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Friday, December 12, 2008

Nic Harcourt Leaves KCRW

Los Angeles, Calif., (December 10, 2008) - LA, Los Angeles Times Magazine today announced the selection of Nic Harcourt as Editor at Large, Music & Culture. Beginning February 8, 2009, in LA's January/February double Oscar issue, Harcourt will contribute a monthly column inspired by his love of music and the culture of Southern California.
Harcourt has been hailed as the most influential DJ in America and ultimate music tastemaker because of his uncanny ability to forecast trends and identify emerging talent. His innovative approach will now provide LA readers with unparalleled insight into the always evolving music and culture hemisphere through his monthly "Listen Up" columns, which will feature a hand-selected playlist, his picks for upcoming local concerts, shows and/or events and Q&As with emerging artists...

Nic Harcourt's Top Ten Albums of 2008

1. Adele - 19 (XL Recordings/Colombia)
2. Mates Of State - Re-Arrange Us (Barsuk)
3. Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (Capitol)
4. Ting Tings - We Started Nothing (Columbia)
5. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely (Warner Bros)
6. The Broken West - Now or Heaven (Merge)
7. Dandy Warhols - Earth to the Dandy Warhols (World's Fair)
8. Duffy - Rockferry (Mercury)
9. Tilly and The Wall - o (Team Love Records)
10.Emiliana Torrini - Me and Armini (Rough Trade)

We really need to re-think our values of terrorism because this is surely a domestic act of intentional violence. This is completely my opinion, but under absolutely NO circumstances should the new Dandy Warhols or Coldplay appear on ANYONE'S top 10 list let alone "the most influential DJ in America." Harcourt was once the most influential DJ in America and I respect the hell out of him, however, he has been out of touch for quite some time now and it is time to pass the torch. Music is redifining itself by the day at this point and expanding its realms. If you're a DJ and can't even identify the music on iPod or Crayola commercials then I would seriously suggest rethinking your career.

Harcourt's replacement has been announced as Jason Bentley...lets take a look at his top 10 list.

Jason Bentley's Top 10 List

1. M83 - Saturday's = Youth (Mute)
2. Santogold - Santogold (Downtown)
3. Jamie Lidell - Jim (Warp Records)
4. Adele - 19 (XL Recordings/Colombia)
5. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings)
6. Juana Molina - Un Dia (Domino)
7. Little Dragon - Little Dragon (Peacefrog)
8. The Black Ghosts - The Black Ghosts (IAMSOUND Records)
9. Portishead - Third (Mercury Records)
10. Jazzanova - Of All the Things (Verve)

We're getting somewhat more appropriate at this point with The Black Ghosts and Portishead, but the new M83 is an exponential disappointment when put in contrast to earlier releases. Jason Bentley has the experience to take over for Nic Harcourt, but I speak for both myself and Cameron when I say that it is time for a change. Where is the originality in these lists? Sure the tunes are catchy, but they're not innovative and they are in no way breaking ground - all Harcourt and Bentley are proving is that Steven Pinker was correct in saying that "music is auditory cheesecake." Well I refuse to just sit here and let Pinker have the last laugh, music is a form of art and an extension of language. It is not just a plateau where we can surface and let bullshit like Viva la Vida or We Started Nothing become the remembered jewels of our time. These are not artists and I'd hardly call them musicians, they're patternists and only serve to create musical "cheese" for the following decades. I sincerely hope that in my lifetime the musicians which I love so dearly are praised beyond their cult-like fans. When will Zach Hill be on the cover of Rolling Stone or Tobacco headline KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas? When will The Red Hot Chili Peppers break up so that we can once again appreciate their back catalog without thinking about the atrocity of their latest releases? Most importantly, when will Disney stop corrupting the ears of children with the Jonahs Bros, Hannah Montana or The Naked Bros Band? When I was growing up Zenon: Girl of the 21st century had an awesome musical accompaniment and The Simpsons introduced millions of youngsters to the magic of Danny Elfman. Unless John Williams begins to score children's television in the next decade, generations to come will be doomed.

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for those who are interested in commenting, i leave you with these thoughts which i didn't address to the blog in general.

would it really matter to the readers of rolling stone if zach hill was on the cover? their ear has been so trained to the sounds of the mainstream that this would sound like shit to them. but is that underestimating the mind of the listener? i use no age as an example, who would have thought that pete wentz would become a fan and through him millions of americans! just one year ago no age was playing vegan markets and the smell, now they're in europe and it's difficult to go a day without seeing a shirt or ad with their name. media is at a crucial point where the masses are beginning to not just absorb what they're told but question the practice. baurillard touched on this in his writings and so did mcluhan, but mcluhan died a decade before mtv and baurillard has long since passed a stage where he would speak about independent medias. where is the voice of the blog world? where is our voice?
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