Join 3,558 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Shook up by Handshake
March 23, 2010 5:28 PM   Subscribe

Reviewer leaves during intermission of Wilco's first North American concert on their new tour, writes review anyway.

Apparently 'triggered' by the song Handshake Drugs, critic John Hood earns no sympathy from commenters with his admission of "a very shady past".
posted by bonefish (59 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Rather enjoyed that as live show reviews go.
posted by setanor at 5:35 PM on March 23, 2010


I don't blame him. If I was at a dadrock show I would probably want to get home early too. Don't want to be wake the kids on the way in.
posted by codacorolla at 5:37 PM on March 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


Hmm, If I'm going to post something bitchy and snarky, then I should probably proofread it a little better...


Dadrock!
posted by codacorolla at 5:38 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't want to be wake the kids on the way in.

what?
posted by pinky at 5:38 PM on March 23, 2010


What a douchebag.
posted by jonmc at 5:39 PM on March 23, 2010


Yeah - douchbag.
posted by Pecinpah at 5:40 PM on March 23, 2010


I used to be a junkie, too, and I have no doubt I would've left waaay before intermission - or this song - hit.
posted by item at 5:40 PM on March 23, 2010


That said, shitty, self-absorbed reporting. The jerk should probably lose his parking space over this.
posted by item at 5:43 PM on March 23, 2010


Since it didn't require me to leave the show early or any money for me to read, I throughly enjoyed this review.
posted by josher71 at 5:44 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would have stayed for the whole concert, but I would have planned ahead and brought my pajamas and a sleeping bag. Because Wilco is pretty boring, and sleep inducing. Get it?
posted by Think_Long at 5:45 PM on March 23, 2010


Yeah, the article wasn't so obnoxious, but he sounded like a brat in the comments:

Well, well, well...I knew some folks would take issue with my early departure; I didn't suspect though that they'd use their own issues to do so. You know, since my mea culpa obviously didn't suffice, I should point out that I am hired to write about what I see, not what someone else wants me to write. If circumstances prevent me from seeing an entire show, well, then I'll write about the portion that I did get to see. That's my prerogative, and my privilege. And it took many moons of slogging to earn it. For those who think they can do better, hey, there is no shortage of publications in the world for which you might write. But that would take a little more than knee-jerking spitefulness, so you may wanna make sure you've got it in you before you attempt to do something about which you've little idea.

He's so defensive and butt-hurt; this reads like he knew he did something dumb and just doesn't want to admit it.
posted by sallybrown at 5:47 PM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


codacorolla: "I don't blame him. If I was at a dadrock show I would probably want to get home early too. Don't want to be wake the kids on the way in."

Fresh young whippersnapper!
posted by Joe Beese at 5:49 PM on March 23, 2010


Do any music writers actually write about music anymore or do they just write dumbass anecdotes like this to one-up eachother at their afterparty (or whatever the fuck it is these losers go to) with how cool they are?
posted by jonmc at 5:50 PM on March 23, 2010 [13 favorites]


the first North American date on their new tour,

Actually, that's not true. The tour started in Victoria, BC, on February 13. It was awesome - I hadn't thought to buy tickets back in November when the tour was announced, but I stopped by the theatre anyway on my way home from work to see if there were any tickets left. There was one left - a box seat, right above the stage. It was the best seat in the house, and I finally got to see Wilco play live. It was probably the best, longest, most audience friendly show I have ever seen. What a great group of people.

Califone opened that night, and they were great, too.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:50 PM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Right, ok, admittedly, I don't read very many concert reviews. He admits in the first paragraph that he didn't stick around for the entire thing. He praises the concert he did see. It's a fucking blog. Why should I call him a douchebag?
posted by graventy at 5:51 PM on March 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


I used to do reviews for the Chicago Tribune. I filed my report at 9:55, because my deadline was 10pm, and Joe Jackson was just playing his latest album back on his laptop and noodling along on a piano.
posted by timsteil at 5:51 PM on March 23, 2010


Because Wilco is pretty boring, and sleep inducing. Get it?

