Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Texas Giggle

Cindy Chaffin from Texasgigs.com wrote a response to one of our posts in a comment thread, and we've decided to share it with you. Before you read, note that we aren't planning on starting a blog v. website bitch fest, and that this will be the last post on this subject. We aren't into personal attacks either, and you won't see that here. And judging by some of the problems that the guys at dconstruction had to deal with when they touched on a similar topic (and for the record didn't personally attack or say anything unwarranted about Cindy Chaffin), we'll repeat: nothing personal. We don't know Cindy Chaffin, she could be a wonderful human being, and we have no problem with her. And blah blah blah. Heres her post:

Cindy here from TexasGigs.com. I started TexasGigs.com 3 1/2 years ago as my own personal blog to...yeah...PROMOTE!!!!...the music scene, as a ***music promoter.*** There are a lot of local bands I think are amazing. There are tons more that I think suck. But the point...er...my mission was (and still is) to support and provide as much information as I could so that folks could make up their own mind as to shows to attend or CDs to purchase.

TexasGigs.com was (and still is) a passion for me. I will write about Salim Nourallah 'til the cows come home because I love the guys music and I love the guy. I'm a passionate gal, so I tend to send out messages of over-luvin' I suppose.

I think folks have misinterpreted some of the posts/stories. Just because I/we report news on bands, CD releases, shows, etc., doesn't necessarily mean we think they are the greatest thing ever. We are simply getting the information out there to the readers and supporting the scene as a whole.

If you look closely at the over 4000 blog posts I wrote over the past 3+ years, you'll notice that the bands I tend to gush over on a regular basis are the same dozen or so.

There are big buzz bands out there that lots of folks and critics rave about that I just don't get. But that's NOT the point of TexasGigs. It's there to offer information about the local scene, be it a garage band made up of 12 year olds who gig 3 times a month at The Door, to the Old 97's blow-outs at the Lakewood Theater. My personal favorite bands and then some are always going to be gushed over because...well because it's my site and I can do whatever the hell I want.

I started this little project to be exactly what it is, supportive, informational, timely etc. There are loads and loads of blogs, publications, etc. to tell us all how much we (me, bands, music, venues, etc.) suck. That just ain't my thing.

I merged with Pegasus News because they had the ability and technology to make the site more than just a gal and her blog. Now with lots of hands, opinions and tastes in music involved, you'll see a lot more than just my gushy posts and exclamation points.

Our Response:

1. The fact that she wants to "promote" the local music scene "as a whole" and as a "promoter" is precisely our problem. The music scene "as a whole" does not deserve to be promoted or supported, and the fact that people feel an obligation to do so is one of the main reasons that the Dallas scene, and many others like it suck. Of course its not really her obligation to make the scene any better, nor is it anyone else's, and we don't fault Texasgigs.com for that. Its just that many Dallas music consumers like us are fed up with being told that Daryl and Pleasant Grove are awesome or that Polyphonic Spree is a great "experience" or that we should "totally check out" some stupid Emo band at the Christian club in Deep Ellum. That is one of the reasons we started this blog: because we were bored to tears with Dallas music "as a whole," and with the generally positive tone of the media's coverage of it. We think that if people actually take the time to listen to local music and form intelligent opinions on it, a lot of the crap will go away and the better bands will get bigger... and better. So we agree with Cindy that there is some good music in Dallas, but that there are in fact "tons more bands" that suck.

2. Cindy's personal taste: We don't really know anything about Cindy's tastes, and therefore aren't attacking said tastes. However, part of the problem is that we have no basis for determining what Texas Gigs likes and doesn't like, which makes it hard for them to have much credibility in our eyes. Like we said, its the Boy that Cried Wolf syndrome: how can anyone be expected to take a recommendation from Texasgigs seriously when they seem to absolutely love everything they talk about? And while we realize that our site is little more than a collection of personal tastes in written form, we feel like we are pretty straight forward about what we like and don't like, and that this helps people decide whether we're worth reading or just completely full of shit. Of course people are free to make up their own minds just like they are when they go to Texasgigs or any other website, but it seems like a waste of time to go to a site that you know is going to promote any and everything that is happening on any given day. If that is what you're looking for, why not just go to the Dallas Observer concert listings and sort through it all? Many people don't have time to sort through all the crap out there, so geeks like us try to do it for them. And people can take it for what its worth.

