Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Taylor Swift, 'Welcome to New York' mash-up courtesy of Clayton Patterson



Longtime LES documentarian Clayton Patterson has re-imagined/re-edited Taylor Swift's much-maligned "Welcome to New York" video … with archival footage from his archives circa the 1980s and early 1990s, including the Tompkins Square riots… there's also some footage of GG Allin writhing around on Avenue B for good measure.



Per Clayton's message via email:

Are there no NYC songwriters or musicians who could write a song and be a face representing the city? There is no talent in NYC? What is the message to struggling or successful artists? Where are our politicians on this corporate insult to NYC talent? Where are the agencies that represent NYC talent? What is the message to struggling or successful artists? What is the message to the average NY'er? Tell me DeBlasio is different from Bloomberg. It is one thing to make NYC into a corporate mall filled with cookie cutter corporate businesses, but now we have an individual with almost no relationship to NYC as the face and voice representing the city. It is like we have lost our mind?

26 comments:

NOTORIOUS said...

Is his commentary that New York is a place for artists or a place to be brutalized by the police?

If it's the first, isn't there some recent footage of local working artists, say, Kembra Phaler playing in TSP, Penny Arcade, Bob Holman, etc., that could have been used to make this point? Or is the point to continuously past-worship?

Anonymous said...

Tay! is perfect to represent the NYC Today! She's young! rich! white! entitled! and peppy! much like the average New Yorker Today, esp. East Village Today!

Anonymous said...

Taylor Swift was a bad choice but to Notorious's point, why not counter with a piece celebrating real NYC artists?

moe said...

The use of the word WHITE as a put down by you fools is tiresome already. Be aware that the "great" East Village scenes that you endlessly crybaby over, punk, the squats, the art scene, etc were about 95 percent WHITE in case you forgot. I'm looking at that shot from in front of the Filmore, yeah it's a real soul kitchen out there.

You white folks that hate yourself, go see a therapist or committ suicide, whatever it takes, but putting down WHITE people every chance you get won't help. I barely know who this Swift person is, but I won't hold her skin color against her in any case.

Signed,
just another white guy.

Anonymous said...

Taylor Swift ain't no white?

It's ok for the mostly whites to push the mostly minorities out of their neighborhood but, no, don't ever call them white. How about bland as vanilla. Would the self-righteous white guy agree to that? Welcome to politically correct New York!

Anonymous said...

I am a white guy born and raised in this city and I second the comment left by Moe.

Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.

Anonymous said...

Was Lady a Gaga busy?

Anonymous said...

If anything this clip backfires from it's creators intent. The gushing from corporate America's favorite spokesperson Swift is preferable to the riot scenes and brutality which I am suppose to believe is a better place and time in which to live. I don't recall many artists deciding to confront the police in this manner they are too smart for that. We all know the city has been gutted of all most of its uniqueness and its cultural engine but what I've seen of this video none of this gets across probably because the intent is to shock and anger not educate and motivate us to join forces and use the laws in our favor.

FigKitty said...

People like Clayton Patterson (and certain commenters on this board) remind me of the middle-aged ladies rocking Farrah Fawcett hairdos well into the 90s while I was growing up in rural PA. Idealizing (and refusing to let go of) their own youth to the point where they couldn't see that times had changed, and they looked ridiculous. Maybe Taylor Swift isn't the best choice, but she's a lot more relevant to New York today than some old videos from the 80s and 90s are! It seems that the definition of "real New York" for some is "the New York that existed when I was in my 20s."

I guess it's natural to look back fondly on your youth but sadly, you can't freeze time. Let go or be dragged!

Anonymous said...

Not all whites are the same shade of white. It's not as black and white or as white and white as you "whites" see it. Yes, the EV of then were full of whites, Ukrainians, Polish, Eastern Europeans, Jews.... white immigrants. And yes, there's Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Jack Kerouac, etc are/were all white. Taylor Swift represents the white Middle-America, dull, bland, clueless. Anyone who can't see that and being defensive about the mentioning of white is as as obtuse and ignorant and witless as Taylor Swift and the whites she represent. And those who accuses of such comments as being middle-aged, you're wrong, but, of course, you'll always be a young kitty and never age.

Anonymous said...

Egads. This makes me pine for the days when Ryan Adams was like, the coolest musician repping NYC. Taylor Swift, the musical equivalent of a Subway sandwich or a Domino's pizza. I feel bad for kids growing up on this stuff I really do.

Giovanni said...

Race has nothing to do with it. The issue is class, entitlement and general cluelessness that results in Taylor Swift representing New York.

Watching her trying to explain the concept of a bodega and the pronunciation of Houston St. to newbies is cringe-worthy. Next she will be trying to explain the concept of tahini for those too clueless to Google it.

That being said there are very few non-whites having the kind of devastating impact on the neighborhood as these white bread Bros and Meghans. These kids have money, which they mostly didn't earn themselves, and use it to impose their entitlement on everyone else.

