Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Delicate Steve "Butterfly"

My friend Scott pointed me to a 2011 NPR story about Delicate Steve and the press release that came with his record.

Read it here.

For those who don't like to click through, I'll summarize.  The reporter received a press release with a new album from Delicate Steve, and the press release was soooo over the top and intriguing, she had to find out more.  It turns out that the release was actually written by none other than the great rock writer Chuck Klosterman, who was offered the gig and told that he could write whatever he wanted and didn't even have to listen to the record.  The NPR story goes on to point out that many venues that booked Delicate Steve would post the ridiculously hyperbolic release on their websites, and many writers would lift lines directly from the writing, without knowing that much of it was complete fiction.

My first thought was:  Yeah, I'm glad I don't waste my time on that stuff.

We get a ton of new releases into the station.  And with most every CD that comes in, there is a "one sheet" accompanying it.

If I'm the one opening the mail, I throw the paper out without looking at it.

I feel terribly guilty about this.

For one, it's such an F-N waste of paper, mailed half-way across the country, to go directly in the trash, unread.

Secondly, these releases are often written by people I know, and interact with professionally.  I know they spent hours writing and preparing these releases, thinking through the angle they were going to write about, often fighting with the band over even a sentence or a word about how they were going to be "portrayed."  All that, and it goes directly in the trash, unread.

So I feel terribly guilty, but I also feel like they are a big waste of time.

With hundreds of releases coming into the station, can one release really say anything that makes a CD rise to the top of the stack?

Clearly, the NPR story suggests that only a one-sheet piled sky-high with bullshit is capable of standing out.

So why let the information, or the grasping attempt to describe sound with words (sometimes successful, often not), sway my opinion of a band when I can simply put the disc that's in the same envelope, right into the CD player?

Hear the song on Youtube.

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