With some many amazing new independent/self-recorded acts coming out of the Triangle area, why is this paper giving any space to a band like Delta Rae? That mainstream music sounds like mainstream music isn't newsworthy. They'll get plenty of attention elsewhere; let's keep IW as a space to celebrate (and help others discover) all the awesomeness in our musical community.
Give us something fresh to listen to.
I get that it's Grayson's job to review bands, and this band just might not be everyone's cup of tea. But that does not make it totally OK to spit fire and ruin everyone's impression on these lovely people before they've even met them. Everyone has their opinions, but I want everyone who is reading this comment to go to Youtube, search up Delta Rae, and see how wrong Grayson really is.
Didn't indie music originally aim to get away from the sort of culture that gives rise to overtly mean, I'm-trying-to-hurt-you reviews like this? I thought indie musicians were revolting against exactly this sort of approach to music. As far as I can tell, Pitchfork (which I mention because of Mr. Currin's position there, and because this review is exactly the sort of thing that Pitchfork likes to publish) has filled the role of the major labels: it's become a taste-making behemoth, a juggernaut that has a hugely disproportionate impact on who succeeds and who fails. Rather than being genuinely independent, musicians these days are instead *quite dependent* upon the approval of writers like Mr. Currin (and his pornographic obsession with being a ----head, to borrow a flourish from his review above). Articles like this are exactly what's wrong with the (indie) music industry. Mr. Currin's review is, as someone put it to me, fighting bull---- with bull----. I mean, he complains about commercialism. Is Pitchfork, the global media epicenter of "hip" music, not an immensely commercial enterprise? It gives bands great reviews and then hosts a concert at which those bands play. Talk about a commercialist conflict of interest!
In sum, remember when Hipster Runoff said something unnecessarily mean-spirited about Bon Iver? And remember what Justin Vernon tweeted in response? If not, here it is:
@hipsterrunoff who are you? You ----ing totally suck. I really dont enjoy your situation. As people/person. #gonnawatchgettysburgnow
His point: if you don't have a specific compelling reason to bring a band down (e.g., they sympathize with Nazis), then don't say anything at all. I don't see why Mr. Vernon's point doesn't apply to this music review by Grayson.
PS. I am not defending Delta Rae. My point is much more general. Personally, I don't care for their music at all -- those songs are so banal, to my ear, that I feel like I've already heard them ~1,000,000,000 times before. I thought Indy Week was supposed to be about building up local bands that they like. Delta Rae has already gotten all the attention they need. So, *why is Indy Week wasting space writing a bad review of Delta Rae when they could be writing a good review of one of the many up-and-coming bands from the area?* Come on, guys.
The first time I saw Delta Rae peform live while working at a local music venue, I said to myself, "that band will make a million dollars one day." Why? Because their music is part of the new school of country-pop crossover that has taken over Top 40 in the last decade. And they do it well. What they offer up is an overly-simplified and pop-slathered take on the rich southern gothic music tradition. The songs are catchy and you can tap your foot to them and you might even find yourself singing along. But you can say that about Ke$ha too. So where does that leave them? The band are nice kids and I'm sure their hearts are in the right place. But it's not art. Nor will it ever be. It is pop with a twang. Pure and simple. Congrats to them on the major label deal. I'm sure opening slots for Taylor Swift and Zac Brown will be here soon enough. And they'll finally make that million dollars. But it won't make this album any better. It just won't.
After reading the review and the comments section (Oh feisty triangle, I miss you), I decided to grab a cup of tea and cue up "Carry the Fire" on Spotify for a nice little morning listen myself.
Let's be honest, the women really drive the vocals in this group. All of the female led songs are pretty good, even if it they remind me of that annoying theater girl from high school... or any glee episode. Seriously, cant you just picture Lea Michelle singing along to this? Fire (the namesake?) wants so badly to be Adele it's fun to listen to them try. And bottom of the river is a catcy earworm of a jam, but it does seem that they are trying to portray a more hollywood version of the south than they really know. I think these songs are where the fervent fans are bubbling up from, and it's probably fair: these women have pipes and there's a market for glee-rock. As for the male led songs, well Grayson nailed it. They're Sufjan at best, chic-fil-a-family-values-christian rock at their worst, and absolutely forgettable. If I have to hear them say "lift you up" one more time I think I'm going to cancel my spotify subscription.
