Ripping Deusner

Regarding Stephen Deusner’s review of Mark Sultan’s $:

Nice scarf, btw.

He’s been fashioning harsh psych, rangey country, dreamy doo-wop, 50s juvie punk, and anarchic noise into strange, catchy, jubilant, occasionally jokey pop songs.“—> Good job of throwing in adjectives before every genre. Make no mistake about that. Your description really provides us an adequate look at Mark Sultan’s discography. Not.

Sultan also resumed his role as BBQ Show for another album (and a coloring book!) with friend and longtime cohort King Khan.” –> You had me, Stephen. You really did. From your meaty words to start, I thought you may have actually listened to Sultan before. But “BBQ Show”? You can’t make a rookie mistake like that. Not at this stage in your professional career.

Whatever banner he’s flying, however, the sound remains the same, and his latest effort– which isn’t titled so much as branded with a dollar sign– snaps and crackles with a familiar, flailing energy, as if any of these songs might fall apart at any moment.” –> The sound remains the same? This offering from Sultan is more musically diverse than most of what he’s put out in the past. You want the songs to fall apart. You are rooting against Sultan to start with. You want them to fall apart so you can listen to more Broken Social Scene.

“Ten of Hearts” may be one of his best doo-wop retreads, cutting through a lot of the revivalism to express something sincere and bittersweet, but there’s no reason for it to be five minutes long.” –> Why is there no reason for it to five minutes long? You make no attempt to explain why. And it’s not until the end of your review that you actually mention songs off of this record. Thanks for pointing out only what’s wrong with the album.

5 thoughts on “Ripping Deusner”

  1. What’s with the factual errors. That he is called “BBQ Show” is bad enough but this Pitchfork review claims that he was a drummer for the Spaceshits. He was not! He was drummer in the Sexareenos during the years following the Spaceshits. Why have people forgotten them?

  2. Idk, both bands’ material are out of print I believe, but you can get them on Amazon. I picked up a Spaceshits album, in which Sultan sang and sang quite well, of course. I have only heard some of the Sexareenos though.

  3. YouTube has some Sexareenos, it has this video that appears to be influenced by Herschell Gordon Lewis and there’s also one with them playing in Austin where Mark cannot be seen at all and you’ll notice the lead vocals are not Mark’s. There are a couple of other songs posted there also.

    Mark seemed to be defensive about his singing on the Spaceshits, not considering it to be singing at all, he sounds quite a bit different now, it’s one of his qualities that has been noticed in recent years.

  4. Yeah, I can see why Mark would feel that way. His vocals have clearly progressed over the years. If I had to show a newcomer some of his best vocal pieces, I wouldn’t go near the Spaceshits. By the same token, if someone asked me for some “crazy,” screaming vocals, I’d most likely refer them to the Spaceshits. That’s what I dug about them; he was a decent singer by garage/punk rock standards in the Spaceshits days, merely hinting at the phenomenal voice he would later grow into.

  5. Mark tends to downplay what he does, he can be dour about things, though some would say that modesty is the worst form of conceit. He often doesn’t seem to appreciate that people think highly of him, of his intelligence and capabilities.

    The Spaceshits vocals suit the material fine. By the way, I was curious about the credits on “$” because I don’t think Mark ever aspired to be a great technical guitarist – it’s not really his thing. I read that on this album there is some more intricate lead guitar work than usual. One of his collaborators on the record, who also worked on the Sultanic Verses, is known to be a very good technical guitarist and I think that he was probably the one doing the fancy lead guitar tracks. He played guitar for the Sexareenos and leads a Montreal band today called Red Mass.

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