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April 23, 2007 | by  | in Music |
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The Tweeks – You Can Listen Too

A recent NZSM101 Lecture, Hugh McKenzie LT104

Lecturer: Good morning everyone. Today we will be continuing our discussion concerning the composition of average music. Following an examination of the Have principle, in which vacuous lyrical content is harnessed to achieve ultimate pop-rock banality, we will explore the James Reid paradigm, whereby a vocalist with no real singing ability attempts to impress his or her audience by straining their voice as if suffering from a particularly nasty hemmorhoid. This can be more noticeably heard in the “music” of Nickelback. Firstly, however, I’ve brought in a copy of the new album from Dunedin’s The Tweeks, You Can Listen Too. With it’s samey bar chord guitar lines, uninspired lyrical content, and predictable verse/chorus/bridge song structures, this album exemplifies average music in its most recognisable form. Let’s have a listen. (Plays album)

Student: Jesus Christ, is that Jason Gunn on the opening track?

Lecturer: Why yes, it is. How very astute of you. You’ll also notice that after the first 30 seconds of the first song, ‘Some- thing You Should Know’, we find ourselves wanting to skip to the next track out of sheer boredom. Some listeners will find themselves wanting to persevere. Most, however, will just abandon the album altogether within the first minute and go and make themselves some cheese on toast. Cheese on toast with some form of chutney is also an option.

Student: I’ve noticed that the songs seem to be using dull, rehashed lyrical themes. How important is this to the composition of average music?

Lecturer: Very. In particular, note that the third track, ‘Going Nowhere’, features the line “I can’t let you know how I feel, ‘cause I’m scared of what’ll happen once you know.” How many times have we heard content like this in pop-rock relationship songs? Repetition and a lack of lyrical depth are both core tenets of average music.

Student: I disagree with you completely. This album is great, it has good guitar hooks, solid drumming, and is generally full of catchy, well-formed pop songs.

Lecturer: Well… okay, fair enough, there is some evidence of… wait, what’s that under your arm?

Student: Oh…this. Um, it’s a copy of Silencer. It’s my favourite album. Zed rock.

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Comments (14)

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  1. Patrick Massey says:

    Dear Tom,

    I find that while your comparisons’ of The Tweeks’ “average” music to that of James Reid or Nickelback vaguely amusing, though a little confusing (I believe the music of The Tweeks to be completely unlike the previously mentioned artists), this article of yours is a perfect example of what I call “poor music jounalism.”

    Let’s get one thing clear: I am not a student music journalist, just a student, so I therefore little idea of how hard it can be to critically listen to a whole album, write a balanced, well considered review, and still have enough time to hand in my university assignments. However I must admit this is a very lazily executed review.

    The biggest problem with this article is that you pretty much admit yourself that you haven’t listened to the whole thing through once, and haven’t done any research on the band. You’ve given your readers your (very strong) thoughts on the first two or three tracks on the album, and substituted any further analysis with your “witty” lecturer/student dialogue. Yep I bet you thought you were pretty clever when you came up with that one.

    I guess why I’m so annoyed at your article is that it is a such a chiched piece of poor music journalism. Yes, it’s unfortunate that you are the reviewer I’m currently picking on (I’m in a bad mood and don’t want to start a particulary boring essay), but too often have I read reviews where you actually get very little idea of what the actual music is like. Tom – it’s obvious you don’t like the sound of this band – however if your going to review an album, do a little research about the band (as it is obvious you didn’t in this occasion), and review the whole thing.

    Regards,

    Patrick

  2. Michael says:

    A gimmick review.

  3. Tom Baragwanath says:

    Dear Patrick,

    Thanks for your comments concerning the review. It’s honestly great to know that people are reading my pieces critically.

