Thursday, July 21

I Was Almost Beautiful Once.

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It's good to get everything back to normal around here. I can now get back to writing what I prefer to write about.

What do I write about again?

I'm in a post-"200th Post" slump, and I'll tell you why. I feel a little shafted this evening. You see, my big article in Core Weekly was published today (A write-up on the amazing band Communique, I'll have it up in a few days), and the editing staff there sort of butchered it. I'm not just saying that because I wrote it, mind you. Honestly, they dumbed this interview down to the lowest common denominator. They took what I did, and turned it into a brief, clunky, rushed joke of an article, with my dumbass name on the top in bold. Fantastic.

People often criticize this particular publication for it's writing abilities, and I'm starting to see why. I would like to assume that I know a thing or two about writing, AP-style formatting and mechanics, and I really think those guys sabotaged me today. I was very excited (and still am) about getting a full page and all, but I'm shaking my head at the mixed blessing.

Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to now post my original draft of the article. In a day or so, I'll put up the published version. You can make the call. Away we go.

Perfect Weapon
Communique brings a new name and a new wave to the Annex.

In 2002, Lookout! Records punk mainstays American Steel had said everything they wanted to say. After the release of Jagged Thoughts, Steel had moved into yet another place with their music, and knew that a big change was in the making. “American Steel had put three relatively different records out, and by the time we were doing demos for a fourth, we realized that things were getting too different. This wasn’t always popular with our punk purist fans,” says Rory Henderson, frontman and main songwriter behind Communiqué. “We didn’t want to put the same record out over and over, so (the name change) seemed to be the most graceful way to follow our musical aspirations.” So began Communiqué, and their debut full-length album, Poison Arrows.

Poison Arrows is a dark, ass-shaking, catchy-as-hell pop album that appeared on many year-end top ten lists by those in the know. Instead of following the new wave revival blueprint that seems to be dying a slow death on your radio, Communiqué looked back to pre-1977 influences to shape the stylings that make Arrows stand so far ahead of their counterparts. This being said, most every track on the album is radio-ready and teeming with a Duran Duran-esque vibe. “I think the whole (new wave revival) thing is cheesy,” states Henderson. “It seems like a disingenuous marketing term. I never care what people call us or compare us to, but I’m shy to offer any suggestions because I don’t want to paint ourselves into a corner.”

In a word, Poison Arrows is bleak. Topics of suicide, depression, love gone awry and failed relationships flood the album with a fog of regret and hope for tomorrow. Each track is masterfully crafted into an instantly recognizable, sing-along gem, from start to finish. “The subject matter is definitely bleak, with the occasional piece of black humor,” states Henderson. “I’m much happier now.”

Immediately noticeable on the album is the beautiful production. Layers of guitars, keys and vocals accompany each other without overkill, never ceasing to crescendo into a massive hook every time. “The wall of sound was certainly the concept for the record, and I’m happy with the end result,” says Henderson. “A lot of that is dealt with during mixing, and what we call “guitar Jenga”, tucking things that are sonically competitive here and there just so. A lot is there with vocal harmonies (sometimes 8-9 parts at a time), and always layers of counter melodies. I like to instrument with a lot of different tones and sounds, and most intuitively, I really became obsessed with building a wide spectrum of overtones. Sounds that your ears don’t listen to, but hear, of course.”

With an album as tightly produced and studio-assisted as this, one begins to wonder how it transforms onto a live stage. “There’s definitely a lot of energy here,” says Henderson in reference to their live performances. “We’ve got some dyed in the wool punk rockers here, so I guess it’s natural. We try to play a set that we would want to watch. I just want people to relax and enjoy themselves; we’ll do the work.”

If there’s one thing that you can plan on happening with Communiqué, it’s constant evolution in influences and musical direction. “Our next record will not sound like the last, and we will always reserve that right,” says Henderson. “Poison Arrows was a good introduction, but it was just that. Songs will sound more different from each other, faster or slower, softer or more aggressive. Lyrically, they’ll be written in a more poetic style, rather than a loose-talk style. Thematically opposite, romantic where Arrows was calculated.”

There you have it. I may have to take this down if lawyers start getting involved (I signed a contract, after all), but I feel like this version is so far removed from the published version, that they could never prove that they were ever the same draft. You can judge for yourself next time. Stay tuned.

Until then, I am proud to inform you of the triumphant return of The Girl From Mars.

Yep, they did you right up the ole poop shoot on this one.
I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until I hear back from them, but I'll have the published copy up for your viewing pleasure soon.
That's a good review, gives a history of the band and an idea of what the music's like without assuming the reader knows the backstory. It'll be interesting seeing how they butcher it.
Oh, it's interesting. I'll have it up soon.

Thanks for the positive criticism. I always like to make sure that I'm not just crazy.
They twisted it around to make it about Tony Little, didn't they? That would be pretty sweet, actually.
actually Ryan posted the version that Core Weekly did. Ryan's version was all about Tony Little...that's why they chopped it up.
It's probably for the best then. Like the world needs more Tony Little propaganda.

More pictures of Tony Little and that monkey, maybe.

What are you guys doing this weekend? Anyone wanna come to Appleton?
It's true... It's all true.

If they had "Little'd" my article, I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

I'm hearby proposing a lifetime ban on mentioning Tony Little within 50 yards of the CDP.

It'll never pass.
I think we might have some family coming down on Sunday, and I'm getting fitted for a tux as well, so I'm not too sure. I'll axe the Missus, but maybe next week will be better.
getting butchered more than sucks, especially when they dumb you down to a 700 combine SAT score stupid...
I'm pretty sure that you get 500 points just for putting your name on the thing.

Maybe I should launch my own e-zine. I'll call it "Pitchfork".

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