Bring back Jay Bennett (from the dead)!
posted by KokuRyu at 5:52 PM on March 23, 2010


Wow, even Wilco "controversies" are boring.
posted by dhammond at 5:53 PM on March 23, 2010 [27 favorites]


What a terrible, cliche-addicted writer.

"lo those many moons ago"

Yeesh. Somebody pays him for this shit?
posted by bardic at 6:01 PM on March 23, 2010


Well, I do have high expectations from some random blogger at a small free weekly newspaper, so this is most disappointing.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:03 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm still not clear on why he left. He went to buy drugs?
posted by pwally at 6:04 PM on March 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


The King Dadrock, that is my name, and I know the fly spot where they got the cocaine.
posted by box at 6:05 PM on March 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Really can't see the issue here - he said he was only reviewing half the concert and that's what he did.

In 1998 or so my girlfriend got a ticket to a London Radiohead gig from a reviewer friend on the sole proviso that she note down the song order so he could plug it into his (already written) review.

Now that, I submit, is douchebaggery.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:06 PM on March 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


And it wasn't a free weekly, either - was The Guardian IIRC.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:07 PM on March 23, 2010


The link is to the Miami New Times, whose marketing guy seems to have written their own Wikipedia entry.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:15 PM on March 23, 2010


I don't blame him. If I was at a dadrock show I would probably want to get home early too. Don't want to be wake the kids on the way in.

Ah yes, the belief of the youth eternal, that somehow, despite the fact that there are probably ten thousand generations that have gone before, that this generation is different!
posted by Ironmouth at 6:20 PM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is a remarkably weak post.
posted by LarryC at 6:20 PM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


"To" for "lo" is pretty explicable... if you're filing your review from your iPhone.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:22 PM on March 23, 2010


Sebmojo: In 1998 or so my girlfriend got a ticket to a London Radiohead gig from a reviewer friend on the sole proviso that she note down the song order so he could plug it into his (already written) review.

As a non-Radiohead-fan, I find that story hilarious.

I am also not a Wilco fan. Your favorite band does, indeed, suck.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:22 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


In 1916, Sergei Prokofiev completed his "Scythian" Suite. The Moscow premiere was scheduled for December 25, but was cancelled at the last minute. The next day, a scathing review of the piece, written by the critic Leonid Sabaneyev (an old enemy of Prokofiev's), appeared in the newspaper Novosti Sezona. It read, in part,
If one would say that this music is bad, cacaphonous, that no person with a differentiated auditory organ can listen to it, he would be told that this is [supposed to be] a "barbaric suite". And the critic would have to retreat in shame. So I shall not criticize this music; quite to the contrary, I shall say that this is wonderful barbaric music, the best barbaric music in the world. But when I am asked whether this music gives me pleasure or artistic satisfaction, whether it makes a deep impression, I must categorically say: "No!" The composer conducted himself with barbaric abandon.
Prokofiev, of course, quickly pointed out that Sabaneyev could not have seen the piece performed, and Sabaneyev was forced to resign from the editorial boards of several newspapers that he sat on.

What can we conclude by constrasting these two stories? Choose one:
  1. Wilco "controversies" are boring, at least compared to those in Tsarist Russia.
  2. Music critics are jerks.
  3. Music critics should attend concerts in their entirety.
  4. If critics don't attend concerts in their entirety, honesty will not save them. Better to go out in a blaze of glory.
  5. Old-time Russian music critics wrote a lot more entertainingly than columnists for the Miami New Times.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:26 PM on March 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


Somewhere in Chicago a secretary is crying after reading these comments.
posted by Max Power at 6:29 PM on March 23, 2010


I've seen way worse - a show review for a gig that the band never showed up for, for instance. It was a glowing review, but...
posted by queensissy at 6:32 PM on March 23, 2010


I don't care enough, I reckon, about this review to actually read it. not even halfway read it. But, a Mefi post pointing to what even the original poster thinks is a lame piece of writing? I don't get it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:33 PM on March 23, 2010


This guy's job was to review the show. He left early thus not doing his job. The schmuck out to be shitcanned but I guess this proves excuses can be printed.
posted by photoslob at 6:39 PM on March 23, 2010


What a lightweight.

