Friday, March 26, 2010

Music Reviewer Cliche Bingo

Here, before you, sits the atmospheric, ethereal lovechild of clichéd music reviews and bingo. No doubt it elicits a nostalgic vibe: You’ve witnessed many of these catchy gems of words and phrases before. Writers have a penchant for using clichés — they are irresistible. They have infectiously crooned their way into the critical soundscape, specifically in the visceral, post-lo-fi-chillwave-gaze world we live in. Now you can pseudo-experience it all, in bingo form. It’s like playing bingo… on acid.

 I found this on Flavorpill today and threw up in my mouth a little, not because I have been the culprit, when reviewing,  who has used at least two of the "bingo squares".  It was  because I was attacked by a Bingo flashback of being stuck in an upstate NY church basement, choking on high tar cigarette smoke forced out of black lungs and with the help of breathe machines from my Mom and 60 other intense Bingo enthusiasts. 

They were wrinkled beyond repair, they shouted out "N-71!" as loud as they could from their cancer kazoos. The Dab-O-Ink and nicotine stains spread like heat rash on their spindly yellow fingers, while they gnawed on pistaccios and Zagnut bars and cursed the nun with broken English who caught the numbered and lettered balls and croaked them out into a microphone that would feed back with every approach. 

And it was her fault when the Jabba in the back with the three inch thick bifocals and the yello mumu yelled out "BINGO" and the game was over.  I remember the hum of the flourescent lights and the grumbling in Italian en mass as the boards were cleared with the magnetic chip sweepers and Jabba pocketed her 20 bucks.

But I digress.

I have used "penchant for" and   "-tinged" more than once within the many lines of commentary and opinion I have been writing for years now.  But in the confines of my style,  those two faux pas are usually saved for contexts like "penchant for massive suckery" or " fecal-tinged".

I am proud of that, and no Bingo based reviewer cliche game is gonna tear me away from my insults!

However, I will never use the words cool, awesome, radical departure, Zeppelinesque, bitchin', minimalist, shoegazing, illin', super, neat, superneat, industrial, corn pone or bubblegum in any of my reviews....

-unless the music, artist or song managed to fit all of those characteristics into a super cool, awesome song.



  1. I have landed on a few of those squares myself, and had a good laugh in the process.

    Under the O'...seventy two.

  2. I tried to avoid all of those words. Two more I can add to the list are "arguably" & "angst."

  3. What doses corn pone mean?

  4. corn pone is down home or countrified.

  5. But really, isn't Vampire Weekend the best?