3. The one thing that we think Cindy is totally wrong about is the statement that there are "a million blogs out there to tell us we suck." We pretty much assumed the same thing when we started this blog, but quickly learned that it just isn't true, at least as far as blogs that focus on Dallas are concerned. There really are very few that talk about Dallas/Denton music in any depth, which is why we've kept this up for the amount of time we have. Of course, Texasgigs is trying to serve a different purpose than we are, and maybe one day it will be a great website full of the kind of commentary that is worthy of a city with as many people and opinions as Dallas has. For now however, its just not something that we can support or recommend to anyone that wants to get beyond local scene gladhanding and find out what is really going on. Surely we can do better too, and there are probably a lot of people that think this site is total crap. But when it comes down to it, "folks (can) make up their own mind," and so will we.

Thanks to Cindy for her mature and thoughtful post, and also for reading and linking to our blog. We feel no ill will towards her, and it seems based on her post that she doesn't have any towards us either. Lets keep it that way.

JR- weshotjr@yahoo.com

42 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

clever title post. if you were in 3rd grade.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous zak said...

Man, some people take any criticism of TexasGigs really personally. It makes me laugh... Thoughtful post as always from J.R.

8:45 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

no way dude, you're the one thats in third grade!

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touche, whitey, touche.

Well spoken. You're not the only one who's as skeptical to the integrity of the loudest opinions around here. The whole annoyance of it all has forced me, a formerly active good local music seeker, into staying home every night and wincing at the mere thought of having to put up with all the crap involved with having to seek out what I once enjoyed. Is it worth it anymore? I will gladly leave the house if something sounds like it's worth my time.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just glad someone may or may not have knocked [Daryl].

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well.. bottom line... Salim Noullourah is still overrated

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

way

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[Shit]

3:17 PM  
Blogger wakka-wakka said...

Which is what made DConstruction's stance on Texas Gigs so funny in the first place. THEY FUCKING WORSHIP SALIM.

5:31 PM  
Blogger dconstruction.org said...

I find this last comment interesting. This whole debate - and my-flippin-Lord, am I tired of it - is about criticism, its usefulness, its place and its merits. I think the Third Grader and I agree that, yes, criticism is extraordinarily useful, when well-considered, forthright and neutral. Isn't that why you come to this site? Well-considered, forthright and, for the most part, neutral?

I do enjoy Salim's work. Very much. Hell, I played on the album and celebrated with him his wife's birthday just last night. So that's where I stand. But that TexasGigs also enjoys Salim surely doesn't invalidate dconstruction.org's stance in the debate over criticism vs. promotion, does it? Or that I do enjoy an artist's work and don't bash everything - that doesn't make me less of a critic, does it?

I can completely understand where someone might think Salim's work is over-hyped. Or that [DARYL] sucks. I disagree. But, I personally have never been overly impressed with Red Monroe - a WeShotJR darling - and I work with the guitarist, like him very much. These are opinions; they are unquantifiable and often unjustifiable. But they can be persuasive, and if persuasive enough, created and communicated in the right spirit with the proper thought, they can be "correct."

