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)

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)

Pet Shop Boys, Critically (4)

In light of recent and future Pet Shop Boys podcasts around here, this post from a couple years ago is probably worth a revisit — Neil Tennant Recalls Smash Hits Days in Word Magazine Podcast (the podcast is still available) — but even better is this interesting BBC program from 2012 on the same topic, which someone posted for our listening pleasure at YouTube. Continue reading Pet Shop Boys, Critically (4)

Finding the Perfect Fit

“When it comes to Pitchfork and scoring, I would say that you would be shocked by just how democratic the rating process is. Without giving much away (because I don’t think that’s fair to Pitchfork), it goes something like this: In general, a record is discussed by the writers and generally, through that, the site arrives at a score consensus. Then reviews are assigned or … Continue reading Finding the Perfect Fit

The last gasp of true Top 40

There was one brief and somewhat tarnished moment during my adolescence — somewhere around 1966-1967 — in which I couldn’t distinguish between the inherent value of the Velvet Underground versus the Monkees or Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention and Paul Revere & the Raiders. That confession is not alarming in view of my age (13 going on 14), but consider the circumstances and … Continue reading The last gasp of true Top 40

Maura Johnston’s Digital ‘Zine

Interview with Maura Johnston regarding her new online venture, Maura Magazine. I really wanted to see if this model would work. I’ve been on the Internet for 20 years. I started doing Web stuff in 1994 and I always loved that you could find weird stuff — boutiques interests that people just wanted to put on the Web. And I feel like with the push … Continue reading Maura Johnston’s Digital ‘Zine