Bangs Radio Interview 1980 (audio version)

In 2001 we posted a transcribed version of a “lost” Lester Bangs interview from 1980 (transcript is here, along with the back story); the audio version, sans anyone’s permission (I will take it down if I’m informed that it needs to come down) is now available on the rockcritics YouTube page. It’s a terrific listen, with Lester in lucid form (warm, biting, funny). Continue reading Bangs Radio Interview 1980 (audio version)

Interview with Jason Gross (Perfect Sound Forever)

By Scott Woods

Jason Gross is the founder and editor of Perfect Sound Forever, the longest-running internet music publication, with its monthly schedule dating back to 1993 (roughly three years before I even knew what a “web” was). Gross has written for numerous publications over the years (Spin, the Village VoiceBlurt, et al.), produced critically acclaimed CD reissues by Delta 5, Kleenex, and Essential Logic (via the Kill Rock Stars label), and for many years was a panelist and organizer at SXSW, which, like everything else in the entertainment industrial complex, is currently on hold due to COVID. Continue reading “Interview with Jason Gross (Perfect Sound Forever)”

Best Music Journalism/2021 edition (Jason Gross/R&R Globe)

Back in the pre-blog incarnation of, we used to post Jason Gross’s “The Year in Music Journalism” surveys, a sort of good-bad-ugly of all things rock writing-related. So I’m pleased to see that Jason is still doing his thing, with the 2021 edition of the survey hosted at Rock & Roll Globe. I interviewed Jason recently about this feature—19 years in the running—which will … Continue reading Best Music Journalism/2021 edition (Jason Gross/R&R Globe)

Today’s Recommended Read: Critical Conditions (Wayne Robins)

Critical Conditions is pretty great newsletter (via Substack) by former Creemster and Newsdayer, Wayne Robins. I’ve loved some of the writing in here, including Being the Billy Joel Beat, an extended memoir of sorts about Robins’s long time coverage of “Long Island’s biggest homegrown star” (with maybe the most balanced writing anyone has ever done on Joel), and a beautifully written piece on Jay Black, … Continue reading Today’s Recommended Read: Critical Conditions (Wayne Robins)

“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?”

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)

“In the ’70s, directions are unclear…”

No author cited in this AP piece from May 28, 1976, conveying mostly confusion and disillusionment (“a certain sadness,” admits Bill Graham). I’m trying to square the sentiments here with Christgau’s notion of “semipopular” but I’m not getting too far (in part because I haven’t thought that deeply about Christgau’s notion of “semipopular,” but I’m thinking that I should). Whether or not it’s too obvious … Continue reading “In the ’70s, directions are unclear…”

Pop as a Sickness

“People sometimes ask why a serious, well-educated, intellectual fellow such as me wastes his time and enthusiasm on the most insignificant passing trends and the most contrived, trashy music he can find. And I don’t know what to say. I just can’t get into George Harrison, Seals & Crofts or even Van Morrison and the Band. I like that stuff, but it simply doesn’t excite … Continue reading Pop as a Sickness

Quote of the Day (3/11/14)

“I think maybe I feel a little out of place in the critic’s world because a) I’m a scientist and, b) I’m damn handsome. I would have enjoyed being a medical researcher, I think. It’s a good thing I can’t go back in time, because I have about 89 careers I’d like to try.” – John Kordosh, interview in, 2004 (still on the to-be-imported … Continue reading Quote of the Day (3/11/14)