Extended Thoughts: Let’s Talk About ME!

So, today’s extended thoughts are going to be all about ME! Yaaaaaaaay!  Basically, there are a few things I want to get out in the clear, and since I’ve been having trouble coming up with new and interesting ideas for Wednesday posts, I decided to go the hilariously narcissistic route.  Yes, I do feel a little skeevy about this, but almost all of the following is in response to questions people have asked.


So, first off, I want to say a few things about my anonymity.  When I started this site, I really didn’t think too much about the anonymous aspect of it.  I knew that this would be separate from my other internet selves, but that’s just because I find it easier to have multiple twitter accounts for different things, than many different things going on in one account.  And to be honest, I really wasn’t thinking too much about any backlash against my “real” self (as a side note, I don’t quite understand that line of reasoning – I mean, I’ve still received a few ad hominim attacks – what does it matter at which internet persona of mine they are directed?) – I mean, I don’t have much of a reputation to tarnish anyway.  Really, I was more wanting to keep my other self separate from this one, because I didn’t want it to distract – basically, if you’re going to take issue with me, I want you to take issue with what I’ve said here, because otherwise I fear a lot of opposing viewpoints becoming not much more than “Well, I don’t see YOU doing anything better!”  Also, my true identity is quickly becoming the worst kept secret in wizard rock, and I haven’t tried too hard to stop it.  I’ve flubbed it up more than a couple times now, and you can probably wheedle it out of someone (though your response will probably be “Wait, who?”).


God, I love that thing.  Anywho, I’ve received a couple questions about my grading system, and it is as such – I go by the classic grading system, and all that that entails.  So, A = 90-100%,, B=80-90%, etc.  Where the percentages come in is pretty much the percentage of songs I liked.  Now, that’s not my hard and fast rule for grading things, but it is for example, why I gave Onward and Upward an F.  Yes, I did love a couple songs, and could listen to four more, but that’s still 6 out of 12, which is 50%, which is an F.  I also don’t offer “extra credit”, so an album with the three greatest songs I’ve ever heard in my life and and seven bad (though not the worst) songs, I’m still going to give it an F.  And then I’m going to recommend that you buy just those three songs, because iTunes lets you do things like that.  Also, the grades mean to me, on this site, what they originally meant – a C is average.  It’s a good score, and a grade of a C means you should pick that album up if you’ve got 10 spare bucks and want some music.  B is above average, and you really need to get this album, and should consider passing up a few cups of coffee to save up the money to buy it.  A is excellent, and means that you should go out and buy this album right the fuck now.  You don’t need food, this album is so good you will be able to absorb nutrients from its sound waves.  I don’t hand out a lot of A’s – and that’s not a dig at the wizard rock community, I’m a very hard grader in general – I mean, my entire life revolves around Harry Potter, and I’d give the entire series as a whole a B, maybe a B+.  Lastly, I am well aware of the Harry Potter grading system, but it doesn’t have as universally accepted (and precise) definitions for each letter.  If I’m looking for a bit more flexibility, I may eventually go with that system, but for now I’m gonna stick with the muggle way.


So, first of all, you can check out my schedule at any time via the link in the sidebar, but I might as well go over it again here, on the front page.  Basically, on Mondays I do reviews, on Wednesdays I do extended thoughts on something about the wizard rock community at large, and Fridays are a grab bag, but they usually will have something to do with lists.  Also, for every day that I am late in posting an article, I will post another that week.  Hence, look for another article either tomorrow or Saturday or Sunday or whatever.


So, I’ve already received a few requests for reviews, and I want to give a few “guidelines”.  Basically, if you ask me to review your album, I will definitely do it, but I will do it in my no-holds-barred style.  So if you want a critical analysis of your work, hit me up, I’ll see what I can do.  But if you just make wizard rock for fun, then you probably shouldn’t come to me.  I have nothing against making wizard rock for fun, but I know that there are plenty of wrockers who make it for fun, but also for something else, too.  Also, you can request a review of an album that you did not make, but it will be lower priority than requests from people that actually made the album.


