Some discussion points, cool one-offs, and funny/enlightening quotes from part one (Dellio/Raggett/Soto) of EddyFest 2011, in order of appearance. This is a supplement to the podcast, not by any means a full-on summary, and it was compiled in fast-forward mode (in other words, it’s pretty much a given that several key discussion points are passed over; it’s really just a transcript of comments easily translatable into digestible bullet points).
- CE on writing up ambient music for Spin‘s “Essentials” series: “Oh wait, nobody’s ever done ambient — I have a Brian Eno album! And so, I did ambient. And, and… there’s a train going by, I’m actually outside right now, by the way.” (Nice, unintentional segue there!)
- CE, in discussing intros to the sections in the book (“I didn’t want them to be perfunctory”) reveals that a couple sections were nixed, including one on world music (“because they could tell that I really didn’t care about world music”) as well as a “one-hit wonders” chapter.
- re: CE’s essay on the Ultimate Band List (“Walking Into Spiderwebs,” 1998) PD references Andrew Keen’s arguments in The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture, re: online grammar standards (or lack thereof), and CE notes that he didn’t realize when writing the UBL piece just how much abbreviations, lack of punctuation, and generally lousy grammar usage online “would come to bug me.” [From CE’s essay: “There’s a sense of involvemement here, an excitement, a commitment to how people really talk. In the fleeting space of cyber, nobody cares much for punctuation or spelling. Grammatical errors and run-on phrases make UBL writing gyrate like some hyperactive new dance step.”] [SW, thinking to himself at this point: “WTF, Chuck?”]
- re: CE’s Ramones feature from Rolling Stone [“Punk’s First Family Grow Old Together,” 1990]: “I’m not any kind of devil’s advocate for Rolling Stone, but I think people might understate a little bit what, at certain times in their history, you could get away with there.”
- Is the future of pop in albums or singles? “I care more about albums now than I do singles. That sounds like a contradiction, as someone who’s always writing about singles, but I’m much more confident now if I were to make a Top 10 albums list than a Top 10 singles list. And this year, or the last year-and-a-half, I just don’t really care about the radio that much now. I kind of think it’s pretty bad. It’s also less and less clear to me what a single is, you know?”
- Critical point by CE: “I really like the John Waite album this year. Maybe that’s the John Waite Rule in practise.” [For elucidation of the “John Waite Rule,” you need to refer to issue #1 or #2 of PD’s Radio On, which this author currently has packed away somewhere in a box, but recalls it as being a kinded spirit of sorts to GM’s “Pia Zadora Rule.”]
- NR echoes PD off the top by noting he was struck in particular by the section introductions in RARAF. CE: “That’s generally the newest writing in the book, and of course I’m already questioning what I wrote in a lot of those introductions. So you can imagine how much I’m questioning the pieces that are 30 years old.”
[Meanwhile, back in the control room, SW mildly freaking out, thinking everyone’s going to ask CE questions about his terrific introductions!]
- CE claims he still questions his career choice — “and I’m 50.”
- “If you look at even the very first piece in the book, the ‘Over and Out’ piece [an excerpt from CE’s 1983 Pazz & Jop ballot, not to mention his burst on to the public stage of rock criticism], I think I really did want some kind of saviour of music or something, which seems bizarre because it’s really not how I look at music, in general. And I think I saw Metallica as these guys who would come in to save the day, or at least save heavy metal.”
- “I tend not to read biographies of rock stars. I can probably count on one hand how many I’ve read in my life, and count on zero fingers the number I’ve read in the last few years — I’m just not that interested. But, I’m also a journalist, so I think I’m capable of finding the story… A lot of the features in that book tell a story about a life, not just music, and I do try to link the two.”
- “I care less about artist’s personal lives probably now than I did 20 years ago. Do I? I think that might be true.” [Followed by some good thoughts on Rihanna and CE’s annoyance about how invested pop fans are today in the personal lives of pop stars.]
- “Well, for what it’s worth, surprise surprise, I’m suddenly down on country music this year. I think it’s the dullest year since, probably the millennium, at least. It’s starting to get pretty boring to me.”
- AS notes that he is “very honoured to be calling from the hometown of Will to Power and Miami Sound Machine.” CE returns the honour.
- CE: “I think the thing with that review [Mellencamp’s Lonesome Jubilee] — and I was 26 then — it was a warning. It’s like, he’s going to lose it, and I was right, I was totally right. But I heard it on that record.”
- On losing interest in Prince, CE notes: “I just thought he stopped writing catchy songs and turned into a jam band. [Someone whose name SW couldn’t make out] made me a tape once of the best Prince songs of the ’90s, and I’m like — there’s nothing that’s holding my attention here. This guy used to write great hooks.”
- “You know what, I heard [Living Color’s] ‘Cult of Personality’ on the radio a couple weeks ago, and it wasn’t bad, it was better than any rock you hear on the radio NOW. Maybe… history gives you a better context.”
- re: rock criticism, ca. 2011: “Sure there’s a lot of things I could complain about, but for some reason, it doesn’t bug — I think it’s worse but it doesn’t bug me as much, maybe because I’m kind of resigned to it. I don’t submit really long Pazz & Jop ballots anymore. I guess at some point I decided it was out of my hands, or to put it another way, it’s not my responsibility, you know what I mean?”
- “I have that long essay in the book about how 1986 is the worst year ever for radio [“Dead Air”]… it’s ridiculous, it’s ridiculous! It’s a good essay, and it’s really long, and it’s so amazing that Doug Simmons let me ramble on for 4,000 words about how 1986 is the worst year for pop ever, but it’s just like — you know what? I miss 1986.” [SW, for the record, believed in 1986 that CE was wrong about current pop, but in 2011 believes that he was mostly correct. Except about Nu Shooz, of course, which is thankfully rebutted by CE himself.]
Notes for parts two and three to come…