Roxy Music Songs Ranked From Worst to Best

Roxy Music’s career can be neatly sliced into three phases. Phase one includes 1972’s Roxy Music and 1973’s For Your Pleasure, tarted-up art-pop that absorbs “Telstar,” golden age Hollywood, Gil Elvgren calendar art, free jazz, and mutant-teens-from-outer-space hairstyles. The core lineup was Bryan Ferry (vocals), Brian Eno (synthesizers and tape manipulations), Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe), Paul Thompson (drums), and at various … Continue reading Roxy Music Songs Ranked From Worst to Best

Major Dudes: A Steely Dan Companion

Major Dudes: A Steely Dan Companion Edited by Barney Hoskyns The Overlook Press, 2018. Reviewed by Vic Perry “You can always look in the Steely Dan Listener’s Companion,” says Donald Fagen, helpfully answering a question about a lyric in an expansive 1977 interview with Sylvie Simmons originally published in Sounds, a British music paper.  It was a good joke, but maybe Fagen just saw the … Continue reading Major Dudes: A Steely Dan Companion

“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)