Or as correct as any human endeavor.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a tiring conversation. Salim is very good and so is Red Monroe. Regardless of what your "taste" in music is, there are certain people who do, what they choose to do, very well. Its all so damn relative anyways. People should just go to live shows and make up their minds.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dconstruction has a good point. Salim is not overhyped, [Daryl] doesn't suck, and Red Monroe is good...bla bla bla. But hey...isn't it great to have a forum (like this) where we can say things like "Black Tie Dynasty blows" and "Black Tie Dynasty is really embarrassing" and...so forth and so on...Everyone stay honest....it's fun.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use your own minds to decide what you like and what you don't. Don't get offended if someone doesnt like a certain band that YOU like or a blog that YOU read. It's their opinion. You've got yours. Being diverse is what makes this world interesting. Let's not all like the same shit and all hate the same shit. How boring.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, this post has nothing to do with the above conversation but I had to say that I just heard , like my second "Sparrows" song ever and I swear to God they are the worst band in Dallas. Seriously.

4:12 PM  
Blogger wakka-wakka said...

DConstruction:

What I meant to convey was that your stance on Cindy's TASTE is kind of funny to me, since, from what I gather from listening to your show, your taste seems somewhat similar. Yours is more refined, no doubt about it, but I think the three of you basically appreciate the same type of music--poppy, workmanlike, and somewhat introspective. I was not making fun of you (or Cindy) for your taste, or saying that your taste, because it's different from mine, invalidates your opinion, but merely that, to some extent, it invalidates your criticism of Cindy's taste.

And Salim N. is an obvious example of your common ground, although I could have just as easily used the band that was sitting right beside you when your statements regarding Cindy were made, the Valentines.

And I didn't mean to slag Salim, either. Not my cup of tea, really, but I respect what he does and can understand why people like him. I can't understand why he of all people doesn't like Bruce Springsteen (as I learned from your show), but that's another issue.

I have always agreed with your stance (and WSJR's stance) that Texas Gig's form of criticism, i.e., not writing about things they don't like, isn't really criticism at all. And that Dallas music, in the long run, benefits more from actual criticism, like yours, and not the "silence as criticism" approach preferred by Texas Gigs.

The bottom line: You're a critic, Cindy's a cheerleader, Red Monroe is so far underwhelming, and Black Tie Dynasty completely blows.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not so sure even what you wrote in the first place, but her comment back to you in no way seems negative - she's just clarifying her position, it seems.
room for all, room for all.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Scott Chaffin said...

I have always agreed with your stance (and WSJR's stance) that Texas Gig's form of criticism, i.e., not writing about things they don't like, isn't really criticism at all.

Even when it's spelled out for you in black and white, you geniuses just don't get it. Which one of these four words -- "I'm not a critic" -- is not understandable by you musical savants? It must be the "not". It's laughable, how obtuse you all are.

Well, I'm off to devise some new problems for the critics of my criticism of the critics of my wife's critical abilities on her non-music critic website. You will soon feel the awesome power of my wrath.

Can't leave without noting this, though:
The whole annoyance of it all has forced me, a formerly active good local music seeker, into staying home every night and wincing at the mere thought of having to put up with all the crap involved with having to seek out what I once enjoyed.

Boy, there's a real music lover. All of the suckitude of the Dallas Disco Boy in one sentence, better phrased as "Tell me what I'm supposed to do and where I'm supposed to go, and I'm going to cry my eyes out if you misjudge my tastes." Puss. Stay in and watch American Idol.

11:09 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

puss?

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, at least we can all agree on one thing.

BLACK TIE DYNASTY BLOOOOOOOOWS.

clearly, we can all cling to that when times get tough.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I'm curious? Why are you anonymous?

