New Yorker Pop Critic Admits 'Indie' Gaffes
Says his peers are loath to concede critical mistakes
By Michael Foreman,  Newser User
Posted Sep 1, 2008 10:51 AM CDT
Critic Sasha Frere-Jones brings insightful pop music critiques to the stuffy "New Yorker."    (©Mike Licht,
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – You may have missed it, but the New Yorker pays attention to pop music. Flip past articles on dead American poets and you might find insightful, sometimes scathing, music critiques by Sasha Frere-Jones. The musician and critic sat down with Gelf Magazine to discuss the problems with defining indie rock—and owning up to mistakes he’s made in missing the mark.

Indie "denotes a social affiliation," Frere-Jones says. "Meaning people who do 'indie' things are listening to 'indie' music." But he admits past attempts to define genres like black music have fallen short: "The experience of being wrong (or sloppy) in public was really fruitful and got me thinking … how rarely popular critics go back and say, 'Hey, I got this wrong.'"