Sebmojo: In 1998 or so my girlfriend got a ticket to a London Radiohead gig from a reviewer friend on the sole proviso that she note down the song order so he could plug it into his (already written) review.

Pshaw, that's nothing. When I worked for The Scotsman, the arts ed commissioned one of the music freelancers to go and review Meat Loaf in Glasgow. She filed on the night, as was common, and the piece – a glowing four star review – ran in the next day's paper.

Then the arts ed gets a phone call from someone at The Sun asking why his paper is running reviews of gigs that have been cancelled at the last minute.

These days said reviewer works for, among others, The Guardian.
posted by Len at 6:41 PM on March 23, 2010


At least in the old days a critic would have admitted he or she just wanted to talk about themselves and cook up an interesting story about losing their way to the bathroom and ending up in Reno snorting crushed up painkillers off a hookers stomach.

This guy is no where near old fogey enough to impress me.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:42 PM on March 23, 2010


An interesting way for a reviewer to upstage the subject he or she is writing about -- leave early, then tell the world about it...oh, those rascally parlor tricks!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:43 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Eh, who gives a shit that he left early? He didn't lie about it. His lame-o excuse for leaving early is chatty and uninteresting, though.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:46 PM on March 23, 2010


I'll admit I only had an opportunity to read about half those comments but, ... meh.
posted by DaddyNewt at 7:13 PM on March 23, 2010


Wow. He writes like a 14 year old pretending to be a critic. I don't even care about the content; I've no interest in Wilco or concert reviews generally. But the writing is awful even for a New Times publication.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:18 PM on March 23, 2010


Wilco'll love ya baby...
posted by unknowncommand at 7:32 PM on March 23, 2010


Roger that.
posted by Floydd at 7:34 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, not that. That.
posted by Floydd at 7:35 PM on March 23, 2010


Worst review ever. He has no right reviewing the show if he left halfway through it. From other reviews I read, the second half was awesome, with an acoustic set & requests.

I was really looking forward to going to that show, but I wasn't able to make it & I'm pretty bummed about it
posted by mike3k at 8:07 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw Son Volt once. I'm sure they were better.
posted by philip-random at 8:31 PM on March 23, 2010


What exactly is the point of a concert review for a one-night event that already happened anyway? It's not like a play where you can go see it next week if the reviews are good. By the time the band rolls into town again they will probably be playing completely different songs in a completely different venue.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:35 PM on March 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have seen Wilco three times. I have neither paid to see Wilco, nor have I ever stayed to very end of their set/show. I had no excuse. I just decided, after hearing most of the songs I wanted to hear, that I would rather go get a beer and play Sonic Youth on the jukebox than listen to Jeff Tweedy noise up a Loose Fur track like he was Thurston Moore.

Of course, I wasn't writing about Wilco. When you write about shows, you simply get the setlist from someone else/the intenet, pray no one noticed that you texted your friend during the fourth song, never returned from your "cigarette break" outside and wrote your review while sobering up in the wee hours of the morning. Fortunately, you notice that you've written "Those Douchebags I Hate"• instead of the actual band name just before hitting the send button.

•Not Wilco.
posted by thivaia at 8:59 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


What exactly is the point of a concert review for a one-night event that already happened anyway?

If the reviewer can't get phrases like "leading an attack of melodic dissonance that threatened to bring down the wall of sound" and "a version of X that was as subtle as a shadow and a version of Y that literally exploded in the last four bars" out of their heads quick enough then the words fester there and poison their very minds.

