New York “Times” Discovers Black People On The Radio

Brian Raftery | January 29, 2007 11:26 am

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a lengthy Sunday Styles piece on the perceived prominence of black musicians (specifically, members of TV On The Radio, Bloc Party, and the Dears) within the indie-music scene. Because the subject of race tends to get indie-types all hot and bothered–after all, it’s a genre that seems to be produced and consumed almost exclusively by white people, a fact of which everyone seems to be aware–the story has been met with considerable debate, and one passage in general seems to have drawn the most ire:

But 40 years after black musicians laid down the foundations of rock, then largely left the genre to white artists and fans, some blacks are again looking to reconnect with the rock music scene.

Ooof! While there’s no doubt that rock has been primarily a whites-only enterprise for decades, we’re pretty sure that black musicians didn’t voluntarily “leave” the genre: rather, they were all but forced out when record labels realized that Pat Boone’s version of “Tutti Frutti” could make them a lot more money than Little Richard’s rendition. And since when does–which is credited in the story for legitimizing the term “bilpster,” or “black hipster”–count as a credible Times source? Does that mean we should expect a William Safire essay on “Wentz face“?

Truly Indie Fans [New York Times]