Nerd alert: The New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh on hardcore music

California hardcore punk band Black Flag
California hardcore punk band Black Flag
Al Flipside / Sony Picture Classics

For most of my life, I’ve been a fan of hardcore music – that louder, faster, less artful (and perhaps less-appreciated) child of punk rock. It was my real first love.

It’s something I discovered in Virginia Beach, Va. in the mid-1980s when a friend from across the street dubbed me a tape of Minor Threat’s first two records. And even though I’m well into adulthood and that cassette is long gone, the music has stuck with me.

The New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh came on Morning Joe today to discuss Ron Paul’s campaign, and I ambushed him after that interview and asked him to share with me his thoughts on the subject of hardcore in 2012. Just because!

I’d never spoken to Sanneh before our quick chat, but I knew hardcore was something he’d be able to talk about.

What follows is a roughly 9-minute discussion about the genre’s relationship with popular music criticism and its overall development in the United States. It’s exceedingly nerdy, and Sanneh’s ability and willingness to expound on it immediately and with great fondness (and at such an early hour), warmed my heart.

The video cuts off at the end because the Flip cam ran out of space, and Sanneh sagely noted that it was alright because “…a lot of hardcore songs end abruptly.”

True indeed.


Nerd alert: The New Yorker's Kelefa Sanneh on hardcore music