Lyrical Assassin: “For a music critic, being immortalized in song could be the highest compliment…unless the song is a death threat.”
Music critic Michael Azerrad gets the sort of publicity every critic secretly craves. Until it happens (at least in this fashion). (Some interesting mentions in this piece as well of songs I had no idea existed, about Gina Arnold, Ira Robbins, and… Robert Hilburn?)
Since it’s nearly mid-terms time, we pose a test of our own. Actually, it’s the Proust Questionnaire (as adapted through Bernard Pivot & used by James Lipton on his show Inside the Actors Studio).
1) What is your favorite word?
2) What is your least favorite word?
3) What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
4) What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
5) What sound or noise do you love?
6) What sound or noise do you hate?
7) What is your favorite curse word?
8 ) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
9) What profession would you not like to do?
10) If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
The second installment of the Eddy podcast focuses on the discographies in Stranded (Greil Marcus) and Marooned (Phil Freeman). Most (though not all) of the music bits are samples of songs culled from Marcus’s text. I may have more to say about this later (a whole bunch of things I wish I’d responded to at the time — i.e., Hackamore Brick), but for now… Check it out below (it’s a little over 15-min. long). More Chuck on the way later in the week.
It might have been relevant in the previous post — the Eddy interview — to link to Randall Roberts’ lengthy analysis of The New Rolling Stone Record Guide (the second — or blue — edition) from a paper he presented at EMP a few years ago. I still need to fully re-read the thing myself, but my impression is that what he says about the guide is (somewhat? perhaps?) in contradiction to what Chuck says — but, as I said, I haven’t yet re-read it .
Some time back I started running through the music titles on my bookshelf (which you can catch in progress here), but I’ve decided to open things up somewhat by chatting with some other critics — to get their thoughts on some of my favourite music books. Or to delve into some of the music books that matter to them. Or maybe even to discuss books which they themselves have written. Or something.
To kick things off, I gave Chuck Eddy a call in New York to talk about record guides. (You may recall that Chuck himself is the author of a highly regarded — and oft-disputed — record guide of his own.) Chuck and I shared lists beforehand, and I think I told him we’d talk for 30-40 minutes and that I would commandeer the conversation. Of course, we went thrice as long as that, and I completely messed up on the commandeering part (as you’ll note in the discussion, I basically provide zero context as we go along… all those years studying Radio and Televison Arts were clearly a waste). I’ll post parts of our discussion in two or three different segments (there’ll be more hopefully next week).
In this part of the conversation, we chat mostly about four books:
The Rolling Stone Record Guide (first edition, 1979, edited by Dave Marsh & John Swenson)
New Rolling Stone Record Guide (second edition, 1983, edited by Dave Marsh & John Swenson)
Nothing makes us happier than when a fellow rock writer and musician is seen fit to be featured in someone’s blog. Such was the case when Deborah Frost was interviewed for Life, Words & Rock ‘n’ Roll, Chicago scribe Stephanie Kuehnert’s blog about, you guessed it, rock and roll life. In it, Deb discusses her band, the Brain Surgeons, livelihood despite icky record labels and her band’s new record, Denial of Death. Described as rather lengthy, you will uncover many facts you may have glossed over before, like the rock royalty writer taking singing lessons from a celebrated opera coach and her first impromptu gig singing “Que Sera Sera” at a grand hotel in Palm Beach, FL.
There’s even a raffle for her goods more suggestive of another Florida coast. She also addresses the girlhood phenomena of two Beatle camps; those who wanted to be girlfriends, or members of the fab four themselves. So what are you waiting for? Hop to it. Then, of course, reread our fabulous interview with her.
I meant to post this about three weeks ago… Sometime rockcritics.com contributor, Aaron Aradillas, has a good Internet radio gig at at the Movie Geeks portal. Aaron’s show is called “Back By Midnight,” and focuses on “all things home entertainment.” Readers of this site will be especially interested to hear this episode with guest Robert Christgau (among others) talking about James Brown. (Christgau joins about an hour in.)