And that's how we get Pitchfork.
posted by Sparx at 9:02 PM on March 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


What exactly is the point of a concert review for a one-night event that already happened anyway? It's not like a play where you can go see it next week if the reviews are good.

A lot of fans pay attention to reviews of the tour that's heading their way. Still, it's an artistic performance, or something like that. Someone's going to write down their opinion of it. It has ever been.

I agree that it would have been a lot more interesting as a gonzo piece, but the writer wrote an apology and told everyone about his personal issues, with a brief mention of the show thrown in there somewhere. What a self-indulgent joke. How did the editor let this run?
posted by krinklyfig at 9:03 PM on March 23, 2010


Worst review ever. He has no right reviewing the show if he left halfway through it.

I was going to respond to this, then I read this:

What exactly is the point of a concert review for a one-night event that already happened anyway? It's not like a play where you can go see it next week if the reviews are good. By the time the band rolls into town again they will probably be playing completely different songs in a completely different venue.

And felt I didn't need to bother, because someone else had already written my response for me. Then I read this:

And that's how we get Pitchfork.

And felt the thread had reached such an epic crescendo of truth and brilliance that I had to leave.
posted by Jimbob at 9:38 PM on March 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: an epic crescendo of truth and brilliance
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:42 PM on March 23, 2010


Can't believe this was allowed to stay on the front page.
posted by meadowlark lime at 9:49 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


meadowlark lime: Can't believe this was allowed to stay on the front page.

Well I flagged it.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:07 PM on March 23, 2010


I'm going to write this based on the assumption that this guy got paid something to write this review, or generally has aspirations to or delusions of being a professional reviewer.

I am basing this also on a review I read of another show where the reviewer spent the whole thing making fun of the crowd.

Look. I understand if you don't like the music. You don't have to like everything, and your favorite band sucks and mine does too. But some people do like this band a lot. Some of them paid a whole bunch of cash money dollars to see this band. Hell, if it's a sold out show, some of them couldn't even get in. You, Mr./Ms. Hip Local Press Music Reviewer with your Hip Local Press Pass, are taking the spot of someone who desperately wants to be there. Look, it's even right there in the review:

It's a heady place to be alright -- privileged too. And I tend to savor every minute. The front line of worshipers, who arrived earliest, nabbed choice positions, and showed nothing if not utter devotion.

Imagine the person who's crushed in the back who would do anything to be in your shoes right now. You owe that person the courtesy of trying to put yourself in their position, to leave your assumptions, prejudices, and posturing at the door, and to try to experience the show from the perspective of a fan. If you don't like the show, fine, but at least try to judge it on its own merits. It's also your professional obligation to try and stay for the whole thing unless you have a DAMN good reason to leave. A damn good reason is something like "the venue was on fire." Not "I would have stayed but I had to go get drugs."

No amount of arch cleverness or literary legerdemain will cover the fact that you couldn't be arsed to pay attention to the music.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:30 PM on March 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


I was kinda sorta going along with him until the bit about the song that "literally exploded in the last four bars." That must've been a real mess.

Stop destroying my mother tongue, hack writers!
posted by turducken at 11:20 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least he admitted that he only saw half the show. In this town we have to put up with a movie reviewer who quite obviously sleeps through the second half of movies. And yet he gets eight or ten column inches a week, because he can drop the names of a bunch of famous auteurs.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:26 AM on March 24, 2010


Handshake Drugs is an absolutely fantastic song.
posted by kersplunk at 6:25 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's so defensive and butt-hurt; this reads like he knew he did something dumb and just doesn't want to admit it.

Did the term "butt-hurt" really just get used on mefi?
posted by djduckie at 6:56 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mr. Hood, meet the internet. Internet, meet Mr. Hood.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:17 AM on March 24, 2010


« Older The Alien Song (for those who listen) Austin, Texa...  |  In honor of the Health Care Re... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments