of The Hook or C-ville) news magazines now? Oooh, this is getting fun.

    Anyway, maybe the Hook should just do another local music issue. For whatever people think the article got right and whatever it lacked, it seems like the demand for this kind of content is very very strong. People are definitely reading the article. What do you say?

  • 42 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    The thing is, Brad, I don’t disagree with you about any of that. But I also don’t think an equal distribution of genres is something we particularly need to strive for year after year, nor that continuing to list genres that weren’t represented (there are many more) will be all that productive.

    This article is not intended to be, nor presented as, an exhaustive compendium nor even a representative sampling of local bands — it’s a funny, insightful, quirky look behind a few of the bands which are most likely to appear at the most popular independent venues in town. And as we can see, it’s a good read that people are really reacting to.

    You’re probably right that some readers who aren’t really all that involved with local live music might take it as some sort of almanac, but those people weren’t going to go to the shows or buy the albums anyway because they’re saving up for Trey at the Jefferson. There’s always the chance we’ll convince them to check out something new, of course, but I’m not particularly bothered that this is we’re more likely to direct them in a particular stylistic direction — because even though there’s no jazz or hip hop, the answers are really interesting (Mss. is certainly my favorite) and the photos are great, and all that stuff does as much for the reader’s engagement and interest as whether the band is close to their existing stylistic comfort zone.

    We just found smart voters who wrote interesting commentary and this is where the chips happened to fall, and even though they’re not all equidistant (genres, panelists, gender, whatever) I still think the result is really cool.

  • 43 baconfat // Apr 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    i’m actually really curious about what Sarah posted in the 2nd paragraph of the post (and then removed) that prompted the comment from Brad.

    also: let me be the first to nominate myself as Charlottesville’s resident glo-fi scene expert, for consideration in the 2011 Hook “12 Glo-Fi Bands To Watch” issue.

  • 44 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Haha, I don’t know why she removed it, that’s hilarious!

  • 45 The HooK: Charlottesville Music : Archive » Would you like some haterade, courtesy of Comparative Anatomy? // Apr 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    [...] Swing on over to Nailgun for a spell if you’d like a very long and mostly well-reasoned discussion of our 2010 music issue. (To quote Tracy Morgan at his finest: “So many words! It’s like a Mos Def CD!”) But if you’re more into the left-field loony-bin rants, grab a cub of tea and settle in, because— surprise!— you’re already in the right place. [...]

  • 46 Bradical // Apr 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    @ Vijith: “…nor that continuing to list genres that weren’t represented (there are many more) will be all that productive.” – I disagree. It shows where your article was lacking, and will hopefully improve the next one. And I think it’s a lot to assume that the feedback you’re getting meant it was a “good read”. I’d say that a lot of the reactions have had more to do with precisely the contrary notion. Again, I really don’t mean for that to sound dick-ish. Just trying to be plain in presenting what I’m reading as DIS-satisfaction with that issue on the part of some readers. You can have a “devil may care” reaction to that dissatisfaction – that’s your prerogative (like Bobby Brown) – but doing so will say a lot about The Hook’s integrity regarding music coverage.

    @ baconfat: I just found it on Google’s cache, and it was actually at the end of the 1st paragraph. It read: “Amazingly Worn in Red was overlooked in The Hook’s recent music issue…” – my comment was meant to be a kind of a goofy nudge/wink type of thing to Sarah in reference to that.

  • 47 Bradical // Apr 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Oh and I’m pretty sure that whole Comparative Anatomy thing is a publicity stunt…which is actually sort of funny.

  • 48 James // Apr 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    re: Comparative Anatomy’s publicity stunt

    well… if they ARE going to make up a bunch of fake names etc to up a storm of crazyness promote their band, I’m glad they had the insight a) acknowledge that that’s what they’re doing, and b) make it really ridiculous and over-the-top and amusing. I wouldn’t call them the best band in town, but they are DEFinitely amusing.

  • 49 Matt // Apr 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Yes! “Anonymous Rabblerouser” has it perfectly correct. The music made by all white males is all irrelevant and unlistenable. Thanks for inserting that useful racial dimension to this conversation. Finally!

    Where is the awesome and universally appealling, globally relevant, racially neutral music in this town?!! I’m so sick and tired of white men telling me what I like and who I am and what they like and playing guitars and offering free downloads of their terrible music. How corporate!! How boring!! Art isn’t made by white people. Go back to Iceland white man! And take your boring music and volcano ash with you – we don’t want it! I don’t care if you’re part-Cherokee or part-woman!