So, here’s an extremely flexible outline of what to expect in the future: The extra post this week will be continued discussion of the concept of meta-wrock, next Monday will be the review of The Butterbeer Experience’s Beedle the Bard EP, the Monday after that will be a review of JFF’s Half-Blood Pizza album, and within the next couple of weeks, one of the Wednesdays will be tackling women in wrock again, and one of the Fridays will be my top ten (or maybe twelve) EPs from the Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club.


So, I came into the wizard rock fandom in late 2007, and I completely missed the Acid Quill drama llama.  The first thing I will say about them is that while I don’t agree with what they did or what they were about, I do think they had a cool name for what they were doing.  There has been some concern that I will turn into AQ, and that’s warranted, I guess, but this blog is all about the music.  I couldn’t give a crap about what wizard rockers do in their personal lives – that’s personal – unless, of course, they make a concept album about it.  So, don’t expect many posts from me about “couch-romping” or whatever.


So, now that you’ve sat through me talking about myself, I have a couple questions for you guys.  It was brought to my attention that the previous article needed some serious editing, and I’ll admit that I did absolutely no editing whatsoever, because I wanted to finally get the article up.  So, here’s my question for you guys – would you rather have consistent M-W-F updates that might sometimes need editing, with the possibility of better, edited versions later, or edited versions on an inconsistent “hopefully there are three updates this week” basis?  Also, if you chose the later, would you truly keep coming back to read with such a system in place?

Also, I have a question about the format of the main page – do you like having the full articles there, or would you prefer a more ‘pedia-esque way of things, with “jumps” and all that?

Thanks for sticking with this little experiment so far, and I hope to see you tomorrow! Or on Friday!  Whatever!  Peace out!


26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jarrod
    May 26, 2010 @ 12:58:16

    M-W-F consistent with penalty posts for tardiness.

    I think the title and first paragraph on the home page, clicking the link to get to the fullarticle. It will make navigating the “archives” easier.

    I think this is fun and I like that it’s getting the wizrock community off our collective asses and back online again. The death of MySpace has spread us out a bit.


  2. Whompy
    May 26, 2010 @ 13:01:51

    I think two posts per week will keep readers engaged. You can count on me to keep coming back and tweeting stuff that I find interesting. Other people will do so as well.

    I agree with Jarrod on the jumps issue. It would clean up the home page quite a bit.


    • Alli
      May 27, 2010 @ 05:37:08

      If you need to cut back the number of posts to provide time to edit, I think it’s worth it. You’re not entirely sure what to do with Fridays anyway, so why force it?

      I found the switching focus in the Demons review distracting, but when you came down to content you nailed it, so I think with some editing you’ll be able to churn out more powerful reviews. (Also maybe Matt won’t be able to nail you with contradictions. 😉 )

      I agree with everyone else regarding the jumps—it’ll make it much easier to navigate when we come back for your next review.

      Another suggestion: have a list in the sidebar for upcoming reviews. I’ve been very curious about which albums you’re hitting next and that might help bands/fans know which bands or albums to request you to review (that way you’re not getting requests for an album already on your schedule).

      I’m also very curious as to what album is NOT an F for you. I think you need to provide us a little more scale so we can have a clearer picture of how you’re grading.


  3. Russ
    May 26, 2010 @ 13:35:52

    I’ll take whatever you want to give, as long as it’s edited. Hell, I sit at a desk all day – I have no problem offering any editing help I can give, Mr Anonymous Wizard Rock Blogger Dude, if you’d like it.

    And I’ll third the “jumps” item – it’ll definitely help keep your main page a lot cleaner.

    Please – keep this up. I agree with J-Rod that it’s nice to see some healthy discussion. This is not a knock on the ‘pedia, but they have billed themselves as an informative/news site, and when they posted something slightly opinionated they were jumped all over mercilessly (specifically Dinah, who I felt got the raw end of the deal). I *like* that this site is here to get people talking, and is posting discussion-provoking articles that you’d most likely not see on the ‘pedia. I’d hate to see this go by the wayside like so many other wrock sites.


