August 11, 1997
Mr. deVallance --
Having recently come across your assessment of the history of Guided by
Voices singles on your web site, Sled Bag (a more appropriate name would be
Suck Bag, for yours is clearly one of the worst sites on the Internet), I
must take issue with your desire to project a twisted vision of the past in
which each GbV single cost only 99¢ and included 17 unreleased tracks. This
is, of course, not the case. One need only look back on the singles from
other Matador releases (i.e., My Valuable Hunting Knife, Official Ironman
Rally Song) to see that history does not bear out your faulty memories.
Those singles feature no more than three extra tracks (and in fact, the
former example features only one), and although less costly, are not nearly
the cheap festivals you describe.
I agree whole-heartedly that I would like to see singles with more tracks,
or more singles, and definitely at lower prices, but one can not fault the
band for this, and it seems as musings such as these should be kept out of
"music" reviews (you are, after all, reviewing music, aren't you?) and
saved for angry letters to the record company. While I agree with your
sentiments that we are being ripped off for nothing, completists such as
myself will pay the extra couple of bucks to have that one more song (even
though it's the worst on the single).
As I have said to your other writer, one Mr. Abbot, I suggest you stick to
the topics at hand in these reviews of yours, and avoid these tangential
journeys. No one wants to hear your whining.
Yours in esteem,
Carl Christian Lorentzen II
July 24, 1997
Hey, I think maybe you need to go back and re-listen to the Pixies stuff. You can't possibly argue that the first two albums were better than Doolittle. I realize there's something to be said for enthusiastic amatuerism but come on, Doolittle is an absolute tour-de-force of creativity. The first to records represent a band that is experimenting and developing their sound and style and as such they contain a lot of "doodling." Not so Doolittle.
Also, your comparison of Frank Blacks solo stuff to the Pumpkins strikes me as odd in the extreme since to my ears the Pumpkins have been ripping-off the Pixies sound for years. I don't think Blacks solo work is that different from the Pixies sounds anyway.
Okay, thats it.
In response to the review of the Pixies by Rodney Abbot:
Good Sir --
I recently came across your musical review (if such sophmoric scribbilings as
yours can be considered to merit being called such) of the album Surfer Rosa and
its ep sibling, Come on Pilgrim, by the now-defunct musical group formerly known
as the Pixies. While I agree with the praise you apply towards these albums, I
must take issue with your jibes at that group's corpulent leader, Mr. Frank
Although I will certainly admit that Mr. Black's solo work is more "poppy" and
"accessible" than that of the Pixies, one must also concede that these terms are
as over-used as Elizabeth Taylor's ring finger.
One can not blame Mr. Black for wanting to branch out after year's of the Pixies
sound. And in truth, songs like "Los Angeles," "Whatever Happened to Pong," and
"Kicked in the Taco" with their off-beat lyrics and goofball trimmings are far
from such "Smashing Pumpkings" sounds as you compare them to. What does a
smashing pumpkin sound like, anyway?
I hope that in the future you will steer clear of such misinformations, and
stick to the subjects at hand. With all the rock-n-roll evil out there, why pick
on Mr. Black? (Also, to point out a further error, you of course can not imply
that Mr. Black is imitating the Pumpkins, as his first solo album predates their
initial release Gish. If anything, it is these pumpkin people who are imitating
I notice that you spare Ms. Kim Deal any criticisms. Do you approve of her foray
into what you might consider more "pop" oriented music?
I hope you're not just picking on the fat kid.
Yours in esteem,
Carl Christian Lorentzen II : )
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