I’m not sure how to describe Jay Smooth‘s Ill Doctrine, but here goes: he’s the Dan Savage of (usually) music-related social commentary, which is to say a totally idiosyncratic voice on the side of just being reasonable. Or maybe Andy Rooney except the exact opposite. Every time I watch one of his oddly compelling video commentaries–I say oddly because they’re so spare and temperate, there’s nothing that reaches out and grabs you other than their pitch-perfect rhythm and efficiency–my first and strongest reaction is, “yeah, what he said.” Update: Someone needs to get him and Cass Sunstein together, because they’re kind of working on the same project.
I like him for the reasons Lee Sandlin likes fellow YouTube talking heads Beth and Val – a sort of virtuoso normalcy, and, as he puts it, “rigorous artistic economy.” If you want to vlog, watch some Jay Smooth first. What he’s able to do with spoken commentary is a rare gift. In a perfect world he’d have his own show on MSNBC, or even Fox News, just to blow some minds.
Anyway, his take on Asher Roth is, as usual, staggeringly reasonable; his reaction to a recent Roth Twitter blowup, which I had fortunately missed, is an admirable ethical model and a live demonstration of how to avoid outrage. In this week’s Time Out, Brent DiCrecenzo talks with Roth; I stand by my analysis that the only compelling thing about Asher Roth’s music is how boring it is.
Here’s Beth and Val, because why not.