Thursday, May 01, 2008

Southeast Engine

I have a love/hate relationship with Pitchfork. As the foremost indie music site on the web, the Fork wields extraordinary power over the lives of the musicians/bands it reviews. A positive review can break a band wide open. Just ask Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens. A negative review can sink a band faster than you can say "cutout bin" (or whatever the MP3 equivalent of that might be). The writing tends to be snarky, hipper-than-thou, and riddled with obscure references to cultural touchstones known only to the writer and four of his hipper-than-thou friends. Sometimes they even get around to discussing the music. And sometimes they get it right.

And so, in an inscrutable act that we won't ponder too deeply, Pitchfork actually got around to reviewing the now 8-month old Southeast Engine album A Wheel Within a Wheel today. And, wonder of wonders, they like it.

I like it, too. I've written about it before, right here and here. It's a terrific album, and they're a bunch of nice guys, so I'm hoping that the PFork treatment translates to some much deserved recognition. In the meantime, they've produced the best alt-country/indie rock album that I bet you've never heard. You could remedy that, you know.


Anonymous said...

Not only have I bought the CD, but I was in the front row singing and dancing at their SXSW showcase.

At the end of the show, I told them I was there because of Andy Whitman.

They were very appreciative.

just scott said...

i wish pitchfork would just die, honestly. its so goddamn snooty, that if somebody tells me, oh I heard about blah blah blah on pitchfork, then I am immediately turned off, even if the band may be good.

Andy Whitman said...

Scott, obviously I have my issues with Pitchfork. They are snooty and unbearably hip. They also manage to cover an incredible amount of music (100 reviews per month, across the musical spectrum). I disagree with half of those reviews. So what? I'm glad they cover what they cover. I'm actually glad for that recent Southeast Engine review. And I certainly don't want them to die.

just scott said...

andy, perhaps what i was getting at was more of a disgust with the ability of someone to make or break a band based on how tight the jeans they put on that day possibly made them feel. that, to me, while it may be true in this day and age, is sad. (and don't get me wrong, I'm all for Southeast Engine's success)