Monday, May 07, 2012

Uptown Magazine Del Barber Interview Review

First off, let me start by saying that I am a Del Barber fan.  But I am not one of those people that believes everything he touches turns to gold.  He is a great talent, but I don't overpraise him as the end-all to be-all of singer-songwriters in Canada.  Has he earned such praise and hype?  Sure he has logged a ton of mile all across North America, writes some good story songs, and can play guitar pretty good.  Sure some of the praise and hype is warranted.  But do some people take it too far?

Uptown Mag has an interview with Del on their website. I understand that articles will be written on him and he will give interviews.  But the chick who wrote the article and conducted the interview sounds way to pretentious with the following. 
Del Barber’s masterful Headwaters examines the complex relationships we have with where we’re from — and how history dictates our future.
The pretension is unbelievable.  She is trying to make Del out to be some prophet that knows how life works and where it will go.  What he writes is only his take on things.  It's not like his lyrics are scripture telling people this is the way things will go.  She says his 2010 album "Love Songs For the Last Twenty" is a "career making record."  In some ways, that is not a far off statement.  She wrongfully thinks that "Love Song For the Last Twenty" was his introduction to the Canadian roots scene.  That is totally false.  Del's 2009 album, "Where the City Ends" is his introduction.  Seeing as "Loves Songs For the Last Twenty" was acclaimed in a bunch of circles and nominated for two awards, of course she'd leave that out.  But she blows smoke up his saying "Headwaters" is "mightier than the predecessor."  I've not listened to "Headwaters."  So I can't say for certain if that's a truthful statement or if it's convoluted and inflated.  I've heard a few songs from the album.  But I do know this album is vastly different in terms of what he does with the music compared to his past albums.  Yet this isn't mentioned in this interview/article.  Instead she'd rather give him the proverbial "blowjob" by not asking him why he decided to do things with the music that are un-Del Barber and just praise the ever loving shit out of him for "Love Songs For the Last Twenty" and "Headwaters."

This chick likes to state the obvious.  She states that he has a love for community and loves Winnipeg.  What late night session of genius deadline article writing did she come up with this nugget of unknown trivia?  If you've followed Del's career, than this would be painfully obvious.  We don't need some lame online magazine writer to tell, at least me, any of this.  He always puts Manitoba references in his songs.  He likes to talk about home.  Unless you're a simpleton, you shouldn't need it pointed out to you.  As well, she felt the need to point out that Del has kept his "prairie roots."  No shit Sherlock.  What, did you expect your readers to think he moved to some remote village in the Northern China?  I understand that she is stating the obvious for people who don't know who Del Barber is.  But for most people, they know who Del Barber is and know all the stuff she states.

As I sit her writing this review, I chuckle at the atrociousness of this interview/article.  This chick tries too hard to sound like an artsy and intelligent writer, but fails at that only to come off as pretentious.  I could write that someone's album is "evocative and soul stirring."  But that's not who I am and I would come of as fake which she did.  She didn't have to write this article in this way to appease their wannabe artsy/hipster audience of readers just because Winnipeg is known for that.  Is being real and not giving him the proverbial "blowjob" too much ask?  I think not!

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