The issue is also about culture. When the Indians took over 6th St., or the Japanese and Koreans did the same on 8th and 9th Streets, or the Mexican taquerias sprouted up everywhere, they added culture to the EV, not subtracting from it.

The Japanese and Korean kids who come into the neighborhood in droves don't try to dominate it, they don't act loud and rude and drunk, they come to enjoy and be part of what's here.

But when the Bros open their bars and lounges and concept foodie restaurants the culture they bring and the crowds they attract do the opposite. It's Football Sunday every day, the culture is focussed on drinking and smoking and sports, on group screaming for every college team touchdown.

What happened to Murray Hill is happening here. The noise level on 8th St between 1st and A, and down on 2nd St ion weekends and in the evenings is unbelievable.

Taylor Swift embodies the Yunnie culture. She's not even from here but she acts like she already owns it.

FigKitty said...

Anon 10:21 - Nah, you're getting me confused with the commenters who can't seem to let go of their youth. I'm not such a young kitty (is that supposed to be dirty?) anymore, which I'm cool with.

FigKitty said...

Oh, and I'm not personally a huge fan of her music, but I wouldn't describe Taylor Swift as witless, ignorant, or obtuse. Homegirl's been hustling since she was 11 years old and is a legit, self-made success. That takes talent and hard work, whatever your views on country-pop.

Anonymous said...

If the issue is not about race, then you shouldn't define it by race. If one was use the term "black" as a synonym for "violent criminal", what a hubbub of complaint you would surely raise. But using "white" as a synonym for "clueless rich and stupid", well that is just so hip, yes?

Maybe not everyone agrees. Guess what, I am white, and am neither clueless, nor rich, nor stupid. How could that be?

Oh I am one of the "good whites" that is acceptable to your ilk, eh?

Anonymous said...

wow, you guys are idiots. Just share the video

Scooby said...

I'm forgetting about the white/black/brown/yellow issue here (and YES - I used those words specifically to point out the frailties of others' words)and going to a well made point expressed originally:


"Are there no NYC songwriters or musicians who could write a song and be a face representing the city? There is no talent in NYC? What is the message to struggling or successful artists? Where are our politicians on this corporate insult to NYC talent? Where are the agencies that represent NYC talent? What is the message to struggling or successful artists? What is the message to the average NY'er? Tell me DeBlasio is different from Bloomberg. It is one thing to make NYC into a corporate mall filled with cookie cutter corporate businesses, but now we have an individual with almost no relationship to NYC as the face and voice representing the city. It is like we have lost our mind?"

Well said, Clayton. "Tawk amongst yourselves"....

Anonymous said...

Figkitty calling Taylor Swift "Homegirl". HAHhahahAHAHHA!

Anonymous said...

Guess what. All these white midwesterners gentrifying Greenpoint and Astoria are pushing out and looking down on the those other whites -- the Italians, Greeks, Polish, Irish, immigrants. And yet these white midwesterners are whining and being a basic bitch that someone called them white. How would you describe Taylor Swift then? Not white? And all tthis because somene calledn their god Taylor Swift white.

“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."

Makeout said...

"good whites". Those are pants without grass or mustard stains right? It's after Labor Day what's the fucking point?

Anonymous said...

While I'm totally pissed off at the selection of Taylor Swift to represent NY, gotta admit that I don't understand the point of Clayton Patterson's video. I recall that NYC - some of the video is fantastic but there was much more to NYC than this. Even the commenters have pointed out other types of people who could also represent the recent history of the city but they're on in this video. I'm disappointed.

And totally cringing that TS thinks a bodega is what those Asian and Indian greenmarkets are. What to our Dominican bodega owners think of this re-definition, I wonder?

Scuba Diva said...

If they wanted a Tribeca chick as a New York spokesperson, why not Mariah Carey? At least she lives here.

Or, to quote Anonymous 7:17:

Was Lady a Gaga busy?

I wondered that too.

Lastly,

And totally cringing that TS thinks a bodega is what those Asian and Indian greenmarkets are. What to our Dominican bodega owners think of this re-definition, I wonder?

Yeah, I always thought "bodega" meant a corner store with Coca-Cola, Wonder bread, and no fresh produce at all. Seriously.

But "the bodega is your friend."

"Dogblog" said...

My NY is Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Reagan Youth, etc
Now NY is Taylor Swift....

Tale of two cities indeed

Former East Villager said...

What about Melissa Ellege (interviewed in ''Out and About")? To me, she'd be a great face and voice (and accordion!) to represent New York City. Her story, struggles, spirit and triumphs are timeless and inspirational.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it’s sooo tough being white, especially during SantaCon.

Anonymous said...

White is not a race. Caucasian is the race. And since when being called white a derogatory or offensive? Anyone who is offended by someone calling her white are just as clueless and daft as the ambassador of NYC. Bieng white is a privilege in Taylor Swift's city. NYPD will never stop-and-frisk you and put you into a chokehold. It's only a racist term to these whites being offended by it because when they realize the truth about their privileges, whatever pride they have in being white is crushed.