As a sort of preemptive strike against all the inevitable boo-hooing sure to take place as various writers wring their hands over “the decade in rock criticism” (not that I too won’t shed a few tears over some of what’s transpired) I’ve decided, between now and Christmas, to point you towards some of the music writing I’ve enjoyed most these last ten years — more or less since the dawn of this website (Steven Ward’s Paul Nelson interview kicked things off in March 2000).
I’m not listing these in any particular order, and I make no claim to have read all that I should have read over the last ten years or to have bookmarked all that I should have bookmarked or to have covered all the demographics and/or genres any right-thinking person would cover — I know I’ve missed or forgotten a shitload of stuff, and for sure, I have my own set of prejudices and blindspots. The only thing you can count on here is that everything linked to has provided me with some — by no means always equivalent — amount of thought-provoking pleasure. Even stuff which, in some cases, I have serious qualms with. (Credit where due: I should note that this feature is in many ways inspired by the yearly music writing summaries Jason Gross has been doing since 2002 — the first five episodes of which can be found here. Our respective taste in this stuff is wildly divergent, so I’m not overly concerned about repeating what Jason already chose to write about, though I certainly appreciate his concept.)
When I wrap this up, I’ll run down a much more brief list of some of the very worst (again, by my estimation) music writing of the decade too — that is, if I can stomach poring through the stuff all over again.
I’d also like to know what music writing in the 00s inspired or irritated YOU. To that end, you can e-mail me your own list and/or thoughts on the matter, and I’d be happy to publish here any responses received (if you just want me to note your choices but prefer not to publish your name, please say so). Of course, you can always just use the comments box to do the same.
We’ll kick things off with the next post.