Thursday, September 17, 2009

Talent Worth More Than, say, a Paragraph?

This morning as I was going through my routine of news-reading, email-checking, and news commentary-hearing/listening via MSNBC's Morning Joe, I was pleased to hear the music of Postal Service play as the show went into commercial. "Cool," I thought. Morning Joe aired from Seattle today and I thought it apropos that it pay some lip service to Seattle talent. When the show resumed, Joe Scarborough mentioned Death Cab for Cutie as well as the other equally impressive Ben Gibbard band, Postal Service which made sense since they were in Seattle.

I don't really get my news from cable shows as I'd rather read it myself first thing in the morning but if I could privilege a political commentary show at all, I'd go with Morning Joe since they manage to fuse political, social, and pop culture references without much effort and the hosts don't produce too many artificial laughters/chuckles which would eventually result in a rather successful suppression of my desire for high-protein breakfast. It doesn't feel like they're placing products as much as it feels like a tip of the hat to place-specific talent. So, Joe, here's a tip of my hat.

If I truly believe in a product or piece of art, I make it a point to give it as much textual space as I can. I'm going to mention Muse again as they just released their last album. As I've already mentioned, their fifth studio album, The Resistance, is beyond good. It's all-sorts-of-things ahead of so many other acts that get so much attention. I did a search on the NY Times today to see if they had reviewed it as well. I figured, if the Times reviews such absurdities as Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City....

The Times does mention Muse's new album even though it was a mere paragraph and comparing it to the other paragraphs reserved for such artists as Nelly Furtado and New Boyz, it looked like it was put on a rather unnecessary diet. Is it really that hard to talk about talent these days? Here's the paragraph:

"MUSE This neo-progressive British band gets better whenever it expands its ambitions, and for its fifth album, “The Resistance,” it is going all out: bombastic rock symphonics, dystopian electronic boogies, Chopin quotations, visions of pan-Eurasian political unification."

You can read the other paragraphs featured in the same piece here.

Solid paragraph, Times, it's just that if you're now employing economy of speech why not reserve it for reality TV reviews? Just an idea.

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Anonymous said...

I'd have expected a longer review. I suppose they need to look at numbers first and see how it sells or something. I agree with the reality TV review saturation, though. Eek.

Sean said...

With so many options out there, people have a wide array of entertainment options. On the other hand, the more visible some acts become, the likelier their coverage by consumers at large.
Too small a paragraph but solid at that.

dana said...

Perhaps 'economy of speech' is employed here b/c it's not always easy to comment on newer phenomena. And Muse's style is def. new. I mean, what, Chopin, classic music, Mediterranean and Asian influences, philosophy.... oy weh!, that's a lot of stuff to think about when writing a review! :)
SO much easier to write about reality TV.

Unknown said...

I also think that some art demands more time and preparation for critiquing purposes than others.