The New York Times vs the New Yorker: On Rock Cruises

The latest issue of the New Yorker had an article by Sasha Frere-Jones about the rock cruise trend. The New York Times had a similar feature about a year ago. Both are fun to read, but in case you don’t have the time, here’s a comparison:

The New Yorker The New York Times
The Cruise “S.S. Coachella” “The Weezer Cruise”
Tone of Article Amused, initially skeptical, and ultimately unimpressed Amused, initially skeptical, but ultimately won over
Use of “rock the boat” pun In the title of the article: “Rock the Boat: Aboard the S.S. Coachella” In the title of a sidebar graphic about which stars are headlining cruises: “Who’s Rocking the Boat?
Comment about the weird juxtaposition of the cruise environment with the songs piped in by a D.J. “When walking down the carpeted halls past the Bulagri shop (which was empty whenever I looked in), you might hear the Clash. In the Oceanview Café, there was a loop of rock songs the the early two-thousands that included the Strokes and Interpol.’ “…a welcome center with a D.J. playing a reggae version of Nirvana’s ‘Heart Shaped Box.’‘I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black,’ Little Roy sang while I tried to figure out where my cabin was.”
Personally observed non-rock moment of a rock star aboard the cruise “James Murphy, of the defunct but beloved LCD Soundsystem, hosted a wine tasting, and spoke in detail about the appeal of natural wines. (There was some discussion of volcanic soil.)” In the gym: “’I hate those,’ Weezer’s bassist Scott Shriner told me as I struggled through some side planks, shortly before he turned himself upside down and knocked out a series of perfect inverted push-ups.”
The crowd on the top deck “They were well exercised and toned, and photographers closely documented their swimsuits.” “On Saturday morning, lounging on a deck chair next to me was a guy in a wool ski cap, shades, a T-shirt, shorts and sandals, enjoying a soft-serve ice cream cone and a Coors Light.”
How the rock cruise fits in with the state of the music biz “Its success is made possible by the fact that live performance is the one aspect of pop music that hasn’t taken a precipitate nosedive.” “The woes of the music industry over the last decade have become legendary, often a bigger and better-known story than the music itself. But during 10 years of cratering numbers for recorded music sales and up-and-down concert ticket revenues, the rise of the music cruise has been an unexpected bright spot.”
The Nut ‘Graf “S.S. Coachella foregrounds the choices that young, affluent music fans face. If they don’t want to sit out in the rain and mud at an outdoor festival, they can avail themselves of an environment that’s made for young professionals. Admitting that rock and roll isn’t an act of resistance anymore may not be a failure but an expression of logistical honesty.”  “Of course, music about alienation isn’t really made to increase the alienation of its audience but to relieve it, or at least give it expression. Still, something about the transition of this music from darkened clubs and concert halls to bright Caribbean waters seemed surprising, like waking up one day to find the math club out on the football field and winning.”
In Summation “”It was hard to escape the fact that many attendees were taking their parents’ vacation while trying not to look like them.” “It was weird. But it was awesome.”

 

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