    At least Comparative Anatomy is a band of animals and not white guys. And they have it totally right on their MySpace page too about all these “crappy” and “annoying” punk bands that got written about in the Hook. Why do all these bands create music that no one likes anyway? Why don’t they all write more pop mega-hits? Don’t they get it? If they would just stop writing bad music, then people would stop writing about them. It’s a simple equation people. I’m looking at you in particular Drunk Tigers. Who asked you guys to write such bad music? No one wants to hear bad music. At least I dont think so. Maybe I’m wrong.

    If anyone wants to find out just how bad Drunk Tigers are, go check them out tomorrow night at The Box. They say it’s free but I say “Yeah, right. It’s probably a trap.” It’s probably like negative $700 and they’ll probably also demand that everyone write a local music issue about them, right there on the spot. That, or make us get drunk with them and make us dance. Screw that. No way, white man. That is soooo annoying guys. Really, stop being so bad and so white and so male. Free your mind and your skin color will follow. Just go back to your ice volcano and eat your favorite food: lightly-salted, lava-crisped baby Viking turds.

  • 50 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    @Brad, I guess we’ll have to just agree to disagree here, because I just don’t buy the notion that more genres = better. But by all means, list away.

  • 51 Sarah // Apr 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    when i initially wrote this post i commented on how i thought it was terrible that the band who got the biggest break in town this year wasn’t even mentioned in the hook’s issue. i immediately removed it after concluding the remark would elicit what it has indeed stirred up!

    when a publication makes a ‘best of’ list with screwy determinants and limited scope such as the hook’s music issue, they’re consciously asking for feedback like the above comments.

    there are lots of things i think are wrong with that issue but i still think worn in red’s absence was #1. they don’t get the love they deserve.

  • 52 Andy // Apr 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    i don’t think the article was intended to be a “best of”? the title is:
    Behind the Local Music: 12 bands to watch in 2010

    And dang, I got slammed at the other discussion for liking Soundgarden? Ouch.

  • 53 Bradical // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    You’ll always be my Spoonman, Andy.

  • 54 Sarah // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    ‘best of’ or ‘bands to watch’ — title doesn’t quite touch what i’m pointing at. i’m discussing content and several of these bands have been around longer than this article suggests. they deserved attention long ago and a band like worn in red hasn’t received their due.

  • 55 Sarah // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    also, vijith, it’s funny you would make fun of me for immediately deleting something after i posted it when you are notorious for deleting comments made by danny shea on the satellite ballroom article and by countless others on the j.tillman article.

  • 56 Vijith Assar // Apr 21, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Notoriety or not, I didn’t actually do either of those things and don’t see any record of those comments when I log in. And I didn’t mean that it was a bad idea for you to edit your post, I just meant that Dom’s glo-fi joke (which I thought he meant was the line you had deleted) was great.

  • 57 Sarah // Apr 22, 2010 at 12:07 am

    we all know you deleted comments! maybe there’s no record because you deleted them?

  • 58 Vijith Assar // Apr 22, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Well gosh, when you put it that way. I certainly can’t argue with logic like that, or the lack thereof.

  • 59 NICO ESPECTACULAR! // Apr 22, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Nice thread yall.

    Remember when GWAR was up for a Grammy? It was beautiful, Entertainment Tonight interviewed them and asked GWAR what they thought of the process. To which they replied…

    ET: So what do you think of GWAR being nominated for a Grammy?
    GWAR: It is like having accolades bestowed upon you by a retarded child.

    Music is arbitrary. Thousands of promising bands disappear into the ether before they get a break or hope for a break, and hundreds of lousy bands get a break before they are any good. Is “making it” having a song in a skin cream commercial? That is up to the people involved.

    Nobody lives in Charlottesville to further their dreams of being a “made” band. This is no hot-spot, the genre of touring regional acts that actually play in this town are determined by past turn-outs of said genre. Frankly this town only supports a few right now, and last 2-3 years of shows are gravely lacking in the realms of metal/heavy/hip-hop/jazz/experimental. And this is simply a product of who is here, and who shows up. Nothing to get upset about, you cannot choose who lives here and who decides to leave here.

    Charlottesville is typically boring and safe. As is our music. There are a few great bands/performers that crank out music with a real visceral drive, and there are plenty of bands you have heard before under another name even if the performers were unaware.

    And as far as there not being more women in the mentioned in this widely discussed article it is simply an imperfect survey of an imperfect music scene.

