21 October 2007

"You think it's tough now, come to Africa." -- Bands Nineteen (19) to Twenty (20); Day 4

Sasha Frere-Jones, the pop critic at The New Yorker, recently wrote a controversial� article (among music nerds) titled "A Paler Shade of White" with the subtitle "How indie rock lost its soul." The piece's basic argument is that the new era of independent rock music has rid itself of any black influence including syncopated rhythms and other elements of soul and blues music. Frere-Jones slights indie behemoths like The Arcade Fire for their "end-of-the-world" style that eventually grates and falls flat because it's just too white. His argument has holes like cheese of the Swiss variety, but he argues vehemently with no trepidation in making grand claims (see: "You could argue that Dr. Dre and Snoop were the most important pop musicians since Bob Dylan and the Beatles."). Point being, let's hope Frere-Jones skipped CMJ this year.

Things this week have been blindingly white. Sure you've got your Q-Tips, your Devin the Dudes and your Cool Kids, but you've also got every skinny white boy and his six-string playing a version of the same "college rock" that dominated campus radio when people actually listened to campus radio. There are groups who pull it off, managing a fresh spin, and I've seen a few of them this week but the problem is that the bands who don't make it harder to enjoy the bands that do, inundating the listener with stale homogeneity. So on Friday night I switched it up.
I had also been promiscuous. Jumping from venue to venue was starting to feel empty and I was getting a reputation, so on this night, I settled in at the Filmore New York at Irving Plaza to take in the Afropunk showcase. The night was a marathon in itself, taking me past 1:30 AM with little in the way of New York City acts, but a thirst for some diversity prevailed. READ THE REST

mp3 Santogold ft. Spank Rock Shuv It


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Anonymous said...

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