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

From the Archives: John Kordosh (2004)

The Zen of John Kordosh: Inside the Hallowed Halls of ’80s Creem By Anthe Rhodes (May 2004) John Kordosh can blindside anyone with science or pop culture. He was Creem‘s quick-witted everyman who went willingly into those good and not so good nights with the full gamut of musicians. Kordosh, however, has followed a completely different career path than his counterparts. Starting out as a chemist for Dow … Continue reading From the Archives: John Kordosh (2004)

From the Archives: Steven Rosen (2003)

Steven Rosen gets his byline on By Steven Ward (September 2003) Veteran rock writer Steven Rosen has been traveling with musicians and profiling them–mostly guitarists–since the early ’70s. He has written for just about every rock publication under the sun. Here, Rosen reflects on five magazines that stand out to him. Rolling Stone Maybe the crowning jewel in my literary kingdom. I pitched them a story on Bad … Continue reading From the Archives: Steven Rosen (2003)

From the Archives: Jaan Uhelszki (2002)

Jaan Uhelszki: Confessions of a Former Subscription Kid By Scott Woods (April 2002) As one of Creem‘s senior Editors during the ’70s, Detroit native Jaan Uhelszki was an integral voice during that magazine’s most legendary phase. Uhelszki wrote various columns and dozens of reviews for Creem, though her real forte was the feature profile, in particular her interviews with what used to be disparagingly known as “third … Continue reading From the Archives: Jaan Uhelszki (2002)

From the Archives: Alan Niester (2002)

Creem’s Canadian Connection: Interview with Alan Niester By Andrew Lapointe (April 2002) Barbeques and weekend trips with Lester Bangs, dangerous encounters on Cass Avenue in Detroit, and the shenanigans of Richard Meltzer: These are just some of the memories rock critic Alan Niester has of Creem magazine. Niester is a native of Windsor, Ontario, but grew up with his eyes buried in the rock rags from the … Continue reading From the Archives: Alan Niester (2002)

Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism? Pt. II

This trashiness was linked to Detroit. In their March 1970 editorial “The Michigan Scene Today,” Barry Kramer, “Deday” LaRene, and Dave Marsh wrote: “It was rock and roll music which first drew us out of our intellectual covens and suburban shells” because “life in Detroit is profoundly anti-intellectual” since its “institutions are industrial and businesslike.” This setting, according to the editorial, gave birth to a … Continue reading Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism? Pt. II

Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism?

“The writers [Creem] propelled to stardom — Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, and Nick Tosches being three of the most celebrated — explored rock with a bombast that was smart but anti-intellectual, ‘amateurist and faux lowbrow,’ positioning themselves between the studious class of New York writers and the deference that came out of San Francisco.” “If Goldstein represented the quandary of what critical practise should be … Continue reading Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism?

Critical Collage: Rush vs. the Critics

A by no means comprehensive or conclusive survey of a Canadian power trio who once upon a time (much less so now) got under the skins of more rock critics than any other rock or pop artist going.

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Creem, June 1981

“For the record, those three are drummer Neil Peart, who writes all the band’s lyrics and takes fewer solos than might be expected; guitarist Alex Lifeson, whose mile-a-minute buzzing is more numbing than exciting; and bassist, keyboardist and singer Geddy Lee, whose amazingly high-pitched wailing often sounds like Mr. Bill singing heavy metal. If only Mr. Sluggo had been on hand to give these guys a couple good whacks…”
Steve Pond, review of Rush live in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone, 1980

Geddy Lee’s high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band – and sometimes a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush’s career when Lee’s vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. A review in the New York Times opined that Lee’s voice ‘suggests a munchkin giving a sermon.’ Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a ‘wail.’ His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized.
Wikipedia entry on Rush

rush-rs-guide
Mark Coleman and Ernesto Lechner, The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, 2004

Continue reading “Critical Collage: Rush vs. the Critics”