POZ Contributor Blog: Neil Rubenstein - SDRE Scouting Report: Opinion Does Not Overrule Fact

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 1, 2013

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Neil Rubenstein is returning for his first Contributor Blog in ages, and is responding to POZ’s March Sadness Scouting Report that we just recently posted. Neil discusses the important of Sunny Day Real Estate and how it affected emo on a while. Check out what he had to say below!

The word used was “important.” Last week Bradley Ankrom tweeted that in his opinion, Walter Schreifels’ greatest achievement was Rival Schools. My issue here is, although I LOVE Rival Schools, and owe them an extremely great debt of gratitude for turning my life around in more ways than many of you could imagine, Quicksand was the greatest achievement. 

Quicksand’s Slip is one of the MOST influential albums of the past 20 years. And next year it will be of the past 21 years. And so forth. Their influence stretches so much further then any of us even grasp. The bands they influenced, in turn influenced others, for better or worse. Influence determines importance. Important records are an inarguable achievement. There are rarely more than 20 or so a decade. Rival Schools did not change anything, outside of individual lives, myself included. Quicksand changed EVERYTHING.

Zack said SDRE Diary is “as important as Clarity,” Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity. The importance of Zedd’s Clarity is yet to be determined. But that dude is gonna do some things. JEW’s Clarity came out in the midst of a flurry of similarly sounding albums, on the tail end, if I’m being frank, of a ‘scene.’ Before that record came out, several albums made similar waves in the industry. You could even point to Pinkerton as the record that broke new ground FOR Jimmy Eat World.

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PropertyOfZack Contributor Blog : : Neil Rubenstein

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 5, 2011

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Neil Rubenstein is back for his fifth Contributor Blog and his first in a long time and we couldn’t be more glad to have him. In his new blog, Neil discusses a recent interview Ian MacKaye did that focussed punk, Fugazi, and underground movements. In the past, Neil has discussed Kickstarter, major labels, and Rebecca Black, among other things, but his new blog may be his best. Read up on Neil’s thoughts below!

The Year That Punk Broke 

I just finished reading that awesome interview with Ian McKaye on Pitchfork. And just before that, Dennis Lyxzen, telling us how he really feels about angry/sad metalcore.

For those that know me, know that I am about as stuck in the past as one can get. But I am also extremely eager about the future and pretty entertained by the present. There isn’t an era of music that I brush off. Certainly a subgenre or two I could do without, but not an era.

And although I think the idea that Ian presents, of punk getting broken is funny and poignant, I do think it is an old man way of thinking. Something the older generation could say about my generation, before my generation became the old generation. 

One of my favorite conversations with people of my age, or sometimes a little younger, is the conversation that begins “there will never be another Fugazi.” Or Nirvana. Or Pink Floyd. Or Whomever. 

We can’t say that. We can LOOK BACK on a body of work. We can SEE exactly what those bands did. We can’t look ahead to see how history remembers Brand New or (god forbid) A Day To Remember. But that’s me being an old jaded dick. Just because I can see where ADTR went wrong, a 16 year old (smarter than I) thinks they are the bees knees. And that’s his/her prerogative. 

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PropertyOfZack Contributor Blog : : Neil Rubenstein

by Zack Zarrillo - May 23, 2011

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Neil Rubenstein is back for his fourth Contributor Blog and we couldn’t be more glad to have him as he gives his opinion on yet another controversial topic in the music industry: Major labels. In the past, Neil has discussed Kickstarter and Rebecca Black, among other things, but his new blog may be his best. Read up on Neil’s thoughts below!

Why You SHOULD Sign To A Major Label

Because it doesn’t matter. And soon it will matter even less. And because outside of your friends, family and (if you’re lucky) your small music community, no one gives a queen’s ass about your band, your youtube channel, or your twitter feed. As proven by all of your (and mine) twitter feeds, youtube channels and bands.

The fact is you are NOT going to get rich and/or famous playing music. And only the EXTREMELY lucky and talented and creative and handsome can even make a living off of their art or music or whatever. The best musicians I know make their money working for worse bands that are way luckier.

And as I pointed out earlier, NO ONE CARES. At All. About you or your band. Period. So if someone with a check book comes along and says they are willing to help, be extremely cautious about your decision to “DO IT YOURSELF” before telling said person or persons to shove it.

