Malcontent Mailbag

Malcontent Mailbag

Sucking Corporate

Don’t be salty that your band diddent [sic] quite cut it in the reall [sic] world, But [sic] don’t take it out on Somthing [sic] Corporate, you sound like a little whiney bitch. but [sic] i’m [sic] sure they laughed it up reading your review and it gave them entertainment while they got there [sic] dicks sucked on the tour bus.

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Matt Cibula responds: Dude:

1. Learn to spell.

2. If you’re whining about my review, what does that make you?

3. That EP still isn’t any good at all.

4. Why are you so obsessed with these guys getting blowjobs?

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The Cibula Sophisticate

Matt Cibula is obviously not sophisticated enough to appreciate good music. The music Juan Carlos Quintero creates is by far much better than some of the so called [“F:\Frontier 6.2.1\Guest Databases\www\ink19.root”].ink19DiscussionGroup.messages.[“0005107”] winners out there.

Get a life Matt and learn about music!

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Matt Cibula responds: I never said Juan Carlos Quintero wasn’t good. I just said this album was boring, which it is. I suspect he is capable of much more, and I look forward to hearing it. As for not being sophisticated — you may have point there. And as for getting a life… well, you may have a point there, too.

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The Love Train Stops Here…

I disagree with the writer’s review of the O’Jays album. Just because The O’Jays did not cave in to the hip hop phenomenom, or should I say, they kept their sweet soulful classic sound, does not mean that their album is bad. There are many many O’Jays fans that don’t want them to change, that don’t want them to reinvent themselves as cane-wielding pimps. Unlike you guys, I wish The O’Jays much success.

Matt Cibula responds: As I said in the review, I love The O’Jays’ 1970s period, and I would have been down with what you call their “sweet soulful classic sound.” What they gave us on this one, though, was kind of halfway between that and a tepid new-jack swing that would have been outdated seven years ago. So we’re not disagreeing in the argument — but can you really listen to that album more than five times? I couldn’t, so I couldn’t recommend it.

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John Who?

I’m not sure the date on the article concerning newcomer Lennon, but I thought the following in reference to what was printed might interest you. Basically the article bashed all over her look and called her “whiny.” While you did give her minimal credit for playing her own instruments, your focus wasn’t where it should have been for a music article.

But that’s beside the point. The following came from the last few lines:

“I hope someone tells her that phony works both ways, unless, of course she is really a down on her luck nineteen-year-old who has a past so big she can actually call it a lifetime.”

This came from another article:

[Editor’s Note: We’ve clipped the example from another article from another publication as the letter-writer did not attribute the extensive quote, and ever since we had to fire Stephen Ambrose, we’ve been gun shy about plagiarism. Suffice to say the extensive quote discusses at length the now-familiar story of Lennon’s overcoming a hard life — including the death of her mother — to sign a contract with Arista. What it doesn’t really mention at all is her musical ability.]

She went on to finish up high school (just a shred short of a 4.0) and is now raising her younger sister.

Kurt Loder of MTV has been raving about her ever since she came on the scene, Rolling Stone gave her a feature even before her album was available for the public, she had a full page in Alternative Press, she’s been featured in Gear, Mademoiselle, New York Magazine, not to mention a dozen others with good reviews.

Granted, you can’t please everyone, but what I was seriously offended at was the lack of research you obviously did, as stated in the last few lines. The fact about her mother and her raising her sister is incredibly well-known and had you dug even a little bit further you might have come across the various interviews and articles about the guy her music is about. I’d tell you about it, but if you really cared about the music, you’d go and find it for yourself. Perhaps you’d learn a few things. It’s quite intriguing (not to mention informative) to say the least.

And by the way, yes, my name is Austin, but yes, I am a (straight) female, and… oh yes, I do thoroughly enjoy Lennon’s music, along with many, many other female fans.

