Re: The collagen breaks down

1

SASHA FRERE-JONES SUCKS

OH GOD DOES HE SUCK

HE IS THE WORLD'S THIRD MOST SMARMY AND UNREADABLE NON-REPUBLICAN-PROPAGANDIST WRITER


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 9:23 PM
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Hm, surprisingly, with only one comment in this thread, everything that I wanted to say has been said.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 9:30 PM
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That's likely the only thing anyone here wanted to say.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 9:38 PM
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I forgot sportswriters. I guess they're sort of a separate category.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 9:40 PM
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Okay, I'll ask. Third-most?

Surely Mitch Albom should count twice, as both a sportswriter and a smarmy non-Republican. He's that bad.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 9:56 PM
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I dunno. neb makes people work for these kinds of posts. I mean, "SFJ", I'm supposed to know who that is? I'm supposed to google various representative phrases to know what's under discussion?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 9:58 PM
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Incredibly, the very first hit in Google is the right one.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:03 PM
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Cagey.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:07 PM
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I'm just not even going to tell you people how much overlap my music library and SFJ's yearly 10 best list had.

He can be pretty annoying, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:13 PM
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You know who's way worse, though? Chuck Klosterman. Fuck him with a bag of KISS dildos.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:14 PM
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Mr. FJ has come up before, under those initials.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:16 PM
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I apologize, B-Wo. I know who the guy is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:24 PM
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Anyway I wouldn't want you people getting complacent.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:25 PM
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I don't think he necessarily has awful taste, just that he writes and thinks about music in a way so opposite from my own that I just can't get on board with his criticism. IOW, I like some of the things he recommends, but for apparently opposite reasons.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:28 PM
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If one were tempted to extrapolate from his New Yorker pieces to his own personal taste, the only conclusion would be that he has extremely boring taste.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:31 PM
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I realized it takes a tough man to embrace the tender stuff, that you have to be cruel to be kind, that it hurts so good, and the best part of breaking up is when you're making up. So I rushed down to my computer to tell the world.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:32 PM
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that he has extremely boring taste.

Ben, this pretty much describes my taste, so I'm guessing you're right. I am stodgily conventional.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:34 PM
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Don't ruin my cathexis with these details.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:35 PM
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16: And you'd do anything for love, but you wouldn't do that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:35 PM
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Why are we talking about Sasha Frere-Jones again? Who reads the New Yorker regularly?

Sorry, I'm really tired and am asking snotty rhetorical questions at this point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:38 PM
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He has a "wisdom of crowds" approach to music. His thesis seems to be that critics are pretentious and pointless to a man. It reminds me of David Poland's movie blog. I continually wonder why he doesn't write about the workings of the music industry instead of trying to tease out what aspects of seemingly indistinguishable songs make one of them popular/good and another one unpopular/bad.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:38 PM
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18: If it helps, I did enjoy your radio show.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:40 PM
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snotty

ding ding ding

It's actually impossible to tell when you're being rhetorical.

It really annoys me that he has this incredible forum and he only uses it to write about music that's already fantastically popular and successful, but I think that's becuase his role is to convince the readership that it's ok to like popular music, since they do anyway. (That and occasionally to stoke white guilt, as we've discussed before.) The like approach in the books section would obviously never fly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:42 PM
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20: Is reading the New Yorker not done anymore?

More signs of my thoroughly stodgy taste!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:42 PM
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Who reads the New Yorker regularly?

Yo. (Even though it regularly pisses me off, and I despise their practice of passing off book excerpts as original articles. Still, for general-interest nonfiction there are precious few other sources.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:42 PM
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Sorry, I'm really tired and am asking snotty rhetorical questions at this point.

What? No!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:43 PM
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22: that helps a lot.

If you can believe it, the only thing I reliably read in the new yorker is the cartoons.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:44 PM
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15 gets it right. Even acknowledging that The New Yorker is hardly a cutting-edge source of contemporary music criticism, SFJ's prominence-to-interestingness ratio approaches infinity.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:44 PM
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23: what kills me about the New Yorkers is that they have two music writers, and one covers (almost) exclusively music that is extremely popular, and the other covers (almost) exclusively classical and symphonic music. You can't find any music between those poles, guys? In New York?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:45 PM
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Alex Ross is an awfully good writer, though. And I will brook no guff on his account!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:46 PM
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The only thing that really bothers me about the New Yorker, really, are the puff pieces about billionaires. Well, and the alleged humor pieces. Okay, and somewhat more than half of the movie reviews. But they do make up for it, sometimes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:47 PM
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His thesis seems to be that critics are pretentious and pointless to a man.

And his columns prove it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:48 PM
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I used to read The New Yorker regularly, but I haven't in quite some time. I don't miss it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:49 PM
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I am happy that they're employing Jill Lepore, who I really enjoy reading. I want more historians writing for national audiences (that are NOT David McCullough, etc).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:49 PM
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21: instead of trying to tease out what aspects of seemingly indistinguishable songs make one of them popular/good and another one unpopular/bad.