  4. Zoë (Split Seven Ways etc)
    May 26, 2010 @ 13:53:10

    Definitely go with the jumps – I’ve only just discovered them blogging somewhere else and they save so much energy. Plus there’s the fun of trying to think of a “hook” in the first paragraph…

    Agreeing with everyone that you should keep this up, and with Russ about the problems Wizrocklopedia have had. I really felt for Dinah when there was drama – it’s like the mean side of the wizard rock love-in shows when that happens. No-one loves the same things, or likes everything all the time. It’s a cliche but if we did, the world would be incredibly boring.


  5. David
    May 26, 2010 @ 14:18:54

    Personally? I’d rather have less consistent timings and have them edited. For one thing, I actually don’t know if I’ll be able to come back here and read three articles a week, every week. My life is generally very busy. So for me it’s all about quality rather than quantity… but that’s just me.

    As for page format, I don’t really care. I know how to scroll : )


  6. Maggie
    May 26, 2010 @ 14:19:38

    I’m still sworn to secrecy on your ID 🙂 I’ll never tell, even if Niska and his minions get their hands on me. #nerdreferences

    But I’d “fourth” the suggestion above: add jumps after an intro paragraph.

    And when you have time, or the inclination, I’d be interested to hear your take on wrock experiences of small library shows/house parties vs. conventions and other “big” venues. Pros/cons, what bands say/think, how each benefits (or not) the genre.

    Another thing that has always made me curious (though you might not care enough to explore it, which is okay) is the geography of Wizard Rock. According to the ‘pedia’s “Bands by Location” list, there is at least one wrock band in every state. However, from my limited experience it seems that most of the concert/tour opportunities are on the costs and some bigger Midwestern cities (excepting of course, Wrockstock). It’s probably just an occupational hazard of frugal resource allocation/bang for your buck, but I’m curious why it evolved that. This falls into the more “meta” category though, so that might not be your thing. Which is cool. Just an idea.


    • Maggie
      May 26, 2010 @ 14:21:53

      Whoa, the typo monster has me in its grip today. Yikes.

      “are on the costs” –> are on the coasts

      “why it evolved that” –> why it evolved that way


    • wrocksnob
      May 26, 2010 @ 20:00:41

      Ooh, wow, those are some great ideas, Maggie! I will definitely be doing the first one at some point in time, though I don’t know if I could turn the second one into a full-length article. We’ll see. But thanks A LOT, for those great ideas!


  7. Sarah M.
    May 26, 2010 @ 14:29:02

    I think jumpcuts are good. They will help clean up the front page, and make getting to older articles easier.

    As for editing, I think in general it is a good idea,but it isn’t the end of the world for me. I read fanfiction, and it would be impossible for anything you write to be worse than some of that stuff.


  8. siriusismyhero
    May 26, 2010 @ 15:02:26

    I think editing is very important. If you don’t edit, the articles are tiresome to read, and if you do it consistently you may risk losing readers. And that would be a shame because I am really liking what you’re doing here. So for me, editing is more important.

    I agree with the jumps thing, it’ll make the main page “friendlier”.


  9. Melissa a.
    May 26, 2010 @ 18:25:06

    LOL you are NOTHiNG like the Acid Quill with the exception that the community you write about has reacted to your presence in much the same way: fascination, criticism, and no small measure of drama/paranoia. Be honest, fair, and articulate and you’ll do awesome.


  10. thefinalbattle2010
    May 26, 2010 @ 18:58:31

    I love your consistent posts, so I’d say 2-3 posts per week to keep readers engaged! I’m always looking forward to your next article (your writing is brilliant) and I’m excited for you to review my album on Monday! I don’t get a lot of critical reviews so this will be great stuff! Bring on the big shiny gold F 🙂



  11. tina.
    May 26, 2010 @ 19:54:46

    I think you’re taking on a lot of work, I don’t know about your time but I think most people would understand the time that it takes to put out a solid(edited) review. I’m just saying, I totally accept the here and there, if it makes your life crazy.
    When Wizroclopedia started, Lizz and her friends were on top of everything. After awhile regular life kicks in and I understand that.
    So, you said you’d review something and I’ve been a big mouth around you. I’ll totally send you a dj Luna Lovegood CD(can’t decide which one) and offer it up to brutal criticism. Are you are interested? I don’t know how to contact you privately via email, but can you see my email address?


