May 2023

Sean Fennessey on the White Stripes

I adore the Bandsplain podcast, and (mostly) loved The White Stripes. But this great pod’s episode on The White Stripes is deeply marred by the presence of Sean Fennessey. Fennessey claims to be a fan, though you’d be hard pressed to tell. Nor does he appear to understand the music—almost every word he utters involving blues music, the blues tradition, and The White Stripes is, at best (rarely) merely shallow, otherwise misguided or simply wrong. What’s the point of his presence? The cynic in me, countered only by my respect for Bandsplain host Yasi Selek, is that this was motivated by politics: Fennessey is “Head of Content” for The Ringer, which acquired Bandsplain late last year. When will AI be able to easily remove a dud of a guest like Fennessey from a podcast for me?

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