Recent review a bit overboard?

Discuss our reviews or just talk about any old album.

Mr. Manos

Postby jonathansears » Tue Jul 15, 2003 8:17 pm

Mr. Manos-

May I call you that? Good. In your original post, you say:

TakeMeToManos wrote:Perhaps such words should be saved for professional recording artists, not a group of college guys.


Please explain to me how phrasing a comment (one in which you perceive to be rude and unprofessional) based upon the name of an album is acceptable to you if it is toward a professional artist who has released a commericially available album, but not towards a college group that has released a commercially available album??

Are you saying that because somebody is making a living at music, they can be targeted for harsh reviews, but because an album was released by a group of students at an institution of higher learning we must refrain from being honest?? Nevermind the fact that both albums are equally available to the public for purchase.

Are you suggesting that college groups get preferrential treatment in a reviewing process over professional groups?

You just don't make sense to me, Mr. Manos. If you think we (or I) handle things in an unprofessional way, then I'm sorry. To each his own and let bygones be bygones. I dont find the comment in the review to be rude or unprofessional. I find it to be a play on words that should be seen strictly for the humor it was meant to convey. Again, I feel that the groups know what they're getting themselves into when submitting an album for review. Groups continue to re-submit albums, even after bad reviews, so we must be doing something right.

I guess you just can't make everyone happy.
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Postby TakeMeToManos » Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:02 am

I think the rest of the posts by others on this issue speak quite nicely to that fact I'm not alone in my thinking. If you're "confused" as to my thinking, maybe one of them put it a better way..

As for bygones being bygones, I'm all for that... And that Mr. Manos has a nice ring to it! (Though I'm not too sure why you assume I'm a mister!).
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Postby Neil » Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:20 am

That's why we just looooove anonymous posters.

*violent rolling of the eyes*
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Postby groundrounder » Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:59 am

yey for anonymous posters! power to the people~!
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audition numbers?

Postby groundrounder » Wed Jul 16, 2003 8:00 am

how do people run auditions, and how many people tend to show up to your auditions? this is pure curiosity. oh, and someone add on yale's psycho overkill processes.
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Postby Neil » Wed Jul 16, 2003 8:01 am

You might wanna redo that post as a new one... that seems to be what you want.
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Postby TakeMeToManos » Wed Jul 16, 2003 8:43 am

Thats why I love guys who suck up on the RARB message board, so maybe one day, they too will be RARB journalists!
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Re: audition numbers?

Postby ariel » Wed Jul 16, 2003 8:49 am

groundrounder wrote:how do people run auditions, and how many people tend to show up to your auditions? this is pure curiosity. oh, and someone add on yale's psycho overkill processes.


start this as a new thread - you will get tons of replies, and people might not see it buried deep in this one. definitely worth talking about.
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Postby Neil » Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:00 am

Big words, Mr. 4-posts-and-out.

For the record, I enjoy a cappella a great deal. I also enjoy sharing my opinions about it. Hence, me here on this board, sharing opinions, and allowing people to converse with me about it in whatever manner they wish - board, email, aim... it's something I like to think lends some weight to my opinions:)

Seriously, anonymous posting simply allows you to post things you'd never post if somebody actually knew who you were... and that's not a good thing. *shrug*
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Postby eksingpuccusser » Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:29 am

To respond to what Neil said:

"However, throughout the review, he mentioned that he owned quite a few U of R CDs, and he was really writing from a place of familiarity. When a group you previously thought was doing great work turns out something 'less great,' the tendency is to assume a familiarity with the work and assume the guys on the other end know and respect you as a prior fan."

The EDITOR of Rarb, Hanna Stotland who has reviewed 3 previous Yellowjacket Cds stated, and I quote, "I'm pleased to report that the newest release continues the upswing shown in Darwin's Gambit."

For everyone who is unfamiliar with the recordording history of the Yellowjackets, they met their peak with Wilson Boulevard, and almost maintained that excellence in their next amblum Common Time. After Common Time the Yellowjackets fell into that which was Visions; one of their worst albums to date. After Visions came Darwin's Gambit, and now, Nature's Call.

Surprisingly, Visions...though lacking in quality when compared to both Darwins Gambit and Nature's Call, recieved higher numerical markings then Nature's Call. This again where Hanna's quote come's into play. This is truley the travesty that is Joshua Diamant's Nature's Call review. Not that it was rude and disrespectful. But that it left the numerical score below the standards of previous RARB reviews. Once a historical precedent has been set, that precedent needs to be followed to ensure the survival of a working, organized, and understandable system. I mean c'mon; ones and twos, those are scores RARB gives to out of tune high school groups. And even then they're nice about ti in the review.

I myself own the latest six CDs of the Yellowjackets, so I like to believe I have a reasonable grasp on their musical history.

I challenge everyone to go to the Yellowjackets website (www.jackets.org), listen to the audio clips (or better yet buy the CDs), and tell me I'm wrong

P.S. I myself am not a student at U of R, I'm simply a fan of the Jackets and all other quality a capella music
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Postby Neil » Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:56 am

A quick glance at past reviews will show that their recent albums have declined a bit from their glorious late-'90s peak. I own several of their CDs and can corroborate this.


That's taken straight from Mr. Diamant's review. I understand that you and Hanna have probably a greater extent of personal experience with the music, but I'm just taking his review at face value. I'm not going to try to tell him he doesn't own several U of R CDs.

Also, just because there is a numerical standard set by others, doesn't mean anything in a personal review. Honestly, if I gave you a disc to review, asked you to grade it from a one to a five - then told you that previous discs had been graded at particular levels, would you change your numerical standard? Personally, I think every reviewer has his or her own personal 1 thru 5 scale... and there's really not any other way of doing things. I look at every RARB review as an individual, try to take their personal experience into account, and judge for myself whether I agree with a review. If I disagree with it, whatever.

I can support the idea that the review should have used softer language. I CAN NOT support the idea that an individual reviewer should change his or her own style and musical standard to fit what the other people on the board are doing.
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Postby Mahka » Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:03 pm

any stat freak wanna compile individual reviewer's scores and post a mean median, and SD? just wonderin...like neil said...so what if someone got a 1 if that reviewer gives out an average of a 3.3? that would mean more than someone who gave a 4 on the same disc but averages a 3.9....in the first, the recording was pretty poor on their standards. on the second, the cd is only average...the same if the previous person had given it a 3...

i've been doing too much stats...someone save me!
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Postby eksingpuccusser » Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:11 pm

In the aspect that the INDIVIDUAL reviewer should not change their review based on precedence, I have to say Neil, that you are absolutely right. The problem lies in the individual reviewers power (within the couple year old three review system) to drastically (I'm sorry if I'm the only one who thinks an overall rating change of 0.5 or 0.7 is drastic) change the score of the overall review. I think something is wrong with the system. Personally, I preffered it when they had 5 reviews per CD. That way no one reviewer had an emmense amount of power. And you had more of a gurantee of an accurate reading. When you think about it...it's just like a science experiment. The more trials you do, the more likely you are to recieve a smaller percent error at the end of the experiment.
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Postby Neil » Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:15 pm

Hehe. :)

http://www.rarb.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=80

A discussion of this very point, complete with explanation from our magnanimous site admins.

Basically, damned if you do, damned if you don't.
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Postby eksingpuccusser » Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:43 pm

thanks....that's exactly what I wanted to see. So basically RARB is understaffed by 40% or 20% if its 4 reviews per CD.
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