Thursday, June 29, 2006

Billy Talent - II

Who am I kidding? PF will not likely go anywhere near this album. In fact, just having this album on your desk at PF head office is probably justification for being beaten soundly with a tube sock filled with Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens cds. But the more possibilities I throw out there as predictions, the greater the chance that one of them will be reviewed. This band is big and obviously popular among some folks, so you never know. Survey says...5.1. Actual rating: pending. Point differential: TBD.

Dashboard Confessional – Dusk and Summer

The Fork was harsh in its review of DC's 2001 album - yet still gave it a 4.2 - and does not appear to have blessed the band's 2003 album with a review. Should this new one even get noticed by PF, it'll be ugly. Mr. Tower says 3.5. Actual rating: pending. Point differential: TBD.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Prediction #2

It’s been a week in the making but I finally have my second successful prediction. I am starting to think I have found my calling in life. Do you happen to know anyone who is looking for someone who can closely predict album ratings? If you hear of anything, let me know. Anyway, more nitty gritty. I know you love it when I say that. See the June 8 Frank Black entry below for the latest. Note how close I was with the 6.45 thing. Talk about predictable!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What a start!

My hard work has been validated! How do I feel? Fantastic, thanks for asking! I am still not sure how to best go about drawing attention to successfully predicted albums. For now I am updating the original post with the actual rating from PF, and I guess I will add a note like this one telling my faithful readers to check out the original post below. I think I'll also do a monthly post quickly highlighting that month's accomplishments.

Anyway, down to the nitty gritty. My Replacements prediction below (First assignment) was so very close, I think we have all the evidence we need: I am a genius!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Futureheads - News and Tributes

PF gave this band’s first album an 8.3. I meant to pick it up, never did, and hence can’t provide any meaningful commentary. I read this new one is more of the same, but that the band is trying to distance itself from its contemporaries (Franz Ferdinand etc.). I say it’ll be a lot more of the same, but a little better: 8.5. Actual rating: pending. Point differential: TBD. (July 5 update: PF reviewed this album before I posted the prediction, so I'll forget about it. But for what it's worth, the album got a 7.7.)

Handsome Family – Last Days of Wonder *

I am not at all familiar with the Handsome Family. I have not knowingly heard any of its music, and there is no useless trivia about it or any of its members tucked away in the corners of my brain. The name struck me as one PF might have reviewed in the past, so I checked and sure enough, it has. I have nothing to go on, and when that happens I briefly mention the average PF rating for a band’s studio albums (7.0 in this case), and pick a number out of the air for the album in question: 7.7. Actual rating: 6.7. Point differential: 1.0.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Admin note

By the way, as soon as one of the albums I have listed is reviewed by PF, I will put a link to myself in the Pitchfork entry on Wikipedia. And of course I will update all posts whenever the albums are reviewed. I figure I'll add the actual rating and indicate whether I plan to get the album. I'll also indicate which of my predicted albums have been reviewed by putting a * after the title. And should I ever predict an album perfectly, there will be considerable rejoicing.

Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend (Deluxe Edition)

PF will often review remastered albums that were released before the site was created. I am confident this is such a case. It wasn’t until I checked the tracklist for this album that I realized its significance: it includes Girlfriend, which is a superb album on its own, but also apparently some Girlfriend-era demos/B-sides that weren’t previously widely available, including some of the tracks from Goodfriend (or so it appears). This is notable to old MS fans, and those of us who get a kick out of seeing their old favourites reviewed on PF. There is nothing better for a music nerd like me than reading reviews of albums I have been intimately familiar with for years. The songs are syrupy in places, but the songwriting is top notch. I have a feeling PF will note both the quality and the cultural significance of this album and give it at least an 8.7. Actual rating: pending. Point differential: TBD.

Frank Black – FastMan RaiderMan *

This double album is due out June 19. Almost guaranteed PF will review. His last solo album received a 6.0; his albums since 2000 (solo and with The Catholics) have received, on average, a rating of 6.45 (they rated his last double cd as one album). Frank releases so much stuff, I think 6.45 is pretty accurate. If someone were to say to me: “Mr. Tower, what, on average, do you think of Frank Black’s releases since the first break-up of The Pixies?” There is a good chance I would respond: “6.45.” I have half his stuff since Teenager of the Year; each contains some great songs, but some clunkers too. What does it all mean? I predict a rating of 6.8, or, should it be split up, some combination of 6.4 and 7.2. Mathematically speaking of course. Actual rating: 6.4. Point differential: 0.4. Cumulative point differential: 0.6.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ice Cube – Laugh Now Cry Later *

Cube’s getting old. He hasn’t put out a solo album in a few years. Hard to say whether the Fork will recognize him for his contributions to hip-hop (aka rap, apparently) but ultimately declare his attempts old skool, or feel he has kept up with the times and returned to the scene large and, subsequently, in charge. I don’t follow hip-hop closely anymore, but this must be one of the biggest West Coast albums to come out of late. Isn’t all hip-hop from New York or Detroit these days? Either way, I’m going to take the easy way out and predict a 7.5 on the PF Scale. Actual rating: 3.8. Point differential: 3.7.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

First assignment *

This is a tough job. Not only do I need to predict the rating that may be coming from the Fork, I first need to predict which albums will be chosen to be reviewed. The site has become more mainstream in the past few years, so that albums like the new Red Hot Chili Peppers' get immediately reviewed. So albums and bands like that will be what I look for first when searching for possible reviews. As for a lot of Pitchfork's other reviews, well half the time I haven't even heard of the albums or bands. And you can't predict the rating if you don't know what's coming up. Welcome to my nightmare.

Item 1: Off to a rousing start. My favourite band of all time - The Replacements. It has a new album coming out, a compilation of songs from all of its albums, as well as two new songs. Pitchfork has always been, more or less, all about indie. The Replacements were of course very much about indie, and helped define the modern rock genre. As such, Mr. Tower predicts an 8.6 for this album. Actual rating: 8.8. Point differential: 0.2. Cumulative point differential: 0.2.