Good writers love to play with words and concepts, that’s a given.They didn’t get into the journalism racket for the fat paychecks. Not 40 years ago at the height of Watergate, and certainly not in today’s low pay, high mortality news and alt weekly writing game.
Which brings us to Washington Post pop critic Chris Richards’ story today, “Are foodies quietly killing rock-and-roll?”
While Richards makes clever inroads in mounting that argument, one could easily pit the rise in popularity of cooking shows, restaurants and food trucks against any number of beleaguered industries and argue the same.
The basic problem with Richards argument being, there’s really no correlation between the rise in popularity of food and the fall of rock. Gourmet dining didn’t knock off rock music anymore than it did jazz decades earlier when basic comfort foods began to give way to more upscale dining options.
The bottom line in life and culture: Shit happens but it’s not always causal.
I mean, the car did knock off the horse, CDs did records in and other examples abound, but there’s a direct cause and effect. People aren’t eating more extravagantly at the expense of music. Please.
Which isn’t to say Richards doesn’t mount some entertaining arguments.
“Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of the foodie class and decline of the record industry,” he writes. “Are the two related? When did we start talking about new food trucks instead of new bands?”
“The day-long event features music from 22 acts, including Phoenix, Kendrick Lamar and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, plus noshables from dozens of vendors…”
Hold it right there, CR my man.
Thousands of people aren’t dropping $75 to $150 each so they can binge on food trucks. They’re going for the headliners and up and coming acts like Gary Clark Jr., Solange and Lindsey Sterling. Artists that could be the next Fun., who broke out after appearing at last year’s Sweetlife fest.
Richards s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s to say Brooklyn’s Great Googa Mooga festival next week puts food ahead of music in importance. It’s a ridiculous claim. The Great Googa’s tagline may list food and drink ahead of music, but don’t let that fool you. The fest didn’t sellout the $50 tickets in advance for the Friday night lineup lineup of Chairlift, The Darkness, Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs because of the food.
Saturday’s lineup headlined by Matt & Kim is more eclectic – but not sold out – as is Sunday’s with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings atop the bill. In other words it was the popularity of the artists that sold out the event, not the food, which there’s actually more of on Saturday and Sunday.
Now check out what else Richards is smoking…
“(It’s) evidence that food culture isn’t linking arms with rock-and-roll so much as replacing it,” he writes. “That’s because today’s gastronomical adventures provide the thrills that rock-and-roll used to.”
Take those bands off the bills and you’ve got moderate to lightly attended festivals with either no cover charge or a miniscule entry fee.
“Saturday’s gathering includes more than 20 regional food and drink vendors but only two local acts,” he writes. “The foodies may not have killed rock-and-roll, but they’re quietly burying it, in Washington and everywhere else.”
Talk about dumb and dumber…
Nobody cares about the local acts are on Sweetlife’s bill, they’re coming for the big name national acts. Duh.