Bangs Radio Interview 1980 (audio version)

In 2001 we posted a transcribed version of a “lost” Lester Bangs interview from 1980 (transcript is here, along with the back story); the audio version, sans anyone’s permission (I will take it down if I’m informed that it needs to come down) is now available on the rockcritics YouTube page. It’s a terrific listen, with Lester in lucid form (warm, biting, funny). Continue reading Bangs Radio Interview 1980 (audio version)

“American Pie” and 1972 (zoomcast)

Phil Dellio’s new book, Happy for a While: “American Pie,” 1972, and the Awkward, Confusing Now, is the subject of a wide-ranging (well, lengthy—we don’t really shift gears all that much) zoom call between Phil, Chuck Eddy, and myself, available on the newly launched YouTube channel. Phil’s book is fantastic, and available through Amazon. Steve Pick wrote a great review on his Substack newsletter. … Continue reading “American Pie” and 1972 (zoomcast)

RockCritics DotCom’s Spring/Summer 2023 Extravaganza —

starts tomorrow, June 1. Unless I’m not ready and it starts June 2. In any case, lots of material lined up for the next two months: zoomcasts, Q&As, archived interviews, stuff about books, stuff about life, stuff sort of agreed to be written by various participants but not yet confirmed. (And yes, if you have an idea of your own I’m possibly-maybe open to that … Continue reading RockCritics DotCom’s Spring/Summer 2023 Extravaganza —

Former Rock Critic turns Business Analyst

Recently, a former work colleague asked me–in service of a project she’s working on–to partake in a back and forth email interview about being a Business Analyst, which is my profession by day. The way it worked is, she’d fire off a couple or a few questions, I’d respond, and then she’d come back later that day or the next day with a few more, etc. (One stipulation was that I had to respond to each batch within 24 hours.) The chat veered a little bit into the subject of writing criticism (of course, I tried to make sure that would happen) so with her permission I’m re-posting a section of the conversation here (with edits, re-positioning of questions–even adding a couple questions of my own, but don’t tell anyone–for clarity’s sake). Continue reading “Former Rock Critic turns Business Analyst”

Howard Druckman’s Top 12 Songs of 2022

Pictured above: TOBi

1. Julian Taylor – “Wide Awake”
The melody of “Wide Awake” is sunny; the instrumentation, charming Americana/roots; the singing, unaffected. But it’s the lyrics, bittersweet and heartfelt, layered with multiple meanings, that captivate me most. The verses of “Wide Awake” offer loving remembrances of family scenes from Taylor’s early and teenage years: drinking sorrel and ginger beer at Christmas with his folks; sharing meals out with his mom; racing around his granny’s house with his cousins as a lad. It gently, warmly honours his parents’ struggles for the betterment of his life. The chorus, taken literally, describes a sleepless night, triggered by “chasing shadows of my past,” as he considers old mistakes, choices, and heartaches. On another level, the song is also about becoming “woke,” not only in the current sense, but also to the array of possibilities open to us as we live our lives. Continue reading “Howard Druckman’s Top 12 Songs of 2022”

A Consumer Guide to the Plastic People of the Universe

In A Consumer Guide to the Plastic People of the Universe (2021), Joe Yanosik reviews and grades every known PPU record on the planet (including side projects and mutations, not to mention books and DVDs), all the while — through a series of “historical interludes” — telling the band’s remarkable story, from their post-Beatles/Velvets-obsessed roots in Prague to their critical (if somewhat unwitting) role in bringing down a repressive Soviet-backed regime. I mean, the MC5 were cool and all, but… Continue reading “A Consumer Guide to the Plastic People of the Universe”

Top 50 Favourite Songs: Jill Blardinelli

Here are a couple of observations upon looking at my completed list.

I noticed that the country songs are very no-holds-barred romantic by both pre-rock, rock, and post-rock (is that what we’re in now?) standards.

I am intrigued by how much country songs (such as Luke Bryan’s) rock the way rock n’ roll used to do. “That’s My Kind of Night” sounded so appropriate next to my hard rock music choices of the seventies that made my list. Continue reading “Top 50 Favourite Songs: Jill Blardinelli”

Top 50 Favourite Songs: Aaron Aradillas

What makes a song great? Is it the beat? The vocals? The rhythm? Maybe it’s a particular drum or guitar solo. For me, it’s a combination of all those things and more. Like movies, a great song becomes part of your identity. You carry it with you even when you’re not listening to it. A great song is like a great movie. It overwhelms you with a mix of moods, emotions, and feelings. And it does this within a few, compacted minutes. Great songs become like drugs: they get into your system. Maybe that’s why we listen to our favorite songs over and over again. We become addicted to them. Continue reading “Top 50 Favourite Songs: Aaron Aradillas”