The practice of critiquing a critique on here is pretty fun to follow, but it points out that this band has adamant fans... even if they're more similar to beliebers than to the awesome musicians/fans who truly make up the triangle music scene. But that's probably why they were signed to Sire to begin with.
The editorializing in the announcement of the band's signing was reprehensible -- that's what blog posts are for -- but reviewing records is Grayson's job, folks, not cheerleading. And I think he explained pretty even-handedly where he feels the record fails and succeeds, and put the record in a broader context. Are y'all just used to getting your record reviews from People Magazine?
Grayson you certainly are entitled to your opinion and music is a personal ear.... but you are an embarrassment of credibility to authentic good faith writing that readers are looking for when reading . Do you feel better? Perhaps when you are in the classroom of silence after you are fired some humility may return. Until then grayson you simply put me in a bad mood. But it could be worse....I could be married to you.
This review is so unmitigated in its negativity that it seems personal; it seems malicious and angry instead of objective. I expect better from The Independent. The author of this piece doesn't have to enjoy the record, but it is simply insane for him to attack Delta Rae on the grounds that he does and with the language that he does. ("Pornographic"? Really?)
This band is exceptionally talented and hardworking -- and on top of that, it is a group of kind and down to earth people. They paid their dues for years in small venues and just because they're good enough to be signed to a major labe nowl, this doesn't mean they are prefabricated or inauthentic. Eric and Ian write all their songs, and their lyrics are both heartfelt and well-written. There's tons of prefabricated crap out there, and Delta Rae is the EXCEPTION to that. The Triangle is lucky to boast genuine talent whose music resonates with a lot of people. These kids deserve support, but at the very least they deserve respect and decency -- which is sadly lacking here.
This band is going to go down as one of the greats, no question about it. Give the album a listen!
Good for Grayson for calling a spade a spade. This "local" band doesn't need the Indy's support, nor the support from any discerning listener (nor do they deserve it). Using their major label status as a touchstone of authenticity is a woefully uninformed argument. Getting signed to a major label these days doesn't mean a whole lot more than the label knowing they can make a ton of money off you. They don't take risks on artists who want to grow or do things that might not appeal to millions of people and as such Delta Rae is a great choice, being a prefabricated, soulless mess that is ready for cookie cutter commodification.
And to say that Delta Rae is part of the local music scene is a joke. How can you even begin to say that this band is a worthy medium for Southern musical expression and local pride when you have bands like Megafaun and Midtown Dickens who clearly understand so much more about Southern vernacular and perspective. When was the last time this band even played in the Triangle? Grayson nailed it when he said that this band has essentially taken a really wonderful, timeless thing and figured out how to make a ton of money at without really investing much of themselves or any effort into it. Stop hiding behind hipster bashing and take a minute to realize that this garbage is made at the same factory as the crap you hear on top 40 radio but only slightly better disguised.
Who is Andy Bernard? You are as bad as Grayson with his obscure "look what I know" references. Funny how big time critics and producers love Delta Rae but small town small minded individuals in Durham (or Raleigh,Chappel Hill) know better. For the record Delta Rae is one of the best bands ever to come out of the Triangle, its sad they get respect everywhere but home!
Delta Rae is the type of band Andy Bernard would go apeshit over. This album is truly, laughably bad, but I guess I could understand people liking it if they've never heard anything else to come out of the Triangle besides American Aquarium.
Ugh, you keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean. Put the thesaurus down (as well as your lensless hipster glasses) and actually listen this time. You're qualifications as a music critic with such blatant negativity toward completely surreal talent ensures most from taking you too serious.
Now come clean my man... Brittany refused to date you, didn't she? Dude, just let it go.
