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Hey Tmidgett

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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby Madman Munt on Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:04 pm

Cool! Watching the BP Memphis show on youtube right now. I think I've got it!
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby D. Wayne Miller on Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:10 am

I'm resurrecting this sleeping thread with a question for tmidgett, though perhaps someone else may be inclined to help as well.

A good long time ago on this forum (10+ years) Mr. Midgett wrote a lengthy post, the idea of which was "How To Review A Record." If I remember correctly, it discussed understanding the artist's intent, the art's context, giving the record respectful and repeated listening, and a few other things. For a long time I had it copied and pasted into a notepad document on my computer. That computer is long-dead and no longer giving up her secrets.

The reason I ask is that I now find myself in a new career as a high school music production teacher with a room full of students who love the music that they know and love, but can be quick to dismiss art that is challenging, new, old, or doesn't speak to them immediately. Over the past few months I've thought about tmidgett's post almost daily, but my Google chops aren't quite up to the task of finding it.

Help?
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby D. Wayne Miller on Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:17 am

God dammit, I found it. From Feb 09 2005. Talk about leaving an impression. I'll paste it right here just because it stands up. I'll take a few minutes and think about how I want to share this with a bunch of high school kids:

the problem with these retards is a common one in modern music journalism.

in an attempt to establish credibility, reviewers often have a desire to seem impartial. and in the pursuit of seeming impartial, they want nothing more than to distance themselves from the material they are reviewing. invariably, this distance is created vertically, by denigrating the material and not-so-subtly elevating themselves.

these writers end up caviling and dithering and coming up with meaningless, vaguely insulting turns of phrase, instead of cutting to the heart of why one should or should not care about the art at hand. their primary concern is to elevate themselves above their subject matter by suggesting a comprehension of it so complete that they are incapable of being touched or intrigued or surprised.

the flip side of this phenomenon is the review that hinges on details about the reviewer's personal life. rather than attempt to be 'above it all,' the reviewer becomes 'it all,' giving the reader various details about his personal life that may well inform the reviewer's opinion of the art at hand, but leave no trace of critical thought behind.

here is how to review a fucking record:

1. listen to it (all the way through). if something is self-evidently terrible, once may be enough. but probably not. let's say five times, paying attention each time, is the minimum fair shake. if one feels there are loose ends to be tied up, don't quit and start writing about the loose ends. play it again. if you cannot give it this much of a chance, you have no business writing about it.

2. let the music engage you. don't get out the tweed jacket and pipe just yet, professor. some kind of reaction is bound to come forth, and one needs to find that connexion--even it is being left utterly cold--to make any kind of compelling case for or against a work of art.

3. disengage from the record. examine the feelings it engendered. don't feel the feelings. just recall them and pick them apart.

4. determine what aspect of your reaction to the record is in tune with what another human being of sufficient taste might experience when exposed to this music. similarly, determine what aspect of your reaction is due to personal idiosyncrasy, emotional problems, drunkenness, brain damage, low blood sugar, etc. unless you're capable of making something truly artful out of the latter garbage, almost always throw almost all of it out. no one cares.

5. write your review. forget about impressing anybody. just write down what you think.

you need to meet the record head-on. you cannot start out with it on a pedestal, you cannot regard it as a personal talisman, you cannot start out laughing at it. you need to accept it on its own terms to even begin the process of evaluating it.

i'm not saying it is easy. it is not. but making records is a lot harder.
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby tmidgett on Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:17 pm

tl;drmop

I guess I hadn't quite got the handle of typing online yet?

Anyway. Sorry I used the r-word. It was 2005. I don't do that any more.

The short version:

It's a lot harder to make records than to write about them.

Respect the fact that someone put time and effort and money into making art.

At least initially. If a record is real bad, then it's OK to resent that it wasted your time. And you can take it out on the record when you write about it.

Also good to realize probably no one cares about your personal life and it's best left undiscussed unless you're really really really interesting.
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby noise&light on Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:06 pm

I'm so glad that this record review perspective got dug up again. I don't remember coming across it the first time but it's so valuable! Maybe even more so now that everyone has social media and feels obligated to be the first person to have an opinion about things; breaking news on a minor level.

Thanks for that!
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby Superking on Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:51 pm

Hey TM!

I happened to take a circuitous route back to my home today, and happened to pass by your home.

Do you own a car with an hilarious / terrible custom plate?

Sorry if this has been answered before.
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby 154 on Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:49 am

I HAV KERBLE

(not an actual kerble 'cuz the search function is too frustrating to use now, but yeah it was covered in this thread)
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby 154 on Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:32 am

Speaking of cars we hav, thank you TM for passing along Chmielewski Brothers Station in Milwaukee. After scheduling complications with another place, the lady went there this morning and said it was the best car service experience she's ever had.
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Re: Hey Tmidgett

Postby tmidgett on Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:27 am

Superking wrote:Hey TM!

I happened to take a circuitous route back to my home today, and happened to pass by your home.

Do you own a car with an hilarious / terrible custom plate?

Sorry if this has been answered before.


154 wrote:I HAV KERBLE

(not an actual kerble 'cuz the search function is too frustrating to use now, but yeah it was covered in this thread)


Probably true.

Ans: yes. Every so often I get tailgated and I'm like why the FUCK is this jagoff tailgating me. Then I see them trying to take a picture of my plate.

It's just that hilarious.

154 wrote:Speaking of cars we hav, thank you TM for passing along Chmielewski Brothers Station in Milwaukee. After scheduling complications with another place, the lady went there this morning and said it was the best car service experience she's ever had.


Oh great! I used them once for something. I know various people in MKE who use them religiously tho.
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