    I live here because I like going on my porch in the morning, drinking my coffee and staring at the mountains. I do a killer Roy Orbison, am I up-and-coming? I have no idea.

  • 60 slug // Apr 22, 2010 at 8:22 am

    NICO ESPECTACULAR HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!

  • 61 Vijith Assar // Apr 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I think a lot of the detractors here are missing a key point about what we did and why: we’ve been talking all this time about diversity of musical genres and which bands were included, but it’s also valuable to have diversity in concept, approach, and execution of the article and its format. Which is to say, there are many different ways to do an Annual Music Issue, and not all of them are about encyclopedic summaries or equal distributions or trying to just take one more slightly different slice of the same rainbow-colored stylistic layer cake each year.

    I’m doing this from memory, so bear with me and please forgive me if I get a little mixed up. 2004 was a cover story, normal in every respect, about the Hackensaw Boys’ new record deal and a big accompanying tour. 2005 was, as I mentioned, just a huge catalog of every Charlottesville band, musician, or songwriter I could possibly find, with very short descriptions for each. (Amusingly, that list was later plagiarized by the Dave Matthews Band and used for a sort of “we support hometown musicians” section of their web site.) 2006 was my mammoth transcription of an in-person panel discussion organized by Damani Harrison, wherein the participants sat around a table in the Hook offices after hours, drank the beer we had bought them, listened to some of the more noteworthy local album releases of the past year, and commented on both the records and the context while I typed away furiously trying to get it all down. 2007 was again a regular cover story, this time contrasting the new management deals that had been struck with Red Light by Sons Of Bill and Sparky’s Flaw/Parachute. 2008 and 2009 were an “ask the expert” format curated by Lindsay Barnes where each panelist was introduced and then asked to share some thoughts about two or three favorite acts, with redundant choices if necessary as long as the commentary was different.

    Stephanie’s article also used an “ask the experts” format, but she looked for intersections in the nominations. This homogenized things quite a bit and got rid of the outliers, which is where you’d find most of your hip hop and metal, but it also reduced the redundancy of multiple people repeatedly commenting on the same band, which in turn saved enough space to allow the Q&As. That gave the bands an opportunity to inject their personalities rather than just being passive subjects for some other guy’s commentary, and whether or not Brad or anyone else thinks it’s a good piece in the grand scheme of things, it’s certainly an interesting read. From the list above, I’d say the 2010 and 2006 articles are about tied for most engaging.

    While each story can then succeed or fail based on the writer, the participating bands, and the other outside voices if applicable, you’ll have a hard time convincing me that any of these approaches are inherently invalid or inappropriate. We wouldn’t have even had a problem with running a single-issue cover story again if we thought we had something on hand that could command it. There are many ways to take a snapshot, and not all of them are panoramas.

  • 62 Bradical // Apr 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    “This homogenized things quite a bit and got rid of the outliers, which is where you’d find most of your hip hop and metal…”

    The extent to which a genre is an “outlier” is a function of the diversity of the panel. I’m not missing the point that your article was not meant to be inclusive. You seem to be missing the point that many “detractors” legitimately think this narrow method and cutesy format was crap, DESPITE understanding that you intentionally used it. We get it – you want to be whimsical and “quirky”. But to some of us, it just feels like lazy “puff” journalism (and it ain’t just me, please believe). But I thought we agreed to disagree already?

    Bottom line – I want local music coverage to be the best it can be. Nailgun and C-ville are both doing a pretty good job, and put a lot of thought and substance into their work. It seems that The Hook is more interested in image…I mean, what did I really learn about those bands’ approaches to songwriting, lyrics (if applicable), touring, or their group dynamic from that article? Nada. It was mostly fluff questions designed to elicit oh-so-zany one-liners. I fully understand that some people are fine with that. But I think it’s a pretty shallow and pointless way to showcase musical artists.

  • 63 Vijith Assar // Apr 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Brad, you absolutely were missing that point through most of this thread, quite spectacularly actually, as were several other people. And now that I guess I’ve made things a bit clearer in my last comment, we instead get empty newspaper-needling fallback phrases like “puff journalism” and “more concerned about image”, which quite frankly are far lazier writing than what we do (but that’s OK, doing that sort of thing well is not your job, it’s ours). It’s understandable that you, as a musician in a touring band, would want to learn more about things like songwriting and “approach to touring,” and we also do that sort of thing regularly, like the articles in this week’s issue about Trees On Fire and The Cinnamon Band. I can totally sympathize with your frustration, since my own musical background includes a lot of music theory and audio engineering and other things which I rarely get to write about, but the vast majority of readers and listeners can indeed connect well enough with personality, which they get here in spades.

