Tag Archives: rock criticism

Five years! Five years!

To paraphrase what my fellow editors of The Singles Jukebox wrote to commemorate our fifth anniversary as an independent entity would be redundant, so let me instead laud the by now millions of words we’ve written since 2009 in the … Continue reading

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“The critic is always being swallowed up by the creative artist”

In a busy week for rockcrit as social media force, two pieces enraged and engaged the cognoscenti: the first questioned the musical knowledge of rock critics, the second mocked the idea of intelligent criticism of unfamiliar genres (I will not … Continue reading

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I really really really really really zig-a-zig-ahh: Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”

Tom Ewing arrives at Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” a single whose impact in America paled beside what the British experienced. Spicemania wasn’t an American phenomenon; we could barely tell the Spices apart. A couple of facts: we got “Wannabe” almost six … Continue reading

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Hey hey, my my, rockcrit will never die

This post has gotten play in the ever-shrinking sand trap known as professional rock criticism. I admit to my privilege. Without a spouse, children, and the burden of a job with inconvenient hours, I can pitch and accept assignments whenever … Continue reading

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” I’m not a fan because Nothing Was the Same doesn’t want me as a fan”

What progress American culture has made in the acceptance of what was once tagged subversive gets reified by the rush to universality. A kind of affective fallacy, it demands fealty to a specious premise: “like” means “equal.” Without fail its … Continue reading

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Targets of scorn accorded their place

Carl Wilson: In recent years, most people, and critics in particular, have become more live-and-let-live about one another’s varying musical tastes. Teen-pop, dance music, metal, and even Phil Collins, to name a few frequent targets of scorn, are all accorded … Continue reading

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The pleasure of hate, pt #456

Oh I long for the days when Rolling Stone ran long reviews of terrible albums by good bands: Blondie’s Autoamerican is a terrible album, but it’s bad in such an arcane, high-toned way that listening to it is perversely fascinating. … Continue reading

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I’m your dog but not your pet: Parallel Lines

Clem Burke’s drumming on Parallel Lines by itself affirms the nullity of the tagline “Blondie is a Band.” The fills in “Heart of Glass” (when I decide not to change the station it’s thanks to those fills), the fervid pounding … Continue reading

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That was your first mistake?

“If you’re going to be eccentric, for goodness sake don’t be pretentious about it,” growled Robert Christgau in 1971. He’s right about “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” my vote for worst song ever released by a Beatle, beating impressive competition from a … Continue reading

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Criticism, etc

A response to Katherine, Frank, Dave, Chuck, et al.: ERNEST. But is Criticism really a creative art? GILBERT. Why should it not be? It works with materials, and puts them into a form that is at once new and delightful. … Continue reading

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Last thoughts…

Rather than yield to the temptation of posting resolutions for which I’ll be accountable in public, and inspired by Mark Richardson and Eric Harvey‘s own remarks about originality and its discontents let me add a shibboleth to the short list … Continue reading

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Like MTV never happened…?

Michaelangelo Matos’ review of Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum’s I Want My MTV reminded me of a truth so obvious that it risks banality: how differently the eighties would have sounded — looked! — without videos. Yet he’s alert to … Continue reading

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