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