March Madness: Nikolai Fraiture Interview from 2001

Today’s offering for Strokes March Madness: Here’s a 2001 interview that Nikolai Fraiture did with a college publication cleverly called Univercity.

My favorite part is when Niko is asked whether the band would change its sound over time or whether they would stick to what they were doing (in 2001), he responded, “For the moment, we’re happy with what we’re doing. But we’ll have to progress and change. We don’t know how it will take place, but we definitely hope to move on.”

New York Times Popularizes the Term “Blipster”–Guaranteed To Offend Just About Everyone

In a article about indie music lovers who happen to be black, published on January 28th on, included the following passage:

There is even a new word for black fans of indie rock: “blipster,” which was added to UrbanDictionary .com last summer, defined as “a person who is black and also can be stereotyped by appearance, musical taste, and/or social scene as a hipster.”

Bahr Brown, an East Harlem resident whose Converse sneakers could be considered blipster attire, opened a skateboard and clothing boutique, Everything Must Go, in the neighborhood in October, to cater to consumers who, like himself, want to dress with the accouterments of indie rock: “young people who wear tight jeans and Vans and skateboard through the projects,” he said.

Uh… is this like how things were so “deck” and 30-somethings were “Yupsters”? Another horrible made-up word to piss off everyone? I think hipsters have a hard enough time using the word “hipster”, let alone trying to break themselves up by ethnicity. What’s next? Asiasters? Indie-Indians? Whitester?

I guess it’s one of those things you just have to laugh about…take an comment by 360 Curl in the post below where I first mentioned the article:

frederick douglass was such a blipster

The New York Times Gets Around to Correcting Their Errors…One and a Half Years Later

Way back in June of 2005, I had a hissyfit when in a Jon Pareles article about Coldplay, Pareles wrote that Travis and Embrace were influenced by Chris and co. I commented on the article in their forums (which I NEVER do) since I was so outraged, having been a fan of both Coldplay and Travis.

The original inflammatory passage:

“‘Am I a part of the cure/Or am I part of the disease,’ Martin pondered in ‘Clocks’ on ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head.’ Actually, he’s contagious. Particularly in its native England, Coldplay has spawned a generation of one-word bands–Athlete, Embrace, Keane, Starsailor, Travis and Aqualung among them–that are more than eager to follow through on Coldplay’s tremulous, ringing anthems of insecurity.”

The New York Times attached a correction to the article (originally published June 5, 2005) on December 24, 2006:

Correction: December 24, 2006

An article on June 5, 2005, critical of the band Coldplay referred incorrectly to the groups Embrace and Travis. They released records before Coldplay did; they were not part of a generation of one-word bands spawned by Coldplay. A reader’s e-mail message on Dec. 11 pointed out the errors.


Thanks to Fo for the blood-boiling link.

Critics…Critics Who Rate Critics

Time Out New York‘s latest issue takes New York critics to task by dissecting their knowledge, style, taste, and influence and ranking them.

For music critics, The New Yorker‘s Sasha Frere-Jones comes out on top, with a 4.98, and New York Times critic (and favorite TMA villian–yup, still pissed about that Strokes review like 3 years ago) Kelefa Sanneh.

Thankfully no ranking of music bloggers…probably all the comments would be something like this: “pretentious…” “seems to sometimes write drunk…” “seems more interested in style than substance…” “does not show a broad knowledge of music…” “reads like a press release…” “impossible to read at times…” “shows a weird fascination with Carrie Underwood…” “Zzzzzzzzzz…” Gets a Redesign, Scratches Its Head?

New York, Neewwww Yoooorrrkk!

