Get a real reviewer
The recent review of The New Deal show [On the Prowl, "Mindlessness: Pleasures and pretense of a mechanical man," October 30] was absolutely the most off-base, unintelligent, and generally ignorant review I have ever read anywhere.
It is poorly written by someone who obviously doesn't know much about instruments and live music, and who seems to have an obsession with DJ's. The band doesn't claim to be a DJ; they are the exact opposite– three musicians reacting to each other in real time, on real instruments, creating the music.
Anyone can spin someone else's tunes and call themselves DJ Whatever, but a lot of people want to actually watch the music being created when they pay to see live music. A lot of live music enthusiasts like electronic music, but find DJ shows to be utterly boring and lame, as all they are doing is spinning discs and hitting some buttons once in a while. (I'm not trying to offend DJs, as I really like some of them, and the best actually create their own sounds and songs.)
When I pay to see a show, I want to watch what the musicians do. I want to know that the show I experienced was a unique moment in time. DJs often do the exact same stuff night after night, and the material on their CDs and vinyl is clearly static, not dynamic. Yet you make them out to be gods compared to The New Deal.
Sure, a song someone spent weeks on in a studio that a DJ spins might have more depth and dynamics than The New Deal live– that's the difference between live music and studio productions. Let me get it straight– three musicians who create all of their own music are an insult to DJs who put on a record someone else created and hit "play"? Give me a break.
People are sick of non-musician journalists hijacking music reviews. They should be about the music, not about the journalist's over-the-top attitudes and contrived attempts to be witty. How about talking about the New Deal and their songs and sound in terms of their uniqueness– a live band doing progressive house (electronica) music– instead of creating this whole DJs v. New Deal non-existent fantasy.
Why not bag all the pretentious indie attitudes, and get someone who enjoys a variety of music to review shows instead of someone who just wants to vent anger and push his own agenda.