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

Highlights from Sing Out!, 1964-1966

The blog My Life – in Concert! posts scanned highlights from the pages of Sing Out!, the “folk music bible” that served as an early stomping ground for Paul Nelson and was a prequel of sorts to rock criticism. Sing Out! is a folk-focussed journal that was inaugurated in 1950 and survives until this day. But it was in the mid-60s, at the height of … Continue reading Highlights from Sing Out!, 1964-1966

Spin Going Bi-monthly

A New Schedule and New Feel for Spin Magazine (Ben Sisario, NYT) Starting with its March issue, Spin’s print edition will be published six times a year in a larger format, which the magazine says will allow it to run longer features and better showcase its photography. After having its dimensions gradually shrink over the years, the revamped publication will measure 9½ inches by 12 … Continue reading Spin Going Bi-monthly

Rolling Stone: Why Don’t I Love You Anymore?

A pretty interesting perspective on RS by Martha Nichols, an early reader. RS has long been criticized for its boomer music sensibility and cluelessness about race and gender. I was a feminist in the ’70s, and while that’s not why I read Rolling Stone, it’s ultimately why I got tired of it. That essentially male voice is so relentlessly sure it’s right, that it knows … Continue reading Rolling Stone: Why Don’t I Love You Anymore?

BAM is Back (as a website)

BAM revamped as a website. [BAM founder] Dennis Erokan, a Lafayette resident who has been running the public relations firm Placemaking Group for the last five years, started BAM magazine as a bi-weekly free publication back in 1975. Over the years, it became an entrenched part of the area music scene, especially once it started hosting the Bammy Awards in 1978. In the ’80s, BAM … Continue reading BAM is Back (as a website)