New York Times’ Story On Musical Youth Strikes An Awfully Familiar Chord

Nov 20th, 2006 // 3 Comments

kidsrock.jpgIf yesterday’s New York Times piece on the Brooklyn kid-rock music scene–in which precocious yuppie hatchlings indulge their parents’ “we’re still cool” fantasies by forming bands–seemed somewhat familiar, it’s probably because a very similar article appeared three months ago in New York magazine. Granted, strikingly similar trend stories between dueling New York City media outlets are all but a given these days, especially since approximately 94% of all magazine and newspaper writers live in Park Slope, where both pieces were set. But it’s like the Times didn’t even care. Check the comparisons after the click-through.

Does it open with a pre-teen band playing in a bar in Brooklyn?
New York Magazine: YES
New York Times: YES

Does it include a photo shoot featuring moppet band Care Bears On Fire?
New York Magazine: YES
New York Times: YES

Does it include references to bands like Magnolia, Fiasco, and Tiny Masters Of Today, and note the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls?
New York Magazine: YES
New York Times: YES

Does it note that these kids are all influenced by Minor Threat?
New York Magazine: YES
New York Times: YES

Does it reference certain parents’ punk-rock past?
New York Magazine: YES
New York Times: YES

Does it make us grateful that our parents never tried to be all cool with their own music taste, and instead insisted on plying us with Johnny Mathis records?
New York Magazine: YES
New York Times: YES

We’re not saying this is plagiarism–the wave of multiple trend stories in the media could, in itself, be the subject of multiple trend stories–but yeesh: Didn’t anyone at the Times notice that their breaking-news trend story had already been covered, using pretty much the exact same characters and settings? Or does nobody there even bother reading New York?

Mama Was a Riot Grrrl? Then Pick Up a Guitar and Play [NY Times]
Burning Down The House [New York Magazine]

  1. mike a

    I read these articles with a mixture of horror and envy. Kid-band parents are not quite as horrible as pageant moms or the more Type A Little League dads, but in terms of trying to make your kids live out your failed dreams, they’re way too close.

    I’ve played in failed bands. I have two very young daughters. If they wanted to do something musical, I’d support it. But if they wanted to just, you know, go to school, play on the soccer team and hang out with their friends, I’d be just as OK with it. It’s a fine line between sharing your interests with your kids and trying to mold them into something unseemly.

  2. Chris Molanphy

    The near-plagiarism is bad, but if anything, the folks at the Times should be applauded for not reading New York. Watta rag.

  3. tee.

    The Times did the same thing a few weeks ago when New York ran that cover story on fools who think they’ll live to be 100 if they eat a borderline starvation diet. So they may not admit to it over at the nation’s venerable newspaper, but they’re sure as hell reading it.

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