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

simple: i would like for my work to continue involving dallas and local music. i have opinions (Such as: Black Tie Dynasty Blows) and this is a great place to be able to state those opinions w/o having to put my foot in my mouth later when, in order to make money, i end up doing work for them..... see, i think they suck... but i KNOW that they (for some reason) have fans around here, play a lot of gigs around here, etc etc.... so it's mainly so i don't have to feel the sting of any groups who may be in love w/ BTD and would say "no, we can't work w/ that dude... he has no respect for 'great' musicians".

they wouldn't have an option of remaining anonymous if there wasn't a good reason.

and i wouldn't want a bunch of guys in skinny ties to find me and jump my ass while some DJ spins "girls on film" or some song by Nick Cave that according to BTD "you probably haven't even heard before" (b/c BTD is just THAT much more into music.... or they just KNOW that anyone who is a true fan of their music doesn't CARE about good music)

12:43 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

But how do you REALLY feel about Black Tie Dynasty? ;-)

1:07 PM  
Blogger jonofdeath said...

I found this post quite inspirational on what WSJR is about. I'm new to these parts, but I like what I see. Keep it up.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous ntbb said...

is anyone really getting their feelings hurt that anonymous people don't like what they're doing or don't like what someone else has to say? don't you feel good about what you do-whatever it is? is there really any need for other people to validate your opinions or are you totally secure and happy with your taste in music? if so- then who cares? ok, continue the volleyball match-it's kinda funny.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Scott Chaffin said...

i would like for my work to continue involving dallas and local music.

in order to make money

What I figured. A black-hearted capitalist. How much do you charge for your good reviews?

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

clearly, i don't write reviews.


...media artist (in otherwords, intermitantly unemployed)

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Scott Chaffin said...

Oh? What's this, then?

Wait, let me guess -- in-depth "criticism", and not "local scene gladhanding."

You're right, I can definitely tell the difference.

2:44 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

you're talking to the wrong person dumbass.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Scott Chaffin said...

Since everything is posted under the username stonedranger, most every post uses the royal we, and the comments are littered with anonymous replies and rebuttals, it's fairly difficult to tell who's saying what, dumbass.

Snappy comeback, regardless.

3:58 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

let me explain a couple things to you, pappy. And then I'm going to drop this all together because I'm getting sick of it.

I know you feel the need to get on here and defend your wife, which is fine, but you really need to relax and listen for a moment.

First, any time I post on here it will be under "stonedranger," and I will never post as anonymous. Why would I do that on my own site, especially when I'm anonymous already? Second, I keep my identity secret to avoid "gladhanding." Aside from a few of my close personal friends and a few select others(some of which help with the site from time to time), no one knows who I am. Not Undoing of David Wright, not Belafonte, not Undeniable Records, not ANY artist that I talk about on here. I do this so that I don't feel pressure to say good things about some bands and avoid saying bad things about others. I think this makes things a little more fair, although its not COMPLETELY fair to be sure. Nothing is.

And because of this arrangement, I basically get NOTHING for running this site. No real access to the "scene," no recognition, and certainly no money. So don't get on here and suggest that somehow because I like Undoing of David Wright and write positive things about them that its because of some hidden agenda to "promote" them or anyone else. All that I can offer is my honest, and mostly unbiased opinion. That is what I offered about Texasgigs. Sorry you didn't agree, but coming on to this site and picking little bitch fights with people really just makes you look silly.

You're welcome to come on here and talk about whatever you want at any time, and I'll continue to check in on Texasgigs every day. But until it changes, I refuse to tell people that I like it. And since it has become popular, it didn't seem that I could just leave it alone.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous KatieMac said...

I didn't find Midlake's last album all that incredible (though everyone who was anyone asked what was wrong with me). I told Midlake that, in an interview, which TXG has published. I wouldn't call it criticism, but I'm honest in my opinion, and with the band. Does that work for anyone?

and I do like Black Tie Dynasty and Red Monroe.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Point of TexasGigs is to have an opinion. If you went to a show you dindn't like then say so. If you disagree with a statement say so, that's what a blog is for......;)

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Scott Chaffin said...

Let me explain a couple of things to you, junior.

I don't feel much need to do anything on here, but most especially not to defend my wife from a bunch of anonymous dorks with a bone to pick about how she expresses herself and her opinions on her website. (BTW, sound familiar?)

