Monday, February 20, 2006


The great thing about the blogosphere is that you can pretty much do anything you like and get away with it. You know, as long as it involves typing and pictures, and as long as no one clicks on that "report this blog" thing at the top. But for some reason I haven't got one of those, so I am ENTIRELY AT LIBERTY, mwahahahaaa!

So, in the same spirit of rampant, blinkered self-importance that built the British Empire and endowed our nation's finest public schools, I am hereby instituting a Coveted Prize.

Well, no one's coveted it yet, and there isn't an actual prize as such, but I'm only just getting started.

The Quinquireme Prize is for Pretentiousness in Music Journalism. I'm going to award it as frequently as I see fit, which will be very frequently, because *all* music journalism is unutterably pretentious. I often wonder how this can be, since all music journalists are geeky adolescents who surely haven't had enough time on this planet to have accumulated the vocabulary, experience and semantic agility required to create the kind of tortured metaphors and similes they regularly apply to their poor innocent test subjects.

Perhaps music journalists are actually alien steganographers, sent from another planet to communicate important information about redemption, the afterlife and how to avoid repeated anal probings to anyone clever enough to extract their messages from the florid prose in which they're hidden. Or perhaps their parents just brought them up on a diet of undiluted Captain Beefheart.

Either way, you might have thought that the first recipient - and all subsequent recipients - of this prize would be the editorial staff of the almost incomparable Stylus Magazine, but not so!

Instead, step forward the Boomkat Newsletter, which proved itself a worthy first winner on Friday with the following glorious description of Dub Tractor's "Hideout" album:

Opening with 'I Woke Up', gravelly electronica is crushed underfoot as Remmer introduces waves of shoegaze guitar and Space Invader rejects - atop of which his vocals are both buoyantly optimistic yet marbled with a Stygian pathos.

"Marbled with a Stygian pathos"! I have *no* idea what that means, but I absolutely love it. All hail to the Boomkat. Seriously.

All nominations for future recipients of the Quinquireme Prize for Pretentiousness in Music Journalism will be gratefully received.

And yes, I did nick this whole thing from Private Eye.

UPDATE: For anyone who might aspire to win a Coveted Prize for Pretentiousness (myself included), new commenter Loganoc (welcome!) has thoughtfully supplied an exhaustive yet handy Guide To Becoming A Pretentious Fuck. Check it out, yeah? Thanks Loganoc.


Dave again said...

Lovely phrase. I shall drop it into conversation whenever possible.

Loganoc said...

This reminds me of a guide to pretentiousness I wrote many years ago, inspired by an ex-boyfriend who thought he was the new Monty Python (like many people in Cambridge do). Please bear in mind I was only little. It still amuses me though.

Loganoc said...

or even
a proper link

patroclus said...

Aha, that's too good not to share.

But wait a second, either you're Johanna, or you're someone who looks eerily like Johanna. In which case, why the name change?

Also, welcome!

Loganoc said...

It's an attempt to be slightly more anonymous. I may change my picture in the future but I'll do that when people have got more used to the name. btw the links in the "guide" mostly don't work because it's an ancient page that I transferred to a new home.

frangelita said...

I wanna prize. Would love to be a pretentious muso but don't know enough words. Or, err, songs.

patroclus said...

I'm pretty sure it should be possible to write a random album review generator, to go along with a random band name generator (in fact I'm not convinced that "Dub Tractor" wasn't the product of a random band name generator) and random album title generator.

In fact, if only I knew how to program computers, I could make an entire randomly-generated music industry! How cool would that be?

Damn my lack of technical expertise.