Sheesh Ned; what part of "it's the clever juxtaposition of antithetical ideas" don't you get? It takes a true radical to embrace the mundane.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:50 PM
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I find Chuck Klosterman too absurdly cartoony to get annoyed by.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:52 PM
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30, 35: Agreed on Jill Lepore and Alex Ross, who are both excellent. Not enough to make me want to go back to reading regularly, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:52 PM
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I don't think I've ever seen an issue of the New Yorker where I was interested in reading more than half of the articles. But I suppose that goes for most magazines. I'd resubscribe if - as I was complaining in some other thread - their history book coverage wasn't so poor (they do deserve credit for having writers who give the impression of depth, though).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:52 PM
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23: It's actually impossible to tell when you're being rhetorical.

For what it's worth, I take this to heart. Under advisement. It's partly intentional, though, the ambiguity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:54 PM
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I know someone who insists on reading every issue of the New Yorker, cover to cover, in order. She's six months behind.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:55 PM
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31: Well, and the alleged humor pieces.

That Thurber dude is the suxxor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:55 PM
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Well, it's partly really annoying.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:55 PM
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40: She first subscribed seven months ago.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:56 PM
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Completely off-topic, but I've just discovered that lemon sorbet + cold lime sparkling water is sorta awesome.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:56 PM
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41: the humor pieces in the Remnick era. And only some of them, I suppose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:57 PM
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Under advisement. It's partly intentional, though, the ambiguity.

Some people have strange ambitions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:57 PM
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I recall being amused by the humor pieces in the mid 90s.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:58 PM
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I know someone who insists on reading every issue of the New Yorker, cover to cover, in order

When I was underemployed and between undergrad and grad school, I did this.

But it was because I was desperate for things to do; this was also the era of taking community college classes for fun. (Totally recommend poetry and German, less so some of the other ones).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:58 PM
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I used to read it cover to cover. Then I got tired of it.

True story!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 10:59 PM
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I could listen to your stories for hours, Sifu.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:00 PM
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Me too!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:03 PM
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32 gets it right. Writer, kill your darlings. Then kill all the rest of your words. Then retire from writing. Be true to your philosophy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:03 PM
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I used to read it cover to cover. Then I got tired of it.

Me too! Awesome!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:03 PM
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50 -- Geez, even one hour would have to contain like 1,000 stories. It's like the world's most boring grindcore.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:04 PM
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54: I'm the Morbid Angel of this thing that happened once.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:04 PM
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I don't think I've ever actually read a whole SFJ column. Judging from the excerpts I've read, though, I don't think I could stand to.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:05 PM
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Morbid Angel isn't grindcore. Perhaps you're thinking of Anal Cunt. but really, who isn't.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:06 PM
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57: hah! You've fallen right into my trap! They may not be grindcore, but they were on a seminal Earache records grindcore compilation and earned much of their original notoriety from their connection to the grindcore scene!

(Doing a little stupid circular dance of victory.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:10 PM
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I think I know one of the guys in Anal Cunt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:10 PM
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I love having no idea what people are talking about. It confirms my suspicions about myself.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:12 PM
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58: Are you sure you aren't thinking of Napalm Death?

But really, who isn't thinking of Napalm Death with those memos being released today.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:14 PM
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61: I'm totally thinking of Morbid Angel.

As far as I know I've never actually heard any of these bands, so not to worry, Parenthetical. I just spent a lot of time grindcore and/or metal adjacent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:15 PM
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46: The ambiguity is not that hard to figure out: why are we interested in Sasha Frere-Jones? Who reads the New Yorker? Take those as straight questions. See where the answers take you. Don't you (doesn't one) do this all the time?

Sorry to neb, who I tend to think does the same thing all the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:15 PM
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Parsley. If you mean it straight, you mean it straight. Come on!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:18 PM
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63: I can't begin to tell you how uninterested I am in your quasi-philosophical attempts to get everybody to interrogate the roots of their shallow, pointless existences.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:18 PM
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Who reads the New Yorker?

Nobody actually reads the New Yorker. Seriously. It's just that it costs only about 24 cents per issue for a 2-year subscription, and it seems like more trouble than it's worth to cancel.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:24 PM
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I mean, I read the New Yorker because it's something to read. I talk about SFJ because it's something to talk about. Some of us read things just because, hey, something to read that's brief, some of us talk about random crap with people on the internet, some of us judge every little thing that other people do and find it ambiguously wanting. Everybody needs a hobby, no matter how transparently embarrassing that hobby is to everybody else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:24 PM
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Grr! Grumpy Sifu probably should eat something and finish reading this David Sedaris piece! Grr!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:27 PM
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64: Okay, I mean it straight.

