Obits – I Blame You

Obits I Blame You:

Your hipster friends are raving about this album, aren’t they? It’s a piece of indie rock that goes for a retro feel. You can dance to it and makes a suitable soundtrack to that next roof or loft party you go to. Yet Obits does nothing new. This sound has been done many a time and this release doesn’t do anything to improve on it. So like your hipster friends it’s more imitative instead of innovative, but it’s still worth a listen.



  1. MY hipster friends obviously know something you don’t. They are in the loft, at the party, shaking their asses. Where are you? In the men’s room at the bus station? Did Kieth say to Mick: “Gee, Mick, I really like these Willie Dixon records, but we can’t do anything similar – it wouldn’t expand the horizons of human experience…”? What are Obits supposed to do? Put socks on their hands and bang on xylophones? Get a cello? What?

    We’re just trying to bring you a quality good time here.

    -Lonnie Manx
    President, Stint Records, Stint Management

    • So basically, you’re a fun band thats not trying to do anything out of the blue or challenging, but thats worth listening to….like we said in the review. You’re also geared toward dance parties and are popular among hipsters…like we said in the review Boy if someone gave my record an accurate review via describing my sound and my target audience, aptly that would make me post a pissy response on their blog.

  2. Hey Makeshift,

    I see that Lonnie got your goat. He can be gruff sometimes, but he’s a good guy.

    So it seems you folks dig Jandek and Pauline Oliveros and such, which is all unquestionably interesting and important music; music that suggests a certain seriousness in the listener; a degree of sophistication and thoughtfulness.

    With that in mind, I have a completely earnest question …

    When reviewing a record, why would you choose to randomly insult whoever you perceive your readers are with these so-called “hipster friends” that are dragging them down instead of writing about what the music actually sounds like?

    If you are choosing to spend the time to write about a particular album, however short the blurb may be, and however little you may actually care for the music, it would be tremendously helpful to your readers if you dedicated those words to, at the very least, some contextual arrangement that would allow them to frame a better understanding of what it is you’re talking about.

    I think that kind of approach to music criticism would be more in keeping with the spirit of the music that you seem to gravitate towards.

    Either that or have a voice as strong as Byron Coley’s.

    • I feel like describing Obits as retro indie rock does pretty much describe how they sound. Anything perceived as insulting in the post is more or less some good natured ribbing, and not meant to be taken too seriously, however it does describe who the majority of their fan-base are. I do review a lot of artsy fartsy stuff, and I do tend to go into more detail with that stuff, because its harder to describe, and my personal tastes run more in that direction. If I hear an album and its just straight up rock, about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, thats what I’m going to say in the review. By calling something unimaginative or unoriginal, I’m not necessarily demeaning its cultural value, or saying its any better or any worse than stuff thats breaking new ground.

      The Obits are a good band, truth is they aren’t doing anything new or different, and there are a lot of bands out there that sound like them, and thats fine. It doesn’t mean I won’t buy their album, or go see them live. If someone were to put this on at a party I’m not going to scoff and say, “these guys and no Sun City Girls.”

      To be honest we only started writing about music two weeks ago when we started this site, and over the last two weeks we’ve been trying to find our voices as writers. If you go through you can see clear progression of writing styles, and if you look at the more recent reviews they tend to be more detailed, but I don’t know if this album really lends itself to a detailed review.

  3. Hey Makeshift,

    I appreciate your honest response. It’s impressive that you have managed to put together such a seemingly large quantity of reviews in such a short period of time. And I think it’s a positive sign that you’re willing to admit that you may still be discovering what your writing voice may be.

    That said, for what it’s worth, I don’t think “retro indie rock” actually says very much. Both “retro” and “indie rock” cover a relatively wide expanse of sounds and together make it even more confounding to know if the writer means the band leans more toward acid-psych or folk-blues or British post-punk or even 90s shoegaze.

    It’s kind of like referring to Schoenberg or Webern as “modern classical.” With the slightest bit of effort you can inform your readers about the twelve-tone technique and give them a much richer picture of what you are talking about.

    I know that it’s fun to bust on stuff and reduce it to the most basic social framework that essentially demeans the value of the music while raising the status of the writer, but I challenge you to stick your neck out and actually express your thoughts about what you’re hearing. It’s much harder, for sure, but I think it is a healthier arena within which to find your voice and hopefully one which will find a more appreciative audience.

    • See when I think of the term retro indie rock I think of The Obits and bands like them. I think that indie rock has come to describe a particular sound, as opposed to it just meaning rock music that was produced independently. When I say retro I mean, sounds like the Rolling Stones/ Garage Rock. However, those are my definitions, and you’re right, I should clarify how the artist sounds. We are finding our own audience and our reviews and interviews are constantly getting better and garnering a bigger fan-base, in other words we’re moving on from this kind of review. Well maybe except for our review of Hollywood Undead, but that feels pretty justified. Thanks for being willing to engage with me constructively, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it, and how much it helps me as a writer when readers are willing to communicate like this.

  4. I am totally unfamiliar with Hollywood Undead, but your review of it gave me a pretty clear idea of what it is, their sound, and (frightening) cultural relevance. It was also funny. So, yeah, run with it when it feels right, I suppose. But do you think that anyone who is interested in that band is reading your posts or will stumble across your site and discover Glenn Branca instead? I guess it’s possible.

    I also read your brief summary of Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted record and I’m going to guess that you didn’t buy the album when it came out. Perhaps that band, despite themselves, ended up representing a certain cooler-than-thou record store employee smugness, but I swear to you that at the time it really wasn’t like that. Nobody sounded like them. The idea that you could casually cut and paste together elements from The Fall, Wire and Swell Maps was totally fresh and exciting.

    Slight musical differences aside, I think you folks are clearly into a lot of wonderful and relatively undiscovered music. A blog dedicated to unearthing such gems and sharing them is a fantastic thing. I only suggest that you steer clear of the “douchey, smirking hipsters” stuff because it comes off as whiny and petulant instead of informed and engaging. As someone who is interested in a lot of different kinds of music and loves to learn about new or new old things, I’d rather read about why I should check something out rather than what intolerable chumps the fans of some particular group are.

    Anyway, good luck with this. I look forward to returning to read some more of your interviews and insights.

    • Once again I’ve got to thank you for you honesty and willingness to engage in this dialog. I deleted the Pavement review because it was a knee-jerk reaction. I encourage you to keep up with the site, because we’re doing what we can to constantly make it better.

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