Roxy Music Songs Ranked From Worst to Best

Roxy Music’s career can be neatly divided into three phases. Phase one includes 1972’s Roxy Music and 1973’s For Your Pleasure, tarted-up art-pop that absorbs “Telstar,” golden age Hollywood, Gil Elvgren calendar art, free jazz, and mutant-teens-from-outer-space hairstyles. The core lineup was Bryan Ferry (vocals), Brian Eno (synthesizers and tape manipulations), Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe), Paul Thompson (drums), and at various … Continue reading Roxy Music Songs Ranked From Worst to Best

The Best Beatles Books

Stephen Thomas Erlewine at Pitchfork chooses the ten best books about the Beatles, from Philip Norman’s Shout! to Rob Sheffield’s wonderful Dreaming the Beatles. M.I.A. (fully cognizant of the fact that there are probably 25-30 “best” books on the Beatles): Mark Shipper’s Paperback Writer (cf. the back and forth email chat between Richard Riegel and myself on this) Tim Riley’s Tell Me Why (listen to … Continue reading The Best Beatles Books

2017 Pazz and Jop ballot

The first ballot I’ve submitted in several years, in fact. Top 10 Singles (videos below) 1. A.Chal, “Love and Hennessy” 2. Angus & Julia Stone, “Snow” 3. Blaenavon, Soko, “No One Else in Mind” 4. Kygo w/Selena Gomez, “It Ain’t Me” 5. Lana Del Rey, “Love” 6. LCD Soundsystem, “Call the Police” 7. New Pornographers, “Play Money” 8. Sevyn Streeter, “Before I Do” 9. Smokepurpp, … Continue reading 2017 Pazz and Jop ballot

David Bowie and Pazz & Jop

Yesterday David Bowie died at the age of 69; today, the Village Voice published its annual Pazz & Jop Critics Poll, though they no longer cite (at least that I can see online) what edition it is—the 43rd or 44th, I think (unless it’s the 44th or 45th). I haven’t yet listened much to Blackstar, the album Bowie released just a couple days before his … Continue reading David Bowie and Pazz & Jop

New York Playlist x 100

In the latest issue of New York, Jody Rosen creates a New York-themed playlist, running from 1928 to 2014 (from Sophie Tucker to Angel Haze). “I focused on songs about New York, and about archetypal New York folkways and experiences, and I aimed for a nice blend: iconic New York anthems and obscure ones, legendary artists and little-known ones, old songs and songs recent enough … Continue reading New York Playlist x 100

Q: “Is Pazz & Jop Critically Ill?”

So asks Mark Kemp. A: Yes, indeed, but this is not a new development (the patient’s condition has been worsening for years), nor does it (in my view) have anything (or anyway, very little) to do with the records the critics chose. Having said as much, I’m now obligated to come up with better reasons for its demise — and eventually I will. Continue reading Q: “Is Pazz & Jop Critically Ill?”

Best Music Writing, 2013 (Jason Gross)

The two minutes and 18 seconds it will take you to peruse the Pazz & Jop results? Probably better you devote them instead to the several hours (days?) it will likely take you to fish through all the reading material compiled in Jason Gross’s annual Best Music Writing summary, hosted this year at Red Bull Academy. Nice to see this is still a thing. Continue reading Best Music Writing, 2013 (Jason Gross)