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PropertyOfZack Contributor Blog : : Neil Rubenstein

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 15, 2011

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Neil Rubenstein is quickly becoming our most contributing Contributor, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Neil is not afraid to speak his mind, and whether you agree with his points or not, that’s something that no one should take for granted. In his new blog, Neil takes on the topic of Kickstarter, a tool that has been used by many bands as of late and is quickly becoming a very talked about item. Read up on it all and enjoy!

Knock it off with the Kickstarter.
 
First off. It’s a terrible look.
Feels like the guy on 28th & 7th with the sign “No Family, No Job, PLEASE HELP.” I give him change out of pity, not out of respect for his artistic integrity.
 
Here’s my problem.
Assuming you ARE in fact a DIY band or rapper or whatever it is you think you are (‘cus clearly you aren’t a pizza delivery person): Kids are paying $10-$16 per show to see you play. Add to that fees from ticketmaaster or whatever purveyor of paper or godforbid paperless (convenience charges?) tickets. Kids are paying $15 - $25 for your shirt. And kids are probably paying for your music in one form or another. Because, let’s be honest, despite what everyone wants us to think, the loyal fan is buying your CD or your LP, or three copies of your die cut 7 inch so they can sell one on EBay to make back the SHIPPING COSTS of the one they listen to and the one they keep sealed. So why are you asking them to give you ANOTHER $10? For your fucking autograph on CD? Then why do I need to go to your dumb instore? Or a personalized  tweet? I got a tweet for you, just for you: Fuck your @mother.

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PropertyOfZack Contributor Blog : : Neil Rubenstein

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 1, 2011

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PropertyOfZack is glad to be welcoming back Neil Rubenstein for his second Contributor Blog. The subject of Neil’s blog this time revolves around Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and his opinions on how the industry works in situations like these. Neil will continue to write his thoughts for us every few months. You can check out his blog here for more of Neil’s thoughts in the meantime howeverClick “Read More” to read the full post!



I don’t understand the problem everyone has with this.
 

ARK Music is essentially the mall modeling scam. Sure – there are victims. But Rebecca Black and her family are NOT victims here. Spoiled brats, sure. But not victims.  They are the success that Patrice Wilson will use to eventually scam more young girls and their shitty, self obsessed, DBag parents.
And if we are honest with ourselves and our industry – what he is doing isn’t much worse than what anyone else is doing.

The Black’s had to pony up some cash on a huge gamble, but any band / artist that ever made any money for anything has been charged back for some fictional marketing costs. Or my favorite is the ‘damages’ charge on digital recordings. So let’s not pretend like anyone pulled one over.

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PropertyOfZack Contributor Blog : : Neil Rubenstein

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 4, 2011

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PropertyOfZack is thrilled to be debuting our new Contributor Blog with Neil Rubenstein. Neil has been around the music industry and Long Island’s music scene for a long time. You may know him from Sons Of Abraham, the linear notes of Taking Back Sunday and Brand New records, and Sons Modern, among many other things. We see Neil as being a great fit to this feature because he not only has a perspective many of our other Contributors do not, but he is also not afraid to speak his mind. In the blog that you’ll read below, Neil discusses how creating music has so radically transformed in recent years in an unproductive way by example of a specific song and music video that can also be watched below. Neil will continue to write his thoughts for us every few months. You can check out his blog here for more of Neil’s thoughts in the meantime howeverClick “Read More” to read the full post!



The problem isn’t that this is awful. Because you are entitled to make whatever artistic expression you wish to make. The problem is that these kids aren’t even trying. They aren’t even working at this crap. They just threw it together. And not the video, the video being horrible is just an extension of the Tim & Eric school of being awful and lazy. The music is thrown together. She obviously never worked on her vocals. He never worked on his breathing. This is typical for our conception to release mentality of creating music.

There was a time when a band or artist had some writing/jam sessions, figured out what they wanted to do, recorded a demo, played some shows, recorded new songs for a 7 inch, then demo’d new songs for an album, then recorded those songs. Now you decide over cheese fries, high as a kite 2AM on a saturday morning that you want to sound like Brokencyde (I don’t get that) and by the time your parents are home from church you have a YouTube channel and facebook page and are on your way to 50,000 views and a blurb on AbPunk.

And that’s what’s wrong  with this. At least put some work into it. Sell it to me. Make me think at least YOU mean it. I don’t believe you for a second, dude with a lip ring.

At least Brokencyde make us believe them. They want you to know how angsty they are. And I believe them. I believe they are SO MAD that the age of consent isn’t 12. And I get that frustration. I have felt frustration in my life. Over different things, but still, I get it.

These kids…. not so much.

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