65: Sifu, I don't care what you're interested in.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:28 PM
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69.2: then why'd you ask me to think about why I read the fucking New Yorker? Because maybe -- though you're not interested, you understand, in what I'm actually interested in right now -- maybe someday I'd realize that I'd just been floating along in a trance of conformism, and I'd have you to thank for snapping me out of it? Come on.

I realize I'm reading a lot into your comments, but seriously, if you aren't keeping things ambiguous so that you have deniability when people call you on being astoundingly judgmental more-or-less constantly, then your method is pretty fucking mysterious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:38 PM
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Grr to everybody back. I have to say that the attempt to watch over the eldest cat here when she's not doing so well is freaking exhausting, and I hope she doesn't hang on terribly long. That's awful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:39 PM
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70.2: I did not realize that I'm being astoundingly judgmental more or less constantly. I'll attend to my own comments more carefully.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:43 PM
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seems like more trouble than it's worth to cancel.

For months after I canceled, the amount of New Yorker e-mail asking me to resubscribe exceeded the amount of spam I received at the same e-mail address.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:43 PM
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The rest of us have rich, meaningful, New-Yorker-free lives. Neb just reads it in small doses since the meaninglessness it causes helps him better learn German.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:50 PM
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I read most of the New Yorker most of the time. Does that mean I can't qualify as upper middle brow?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:51 PM
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No, it means you're a fool.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-16-09 11:56 PM
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Well, that's OK, then.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 12:06 AM
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I think we've had the New Yorker fight here before, actually.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 12:12 AM
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We have always already had the New Yorker fight.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 12:16 AM
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There's a fight about it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 12:21 AM
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I don't read the New Yorker -- like several middle-brow US publications the articles are usually 6 times longer than their content merits -- but I do read the LRB. Which probably puts me in the equivalent UK demographic.

Good music writing is hard to find, though. The Guardian generally does a better job than most specialist music magazines, I find.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 12:26 AM
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Naw. It's a magazine that some people read. Pretty straightforward, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 12:26 AM
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For months after I canceled, the amount of New Yorker e-mail asking me to resubscribe exceeded the amount of spam I received at the same e-mail address.

Oh, if it were just a matter of annoying email, I think I'd know just what to do: the "block sender" function is not just for the electronic chain letter 'prayers' that one of your aunts just might happen to forward to your account, you know (the threat of dire misfortune for failing to comply with the terms outlined in the email, illustrated by the large and sorrowful eyes of a 'Precious Moments' figurine, God o God). It's the phone calls to which I strenuously object, and of course they always call at supper hour.

Parsimon, that's really rough about your cat. I'm sorry.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 12:35 AM
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One of the blessings of living on the right bank of the ditch is that I had never heard of Sasha Frere-Jones until now, and it will be very easy never to hear of him again.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 1:51 AM
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What does the title of this post mean?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 6:00 AM
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A reference to a musician that only Wolfson has heard of.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 6:23 AM
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why are we interested in Sasha Frere-Jones? Who reads the New Yorker?

Only those of us who wish to revel in our aspirations to upper-middle-middle-upper-classness.

Anyway, I like Sasha Frere-Jones. He isn't my favorite music writer, but on what he's chosen to write about--mostly evanescent, middle-of-the-road pop/indie--he isn't the worst. And I don't even think that "trying to tease out what aspects of seemingly indistinguishable songs make one of them popular/good and another one unpopular/bad" is a completely pointless exercise; or no more so than writing about pop music to start with. Besides, he's no Chuck Klosterman or Nick Hornby, thank God.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 9:18 AM
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87: I'm glad someone else said it.

I read the New Yorker (and the LRB), and I am always interested to read a Sasha Frere-Jones column. More often than not they're disappointing, but he manages interesting observations about pop music with sufficient frequency that he's worth reading.

Then again, I'm interested in "aspects of seemingly indistinguishable songs"


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 9:39 AM
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OT, or tangential to T movie report, brief:

"Mumblecore" is a SoA movie school, mostly NYC

Hannah Takes the Stairs is in rotation on Sundance, I have watched it three times recently. Interesting,

Remember Seberg & Belmondo in the apartment? My favorite part of the movie. That may not be what mumblecore is about, but is my first impression.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 9:49 AM
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What does the title of this post mean?

Tough meat subjected to long cooking at low heat becomes very tender, because the collagen breaks down.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 10:20 AM
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Thanks. You answered my question and taught me something about cooking.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 10:53 AM
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beamish is banned!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 11:14 AM
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90: Nice explanation. Who are you and what have you done with nosflow?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 11:14 AM
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beamish is banned!

As if this place could survive without me.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 11:17 AM
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why all the Klosterman hate? I think he´s funny.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 11:18 AM
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Besides, he's no Chuck Klosterman or Nick Hornby, thank God.

See, I actually like Nick Hornby. Eh. SFJ just rubs me the wrong way, although, as admitted previously, I'm a person of no taste and thus unable to judge such things.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-17-09 1:34 PM
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