The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Pitchfork Catches the Jason Blair Fever

Holy shit, this DiCrescenzo/Pitchfork controversy is getting more interesting by the indie rock minute. If you can't recall what first ignited this hell of a fabricated storm, Brent DiCrescenzo, one of Pitchfork Media's more prominently known authors, signed off from the online publication after reviewing the latest Beastie Boys album, To the Five Boroughs. It evidently turns out it wasn't the album's rating of a 7.9 that pissed people off. A retraction first appeared on Pitchfork a couple of days after DiCrescenzo submitted his last contribution:

Retraction: The original version of this review detailed the author's accounts of working with the Beastie Boys' public relations firm Nasty Little Man, and its president Steve Martin, over several years. Many of the author's claims are now in dispute from the firm. We have tried to reach the author, but his whereabouts are presently unknown. As such, we cannot attest to the factuality of the author's account, and have removed all reference to Steve Martin and his company from the following piece.

Someone was kind enough to post the much-debated review that Pitchfork removed off their website here. It turns out that Brent bullshitted more than your typical Adderall-fueled college student writing a sociology paper that's due in six hours. Ripping a page out of Jason Blair's "The Journalist's Fabrication Handbook", Mr. DiCrescenzo falsified information not only about a Radiohead concert in Italy that never took place, but also his supposed ballyhooed interactions with PR executive and the B-Boys' publicist, Steve Martin. When I checked out Pitchfork today, I wasn't welcomed with the typical Interpol news and !!! album review that usually grace its pages. Instead, I was brought to a simple text screen and white background stating the following:


Last Tuesday, June 15th, Pitchfork published a review of the Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs by Brent DiCrescenzo, a frequent and trusted contributor. In his review, Brent detailed experiences with the Beastie Boys' public relations firm Nasty Little Man, and its president Steve Martin, over the course of several years. Pitchfork has since determined that a number of DiCrescenzo's assertions were false, based on corroborated statements from the two parties he claimed were participating in the chain of events referred to in the review. With apologies to Steve Martin and Nasty Little Man, we have retracted the original review in its entirety, and would like to make the following known publicly, to correct any and all falsities perpetrated by Brent's review:

1) Radiohead were never in Milan in June 1999.

2) Radiohead never moved a concert from Villa Reale in Milan to Monza in 1999, 2000 or otherwise.

3) Steve Martin never "forgot to tell" Brent that the concert was moved, as it was not.

4) Neither Steve Martin, nor anyone working for Nasty Little Man, ever confirmed a Radiohead interview with Brent DiCrescenzo or Pitchfork.

5) Brent DiCrescenzo's declaration that Steve Martin had not gotten back to him or Mean magazine about a possible Beastie Boys interview after six weeks is untrue: Martin was in constant contact with Mean publisher Kashy Khaledi and editor Andy Hunter throughout that period.

6) Mean magazine never "delayed their publication to accomodate [Martin's] procrastination." Kashy Khaledi did so of his own volition in order to keep the Beastie Boys cover story Martin had confirmed and saw through with him every step of the way.

7) Steve Martin has never, to Brent DiCrescenzo's knowledge, "dangled [his] major artists... like carrots to the media in an attempt to blackmail press for features" on less established artists or bands.

Pitchfork Media

There's definitely an underlying question going on here... how legitimate were the rest of DiCrescenzo's reviews? Was he just cockteasing his readers, taking them along for the bogus ride? Of course I can wholeheartedly agree with his review of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, giving the album a perfect 10.0, but did he really have to give St. Anger a pathetic 2.9? Ok, so maybe he's not full of shit all the time.

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