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Pitchfork And Consequence Of Sound Read The Same Press Notes

Which came first, the 9.3 review or the appearance at Pitchfork’s Festival?



















Here is a paragraph from Consequence Of Sound’s Chris Bosman’s  review of the new Vampire Weekend album: “Just check back with “Step” if you need proof. Tracing the harpsichord-centric song’s lineage is a practice in expert-mode investigative research. It’s an homage slash reinterpretation slash re-imagining of Souls of Mischief’s “Step to My Girl,” a rap demo from the early ’90s that wasn’t actually ever released, and Koenig makes the honor clear by copping the track’s opening line. “Step to My Girl” (and, as consequence, “Step”) borrows its hook from a line buried in YZ’s “Who’s That Girl”, and its melody (which “Step” also borrows for its vocal line) is taken from Grover Washington, Jr.’s “Aubrey,” which is originally by soft rock band Bread.”

Now here is a paragraph from Pitchfork’s Senior Editor Ryan Dombal review: “Take “Step”, the third song on Vampire Weekend’s third album, Modern Vampires of the City— the record that is already forcing one-time haters of this band to rethink their entire lives. At its core, the song reads like an ode to obsessive music fandom in which the object of Koenig’s affection is “entombed within boombox and walkman.” Modest Mouse are name-checked. But the sense of infatuation extends beyond a list of influences and is embedded into the music itself. The chorus and parts of the melody are borrowed from wordy Oakland rap act Souls of Mischief‘s “Step to My Girl”— which itself samples Grover Washington, Jr.’s version of a Bread song called “Aubrey”. But “Step” avoids back-patting nostalgia and debunks bogus generational hierarchies while using the past to inspire the present. It’s also melancholy, with Vampire Weekend musical mastermind Rostam Batmanglij surrounding Koenig’s musings with lilting harpsichord ambiance. Because, as we know, music is a young man’s pursuit. “Wisdom’s a gift but you’d trade it for youth,” Koenig sings.”

I don’t believe these writers are plagiarizing each other,  I think they are cut and pasting off a PR handout and passing it off as their own research. This is too much of a coincidence. I’m not working for either of the two big music websites , I’m writing for a tiny music site, and I would no more use a PR handout for reference without mentioning it than I would fly to the moon on gossamer wind. And I write non stop, I do six posts a day, I have zero time and I wouldn’t do it. Why would these guys not credit other peoples work?

I didn’t much care for either review, but I didn’t dislike it either: the problem with reviewing Vampire Weekend is the bands POV needs very little help in being described. Both reviews (the stone is the other one, kudos to Nathan Brackett for writing his own review) travel the already tedious aging/faith axis (after you’ve written that, what else is there to say) and neither allow that the album is deeply, essential, a story of a JEWISH New Yorker. C’mon, his religion IS THE POINT.

What they should have written is something like this: “As noted in the press notes  that accompanied the album, The chorus and parts of the melody are borrowed from wordy Oakland rap act Souls of Mischief‘s “Step to My Girl”…” so on and so forth. Instead they stole the same idea from the same place and passed it off through omission as their great ears at work.

And writers they can be as smart or as silly as they choose, but if they are rewriting press notes to show how smart they are, well, it is just another reason why I so loath these guys. It might not be illegal, or even immoral but taking the etymology of a song off a press release and not stating it… It is certainly pathetic. Pitchfork’s Senior Editor. Oh and Pitchforh hire Vampire Weekend to  play at their Festivals and then assign their senior editor to review them.  You can’t trust these guys. I bet they cheated on their SAT’s.

Modern Vampires Of The City – Vampire weekends – A-

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