Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Lost Generation

There's a terrific article by Nitsuh Abebe on Pitchfork today. The Lost Generation is a detailed, beautifully written distillation of the brief yet complex history of post-rock, and will be an invaluable resource for anyone trying to get a handle on this slippery genre. It's quite long, but if you're pressed for time, even a quick skim and some notes on the listening suggestions at the end will be illuminating. I've grown to admire Nitsuh's writing quite a lot, not in the least because he's strong in areas in which I feel I'm weaker - structure, pacing etc. Nitsuh seems able to perceive complex histories as orderly grids, zeroing in on the most salient elements of his topic, and the result is a deep lucidity that's a pleasure to read. Pitchfork is still known for its snark and exuberance (although these are fading, becoming replaced by a more remote and even-handed criticism in many cases), and Nitsuh's writing seems to be an indication of where we're headed. To the good, I think.

In just a few days, I'll be heading to Chicago for the Pitchfork-sponsored Intonation festival, and the anticipation is steadily mounting. I'm excited about the bands, excited about flouncing around Chicago, excited about reconnecting with old friends. But what I seem to be most excited about is getting to spend quality time with the Pitchfork staff. I've worked with many of these people for, God, a couple years now, argued with them, joked around, and yet I've only met a few in person. It will be good to put faces with names (real-life faces, not bio headshots) and to see how people's personalities square with their message-board personae. I hope to have some good stories to blog about upon my return.


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