But since you linked me, I'm going to join the fray. If that's just too damn much for you to deal with on your costs-you-nothing Google blogging account from which you quite deservedly get nothing, leave me out of whatever bitch fights you feel inclined to pick.

Do you get it now, kiddo? I'll spell it out for you, since you're clearly not too bright. You can't raise a complaint about someone else gushing and gladhanding, and then turn right around, gush and gladhand, and not be, quite simply, a hypocrite. No matter how honest and heartfelt your anonymous opinion is. And really, since you're anonymous, there's really no way for any of us to tell just how honest it is, is there? Outside of the clique that knows your secret identity, that is.

Now, put on your dunce hat and go sit in the corner. You can come back out and play with the rest of the web kids when you realize that your opinion stinks just the same as everybody else's opinion.

Last words of advice from your elder: clean yourself up and pull yourself together. #1, don't link me again until you're better prepared to deal with my mighty intellect. Your little music buddies let you get away with far too many obvious contradictions. #2, rapidly lose the free white-on-black template. It's very pothead Xanga. Put a little thought into it and show you care.

1:17 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

Oh, that Scotty Chaffin.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous KatieMac said...

Nope, the point of TexasGigs itself is not to have an opinion. It has evolved from a personal blog. The writers on TexasGigs can have opinions, and often do. More writers, more opinions. Right now, not so many writers, not so many opinions. But that will change as the staff grows.

Cindy's not ever edited my stuff, or asked me to take a different view. Neither has Paul at DMG. I don't think undo slamming of a band will ever fly with either, but nobody's saying 'only write nice things.' If you criticize, then have a point and back it up, and stand behind it with your name. That's how TexasGigs differs from this blog.

Which isn't a bad thing. It's good to have an open forum for needless slamming. Ain't gonna be anyone I write for, though.

11:38 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

you're dating one of the guys from Belafonte, aren't you?

12:09 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Can I enter this post as the "Best Way to Get Publicity" in the WSJR Awards?

PS- Can't we all just get along? Oh crap, that's how this whole thing got started anyway...um...Dave Matthews Sucks! Oh hell, I can't pull it off.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous KatieMac said...

Belafonte? Wow, I mean, of all the bands to choose.... Or were you talking to Scotty?

1:06 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

no, I was talking to you. I just thought your little jabs at the site were stupid. If you think that the slamming of some of these Dallas bands is "needless," then you obviously don't really give a shit about music. Not that you have to give a shit, but it seems odd that you would spend so much time talking about music if you didn't.

And also to imply that I don't have a point in slamming some of these bands and don't "back it up" shows that you don't really read the site. The only band that I've really "slammed" is Belafonte, and I did it because I felt like they deserved it. And then I said why I thought so in a fairly lengthy post. Other than that, I really haven't been that critical of very many bands (other than little one liners about Daryl and Polyphonic Spree here and there), contrary to popular belief. And since when does Texasgigs criticize bands and back it up? I haven't seen that ONCE on your site, and saying that you "didn't get" Midlake's album in one little sentence of one little article doesn't count. Didn't you people just get done telling me that you aren't out to be critical in any sense? If so, why are you now saying that not only are you critical, but that you are better at it because you put your names on your articles?

And how does having a name on an article affect the content of it in any way, or the validity of the opinions expressed therein?

If you would like to continue to have a discussion about this, then please email me at weshotjr@yahoo.com and I would be happy to talk with you in length.

But I'm not going to talk about this on this thread any further because I'm sick of it and it makes all of us look dumb. But if you would like to post a response on here, go ahead. I just won't respond to any more of these.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it have to end now? i wanted more of that "mighty intelect"

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To summarise:

1.) Scott Chaffin needs to get a job
2.) Black Tie sucks
3.) Texas Gigs is about as relevant to new music as a pair of pants is to a mermaid
and finally...
4.) Katie Mac is dating Belafonte

4:42 PM  
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