Thanks to Tony and the fine folks at Rocks Back Pages
, first thing this morning I was pointed to a tribute by Gary Pig Gold on the recently departed Greg Shaw (available for reading at Torpedo Records articles page)
Gary Pig Gold wonders WHO PUT THE BOMP?
Why, GREG SHAW, Of Course!
Spring Forward, Fall Back Dept.
Top 50 list reveals tension over age and rock
By JEFF MIERS
News Pop Music Critic
"Here's the problem: As fewer and fewer young people read, and newspapers begin laying off or "reassigning" rock writers who hit 50 or so, critics have started scampering like cockroaches toward a dung heap, seeking to prove how "hip" they are. ...
"Cultural criticism. It's a complex issue, primarily because the craft of pop music has been devalued over time. Pop musicians have become increasingly less skilled as writers and instrumentalists. Some people will argue that Eminem is as important an artist as, say, the Beatles, or Led Zeppelin, or Marley, or Gaye. We'll see about that. And at its core is the popular myth that rock and pop are, and should be, young people's music. There are simply too many examples of artists improving as they age for this claim to hold water. The music itself is what needs to be examined, with social and cultural forces treated as secondary concerns. Since most rock/pop critics don't know how to deconstruct the music itself, they're cultural critics - not music critics. They write more about the context of the music than the music itself."
(Just found this piece published last April where Jeff Meirs takes a look at what he thinks music critics should be doing at http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20040423/2021281.asp
"These events resonated in the Cosmic Groove, of course. Music is fluid, reflecting the times, providing a mirror on people and life in general. The prevailing societal winds of the 70's - inflation, public demoralization, and economic recession- fostered an environment in which music like punk (nihilism), new wave (ice-olation), or disco (hedonistic party vibe), easily thrived. A far cry from the idealistic themes of peace, love, equality, and awareness that laced rock and R&B in the 60's. But the 60's were over. It was the 70's, and disco exploded, not just here, but in Japan as well. It was music that helped people to just have a good time. Although the very best disco- think Chic, Parliament, Rick James- redefined groove, and laid the groundwork for hip-hop, it was fundamentally party music. It got your groove on, never mind the outside world. And it appealed to folks in Japan just as much as it did to us, in all of our collective, bell-bottomed, wide-collared glory. So without further delay, we present the secret history of Japanese disco."
(Thus begins a fascinating comtemplation on the history of disco in other places, with more available at the CosmicGroove
, via the energetic JahSonic
, Oct 28 post).
Joel Selvin on the great Ray Charles: "What'd I Say" Said It All
UK Soulster, writer, and label founder Dave Grodin has died
. "In the early Sixties, when soul music was unknown to all but a hip minority of the record-buying public in the UK, he championed the cause of Tamla Motown and helped to build it into a force on this side of the Atlantic. "
Across the pond, Free Press music critic takes prize
. Mark Stryker has won a prestigious 2004 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing. Stryker, 41, won for a 2003 profile of jazz bassist Ron Carter.
How the Internet can impact Music Journalism
Music Critic Conference
"Most cities now have just one newspaper. Even in New York City, the New York Times is the only paper to devote significant space to classical music and the other arts. This magnifies the impact of the comments any single critic makes. Visiting European critics said that with many journalists at any given event, they know that a variety of viewpoints will be aired."
Rock n roll witness
Al Aronowitz shares gritty behind the scenes history online at Blacklisted Journalist and has just published a book about what the scene was like when the Beatles met Bob Dylan. "While this 615-page, self-published, paperback book focuses on Dylan and the Beatles, it offers detailed portraits of many lesser figures, too, including disk jockey Murray the K, Beatles publicist Derek Taylor, and singer-songwriter Bobby Neuwirth (a close friend of Dylan's who achieved only limited success in his own career). ... "Bob Dylan and the Beatles: Volume One of the Best of the Blacklisted Journalist,"
is available via Web sites such as www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com
points us to a fascinating read:
title: "a different kind of criticism" - music journalism and the weblog phenomenon (online by monday night, honest) viewable on the dissertation blog
Two for Tuesday Morbidity Special
Two looks at the late Elliot Smith mention his new record and the new book about him
(Elliot Smith and the Big Nothing
1. From the L.A. Weekly
Elliott Smith’s unhappy dream life
by Alec Hanley Bemis
2. From the San Francisco Bay Guardian
No easy way out
by Kimberly Chun
"Amid the lingering doubts about Elliott Smith's cause of death and the release of new
merchandise, the question remains: would he have signed off on his long-awaited album?"
"There's ghosts here ... "
Old News Dept.
Death Becomes Them: Dead Celebs Cash In
In case you had any lingering doubt, public fascination with celebrity allows the merchandising of memorabilia, like copies of Frank Zappa's death certificate
It's 5:19 AM and time for a New Book Alert
Reading through PopMatters energetic introspections on This Time, This Place led me to Mimi Nguyen's reflections on A Place Full of Punks
which revealed a new book about
The state of the music journalist revealed from random search mode:
How to be a music journalist
Freelance Music Journalist for Hire
Salon's Peter L'Official looks at And It Don't Stop edited by Raquel Cepeda.
Does hip-hop journalism live up to the music's most vibrant promise -- or just rehash its crass, Benjamin-istic cliches? A new anthology makes the case for hip-hop writing.
Sunday Afternoon Book Alert (Southern Rock: Where's it from?)
In "Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race and New Beginnings in a New South,"
author Mark Kemp writes that Southern rock helped him and his peers "heal at a time when we had no white role models who spoke as eloquently as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X."