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Is Indie Rock Too White? at Three Roads Blog
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Is Indie Rock Too White?

If you aren’t yet privy to the lively debate going on about indie music and race and class issues, then here’s a primer:

This article, by the New Yorker’s music critic, Sasha Frere-Jones, started the discussion (some would say controversy). In it Frere-Jones laments the lack of “miscegenation” in current rock and roll, particularly within indie rock and roll. The story is titled “A Paler Shade of White: How Indie Rock Lost Its Soul.”

Slate magazine, picking up on the chatter caused by Frere-Jones’ article, added its two cents with this story, bringing the class issue into the mix. The article agrees with the assertion that indie rock is a pasty affair, but it takes issue with many of Frere-Jones’ points, namely the Why of it all.

Evidenced by a rash of blog posts on the topic, Frere-Jones has been forced to defend both his thesis and use of the charged word “miscegenation.” His posts are on his New Yorker blog.

1 Response to “Is Indie Rock Too White?”


  1. 1 Dan Glenballs

    you don’t go to indie rock shows to dance. that’s for sure. indie rock venues should provide a smithering of sofas, beanbags and lounge chairs with a lot of dope and alcohol to recreate the euphoria you feel while jamming out in your room with your headphones on. I went to a couple indie shows in santa monica (not hip) and stood around trying to enjoy my favorite tunes but couldn’t get past the crowd of tight jean, straight haired, out-of-shape, stiff, white, occassional swayers that listened with their minds plugged in, mentally prepping their notes for their late night blog session. what a waste! “unlock your body and move yourself to dance” was not being heard or felt, just analyzed.
    And I agree whole-heartedly with Sasha on many points, especially about the whining, winjing, underbreath vocals. but trying to attribute influence to black or white culture, I’m not sure you’ll get anywhere with that one. It’s like saying a modern day aethiest in America hasn’t inherited puritan principles. We aren’t an island, and you don’t dance at an indie rock concert

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