...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Everybody's a Critic

A few years ago when a friend of mine was hanging out in my studio, she sat down at the piano and launched into a new song she wanted to share with me. I was enjoying the tune when, on the downbeat of the 24th bar, my cat Fuschia (an often ungainly feline) hurtled towards the piano and projectile-vomited onto the floor about five feet from my musician buddy. It was gross (and a little hilarious). Well, I thought. Everybody's a critic.

Why this precious moment came to mind today and took on a certain resonance I will presently relate.

This afternoon in an email from my friend Kimberlee, I learned that her zine, TOIL , got a cool shout-out in NARCOLEPSY PRESS REVIEW. She told me that my short-story, "Raven's Nest" (featured in TOIL #3) got particular special attention (in her words it received comments of a "starry-eyed" nature).


Naturally, I wanted to check out any celestially-inclined approbation being dispensed upon my writings, so I did some googling. An Australian zine-review blog came up (Blackguard) which had a review of Narcolepsy Press Review--apparently NPR's a zine only, there's no website. So, depending on the dictates of my need to hear what was said about my story, I may have to seek out the zine in question at the neighborhood zine-store (and yes we have those in San Francisco, cuz this is one cool town...in many ways).

Now, whilst I researched, I learned that googling "Narcolepsy Press Review" and "Margrit Eichler" dislodges from the cyber-chaos a rather negative review of True Margrit's 2005 release, SEAWORTHY on a myspace blogger page. I won't bother going into it in much detail--suffice it to say, my lyrics were referred to as, "purple prose" (I just use this parenthetical time-out to instruct, not to split hairs, but the words in songs are verse, not prose, though my lyrics may well refract violet hues in some prim prisms), the review went on to assert that listening to SEAWORTHY was "unpleasant", and then finally, my singing was unexpectedly praised...hmmm the latter was well-done. But the rest. Damn. Oh well.

On the other hand. If you were to google "True Margrit" and "Alan Haber" you will get Mr. Haber's site --buhdge.com-- with his wildly glowing review of our new album, THE JUGGLER's PROGRESS, wherein he bestows so many ego-inflating smiles and similies upon the True Margrit name that it's a wonder we aren't more insufferable. Among other nice comments, he declares:

"...following up the mastery of the knockout Seaworthy, is another propulsive, piano-as-attack-dog master-craft lesson in how to roll out the pop by investing the entire rainbow of emotion, peppered by a bubble of crusty ambivalence, in songs about foibles, follies and honest mistakes. Played, once again, by the ace, core trio of piano magician Margrit Eichler, bassist Gary Hobish and percussionist Andrew Bacon, Eichler's highly literate songs roll like little 3D movies--music made for IMAX theaters, widescreen imaginations, and air pianists everywhere...Set your CD device on play and prepare to be stunned with a song cycle that has no equal in these early days of 2010. Cherish the progress of this musical juggler. You too will wish you were the opposite man." (ALAN HABER, buhdge.com 3/28/10)

WOW~! I think he REALLY likes us. I say: Thank you, sir! Thank you.

I begin to digress. The point being. One reviewer's jewel-beyond-compare is another blogger's atrocity. We all have our proclivities, our likes, dislikes, loves, and hates. And I for one welcome them. For, how do we know the light of passion without the dark of revulsion? And the impulse to generate utterances, responses, and commentary is as old as cave-paintings, as natural as breathing. So, blog on bloggers! Comment commentators! Review (and re-view) reviewers! Masticate and ruminate and dispense discourse and opinions!

I may only post links & extensively quote the reviews that please me (my vanity presses me to assure the reader that we get WAY more positive than the negative genre) but that's my prerogative here on my cozy home blog. Sue me! I like to write rejection letters to rejection letters! I'm a critic too! I learned from my cat.