  • 64 Bradical // Apr 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    “Brad, you absolutely were missing that point through most of this thread, quite spectacularly actually, as were several other people.”

    Well I guess we’ll have to just agree to disagree then (again). But by all means, keep dismissing/patronizing me and other folks who disagree with you in that manner though. It’s a great way to alienate people.

    And to clarify, those aren’t “fallback phrases” if they accurately describe your approach to the article. You’ve already acknowledged that you were more concerned with pretty pictures and quirky answers (post #42). That Cinnamon Band article is much better in comparison, but you can’t blame people for paying more attention to your annual MUSIC ISSUE when critiquing your approach to covering music.

    This is getting a bit ugly, and it’s not like you’re ever going to admit that your approach to that issue was even slightly ill-conceived, so I’m gonna try to avoid responding anymore unless there’s new ground to be covered. In the future, I hope The Hook’s music coverage avoids the approach it took with the annual music issue.

  • 65 Vijith Assar // Apr 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    No, Brad, Stephanie and I both really do appreciate the discussion here and I hope you’ll stick around to continue it, because your insights are productive even if I don’t agree with them. And yes, we can just agree to disagree on a couple of these points, because you’re clearly not part of the audience for this article — but that also doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, isn’t sizable, or doesn’t get what they need from it. We use a variety of different approaches in our posts and articles, and I don’t think a lighter approach in one place should thoroughly invalidate us any more than a totally serious heavyweight approach elsewhere should permanently legitimize us. And for anybody else with the same criticism, your point is well taken even if I don’t see it as a catastrophic failing; should you need further evidence for it, I’ll freely admit that we sometimes do much sillier things than the music issue.

  • 66 John // Apr 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Being in New York and fairly detached from the details of things going on in C’ville, I’ll refrain from jumping into this discussion, but I did want to say that I find it amazing and awesome that there are so many reasoned words being poured into this thread.

    There once was a time where no one ever commented on Nailgun. Now that people feel compelled to, I’m glad that everyone is doing it in a courteous and reasonable manner.

    Cheers!

  • 67 Tara // Apr 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Vijith, I fail to see how Brad isn’t part of the audience for this article. In my experience there are 5 major components to a local music community: Musicians, media, venues, retail outlets, and the audience. Each component holds a certain level of responsibility for how their decisions affect the community as a whole. Besides the lack of diversity, this article’s “lighter approach” shows a lack of respect for the intelligence of both the musicians and audience. I’m referring specifically to the question about why there are no women in certain bands, and the questions about groupies.

    The former, although presented as “very much light-hearted,” is a loaded question. I read it as the author putting the bands in a situation where they are forced to defend a situation that may be out of their control and completely irrelevant to what makes a band successful. From a feminist perspective, I find it downright offensive. Hard-working women in music and most other industries want to be respected as peers, not just be included to fulfill an ideal or given special treatment to be a spectacle. The responses from the bands, as I read them, seemed very uncomfortable. If the author wants to illicit a a change in the male-female ratio of bands, I’m sure that she can volunteer at MRC, in the public schools, or at a Girls Rock camp.

    The questions about groupies show a lack of understanding regarding the motivation of men and women who play in bands. It lead me to question whether the interviewer either had so little respect for her interviewees, or if she understands what a groupie is. I know that some people throw the term around in the same way that the term pimp has, having been re-purposed for mainstream slang. However, just like with pimp, its origins of sexual and emotional dependence. Again, the responses were understandably uncomfortable to read.

    While music is about fun and entertainment, it must be understood that for many involved, this is a livelihood. I ran a venue, I booked, I worked at a record store, I’m the spouse of a touring musician, and a regular attendee of shows, so I understand how the components mentioned earlier affect one another. We all make mistakes, but if a community is going to be successful, the motivations of those involved cannot be entirely personal. I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the bands I booked, but we kept it diverse because it was good for business, and kept the venue open. I played what my customers wanted to hear in the independent record store where I worked. I see bands in genres that don’t particularly excite me because it allows me to better understand the community. I also believe that it is possible to write about music in a way that’s appealing to the masses.

  • 68 NICO ESPECTACULAR!! // Apr 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    My favorite sentence in the entire Hook article, is the third one.

    “A rough’n'tumble UVA band named Sparky’s Flaw …”

    I won’t finish the quote, because it is irrelevant. But those 7 words put me into absolute, tears-welling up, hysterical laughter.