Did you catch the New York Times Web site redesign that launched this morning? Only thing is, doesn’t it kinda look suspiciously similar to the New York magazine site redesign which happened earlier this year? Hmmm…

Well in the New York Times‘ defense, redesigns take a very long time (According to Leonard Apcar, Editor of, they started working on it a year ago.), so maybe (hopefully) this particular design was already in the works before launched. Perhaps all great New York-centric minds (or art departments) think alike? Or maybe some consulting firm just did a two-for-one market research deal.

ny times redesign


new york magazine redesign

Or how about when you drill down…

ny times redesign


new york magazine redesign


Oh, on a side note an article on Sondre Lerche (pictured above) written by my friend Sara is in the latest issue of New York magazine.

The Strokes Are the 23rd Most Loathsome New Yorkers

Well at least according to the NY Press

The Strokes

Rock Band

The music industry likes to blame massive file-sharing for their miserable status, but what they forget is that this era produced bands like The Strokes and touted them as the saviors of rock ‘n’ roll. Relying on the crude, formulaic approach jumpstarted decades ago by the likes of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, The Strokes are far from saviors of the ailing music industry.

Instead, they have swayed rock from being dangerous, thrilling—hell, even enjoyable—to stale, monotonous and wearisome. After straddling the indie/mainstream fence with their first release, we should have recognized they are no more “saviors” than the Rolling Stones, for whom they opened on tour. We can only pray for something as miraculous as the Apocalypse if they are able to sustain their careers to the age of those British geezers.

There is a place for simple, catchy rock; but for minimalist rock movements to succeed, substance must triumph over style, pretension sacrificed to essence. With the über-pompous Strokes, it’s difficult even to tolerate their crudeness from a jukebox muffled with the converse of bar patrons. Are they the saviors of rock ‘n’ roll? Maybe in the sense that their presence could result in the utter destruction of an archaic, out-of-touch music industry.

Nick Sylvester Suspended and Fired for Fabricated Story in the Village Voice

Woah. I know this has been written up everywhere, but I just found out about the Nick Sylvester scandal. In case you have been as in the dark as I have been, the story is that Village Voice senior associate editor (btw- who made that job title up?) Nick Sylvester’s cover story, “Do You Want to Kiss Me?”, contained fabricated stories and misrepresentations. The Voice has “suspended” Sylvester and further investigation into the validity of the story will occur…and based on the comments by acting Editor-in-Chief Doug Simmons to Gawker, a stern talking to about the “boundaries of journalism.”

Sylvester, who also wrote for Pitchfork resigned this Thursday from his associate edtior position at the Web site after being asked to quit. Because lord knows Pitchfork can’t afford to have its good reputation as a beacon of truth tarnished. And since Pitchfork updates so frequently, they’ve already taken the liberty of deleting his name from the masthead. (Compare with the cached version.)

Anyone else feeling that this title and headline of a story Nick wrote last month is…well…now filled with irony?:

Morals get fuzzy as biz tries to embrace the blog world


Two Out of Three Ain’t Good?

Ouch! I was just reading an interview with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs from The Guardian, and the writer Lynsey Hansley contextualized the YYY’s place in modern rock by commenting on two of my other favorite American rock bands:

In the three years since Fever to Tell‘s release, their New York counterparts the Strokes have released two underwhelming albums, while the White Stripes, the band whom the Yeah Yeah Yeahs supported at their first-ever gig in 2001, have become one of the world’s biggest rock bands. While staying true to their cool, uncompromising attitude, YYYs’ Show Your Bones easily outscores the Strokes’ efforts in its combination of artistic ambition and poppy accessibility.

I didn’t realize this was a contest. Thoughts?

Celebrity Spin

Check out the Village Voice cover story about “celebrity djs” written by Ms. Tricia Romano. She explores the world of rock star picking up extra cash, keeping themselves occupied from hookers and blow, and much more. My favorite thing about this article is that it concentrates on whether or not some of these rockers are “djs” as opposed to figuring out if some of these musicians are “celebrities.”

village voice celebrity spin

Actually, speaking of DJs, check out this video of DFA-family member The Juan Maclean doing a live DJ set last week in Seattle:

WATCH: The Juan Maclean performing in Seattle