Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #21 (Tortured Vowels)

“Four albums in and she’d rather hurt you honestly than mislead you with a lie, ask her if she loves you and you’ll choke on her reply, but better her yodel than Shania’s yawn. Still torturing vowels like a helmetless goaltender from Chicoutimi, and as for sensitivity, James Hetfield should just go back to the firing range. (We can’t do that up here in Canada … Continue reading Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #21 (Tortured Vowels)

Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #20 (Ugly Beauty)

“One story has it that after avant-garde tenor player Archie Shepp came off stage following a performance full of honks, squeals, and bleats, he told pained auditor Johnny Griffin that he was expressing what it felt like to be a black man in America. ‘I know it’s hard,’ said Griffin, a black saxophonist who was no enemy of the modernist vanguard, having played with Thelonious … Continue reading Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #20 (Ugly Beauty)

Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #19 (Imprisonment)

“There are two things to say about him. He was a musical genius; and he was an abused child. By abuse, I do not mean sexual abuse; I mean he was used brutally and callously for money, and clearly imprisoned by a tyrannical father. He had no real childhood and spent much of his later life struggling to get one. He was spiritually and psychologically … Continue reading Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #19 (Imprisonment)

Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #18 (Jerkin’ Knee)

“The jerk of the knee always short-circuits critical engagement. I detest cabaret and Broadway nearly as much as Marsh does; yet I treasure those two Beatle recordings. I don’t care for the songs themselves — versions by others bore me stiff — but I love what the Beatles do with them. Their wintry ‘Taste of Honey’ tastes more like quicksilver, with its minor key, bitter … Continue reading Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #18 (Jerkin’ Knee)

Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #17 (Anti-youknowwhatists)

“My problem [with the word ‘rockism’] is more personal: I can’t tell if I’m a rockist or not, or whether a lot of other rock critics are rockists or not (Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus, Richard Meltzer, Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Chuck Eddy), and I think the confusion is in the concept, not in me. My problem with the antirockists was their tendency to externalize ‘rockism’ … Continue reading Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #17 (Anti-youknowwhatists)

Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #16 (The ‘R’ Word)

“Rockism isn’t unrelated to older, more familiar prejudices – that’s part of why it’s so powerful, and so worth arguing about. The pop star, the disco diva, the lip-syncher, the ‘awesomely bad’ hit maker: could it really be a coincidence that rockist complaints often pit straight white men against the rest of the world? Like the anti-disco backlash of 25 years ago, the current rockist … Continue reading Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #16 (The ‘R’ Word)

Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #15 (Godspeed & Weed)

“I quit smoking cigarettes recently and I’ve been making do with Gummi Bears, the patch, and tons of righteous weed. So between Kid A, Madonna, and that new Doves album, I’ve been enjoying a summer of love in my mind. The Doves’ mantras of desolation are even trippier than the first couple Cranes records (though maybe not as lysergic as prime Swans or Ravens), Madonna’s … Continue reading Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #15 (Godspeed & Weed)