A Brief History of the Times’ Valiant Attempts to Give Fucked Up Press Without Mentioning Them by Name


As a huge fan of the paper of record’s oft-awkward attempts to cover profane bands/albums/songs without actually naming them, so as to avoid offending anybody — my all-time favorite is still their refusal to cite Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds by name — you have to admire how often they continually heap praise onto Fucked Up anyway. This requires delicacy.

First came (sorely missed) Kalefa Sanneh’s 2007 dispatch on the band, a tricky thing, in that it’s a mini-profile that can’t even hint at the band’s name, not even like the initials, a “rhymes with ‘ducked cup,'” nothin’. Or as he puts it:

Pink Eyes is the lead roarer in a ferocious band from Toronto. What band? Well, the name won’t be printed in these pages, not unless an American president, or someone similar, says it by mistake.

The header on the piece is seriously “Music Review: ********.” Impressive. Next came a slideshow from October’s epic Rogan Store conflagration, a photo set named, and I’m assuming this is a typo, An All-Night Set for a Band With an Unprintable Band. And then a report from their Market Hotel show the night of Obama’s inauguration, the matter quickly settled with a “brisk punk band from Toronto, with an unpublishable name.” They’re pros at this by now.

I bring this up because Fucked Up got some surreptitious shine again yesterday, and thanks to, of all people, Mos Def. The star of this week’s “Playlist” column, wherein celebs get to put on their rock-critic hats and write them some blurbs, his last, initially confusing entry is headlined “********.”

You know how you hear something and you just relate? They rock. I like the title of their album too: “The Chemistry of Common Life” (Matador). I think I found out about them on the Net, I saw their name [unprintable in this newspaper], I said, “I’m game, I want to see what they’re about.”

So do I, Mos Def. Let’s just hope Fucked Up continues to do notable things. Thank god I write for an alt-weekly.

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