Music Ob-seen Revisited

The good news is our readership went up!  The bad news is we have to agree with many of you that the Honey Clouds review was, as one commenter put it, “brutal.”  Ok, point taken (pun intended).

But to you folks out there who slung nasty insults in our direction, take a step back.  Your violent reaction to the review is precisely why we started this blog and why we have to keep it anonymous.  It’s not a matter of wanting to be able to hide behind some elitist, smug wall (that’s just a sweet-smelling benefit!).  It’s because if you say what you really think around here, you get chastised as a hater.  One comment mentioned “supporting local music.”  We support local music.  That’s the whole point.  Of course we do.  The analogy of supporting the troops but not the war is just too obvious to need to articulate.

This speaks to the fundamental reason for having written that post in the first place: criticism is essential for improvement.  And let us admit again, the Honey Clouds review definitely had some constructive, but probably too much non-constructive criticism.  So sure, it’s easy to react passionately and then dismiss the underlying point, which remains solid and true.  We don’t really blame you.

It’ll be our job in the future to ensure that our point comes across, because it’s an extremely important one.

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Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm  Comments (14)  
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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. God bless the internet. Glad we could up your readership, O mysterious one(s).

  2. Violent reaction? you’re opinion is fine to have, great job with that, but no one truly cares that much about it. Obviously no one would give enough of a damn to be violent in way. so keep telling yourself that you gotta hide your identity because you are a bunch of fraidy cats. that really makes what you do seem so fucking dangerous with every word you say. Your piece offered absolutely no constructive criticism other than the fact that you didn’t like it and you obviously didn’t understand any of it. it wasn’t your thang, it really doesn’t have to be anyone’s… You really don’t need to be so threatened by it. At least this is somewhat entertaining… i’m truly impressed with your blog about not liking bingas, not liking the local free print press and not liking the fact that venues sometimes don’t update their listings on real websites other than myspace… I’m really glad this piece of shit of yours is getting a few more hits today. Well deserved…

  3. wait, are you being sarcastic in that last sentence or do you actually think that highly of your opinions?

  4. Wow! Finally someone(anonymous) had the gumption to speak up about the crappy indie music scene around here. I love indie music and noise pop but as the Point said, you need to be talented to pull that stuff off. Bands that were mentioned take note, not practicing and downing PBR’s isn’t a formula for success…or is it?

    Are people being so defensive because deep down they know that the Point is right?

  5. This blog is nice, and needed. How about your take not on the content of music shows, but the standard times? It’s probably just because I’m an old fart, but the start times for most live music are a stumbling block to my getting to the shows. Like I had been planning to go to the Honey Clouds gig until I did the math of doors opening at 9:00 and two opening bands, and realized our heroes wouldn’t be taking the stage until midnightish. Sorry, but not interested in standing around Space for that long. I know the club operators have an interest in us being there longer to buy more drinks, but what about the counterpoint of people not even going because of the start times? The real culprit is the number of opening bands and the length of their sets. For example, last time I looked, there are three opening bands before the Winterpills on June 13. Sorry, I’m just not going to wade through all that to see the one band I would like to see.

  6. Well said Portland Point! I wonder who everyone thinks you are?!? Keep the great reviews coming. The best thing about your review is the dialogue it has created. i have not seen so many comments to any portland music scene blog in ages. kudos

  7. To the poster complaining about start times:

    Though I agree with you to an extent (especially on weeknight shows where I often can’t enjoy the last band because I’m exhausted), at the show in question the two openers played sets that were less than a half hour and the setup times were quick. As a perpetual opener, we make a point to be brief because we know that it sucks sitting through an hour-long opening set. That said, I often go to see the openers and I would hate it if there was no opening slots. Any more than one or two is absurd, though, and is asking a lot of the audience.

    Addressing one other point in the original post: You wouldn’t get abusive, anonymous responses if you weren’t just as abusive and anonymous. If people knew who you were, it might allow for a more reasoned dialogue and discussion. As is, this is just a shitty blog with only negative things to say and that leaves us without any frame of reference or context to put these posts in.

  8. Hello Mike C!??!?!

    “only negative things to say” ?!?!??!?!?

    Where do you get off Mr? They love Port City Music Hall and apparently don’t have anything negative to say there! (I’ll let someone else post about this tidbit!)

    Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with bands that are more about technique than creativity. Just think about what an influence Yngwie Malmsteen has been to SO many serious musicians. Forget sloppy bands like the Pixies, the Who, the Clash, or Wilco (not now that they’re clean…but I saw them 5 times between 2000 and 2005…)

  9. Hey matt C….. what negatives are you conjuring about Port City Music Hall? The fact that they are the only people bringing killer shows to Portland. ha.

  10. While I see potential in Port City, and can’t wait for more good shows there (or at least just one that would inspire me to purchase a ticket), I’d take Mission of Burma and the Thermals over a sublime cover band and Duncan Sheik any day, not to mention a lot of great local acts that which don’t have the draw to fill the place.

  11. I’m afraid that there is a generation gap between those that favor the Portland Point’s opinion and those that belong to the Portland music scene. I think that discussion of the differences between us might be impossible.

    My Granddad is still convinced that the Beatles became ‘crazy drug addicts’ before releasing Rubber Soul and never allowed me to listen to their music in his house. He thought they stopped making music and started making discordant noise. Possible? Sure…but chances are it was his achy joints and preference for Bing Crosby talking.

    I have been to the Port City Music Hall and I thought it was a great venue space. They certainly need to work on their booking if they want to attract an audience with a mean age <= 38 though…not that there's anything wrong with that, there are plenty of venues that book with certain age groups (or preferences towards goatees and Axe body spray) in mind. Port City Music Hall seems to be a great place for parents to go after they've dropped off the kids at the Station.

  12. like TMBG, Ween, or Femi Kuti, John Scofield, must not be “indie” enough to “inspire” Mike C to buy a ticket. Your passive aggressive critique is interesting considering you’ve never set foot in the place.

  13. You got me, I probably will be buying a ticket for TMBG, and though I may not go see them I didn’t know Ween was playing there. Besides those two acts, though, I really haven’t seen anything there that has made me want to buy a ticket. I’m being completely honest (not passive aggressive, though I’m not sure if that’s the term you’re actually looking for) when i say I look forward to when there are more good bands there, but it seems like the first run of acts has been also-rans, has-beens, son-ofs, and cover acts. I’d rather see an inspiring local band than a one hit wonder from the 90s especially if it’s half the price.

  14. Ok. So I read the HC review and the comments. The thing is, according to your mission statement of sorts: “Unfortunately in such a small town, we are afraid to critique – even constructively – for fear of offending.” Though the anon thing lets you write whatever you want however you want, it is actually YOUR fear of offending that is the problem (and why so many people are upset about the post). You make it very clear that you are afraid of OWNING your critiques. I don’t love all the bands in Portland, and many of them are not worth the time…..but I am in and have been in many bands over the years and the thing is: IT IS HARD TO GET PEOPLE TO PAY TO COME SEE YOUR BAND IN PORTLAND MAINE. Even some of my best friends don’t come out cause the $5 or $6 is ‘too steep’. So, 200 people at the Honey Clouds? Those folks, unlike yourself apparently, were NOT there to just test the waters. They were there, and paid to be there, cause they WANTED to see the HC, Rattlesnakes and Gully, and clearly like them. 200 is NOT something to rag on in Portland, particularly for a all local show at that. So, although Portland does need less of the nepotism in its reviews and write-ups, it would MEAN SO MUCH MORE and ACTUALLY DESERVE RESPECT, if you just signed your name to these things. Cause, as you stated, Portland is a small city, and soon enough people will know who you are, and think you are a douche. Sure, people may get angry or write you off for saying what you say anyway, but that is the value of real journalism and critique, no? Owning your thoughts, standing by them in the face of disagreement, and not being afraid of the consequences, make having opinions worth it. Otherwise, it is just kind of fake, and takes any legitimacy away from your points and views, justified or not. Finally, if you really feel this way, who cares if people know who you are? You clearly have no interest in the Portland ‘hipsters’ or their scene that you are so quick to dismiss. Oh, and LASTLY, based on the way you write, and your constant references to NYC, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have not lived here very long or just moved back from college in NYC or something. But I guess Ill never know, cause you choose to be anonymous. That’s weak. And my name is Graeme Kennedy. I have brown hair and glasses and am around town, in case you’d even like to engage me or my own opinions. See how easy!


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