The art of reading: Review of Sister City and Self Promotion on the Internet.

Sister City
Carbon Footprint
Self Released

This is all my fault. I literally asked for it and so here it is, the fruit of my requests and now I don’t know what to do. I am not a very good journalist. I mostly seek out to write about music and other things that I enjoy. Okay, sometimes I write about things that I don’t understand at all that also make me angry, but at least those topics are either so outrageously stupid or serve as a litmus for how fucked our society is that it’s easy to go apeshit over them. So when I got an email from the band Sister City in my inbox not too long ago and they compared themselves to Say Anything and Manchester Orchestra, two bands I am only familiar with marginally, as I am not a teenage girl and do not go to Warped Tour or read Twilight, I knew I was in for it. I tried to ignore the email, I have that right, solicited or not, to ignore things. But then I got another email from this band, reminding me of the first email.

I get it, they are working hard, they want to expose new people to their music and spread the word to the masses, get tour support, get girls, sell t-shirts. They even put the name of this here blog in the header of the email. It’s not totally out of the blue. I guess. But the problem is, clearly the people behind the Sister City machine are not really familiar with my tastes, which are not too hard to figure out by reading and then listening to the bands I review.

Take for example my most three recent reviews. Dead Language are a grindcore band. Black God are a post-punk, post-hard core band with a shouting singer and some serious history. The most recent, Dope Body, a fuck head all arty band from Baltimore. I’m not sure what in these little ranty quips indicates that I would at all be interested, welcoming or excited about a band that doesn’t have any of these things inherent in them at all.

If I was forced, and in some ways I feel forced, to review this band I would say that if you think Taking Back Sunday is too loud and aggressive then you are a weak and pathetic human being and you will love Sister City. This is so mediocre, bland, unexciting and predictable that I just commented to a friend that they make me want to drown kittens. And I like Kittens, lots. I’m saying lots and lots. There are few things on this planet that can make this curmudgeon-y old man get all goopey like kittens.

And this is what I don’t understand, why me? Its not nice to shit that I don’t like, so I try to avoid saying bad things. And yet this band asked me, twice, to listen to and review an album that I knew, just from the Say Anything reference (a band I have probably heard less than 30 seconds of their music in my life) that I wasn’t going to enjoy this shit. Look, you could have put in there that you were inspired by Douglas Adams, Lifetime, Lungfish and pizza and I still probably would have thought it sucked before I heard it. I play music, seriously, and I think my music sucks. Most music sucks. It’s hard to be unique and talented and creative and actually make things that are good. Even Lifetime, one of my favorite bands is only marginally better than the thousands of shitty bands they influenced on Warped Tour every year.

Here’s another example. I’ve been listening to a lot of Assholeparade lately. Like pretty much that’s all I can be bothered with. The average Assholeparade song is less than 30 seconds long. Also, most of their songs sound the same. They are loud, fast, crunchy thrash music. You can’t understand the lyrics at all and after a while listening to these Gainesville stoners just becomes an endurance test. But, as far as I am concerned, right now, they are the greatest band ever. In fact, I turned off Sister City 5 and a half songs into Carbon Footprint to listen to Assholeparade.

So, here is a lesson. I know I say send me your shit. And that word shit should indicate something to you dear reader about how I view the world and how I approach life. One, you should read this blog before sending me anything. It’s not that I won’t get around to it, but if there is any indication that I am interested in  pedestrian, privilege, white boy bullshit, you should start again from the beginning. If you music does meet that criteria I’m going to reluctantly wait as long as possible to review it. Because I try to be constructive in my writing of music, which is hard to do because people who write about music are generally self-centered nerds with no life. So when all I can come up with for your band is you sound like a watered down, calorie free version of another band I detest, that just makes my life all the more difficult. Two, after you read my blog, or any other person’s blog, hit up the internet and check out the bands reviewed. If you don’t sound like a bunch of crazy people hitting garbage cans and trying to fuck their xbox consoles, I probably won’t be into your band. If you want to be tortured but cute, romantic but mildly mischievous, I probably won’t like your band. If you don’t have the word Assholeparade in the title of your band or album, I probably won’t be too excited when I download and then play said record.

Reading, reading, reading. I can’t stress this enough. Most of the problems in this world come from a lack of research and evaluation upon that research. It’s not enough just to type music blog into google and let rip copies of your art. I’m not saying hard work wasn’t put into this and that other people won’t like it. In fact, I guarantee there is an audience out there for Sister City, but it’s not this guy and probably not the people who read this blog.


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