I enjoy reading the New Yorker, from the articles that immediately grab my attention when I see them in the table of contents to the film and music reviews. Wait, I actually don’t ever enjoy the music reviews, I just happen to read them because I like new music and they usually preview rising artists.

But, I rarely have ever heard of any of the musicians Sasha Frere-Jones reviews. Now, I realize the New Yorker is not necessarily a publication for the masses, not quite something the average American picks up for some light reading. But, the articles they publish are usually about important current events (mass shootings in the U.S.) or interesting individuals (Novak Djokovic).

This morning I flipped open an August 2013 issue which contained a pop music review of Earl Sweatshirt. Who the fuck is that? And, more importantly, if I have no clue as a person who still goes to see live music in small venues and reads these reviews, how does my uncle in Queens, who last saw live music when Simon and Garfunkel played in Central Park in 1981, have any idea, or more pressingly, any interest in reading this review?

I almost feel as if it is an inside joke by the publishes and editors at the publication, which is now owned by Conde Naste. “Hey, let’s see if we can slip in another review of some guy who rambles on about drugs, rape, and guns! We got away with it last month, do you think anyone will notice those wasted pages if we do it again this month? Fuck no, let’s do it!”

Music appreciation is subjective, right. What I like it not what everyone else likes. But, I’d still like to read more reviews about talented artists doing something unique and creative.

Earl Sweatshit’s music collective, Odd Future, offers the public one song entitled, “Wakeupfaggot.” Oh, how refreshing to see the youth of tomorrow planning a Bright Future with more openness towards difference! And my, how creative to cram all those words together into one big nice, new, heart-warming word. What a contribution to our linguistic canon.

But, Mr. Frere-Jones goes on to concisely sum up why I find his reviews pointless and worthless, not because our taste in music differs, but because he reviews “musicians” who offer the public not music, but wordplay ephemera.

“Earl, like West, represents not an ideal of omnipotence but the promise never to censor a thought.” Oh wow, how nobel! How refreshing! How honest!

Imagine the new fiction writer of the New Yorker telling us we should run out and buy a new book because the author promises us to never censor a single thought that runs through their mind. Who in their own right mind would ever think that every thought that ever enters their head deserves a place in their book? And who would ever want to read a book that is simply a litany of passing thoughts? That isn’t a noble or valuable or laudable accomplishment, it’s a lazy way of going about one’s work. Great artists of all fields don’t just throw out whatever is in their mind, they craft something they think is unique and beautiful.

I like all types of music. And, I like learning about new artists that I might enjoy. Yet, Mr. Sasha Frere-Jones offers up, month after month, weak reviews of unworthy musicians who don’t deserve a listen, not the adulation of a major publication.

I’m left still wondering who the hell this guy is and how he manages to preserve his job when he continually offers such forgettable writing.

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