Saturday, September 27, 2008

Can Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson escape the curse of TVOTR and Grizzly Bear endorsements?

I really don't fuckin know. It seems every blogger, and newsperson, who writes about Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (MBAR) feels the need to attribute any appearance of MBAR's talent to the alleged talents of TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear - his producers, co-workers, friends, etc. Of course, that might be the case, but I don't buy it. You can produce the fuck out of something, but it's usually pretty easy to hear. And now that I've heard MBAR live, it's obvious - I was right - the dude is at least as good, at least as talented, as we suspected. And it has nothing at all to do with his producers or endorsements.

Even a recent Boston Globe article can't help but mention that it's OK to write about MBAR because, he's been endorsed, dontchaknow?

He's the 25-year-old kid endorsed by TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear - two of the biggest bands in the overheated indie troposphere.
Maybe I'm not awestruck by these endorsements because, until MBAR came along, I had never heard of TVOTR nor Grizzly Bear.

At least the Globe tries to recover a bit, and allows one of his endorsers to suggest that maybe, just maybe, this kid from Portland might actually not be a brain-dead hack -- that he might, in fact, have some talent of his very own:
"People like to feel that suffering is the only truth, and that's the only place where real beauty can come from," says Kyp Malone, the frontman of TV on the Radio. "That comes from rock 'n' roll and all the archetypes - the geniuses dead at 27, all strung out. Miles has a lot of that in him. He's also really, really smart. I feel like whatever he wants, he can have it. Or he can blow it. Either way, he's added something to my life already. My life has been enriched."
It's kind of odd to say it - I think it's probably just the nature of hack bloggers who can't think for themselves - but I wonder if racism has anything to do with this. I mean, is it possible that a black (mixed race?) kid could have talent? And could, like, write stuff down on paper that was, like, smart? I know white people tend to scoff at the idea that racism is deeply rooted in the American psyche - it's not something that is pleasant to talk about - but when someone with such magnificent talent rolls around, and every blogger everywhere is falling all over themselves to explain how something like this could possibly happen - and they all come to the same conclusion - it's not the black kid, it's someone else - how could it be anything but plain old racism? It's his producers. It's the weather. Who knows what the fuck. It's anything but the obvious. Why is this so difficult to come to terms with?

Note to all syncophantic MBAR bloggers everywhere -- stop being such whiny little incontinent spewers of your own subservience - it's boring. Grow some, and write something with confidence. If you love the dude, say it. If you hate the dude, say it. Go on the record. Don't hide behind this "well, so and so produced him" bullshit.

[Update:] Found some text that almost qualifies as genuine praise. It's still got the obligatory refs to producers, but we're getting closer:

9:10, Roseland
Portlanders, you need to know Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson. The Portland native defected to New York after high school (he’s a Wilson HS grad) and became chummy with the bands Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio—who have since helped him scale the ranks of New York’s music scene. He broke a guitar string on the first song, and his voice was shot, but Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson was fuckin’ incredible. (WH)
Developing...

...still got the obligatory TVOTR ref, but some refs have dropped out. This is promising.

1 comment:

Matt said...

http://mattshaer.tumblr.com/post/52610706/ripped-racist