Sunday, November 11, 2007

Schaden-Frere-Jones

Did I mention that I loathe Sasha Frere-Jones?
But after that Wilco (right) and Tweedy, presumably under the influence of other indie bands, drifted from accessible songs toward atomization and noise. On “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” the lyrics are embarrassing poetry laid over plodding rhythms. (“Tall buildings shake, voices escape singing sad, sad songs, tuned to chords strung down your cheeks.”) The album features synthesizer squeaks and echoey feedback-, which fail to give shape to the formless music. A little more syncopation would have helped.
"Jesus etc." is one of my favorite indie rock songs. It's also an inexplicable example to choose--Frere-Jones is arguing that indie rock suffers from choosing jerkiness and sappy ambient noise over rhythm, but "Jesus etc." is a totally catchy, syncopated pop song. He decries Yankee Hotel Foxtrot's departure from Wilco's alt-country roots, but the song he cites is the album's most alt-country cut. I just don't get it. How do you be such a complete and total penis?

And I'm not the only one with Frere-Jones as my Javert:

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, ASK THAT SASHA FRERE-JONES EITHER BE RETCONNED OUT OF THE NEW YORKER’S EXISTENCE (see Earth-2; The Dream of Bobby Ewing; et. al) OR FORCED TO LISTEN ONLY TO ROBT. JOHNSON AND “THAT’S ALL RIGHT” BY ELVIS ARON PRESLEY UNTIL HE “GETS IT”:

-The Ghost of Goddamn Lester Goddamn Bangs
-People That Have Actually Purchased Arcade Fire Records and Were Not Immediately Reminded of Echo and the Goddamned Bunnymen or (Sigh) U2, For God’s Sake
-ALL OF AMERICA
-And Parts of Great Britain, but Not Manchester, They Liked the Ridiculous Echo and the Bunnymen Reference, For God’s Sake
-People That Can Think of Another Musical Reference for the Adjectives “Triumphal” or “Majestic” Than U2
Seriously, there's people whom you disagree with in print, but whom you'd find some common ground with if you, you know, wound up at the same dinner party or something. Hell, I had breakfast with David Horowitz once and found it palatable. But Sasha isn't one of those people. If we were at the same dinner, I'd have to start some sh*t, by which I mean I'd make awkward and obnoxious comments until everyone begged me/us to leave.

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Blogger Jeff'y on Tue Nov 13, 01:10:00 AM:
You totally trashed his hard drive, right?

The biggest thing Frere-Jones has going for him is that his name isn't David Denby.
 
Blogger Ben on Thu Nov 15, 10:03:00 AM:
JPos has lifted the veil -- SFJ == David Denby! The truth is out at last. It's a conspiracy of transcendent mediocrity.

I fess up to sabotaging his LaCie. I was jealous of his Lil' Wayne and Decembrists bootlegs.
 
Blogger gorjus on Tue Nov 27, 05:42:00 PM:
LET US JOIN TOGETHER, BROTHER!!

Okay, seriously: "Jesus, Etc." is a great song. I'm a bigger fan of earlier Wilco, but that record is so strong--and I agree, what an odd choice to use Wilco as a band who has abandoned "roots." Seroiusly, he just doesn't get it.