I’m always fascinated by the field of rock criticism. It’s hard to believe that a career that didn’t exist until the mid-1960s and didn’t become commonplace until the late 1970s and early ’80s — that’s when most paper in America finally relented and realized they better have a “staff pop music critic” onboard — is already entrenched in traditions and patterns. There’s even a Web site to rock critics’ serious navel gazing, RockCritics.com.
I used to be a rockcrit, and I loved my decade-plus covering music, especially because I did it for Westword when it was still a fledgling alternative paper, and I was in it for the passion. I had my heroes — brainy academic Greil Marcus, Rock & Rap Confidential founder Dave Marsh and the Village Voice’s self-proclaimed “Dean of American Rock Critics,” Robert Christgau. Continue reading
Every day’s bus ride from the Westminster Park and Ride is like listening to the weirdest radio station imaginable — a lot weirder than even the heyday of “underground” radio of the late ’60s and early ’70s.
And every ride, I hear gems out of the 10,064 tracks on my 40GB 4G iPod that make me smile, or take me back, or get me to notice something new and cool that I didn’t know or notice before. That’s the beauty of shuffling through the music. Continue reading
Sometimes, you just gotta have comfort food — you know, meat loaf, mac and cheese, a nice chicken fried steak. Real mashed potatoes, not the just-add-water kind. And when it comes to comfort food, you can’t beat a great diner.
So I welcomed my lunch date today at the Rocky Mountain Diner, even though it’s a bit on the high-end side of diner cuisine. Continue reading
I just heard one of the most gawdawful songs of the rock and roll era — or any era, for that matter — on CNN.
I was working away, and the TV outside my office door started playing Joe Cocker‘s 1973 Top 40 hit, “You Are So Beautiful.” The sound stopped me cold, and I got all shakey and felt like vomiting. Continue reading
I went shopping with my 17-year-old niece Joann, whoâ€™s a music fan with typical contemporary tastes. Exceptâ€¦. When we were shopping, she bought â€œLynyrd Skynyrdâ€™s Greatest Hits, â€œ a compilation of guitar-driven â€˜70s rock that had been part of my generationâ€™s high school and college years. Continue reading