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Skull Valley is a Pittsburgh-based blog about musick, art, and cultural events. It’s a single person operation. Though most posts are about events that I attend, I also review musick that has been released as an album, single, or EP. The goal has always been to document Pittsburgh’s artistic world.

Skull Valley is named from an unreleased song I wrote years ago. The blog started in 2011, being based almost exclusively around the Roup House noise scene from those days. I was inspired both by the Roup Blog and the pfotographs, videos, and musick from the 70s and 80s post-punk scene in Pittsburgh. I took a long hiatus in 2012 when the Roup scene fell apart and the extended family moved on with only sporadic posts until Skull Valley’s return in 2017. 2018 is looking to be quite a year, and I hope you stick around for the ride!

My Reviews
I review recorded works using a 3-point scale of Good, Neutral, and Bad. I grew up reading gaming magazines that would rate things out of 10 in addition to using decimal points. Usually this meant that these magazine were effectively rating games out of 40 or 100. Even more confusingly, these magazines tended to treat ratings below a 6 as meaning the game was basically trash. The lower numbers seemed particularly arbitrary. These types of systems use far too many numbers with nonsensical rules. They miss the point of a rating system entirely.

To me, a rating system should give a quick glance about what the reviewer thought of the work as a whole, so the simpler and more understandable the rating is, the better. Roger Ebert, Robert Christgau (at times), and the standard rating system of 5 stars are good examples of well-designed systems. TO get a full understanding of the reviewer's thoughts, you should read the entire review instead of just spouting off numbers. Going back to the gaming magazines growing up, I often had friends that would just write-off something due to the reviewer giving it a low score despite the review really chalking it up to a matter of taste.

The 3-point system I use is based heavily off of the RPG system, FUDGE, which defined objects in that game with simple words that are easy to understand instead of the numerical systems usually used by games such as Dungeons & Dragons, GURPS, Shadowrun, and Vampire the Masquerade. This simple system meant that almost anyone could glance at a character from a FUDGE game and understand it for the most part. I hope my system is similarly understandable.

Usage Rights
Contact me at skullvallyblog@gmail.com with questions about using my published pfotographs and text in yr own works. Text and images here are © R Magnelli for the year they were originally taken unless specified otherwise.

Definitions
Musick - music
Pfone - phone (probably a cellphone)
Pfoto - photograph
Yr - your

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