The difference between good writing and bad writing is ‘did the author do what he set up to do?’ You can’t say ‘this is a novel about my first love and by the end you’re going to be heartbroken’ then none of that comes out of the book. And I’m not talking about a book that was structured that way on purpose, but a writer not doing his work! If a book gets published, an editor looked at it and plucked out specific paragraphs that didn’t fit in the novel…There are cracks in something other people deem perfect… If there’s a level of perfection to strive for, there’s also laziness and garbage material. You know the level of perfection you want to reach, and if that’s true then there must also be bad art.
Pieces of Dan’s rant on criticism from the Two-Book Minimum podcast with Jeremy P. Bushnell.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mosquito:
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a knack for making a dreary, atmospheric song seem fierce and, undoubtedly, catchy. It’s the type of passionate popular rock music a person could enjoy if he hadn’t, say, strapped himself to the mast of a ship and forced himself to listen to the ethereal voices of the Sirens. I’m not saying the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are bad. They’re all right. But if you had heard the music I had while passing by the island of Anthemoessa, you wouldn’t be impressed by much else. It’s hard to explain how good it was compared to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you know? You sort of had to be there. I would say the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have done nothing but improve on their own voice over their last few albums. It’s like a great Sonic Youth album merged with melodic, genre-bending experiments you’d expect from a band and like Wilco (without losing its edge). It’s the type of music which might put certain people in a mood to throw caution to the wind and jump into a writhing mosh pit… had they not just heard music that made them want to dive into the wine-dark sea and swim toward oblivion. That’s a little more dangerous. 4.2
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience:
It’s hard to compare Justin Timberlake to anyone recording music today. Of course, it’s even harder to compare anything to the sounds I heard while passing the craggy rocks of the Sirens’ island, my body struggling to free itself from the mast for the mere chance to be slightly closer to the sounds emanating from it. I would say Mr. Timberlake’s music is to die for, but there is literally only one song that leads men toward certain death, and that’s the Sirens’ song. Whenever people tell me they LOVE this album, I smile and tell them they MUST take a short, life-threatening cruise between Sicily and Italy, so they can hear something just as addicting! 6.1
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines
Your ears would have to be filled with wax not to enjoy the highly danceable sounds of Robin Thicke. Did I mention that I did have to fill my fellow sailors ears with wax when we passed by the Sirens? Yeah! That’s how intensely danceable their music was. You wanted to dance right off the boat and crash your head into some rocks just to be near it. Maybe it’s because some of the tracks on this album seems derivative of other pop songs. Or maybe it’s because I heard the music of beings second only to The Muses themselves and now everything sounds, meh, bland. Really can’t tell. 2.2
The National, Trouble Will Find Me:
Absolute garbage. 0.2
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories:
If all my men hadn’t died after eating the Cattle of the Sun, I would spend every day with them in Ithaca, making them listen to this album. We would regale each other with stories of times we saw Daft Punk live and how exciting and spectacular those nights were. I would then ruin the moment by reminding them the best concert we all ever attended was one they never heard. If I had let them hear it, they would have tried to steer our ship directly toward the singers and our certain doom. Man. What a wild concert. Too bad they couldn’t hear it. Looking back..they all died anyway. I should have left room for one or two men to be strapped to the mast with me. Would have been nice to share the greatest sonic experience of my life with someone else. 4.3
Kanye West, Yeezus:
Though an acquired taste, this was decent! 9.2