Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo: Pop Culture Round-Up
“Is R&B Having an Identity Crisis?” Michael Arceneaux. The Atlantic.
“What’s crazy is that blacks can’t do soul records any more,” [The-Dream] said. “We love Adele singing it, but Beyoncé singing it? No, the tempo’s too slow, gimme the club hit. Now the blacks in America are responsible for the pop records, and everybody else is singing soulful records. It’s weird to me. We’re pigeonholed over there.”
What’s striking, though, is that only a few days later, Stephin Merritt—singer for the decidedly un-club-friendly, un-R&B indie-pop act The Magnetic Fields—voiced similar concerns to LA Weekly. “I like Adele, though I have some reservations about why people like her,” Merritt said. “She really has a lovely voice, but I only get suspicious when people get excited about British people who sound like American black people.”
“Why the Old School Music Snob is the Least Cool Kid on Twitter.” Alexandrea Molotkow. New York Times Magazine.
Worse, file-sharing had rendered us, the knowledge guardians, irrelevant. Within a few years, knowledge had ceased to confer any distinction, and hoarding it had become about as socially advantageous as stamp collecting. Thanks to the Internet, cultural knowledge was now a collective resource. Which meant that being cool was no longer about what you knew and what other people didn’t. It was about what you had to say about the things that everyone already knew about.
“Hipster Moron Brags About Being a Hipster Moron in ‘New York Times Magazine’: What we talk about we talk about snobbery.” Brandon Soderberg. SPIN Magazine.
But see, the Internet hasn’t rendered “obscure knowledge” useless. It has enabled — thanks to tangible things like YouTube view counts — hard data that proves somebody like Molotkow just isn’t as cool as she thinks she is, and probably never was. Shouldn’t hip, with-it Molotkow have discovered Banks already? The 20-year-old Harlem MC has been rapping since 2009.
“No, I’m The Narrator.” Jami Attenberg. New York Times.
When I broke up with my boyfriend almost four years ago, he started a blog about me. This was a reversal of our entire relationship. I had always been the documenter, and he made guest appearances, or sometimes starred, in what I created.
Grimes: Building Beats from the Ground Up. NPR Music Sessions.
Looper - Official Teaser Trailer. (Follow on Tumblr.)
Ice T’s Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap. Official Trailer.
Devin’s debut LP Romancing. Rolling Stone.
Map: Where To Find Hipsters in Nashville. The Tennessean.