By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Let us now discuss the labyrinthine, in-your-face, introspective, esoteric, head-bobbing, fist-pumping, booty-shaking, genre-defying mélange of the Rock Critic Cliché milieu.
Like any other, this profession suffers from ridiculous, impenetrable jargon. I am certainly not immune to this disease, but perhaps I can diagnose specific viruses and prescribe medicine for lousy metaphors. (Gotta knock it off with the lousy metaphors too.)
As we behold 2005's shimmering, hypnotic, melodic close, I pledge to you: Every bolded word in this article, I will never use again after this week.
Angular:Frequently describes guitars that sound, well, pointy. Sharp, unpleasant, as opposed to "circular."
Coruscating:Really, really angular.
Listenable:"I didn't like it."
Unlistenable:"I didn't listen to it."
Seminal:"I sold it back for $5 without listening to it, but then everyone else wrote about it, so I had to buy it back for $12 and pretend I liked it."
Minimalist:Describes any song that does not employ a full string orchestra. "Hall & Oates' 'I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)' is a seminal, coruscating slab of minimalist pop."
Danceable:"I couldn't dance competently if my pants were on fire."
Radio-ready:"This is the only song I remember."
Anthemic:Really, really radio-ready.
Drops (e.g., "Tone Loc's new album drops January 25"): Knock it off, whitey.
Wheels of steel (as opposed to "turntables"): White, white, white.
Swirling:Conjures lush soundscapes of boring pretentiousness.
Eclectic:"From polka to bluegrass to bailefunk to death metal! It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!"
Wanton Hyphen Overuse:An ordinarily calm friend of mine flies into a rage whenever this technique is employed. He refers to it as "I-can't-think-of-what-to-write-so-it's-time-to-say-'fuck-it'-and-hyphenate-a-mess-of-words-that-might-come-close-to-an-accurate-description-of-something-that-I-might-be-able-to-work-out-myself-if-I-read-real-books-instead-of-Spin-while-I-go-poo-poo." He'll be fine, honest.
Wanton:Not yet. I still really like wanton.
____ Yet ____:Increasingly common. Angry Hyphen Guy particularly chafes at the "Retro Yet Futuristic" tag: "What--like Barbarella?"
Wanton Capitalization Overuse:Such as, oh, say, Angry Hyphen Guy. I still love this one too. Let's save it for '06.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city