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Pitchfork

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Pitchfork

  1. 1. Taylor Huntington Gabriel Martinez Liberty Kellokoski
  2. 2. Reviews
  3. 3. Pitchfork’s primary function is to review new albums, and serve as a library of past reviews Five new reviews are released a day, most are between 500 and 800 words Genres are diverse, but emphasize indie and underground (with some exceptions) Included in each review is a score from 0.0-10.0, the album cover, reviewer’s name, date of the review, and the label and date album was released under Reviews section: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/
  4. 4. News
  5. 5. Pitchfork also has a News section and an op-ed section called “The Pitch” Both sections revolve around music, and also tend to focus on indie and underground artists News covers topics ranging from a band playing on late-night television, to a stabbing at a concert, to tour announcements News section: http://pitchfork.com/news/ The Pitch includes reviews of books and film, non- fiction and fictional stories, advice, photos, artwork, and interviews The Pitch: http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/
  6. 6. Visual Identity
  7. 7. Pitchfork has a contemporary visual feel. Much of this has to do with the modernist design on the page, a commonplace theme in today’s web pages. This focuses mostly on vertical and horizontal elements, much inspired by the painter Piet Mondrian. The website adheres to a three-column format much like a magazine would, but the text and articles are broken up and vary in arrangement. By having the site generally divided into thirds it provides logical structure to the website, but by contradicting it in places the site doesn’t look too static, traditional, or dull.
  8. 8. Visual Identity Analysis
  9. 9. Because the website is basically a music forum, there are lots of album covers and band art. Most of this art is done by artists who know the band or even band members themselves. These art elements provide a lot of the visual interest and identity for the website. Much of the art is colorful and/or interesting to look at, i.e. photographic processes, digital alteration, etc. The logo for pitchfork is three upward facing arrows. This also adds to the initial visual appeal in that they seem to emulate music charts and sales graphs. The web design is a fairly simple one, letting the musician’s art do most of the visual work for them.
  10. 10. Audience
  11. 11. Due to the contemporary web design and overall look of the website, it can be assumed that they want to appeal to younger audiences. That being said, they feature a wide variety of music and articles, which could appeal to just about anyone who is enthusiastic about music. By not just limiting themselves to the newest music, they manage to hold the attention of practically any age group. They follow the latest news in the music industry, which keeps the website plugged into the mainstream world of music, as well as their other audiences. They have reviews of both new and old music, which creates hype and gives them enough overlap of new and older audiences to keep their fan base more broad.
  12. 12. News Analysis
  13. 13. The News section mostly serves up small blurbs about artist activity. The articles usually focus more on photos, videos, and links than they do on writing News tries to stay unbiased and objective The Pitch often does not The Pitch contains articles focusing on a particular artist, topic, or piece These articles often contain a thesis or argument, from something as simple as “Robert Christgau’s new album is good, you should read it,” to the struggle of a disabled person going to a concert, trying to show what an ordeal it is Robert Christgau Memoir article: http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/695-on-robert- christgaus-new-memoir/ Disability article: http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/693-going-to- shows-when-you-have-a-disability/
  14. 14. Review Analysis
  15. 15. The reviews are completely subjective (of course) and range from complete delight (Pitchfork has given out scores of 10.0), to outright hatred (they have also given out 0.0s) Many, if not most, of the reviewers want artists to be doing something new, or experimental, or (in particular) different Artists are often criticized for an album being just an extension of another album, the artist not having changed (progressed, regressed, in some way from one to the next Despite an overall emphasis on indie/underground, some popular albums are very well-reviewed Jay-Z, Daft Punk, Kanye West, and OutKast all have albums in the top 20 “Albums of the 2000s” list http://pitchfork.com/features/staff- lists/7710-the-top-200-albums-of-the- 2000s-20-1/ Reviews are written by one reviewer, and it does not specify on the site how the numeric scores are arrived at
  16. 16. Evaluations
  17. 17. Method Man Interview http://pitchfork.com/news/58822-method-man-walks-back-once-upon-a-time-in- shaolin-criticism-says-he-cant-stand-cilvaringz/ This article is somewhat secondhand as far as the information. It is based on an interview that the Huffington Post did with Method Man from the Wu Tang Clan. The article is in the news section of the Pitchfork site. The article does a good job of summing up what happened in the video, and it was released about an hour before I read it. That is probably the strongest element of the article, and the news section in general, because having news that is so up to date it is posted an hour before I looked at it is amazing. For true music enthusiasts and people who want to be well informed about their favorite musicians that is somewhat of a godsend. Having a link to the video at the end of the page is a smart idea as well because for those people who have time to watch it helps illustrate what the article is about. This particular article was about the album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” Only one copy of the album was made, in the hopes of creating a “true work of art.” Method Man somewhat discredits the idea as being a good one, and thinks that no one hearing the album commercially for 88 years is ridiculous. In his words, “F*** that album.”
  18. 18. Sufjan Stevens Interview http://pitchfork.com/features/interviews/9595-true-myth-a-conversation-with-sufjan-stevens/ From The Pitch Features Interview is of Sufjan Stevens, a veteran indie folk-rock-concept artist who is well regarded on Pitchfork and other sites Images throughout the article seem to fit Stevens’ understated theme: from black and white to matte and traditional, almost like they are trying to show Stevens is actually from another era The interview only briefly covers Stevens’ new album in particular, instead it focuses on the underlying motivations behind the album. o The album is entitled Carrie & Lowell, for his mother and stepfather. o His mother was a drug-addict who he didn’t know very well growing up; her death serves as the primary inspiration for the article This article is for enthusiasts because of the depth and background it provides. It would not appeal to somebody who wants a simple answer to the question: should I listen to Sufjan Stevens’ new album? Rather, it provides the framework for Stevens’ new album in particular, but also places this album into his musical career in general. The questions cover religion and his relationship with his mother, and are almost uncomfortably deep and intimate. In short, this article will appeal to those who want to know more about the why and how music is made, rather than what music to listen to.
  19. 19. Review on Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/20326-skrillex-and-diplo-present-jack-u/ This is a pretty harsh review on the collaboration of EDM artists Skrillex and Diplo and their newest album. The author explains that the previous album put out by Skrillex was promising in the sense that it seemed he was going “deeper” than just strong norms known to EDM music. However this album did not meet up with these standards in the eyes of the author. It was obvious the author was an enthusiast for music that had some sort validation with deeper meaning either through lyrics or being artistic, not someone who enjoyed popular music. At one point he made fun of the album saying he would not be surprised if Justin Beiber used a part of it for a bridge. This would be an effective review if the audience has the same enthusiasms for musical aesthetics as the author. However for someone like me who is somewhat of an enthusiast for the loud annoying party music this review portrays, the extreme bias is a bit of a turn off to read.
  20. 20. All outside works referenced appear on the Pitchfork.com website. Any individual articles, authors, or artists mentioned are linked appropriately on the respective slide.

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