Tag Archives: rock criticism

The drama that you’re craving: Sleater-Kinney

Rob Sheffield’s nine or ten out of ten review in Details published in the spring of 1997 introduced me to Sleater-Kinney. Unacquainted with Liliput, Essential Logic, Public Image Ltd, and the most violent aspects of post punk, I had no … Continue reading

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Weightless, semi-erotic: Interpol in 2007

As nostalgia objects, Interpol are more fun than when they fooled a lot of us into thinking they were going to be a great band. Few kids of either sex took Duran Duran seriously — those sassy boys with impeccable … Continue reading

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Dirty Work: ‘a tattered, embarrassed triumph’

As the online bone structure of Stylus Magazine begins to fray like an undusted dinosaur skeleton in a museum, I’ve taken to scanning, printing, and caching my archives. I’ll post them from time to time. One of my first pieces … Continue reading

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‘You know I could never be alone’

Distorted by a middle section that chews on the blues without swallowing it, Sticky Fingers is the least of the great albums the Stones released Beggars Banquet in 1968 and Exile on Main Street in 1972, but you’d have to … Continue reading

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Poptometry

Ten days after EMP PopCon kicked off a poptimism discussion that continues unabated, and while any discussion concerns at best a coterie of a coterie, one of the loudest complaints comes from those who think the pop 1 percent get … Continue reading

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The danger of gender-based criticism

One of my longstanding biases, shared with other male critics, is a tendency to align gender and analogies. I’m working on it. Liz Phair must come up when reviewing Speedy Ortiz — why not Luna, particularly the Luna of Penthouse, … Continue reading

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On poptimism, ubiquity, and Rod McKuen: EMP Pop Conference 2015

Flying home from another EMP Pop Conference while my seat companion laughs aloud reading David Baldacci provides a good chance to think about the opening keynote panel on Thursday, April 15, often the conference’s intellectual ballast. This year’s opening night … Continue reading

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‘It all dies in the room’

Rob Tannenbaum had fun reporting what Jann Wenner told him about how induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t work. No surprises, just details. The pullquote is in a paragraph noting the exclusion of Mariah Carey, Janet … Continue reading

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The derision of the fangirl

Thanks, Sandra Song, for reminding me of afternoons spent around crying men wracked with sobs over a home run: The continual derision of the “fangirl” is damaging, it perpetuates the idea that girls act one way, and boys another. Within … Continue reading

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“Boys don’t sing Madonna”

Tonight, after I dream of dancing with someone else, I remember what I wrote eight years ago about Like a Virgin and The Immaculate Collection: Since my parents didn’t get cable until 1999 I never dismissed Madonna as a videos-yes-songs-meh … Continue reading

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The bus rides and the nowhere to go: Sinatra

Shuja Haider’s preface before his ranking of Sinatra’s great albums: Sinatra is the most authentic interpreter of these songs because his voice and personality, iconic as they are, exist only in service to them. He sounds so familiar now it’s … Continue reading

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Regarding the “-isms” of others

Fellow Jukeboxer Crystal Leww, who wrote a lucid and funny delineation of what male critics should do, responded to an anonymous poster questioning her attitude: Let’s be absolutely 100% clear: I don’t owe you or anyone else an explanation. My … Continue reading

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