    You might find my review to be lazily executed, but you should know that I don’t write reviews on albums that I haven’t persisted with. In reviewing an album, I listen to it to a point of familiarity, a process which often involves making notations on each song, if not each part of the songs. On this occassion, I felt that the weaknesses of the album could be fairly succinctly conveyed to the reader in a few sentences, so instead of trying to stretch out a few comments into a more arduous review, I decided to explain my reaction to the album in a different format. My goal was to provide an interesting, honest review that made some attempt to surpass the often limiting conventions of music journalism.

    Anyway man, thanks for reading. Comments are always welcome.

    Tom Baragwanath

  4. Dan Scudderino says:

    Tom,
    Your writing is crap mate. Why don’t ya just finger the ase of some other band you wnaker. You mum is a camel and you da is a poof. The tweek rock out my pants, sweet buzz. So you can just get your poofie shoes on and walk on down the road mate. To Poofville.

    Hard fulla

    p.s you also got a stupid second name poof

  5. Nick Archer says:

    This is the most honest music review I have read in ages…

  6. Steve Warden says:

    it didn’t seem like a review to me, let alone an honest review. it’s just some dude trying to sound cool. i feel sorry for indie bands like the tweeks having to put up with people like this trying to shit all over their music. it’s pretty uncool.

    oh, and Tom, you’d probably sound cooler if you could spell “barre chord” correctly.

    Steve.

  7. blah says:

    shut up your face oW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! tweeks are cool.

  8. this review was sweet.

    hehe Ill just add it to the list of bands sailent has had balls to diss this year …

    Ill definatally be getting them a copy of my album

  9. Larry says:

    What a prick.

  10. james tweed says:

    rough! the Tweeks are fuckin awesome man. i saw them at mighty mighty last year and it was cool as.

  11. bernie mac says:

    im dead

  12. Gords says:

    Man.. what a douche.. this guy can shove it up his bigoted ass. The arrogance is supreme.. the article is 98% about Tom Bargfarg and 2% about the band… What an idiot. People like that have no place in music journalism.. unfortunately music journalism is just full of hacks like this submoronic pseudo-intellectual.

    When you review an album – write about the damn album for christsakes! Not about how much lube it takes you to get off & “oh btw the album sucks”. Jesus… Imagine a foreign affairs journalist indulging in this kind of egocentric crap..

    Surely music journalism is the only place where sh*t like this is tolerated. It really is one of the only places where people can just get really mean about their subject. How f*cked is that! Music is surely one of the highest forms of art (if not, then it is singularly the highest form). Why such bile is commonly spewed forth from hacks like Tom is hard to say. People obviously have a lot of emotional investment in the music they love, perhaps an affront to the way they think music should be stirs the hate matter in the head? I know that’s true of me… But that doesn’t mean it turns off the rest of my brain.

    So, in conclusion; it seems to me that this isn’t a review – it’s a hate-speech. Not only that, but it’s a hate speech by a guy who thinks he’s smart enough to have carte blanche in his writing, as if reviews and editorials are the same thing.

    God.. Such a shame that this kind of rubbish is fairly prolific. Well, most garbage journalism is actually fairly above this guys level. Still, the sentiments are common.. Just expressed in actual reviews by people who understand writing, as opposed to an infantile attempt at literary humor.

    Taste a panda’s ass,

    Gordon.

  13. Chris says:

    It really is amazing someone can post something like that in wake of this weeks piece on music criticism. Since dear old Gords can himself go through the extreme effort of reading it himself I do not feel the need to go into a boring rant about the ethics of music journalism and so on.

    What I will say is that this review contains all the information needed to write a typical, everyday, ‘why this album isn’t good’ piece. But Tom chose to be original and put imagination in his writing. If he hadn’t the review in this way it might have been largely ignored, yet it seems to be the format of the piece that is attracting attention and with it, criticism.

    So, good on you Tom.

    Plus he’s right. The Tweeks are fucking insipid.

  14. Tom says:

    Cheers Chris. Gordon, if you can find me a willing panda, I’m keen.

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