An Apology Regarding Our Review of Tasche de la Rocha’s “Gold Rose”

The most recent issue of OffBeat included a review of Tasche de la Rocha’s forthcoming album, Gold Rose, that many people in our community believe was written in poor taste. We take these concerns very seriously and, upon further review, we recognize that publishing the write-up in question was an editorial oversight on our part.

The review’s author, Robert Fontenot, enjoyed Gold Rose and attempted to convey that in his review. However, it is clear that his enjoyment did not come across as intended and the final product has understandably upset many of our readers. As editor-in-chief, I apologize for this review. It should never have been published and has now been retracted from our website. We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with its author as well.

For almost 30 years, OffBeat has strived to highlight the best that New Orleans’ vibrant music scene has to offer. We haven’t always been perfect, but we have always approached our work with good intentions. We have nothing but love for the artists this city produces, and we are proud of the inclusive community that has existed here for generations. We look forward to shining a light on New Orleans’ unique culture for many years to come.

  • Howard Patterson

    Thank you. A classy retraction, response to your readers, and admission of your editorial misjudgement.

  • Richard Egner

    As someone who also got crapped on by Robert I’m glad to see this. I think virtually every review he has written in my time in NOLA exhibits a mean spirited, self aggrandizing and condescending tone. Were it satire it would be kind of funny, but as we are trying to make a living and being reviewed on the merits of our work, being subject to his agenda makes it doubly difficult to get gigs and advance our careers. He is more than welcome to his opinions but his continued bitterness. negativity and overarching need to be hipper than the rest of us is tiresome at best and ultimately boring.,,,Dick Deluxe

  • Noladarling

    I call BS! This is nothing new. The difference is some Offbeat Best of the Beat winners/nominees chimed in and had something to say. And because you care about those voices more, this days late apology and “review of author” is happening. People with less popular friends just had to deal with negative reviews. And this is standard for Offbeat.

  • Brian Seeger

    I appreciate the response and the retraction to this one particular episode, but anyone that actually has been on the scene and read this guy’s reviews has known that there is some sort of deep-rooted problem here. A review that he did for an exceptionally good record that I produced several years ago was so profoundly painful to me that it literally left me speechless – and ironically it had similar characteristics to this one – he actually liked the record, and used the word twee! It was a very sad day for me, and permanently altered my regard for the OffBeat.

    As far as I am concerned, the time for “re-evaluating” this relationship passed a long time ago. One could pick any random 10 reviews from this writer and see there is a pattern and a problem.

    Honestly, if you really want to do the right thing, you should go back and re-review every album you let this guy write about. That would show that the apology isn’t just empty words.

  • Harold Steinitz

    I was impressed that OffBeat had the courage to issue an apology and retraction of Robert Fontenot’s review of “Gold Rose”, and I fully agree with Richard Egner’s comments about the mean-spirited, negativity that seem to be Fontenot’s norm. As musicians who were reviewed by Fontenot in the last issue, we, and all those who enjoy our music, were completely floored by the hostile, inappropriate content and style of the reviewer. The review was not especially informative, but largely meant to show-off how sweepingly hurtful he could be. Furthermore, it was absolutely clear that he did not just listen to and review the music, but went very far from the music itself, apparently gathering personal information about the musicians that had no place in any review.

    Anyone is entitled to their opinion about whether they enjoy or value a particular piece of music or entire CD, but Fontenot went way beyond a music review, seemingly enjoying being intrusive, insensitive, and deliberately hurtful, not only insulting the
    musicians, who have all had long careers in music in various capacities, but also offending the many fans who have enjoyed our performances and recording.

    Thoughtful critiques are acceptable. Blatant, inappropriate hostility is not. I believe that OffBeat might consider requesting that another of your staff review our CD. I would hope they would have the wherewithal and skill to be respectful and appropriate.