Home > I'm just saying, I'm not saying > Does ILB have Sasha Frere-Jones running scared?

Does ILB have Sasha Frere-Jones running scared?

sasha fierce

Long-time readers of ILB will be aware that we have burned every possible available journalist bridge in the UK. We had a clear run at the Independent, but then we found pictures of Simon Price’s wedding and haven’t been able to stop laughing since. Anyway, if we weren’t chopped liver to the commissioning editors of this fine nation, the piece we’d be pitching right now is on scene rock and what it actually tells us about music in 2009. Let me explain.
Back in the day, when “rock groups” took cues from “urban music” (make sure you have your most “scare quote” voice on when reading those out, it adds to the effect), the cues were hideously out-of-date. Think of a Dog Eat Dog, a Rancid, a Methods of Mayhem, a Kottonmouth Kings: all whiteboy rock acts of the 90s who clearly had a route in rap or dub or whatever, and all acts who could quite easily have come around five-to-seven years before they actually hit the charts, such was the shallowness of their engagement with the popular black music of the time.
Why is this? I’m not telling you exactly until someone throws me a commissioning cheque at 20p a word minimum, but my guess is that it’s the same reason that so many whiteboy rap acts of the late 90s felt the need to “take it back, yo”: partly through being more comfortable with black music as a museum piece than a living organism, partly because they wouldn’t have been allowed in the party anyway if they turned up.
I think there’s a belief among some critics that the real bands who’ve changed this around in the late 2000s are your Coldplays and your Maroon 5s and your whoever-the-fuck-else Timbaland invites round for protein shakes and daisy chains twice a month. Not so, that shit is really no different to any “Anthrax meets Public Enemy and they save Christmas” bullshit from the 90s. No, think about bands like Attack! Attack!, who’ve wedded T-Pain to autotune. Think about Hollywood Undead, who while sounding at heart like your common-or-garden rapcore act, have gone so heavy on the Ed Hardy iconography that they’ve managed to come across like a three-way jacknife betwixt PUA scenesterism, nu-metal hangoverdom, and cholo imagery. Think about brokeNCYDE.
I think enough has been said about brokeNCYDE already, and little more needs to be spoken outside of “they fucking rule so hard”. But, you know, they’ve been called the Soulja Boys of guitar music, which I think is fair, and it’s pretty clear that they’ve taken a lot from the modern day rap sphere. So, you know, maybe if there was a music journalist out there who’d made a big thing about how the whitest of musical forms needed to take its lead from rap, from R&B, from whatever, if there was a hypothetical hack out there who’d said such a thing, you’d think maybe they’d have opinions4u on this. Maybe even a few words of praise for, word to Mizzell, the new kings of rock?
So, how about this for a Twitter exchange:
Ichlugebullets @sashafrerejones Are you actually gonna man the fuck up and admit that “A Paler Shade of White” has been proven wrong by brokeNCYDE?1:15 PM Jun 12th from web
sashafrerejones@ichlugebullets I appreciate your question, and your vigor. After a weekend of reflection, I will reply as best I can. Good evening!2:01 PM Jun 12th from Tweetie
That was five days ago now. Five whole days. In the meantime, SFJ has found plenty of time on Twitter to witter on about such irrelevancies as that barney in Iran, some fucking baseball match or other, and sending direct messages to Britain’s worst music writer, Dan Hancox. But no words on brokeNCYDE, no “this is the band who have righted every single racial wrong in music history”, “this is the band who have proven me for the white guilty peddling charlatan I truly am”, not even a “mea culpa”. Nothing. Sasha Frere Jones is quite clearly shook, and I have no qualms with Joe Buddening him over this.

Long-time readers of ILB will be aware that we have burned every possible available journalist bridge in the UK. We had a clear run at the Independent, but then we found pictures of Simon Price’s wedding and haven’t been able to stop laughing since. Anyway, if we weren’t chopped liver to the commissioning editors of this fine nation, the piece we’d be pitching right now is on scene rock and what it actually tells us about music in 2009. Let me explain.

Back in the day, when “rock groups” took cues from “urban music” (make sure you have your most “scare quote” voice on when reading those out, it adds to the effect), the cues were hideously out-of-date. Think of a Dog Eat Dog, a Rancid, a Methods of Mayhem, a Kottonmouth Kings: all whiteboy rock acts of the 90s who clearly had a route in rap or dub or whatever, and all acts who could quite easily have come around five-to-seven years before they actually hit the charts, such was the shallowness of their engagement with the popular black music of the time.

Why is this? I’m not telling you exactly until someone throws me a commissioning cheque at 20p a word minimum, but my guess is that it’s the same reason that so many whiteboy rap acts of the late 90s felt the need to “take it back, yo”: partly through being more comfortable with black music as a museum piece than a living organism, partly because they wouldn’t have been allowed in the party anyway if they turned up.

I think there’s a belief among some critics that the real bands who’ve changed this around in the late 2000s are your Coldplays and your Maroon 5s and your whoever-the-fuck-else Timbaland invites round for protein shakes and daisy chains twice a month. Not so, that shit is really no different to any “Anthrax meets Public Enemy and they save Christmas” bullshit from the 90s. No, think about bands like Attack Attack!, who’ve wedded T-Pain to autotune. Think about Hollywood Undead, who while sounding at heart like your common-or-garden rapcore act, have gone so heavy on the Ed Hardy iconography that they’ve managed to come across like a three-way jacknife betwixt PUA scenesterism, nu-metal hangoverdom, and cholo imagery. Think about motherfuckin’ brokeNCYDE.

I think enough has been said about brokeNCYDE already, and little more needs to be spoken outside of “they fucking rule so hard”. But, you know, they’ve been called the Soulja Boys of guitar music, which I think is fair, and it’s pretty clear that they’ve taken a lot from the modern day rap sphere. So, you know, maybe if there was a music journalist out there who’d made a big thing about how the whitest of musical forms needed to take its lead from rap, from R&B, from whatever, if there was a hypothetical hack out there who’d said such a thing, you’d think maybe they’d have opinions4u on this. Maybe even a few words of praise for, word to Mizzell, the new kings of rock?

So, how about this for a Twitter exchange:

Ichlugebullets @sashafrerejones Are you actually gonna man the fuck up and admit that “A Paler Shade of White” has been proven wrong by brokeNCYDE?1:15 PM Jun 12th from web

sashafrerejones @ichlugebullets I appreciate your question, and your vigor. After a weekend of reflection, I will reply as best I can. Good evening!2:01 PM Jun 12th from Tweetie

That was five days ago now. Five whole days. In the meantime, SFJ has found plenty of time on Twitter to witter on about such irrelevancies as that barney in Iran, some fucking baseball match or other, and sending direct messages to Britain’s worst music writer, Dan Hancox. But no words on brokeNCYDE, no “this is the band who have righted every single racial wrong in music history”, “this is the band who have proven me for the white guilty peddling charlatan I truly am”, not even a “mea culpa”. Nothing. Sasha Frere Jones is quite clearly shook, and I have no qualms with Joe Buddening him over this.

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  1. maxr
    June 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    brokeNCYDE are fucken gay

  1. January 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm

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