Yo, Pareles! Canada’s with Gwyneth!

Montreal.jpgOoooh, SNAP! Bill Keller, ready the memo: another NYT writer is getting the smackdown! Music critic Jon Pareles — infamous for his evisceration of Coldplay this past summer — gets the smackdown — rightfully — from The Toronto Star: not only does Pareles identify Toronto band Broken Social Scene as being from Montreal, but then proceeds to define them almost entirely in terms of the Montreal music scene. Oops.

Writer Douglas Bell is irritated by both the Times’ correction, which merely states: “A CD review on Monday about the band Broken Social Scene and the album bearing its name misidentified its home city. It is Toronto, not Montreal.” Considering that the review is 285 words long, the mistake is no small thing. Bell notes the following examples of how Pareles defines BSS by MTL:

  • “…its members, now about a dozen, are also active in other Montreal bands…”
  • “The sound of 21st-century Montreal is coalescing as upbeat anthems overstuffed with instruments and eccentricities…”
  • “But Broken Social Scene refuses to ride on Montreal’s momentum…”
  • “Broken Social Scene doesn’t tamp down its Montreal exuberance.”
I identify this one, to which Bell alludes:

  • “That style was as much a part of Broken Social Scene’s beloved 2002 album, ‘You Forgot It in People’ (Arts & Crafts), as of the Arcade Fire’s more immediately celebrated 2004 album, ‘Funeral.'”
That’s 88 words, FYI.

On the scale of nastiness, Bell falls somewhere between Pareles’ own nasty review of Coldplay and Gwyneth’s soft-spoken assertion that she wished Pareles “extreme misery and bodily harm” for hatin’ on her hubby. Bell just dismisses most of the review as “bullshit” and reasserts the universal truth that Broken Social Scene ROCKS. Because, at the end of the day, it’s all about the music, man.

Disclosure: Despite the exhortations of my friend Catonia, I actually don’t know Broken Social Scene — bad Canadian! I do, however, like Arcade Fire, even though if you reaaally listen to the words you’ll hear that “Crown of Love” isn’t the sweet love song you thought it was when someone dedicated it to you. Hmph.

New York Times gets its Social Scenes crossed [Toronto Star]
Broken Social Scene [NYT via internet]

Gwyneth hates on Jon Pareles [Vogue via Style.Com]
The Case Against Coldplay [NYT via AZNews]