Delta Rae is so good and this guy is out to lunch (taste in his mouth--LOL!). Go hear them at Cats Cradle this Friday and make up your own mind. If you like them tell this chump where to go!
It was Boo's Hideaway, not Blues Hideaway. Otherwise, great article!
Poor little Grayson, grew up wanting to be a musician but had no talent, went to school to be a biologist but failed at that too! But there was a position at the backwater tabloid INDYWEEK.com for a music critic and since they had no standard Grayson got the job! Now he can tear down those who not only have the musicianship, the writing chops and 4 blazing voices that CMJ said "...are unique, and strong in their own right, but when they hit their gospel-influenced four-part harmonies, they sound like an entire choir, truly becoming greater than the sum of their parts." but who are also very nice folks! Delta Rae has just released their first LP and completed a US tour where they sold-out renown music venues nationwide, performed on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" and received rave reviews in LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, NY and Philadelphia! They are one of the shining stars emerging from Durham, N.C., and Grayson is hell-bent on doing something about that! Why not? What do critics in the biggest music cities in the world (LA, NY) who like Delta Rae know about good original music? Why should we listen to accolades in Billboard, RollingStone and the NY Post when we have Grayson to set us all straight.
Delta Rae is an amazing band and you should listen to them not this music-critic want-to-be. Here's a point of reference: Grayson states, ""Hey, Hey, Hey," the debut's nominal closer, is simply a terrible" while the NewYork Post on July 25th reported that famed music executive "Seymour Stein (discovered Madonna, Ramones,TalkingHeads) told the crowd it was Delta Rae’s ditty, “Hey, Hey, Hey,” that “sent me running from my office in excitement a year ago.” after which he signed them to Sire Records and Warner Brothers! See the NY Post article here and please grow beyond little-sour-grapes-Grayson and his sad myopic opinions!
There seems to be this running irritation that the music department of IndyWeek has for Delta Rae. They were snarky the first time they reviewed one of the band's concerts, downright dismissive when they reported that the band had signed with Sire, teeter toward pessimism in the cover story by Klein this week, and now systematically find fault with just about every single on the record.
Did one of the Hölljes clan shoot your puppy or something? Here we have a very talented band, a band capable of show-stopping performances and with the potential to break big nationally, based here in Durham. Why on earth can't you be a little more supportive?
Is "Carry the Fire" perfect? No, it's not. Having followed the band since they opened for Carbon Leaf at a concert we attended up in Richmond, I can point to certain songs that I feel have been overly polished and glitzed up or ones that simply don't make sense. But it's a good enough debut record to help these musicians on their way to achieving their dreams and every person I've shared it with or played it for has found something they like or a song that stuck in their head.
Please rethink your approach, Klein and Currin, before you drive all of our homegrown music talent away with your attitudes.
I've seen Delta Rae live many times and know all of their stuff by heart. This cat is WAY OFF!!!
Wow! I must be listening to a different album. I'm not a fan of diatribe railing, and that's all this review consists of.
Honestly? Alright, now let's real talk for a second. I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I love this band, the best music I've ever heard. Give them your ear, people. Despite what Grayson says.
So wait, did you like it, Grayson? Good lord, tell us how you really feel. For anyone who wants an opinion that isn't quite so determinately arrogant and hateful, please hear me out....
Carry the Fire is currently the only album my entire family is listening to. Everything that Sir Grayson finds irritating, we find exhilarating. The music is soulful, sweeping, goosebump inducing and unique. Delta Rae wears their passion and love for the dramatic on their sleeve. The harmonies are pitch perfect and a thrill to sing along with and the songs are varied, providing something for everyone. I've made fans of tons of friends and family with just one listen.
I've never heard of you, Grayson, but I think you're a scrooge. You probably think Christmas is for chumps and puppies are stupid. I imagine that Delta Rae loves both Christmas and puppies.
Contrary to your bashfest above, Delta Rae obviously has some chops or you wouldn't be reviewing them, they wouldn't have been on The Tonight Show and Seymour Stein wouldn't have signed them. He signed the The Talking Heads and The Ramones, too, Grayson. Do you hate them?
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