“Making rock criticism safe for theory”

Bill Marx, in Fuse, reviews Devon Powers‘s Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism. Here and there Writing the Record lives up to its billing as a provocative examination of Village Voice critics as reflectors on as well as reflections of the intersection of popular music, the rise of hype, and left-wing politics during the ‘60s and beyond. But overall … Continue reading “Making rock criticism safe for theory”

Abiding Disenchantment & Vexed Concepts

[Goldstein] was and presumably still is a man whose capacious enthusiasms leave him vulnerable to big disappointments. He was so disenchanted with Utopia’s failure to materialize that he bailed on being a rock critic six months before Woodstock. Not many people today even remember he was one, let alone the earliest influential one. Voice readers of my generation probably associate him far more with the … Continue reading Abiding Disenchantment & Vexed Concepts

Open the Door, Richard

Pitchfork: The first column at The Voice to do this with music was Richard Goldstein’s “Pop Eye”. He wasn’t there for very long, but he developed a unique way to approach music intellectually and enthusiastically at the same time. DP: Goldstein started writing at The Village Voice in 1966, after finishing his masters in journalism at Columbia. He wanted to write about pop with a capital P: It’s mass culture, it’s … Continue reading Open the Door, Richard

And in the End

The Beatles: For 15 Minutes, Tremendous Nice–Nik Cohn reviews Abbey Road in The New York Times, Oct. 1969. After praising the medley on side two (“there are maybe 15 tunes in as many minutes — all of them instantly hummable, all of them potential hits”), Cohn laces into the rest of the disc: “…the words are limp-wristed [er, ouch–Ed.], pompous and fake. Clearly, the Beatles … Continue reading And in the End