Permalink for Comment #1377406031 by Scott

, comment by Scott
Scott I've listened to the Simple 4 times already, it is one of the best jams of 3.0 (and therefore in their career), probably destined to have more replay value than the Tahoe Tweezer or Magnaball Gin (but maybe not the Magna Tweezer/Caspian or 7/24/15 Shoreline Blaze/Twist). All other considerations of this show are just white noise in comparison. As someone with 5 donuts to eat next week, I'm thrilled. 4 stars.

I don't mind a negative or mixed review with specific evidence cited from the performance, like the comments about this set 1, but not for the first time, I do tire of all the narrative-shaping. Whether 2017 will be more like early 2016, late 2016, 2015, or 1994 couldn't possibly be extrapolated from 2 shows; the author appears to be setting up an improvement narrative for 2017 in order to consign 2016 to the dustbin of history... shortly after begrudgingly admitting that the 2nd half of 2016 was basically as good as 2015.

Publishing a full review of a show immediately is a challenge compared to a safe 'show recap' style like Jambase Setlist/Skinny pieces or an in-depth study with repeated listens, so I appreciate the effort and limitations of the hot-take format. Just skip the introduction! Reviews probably shouldn't follow a paragraph structure that awkardly combines an argumentative essay with a historical narrative, even though that default organization is one that I've also followed repeatedly simply because it is easier to write to. Still, that format invites excessive context and opinions about things other than the show itself, and creates the perception that the show is being reviewed through a particular filter, taking away from the credibility of the writer.

I'm not butthurt about the review... but if we are going to hold the band to super-high/semi-impossible expectations -- which we should! -- then we should strive for similar standards for ourselves, knowing that the constructive criticism is being respectfully offered in good faith. In scholastic journalism I edit/advise a fair number of reviews, and review writing strikes me as more of an art than a science: it is much easier to offer meaningful criticism than to do it yourself. Still, the front-pager tendencies toward narrative-shaping are best left until after tour, when we have perspective and have had the opportunity to listen to things more than once. IMHO anyway.


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