You regift the music section with your unwanted copy of No Love/Deep Web, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whine.
Dear Payback Time: Another Georgia Straight best-of music edition all but fails to mention hip-hop as the influential and innovative genre that it is. Pandering instead to punk, garage, and a reliable version of experimental, all of your writers managed to skip over nearly everyone with a style best defined as “rap”. But I am mostly annoyed at the lack of mention of either of Death Grips’ 2012 albums, The Money Store and No Love/Deep Web. Death Grips is the first act in a very long time that has caused me to honestly reconsider music, while remaining pop-accessible enough to be featured on MTV and named Spin’s artist of the year. I feel the reputation they’ve built this year deserves at least one commendation in this paper, as their intense performance at Fortune Sound Club last month was similarly skipped over.
I’d like to read a paper with more eclectic music taste. White Lung’s new album was great, but did we need to read that three times? Jack White has another album, which sounds very slightly like something new, and you cover it four times. And the Zef stylings of Die Antwoord are corny and pandering. Give us something interesting!
> Mathieu Youdan
John Lucas responds: Dearest Mathieu—You had me right up until you mentioned Death Grips. You want to know why none of our critics put Death Grips on their top-10 lists? Because Death Grips is fucking terrible, that’s why. If you consider Stefan Burnett the best MC in the game right now—and you must, because Death Grips is the only rap act you actually mentioned by name in your letter—I have my doubts that you’re really as big a hip-hop fan as you claim to be. Seriously, it sounds as if someone dragged a toothless hobo out of the gutter, pried the empty bottle of Night Train out of his hand, and stuck him in a recording booth. What’s more, I didn’t need or want to see Zach Hill’s meat mallet, ever, but there it is in all its dubious glory on the cover of No Love/Deep Web. How old are these guys, 12? Is their next record going to consist solely of the sounds of their own farts? (Actually, that might be an improvement.)
And don’t blame us for “skipping over” the group’s recent Vancouver show. In fact, I put in a request for an interview in hopes of previewing it but was told that Death Grips had zero interest in being covered, so screw those guys.
Incidentally, even though you used it, you don’t seem to understand what the word pandering means. Filling our year-end lists with things we think readers (like you!) might like to see on them rather than the things we actually thought were the best? That would be pandering.
Anyhow, as one of the Straight critics who did have a straight-up hip-hop LP in his top 10 (Kendrick Lamar’s thoroughly excellent good kid, m.A.A.d. city), I’m open to suggestions of other good music in that genre. Provided those suggestions do not completely blow, like Death Grips.