Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rock and Roll Writing Hoochie Koo

When’s the last time you read any sorta rock nitcriticism that mattered? Or provoked or inspired you? Much of what passes for rock writing these days is so generic and devoid of spirit, spark and ingenuity that it might as well be on the back of a cereal box. The rock noodlin’ practiced on the pages of Spin, Rolling Stone, or Entertainment Weekly largely bleeds into every other piece, short takes and brief summations delivered in standard Journalism 101 style, stale and trite summations offered up without imagination or humor, deserving of the cursory glance that the majority of readers render any of it. Well, well, well, this week presents us with not one, but two, cool daddy exceptions. Old pal and Rhode Island Rock and Roll guru Lou Papineau briefly steps away from his editing duties to bang out a heartfelt paean to smart aleck rockers The Hold Steady in this week’s Providence Phoenix, while Sasha Frere-Jones hits one out of the park in the current issue of The New Yorker, with an examination of indie rock’s drive away from it’s once inherent connection to black musical traditions in a piece entitled “A Paler Shade of White”, two exquisite example of rock writing that lives, breathes, thinks, and matters.

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