  12. MaryBeth Schroeder
    May 26, 2010 @ 21:43:26

    You think you’re so anonymous!

    You’re clearly Guy Fawkes.

    You flubbed big time, pal.

    The cat is out of the bag and it remembers remembers, buddy.


  13. PK9
    May 26, 2010 @ 21:53:28

    Aw man, I was gonna comment on the Demons at the Helm review about possibly using the OEAPDT grading system instead of the ABCDF system. Oh well, I’m glad you considered it and made the choice to use this rather than just using it by default.


  14. David
    May 27, 2010 @ 02:10:06

    One other thing I should mention is that by “universally accepted” you really mean “universally accepted in the US” : p

    Over here in the UK it’s different, and it depends on the test. At GCSE level (OWLs) when I did it you only needed about 70% for an A in science, but it was adjusted to a curve (normal distribution) country-wide depending on the difficulty of the test. At A level (NEWTs) I believe it’s 80% for an A, 70% for a B down to 40% for an E and then below that is an F (although they still do adjustments, but it’s more complicated so I won’t get into that). Formal exams over here are generally much more difficult and very few people get over 90%.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with using the US scale, but I thought you might find that interesting.


    • wrocksnob
      May 27, 2010 @ 10:56:02

      Huh. Good to know. And yeah, I was overstating it a little bit by saying “universally accepted”.


      • PK9
        May 27, 2010 @ 12:45:41

        There are plenty of US college classes that don’t use that scale, either. They call it “grading on a curve”, and grades are assigned based on ranking rather than % of total scores.

        I’m going to be honest, I think your “7 good songs out of 10 = C” ranking is too harsh. I think the problem is that you simplify each song to pass/fail. Under your system an album with 10 songs that each barely get a passing grade in your estimation would get an A, while an album with 6 exceptional songs and 4 mediocre songs that just barely fail would get a D.

        To address your “then I’m going to recommend that you buy just those three songs” statement, that’s another oversimplification. Not all albums are on itunes, so for some the option is only “purchase the entire album” or “not purchase any songs.” Even if there is an option to purchase individual tracks, the decision whether to purchase just the individual tracks one likes vs the whole album is dependent on how much is being charged for each track vs the whole album. If the album has 15 tracks and is being sold for $10, and each individual track is being sold for $1.25, if I like 8/15 songs I should purchase the whole album because I essentially get the other 7 songs for free. On the other hand, if it’s a 10-track album being sold for $10 and each song is on sale for $1, even if I like 9/10 songs I wouldn’t buy the whole albumm, because why pay $1 for the song I don’t like?


        • wrocksnob
          May 27, 2010 @ 19:18:42

          I know not all albums are on iTunes, but so far, all of the albums I’ve reviewed are. So, I’ll use the iTunes stuff when applicable, obviously. Also, I’m not going to be very strict about the whole grading thing, but this is my general guideline. Also, I’ve only reviewed two albums so far, so this is definitely subject to change. And I’ll be stricter in grading for the stuff I don’t like – this explanation is sort of my justification for giving O&U an F. I gave two songs full points, and four more songs half points, and the other 6 songs 0 points, and we end up at a solid F. And it’s entirely possible that I would give an album with 3 seconds I didn’t like a B. So, it’s not a very hard and fast rule.


  15. VoldeMargo
    May 28, 2010 @ 06:58:51

    I see a lot of people not understanding (and getting rather agitated) about the grading system in the future. Is there some easily accessible place you could write a description of your grade boundaries, maybe as a link after each grade? Or you could use the shiny letter as the link. Something like:
    A: Every second of this is worth your while; there is not a pathetic riff /monotonous loop /vocal snafu in the entire thing
    B: Occasional boredom sets in, but never for longer than a couple lines or a slightly lackluster guitar solo. Possibly one song that’s not up to snuff.
    Or whatever your conditions happen to be.

    I reckon this’d prove to people that there is indeed a method to the madness, and guarantee you less dull hatemail from people who wilt at the sight of harsh grading.


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