“what even is a review?”

A formidable question, posed by Mark Sinker at Freaky Trigger, and a fetching/daunting examination of its many contours and contradictions. The surgery begins with a complaint (from a friend of Mark’s) about Nick Tosches’ review of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid in Rolling Stone, I think because Tosches seems to not address the record itself. Which leads to a trail of thought that includes Flaubert, the Grotesque … Continue reading “what even is a review?”

“The destruction of the Village Voice” (Artforum)

Artforum gathers obits from Christgau, Greg Tate, Molly Haskell, J. Hoberman et al. The photo by Sylvia Plachy of Alexander Cockburn leading an editorial meeting is terrific; it provides the sort of romantic anti-romantic vision of what it must have been like to work at the Voice, at least in the minds of every writer who dreamt of doing such a thing. (I was lucky, … Continue reading “The destruction of the Village Voice” (Artforum)

Five minutes to ecstasy

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music In which the New York Times asks several artists to provide an entry into classical for non-classical listeners. An idea which I’m sure has been done to death, but which is kind of irresistible anyway. And which in fact syncs up nicely with my own recent mission to finally explore the stuff. My exploration is two-fold—and … Continue reading Five minutes to ecstasy

“The Voice and Its Village”

“When I think about my two stints at the now-shuttered Village Voice—for which I freelanced regularly from the late seventies to the late eighties, returning as a staff writer from 1994-1999—one unexpected but apt word that keeps popping to mind is ‘fecund.’ My recollection that I worked for two or possibly three different papers all hawked under the same name doesn’t seem remarkable, because the … Continue reading “The Voice and Its Village”

Lester on Ringo & George (Hi-Fi Stereo Review)

The above appeared in the June 1975 issue of Stereo Review (formerly Hi-Fi Stereo Review), now archived here. The letters are in reference to a Bangs twin review, from March ’75 (one I’ve never seen before) of Harrison’s Dark Horse and Ringo’s Goodnight Vienna (a “metal-flake glow-in-the-dark music box”). More links to HFSR stuff ahead. Continue reading Lester on Ringo & George (Hi-Fi Stereo Review)

Come one, come anybody

Some time over the next little while (hard to be more specific than that), rockcritics.com, in sharp rebuke to the current culture of downsizing and job redundancies, will be expanding its roster to three times its current head count (i.e., me plus two other guys). I’ll let Vic and Andrew introduce themselves through their upcoming posts, but I welcome other contributors as well. If you … Continue reading Come one, come anybody

Roy Carr

Music Writer Roy Carr Has Died Roy Carr’s illustrated records from the seventies (Stones, Beatles, and Bowie all grace my collection) were enormously inspiring to me at a young age–a bridge in many ways to the criticism which eventually took over (really) my life for several years. The Stones book in particular: I think I memorized every page of the thing, from the unbelievable photos … Continue reading Roy Carr