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Vanessa Bormann responds: Thank you for your input. While it wasn’t quite as in depth as your coverage, a lot of that information was stated in the press release I received (and read), as well as the blurb in Rolling Stone, her piece in CMJ, Spin, Blender, Seventeen, Jane, Mademoiselle, and Cosmopolitan. A lot of reviewers adore her and her music, but in every article I read, it overwhelmingly seemed that the writer based the review of the CD on her past. I’m not in the habit of displaying pity, and definitely don’t base my reviews on it. While Lennon, as a person, has indeed overcome tremendous obstacles to get where she is, that doesn’t mean that I should give a CD that I felt wasn’t all it could be a glowing review. Many people in this world jump hurdles to move on and many of them never even get record contracts to get to the point where a fan is justifying their music by their struggles. It is well known that Jewel lived in a van and spent a majority of her childhood without running water, but that doesn’t mean that we should all give every one of her CDs perfect reviews just because she had a seemingly difficult childhood. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trivializing the death of Lennon’s mother in any way, but sometimes, when it comes to the press, things are amped up quite a bit for effect or “image.” My decision to not break the album down song by song and explain my dislike of each track was due to the fact that I didn’t feel someone would really need to read that. Generally, even if you have intensely wide ranges of music you enjoy, you know what you’ll like and dislike by the whole package (musical and otherwise) of the group or individual.

As far as my review talking about her appearance, if she were 300 lbs., had a hairy mole the size of a cherry on her face, and wore sundresses with teddy bears on them, would you still be as overtaken by her? It would be nice if we lived in a world where the way we looked didn’t matter so much, but as a society and as individuals, we like to look at things that please us. No matter how much someone can go on and on about “the music,” it’s never, ever just about the music — which is too bad, but as any performer would tell you, every little detail makes a difference.

It’s nice to know that you care enough about the artists you listen to to go through all of that “research,” but as a music journalist, I did do a little of my own (as you see from the list above), and it was my personal judgment to not review 5:30 Saturday Morning as a whole bundle of personal weight. I could go more in depth if you’d like, as to why I wasn’t completely enamored with Lennon, but really, it’s not my responsibility, as you stated, to please everyone.

Again, thank you for your effort, and seeing that I am a human and I that do make mistakes, it’s always nice to know if something was wrongly stated. However, the lack of baggage this review had was not an oversight. It was a choice to approach it differently than most reviewers, which I think I accomplished.

Your sexual preference is of no concern to me, but it’s interesting that you feel as a fan you would need to justify that.

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Here We Go Again…

What the fuck is wrong with you asshole? your [sic] review of afi’s black sails in the sunset [sic] was nothing less of [sic] retarded. granted you have a right to your own opinion but so do I so heres [sic] mine. You don’t know what the fuck real music is. Why don’t you cart your ass into a studio and try to make something better. AFI’s music is the most versitile [sic] and intricate of any punk band ever. Plus they don’t waste their time talkin’ about some girl they liked in high school like all the other poser punks out there. so get it through your thick fuckin’ skull afi is the fuckin’ best. cause I’ll tell you this AFI is the most incredible band ever. what the fuck am I even wasting time for telling you this you idiot.

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Allie Gore responds: Don’t you kids have anything better to do than to troll the internet looking for three-year old CD reviews? Oh wait, you listen to AFI, of course you don’t.

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A Fan Intelligent?

I am totally disgusted at the way that you have presented Davey Havok. If Davey was in the room, I certainly wouldn’t want to smack him, or Dexter, for that matter. They are two of the best people in punk. They don’t just shout, and if you listen to “Morningstar,” you will hear the talents of Davey, not that you don’t in every other song. I actually think that Davey has the best voice for the type of songs he writes, and its totally unique. Basically I am very pissed off at your attitude towards Davey and the rest of AFI…

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Allie Gore responds: This is the only e-mail I’ve received about my review of AFI’s Black Sails in the Sunset that didn’t quote capitalized lyrics at me, cuss at me, or threaten me. At the very least, that deserves a courteous response.

While I’m sorry that you are “pissed off about (my) attitude,” I still feel that Black Sails was a poor example of the hardcore/punk genre, for reasons I outlined in my review. However, if AFI were to send another CD to Ink 19, I would give it a listen and an honest review. That’s all I did in my first review.

There are some positive reviews of AFI on our site, check out Brian Kruger’s review of their release Art Of Drowning. There’s also Rob Ward’s live review of AFI’s show in Tampa, FL in November, 1999, with Sick of it All.

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