Some of you know I frequently disagree with New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones, especially when he discusses race and music. Anyone who takes aim at my beloved Stephin Merritt or Win Butler best be prepared to face my ire. Pretty much every time the magazine arrives in my mailbox, I prepare to think hard about music and whether Sasha successfully defended his point that week.
Imagine my delight when dear Win wrote back in this week's issue.
Win responds to Frere-Jones's accusation that the Arcade Fire have no soul:
Being as I am in the Arcade Fire, I prickle a little bit at your statement that “[i]f there is a trace of soul, blues, reggae, or funk in Arcade Fire, it must be philosophical; it certainly isn’t audible.” In a somewhat … I dunno, is it childish to respond to critics this way? Anyway. I’ve attached an MP3 with parts of our songs that I think steal quite blatantly from black people’s music from all over the globe.And I could not resist this piece of Halloween candy from Mr. Butler...
Keep in mind, I’m not saying we’re the funkiest, most soulful bunch of dudes and ladies (though we do, at least, always clap on 2 and 4).God bless the Arcade Fire for doing what they do best. I love and miss so much of the same music and African-American influence that Frere-Jones misses in today's indie rock. Let's keep Arcade Fire and get some fresh indie bands that can bring the syncopated rhythms we crave. The new prog rockers and Kate Bush accolytes can stay home.
This girl likes her music funky some days
white and Canadian the next