Sasha-Frere Jones's recent New Yorker piece "A Paler Shade of White: How Indie Rock Lost Its Soul" has inspired its biggest outrage yet! Over at Playboy's blog (which we just found out existed), staff editor Tim Mohr makes a well-reasoned argument that the "blackness" whose absence Frere-Jones is mourning in indie rock is an outmoded stereotype, and that music made for body and mind need not be mutually exclusive. Oh, and then he calls him a racist.
Since [Frere-Jones'] stock in trade is calling other people names — he famously branded Stephin Merritt a racist because Merritt published a list of his favorite musicians of the 20th century in Time Out New York without, Frere-Jones insisted, a sufficient number of black artists on it — Frere-Jones' alarming lack of self-awareness must not be laughed off or excused. With this piece Frere-Jones has demonstrated himself every bit the racist — for buying into this pathetically regressive set of ideas—as any 1950s Southern preacher who decried white interest in animalistic, vulgar race music.