music critics who are also musicians

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Let's list some music maker+writers. Have there been many who are good at both? If not, why? In theory, shouldn't critics make great musicians, since they understand music so well?

Keith McD, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

from the top of my head, i can think of ira kaplan (yo la tengo), neil tennant (pet shop boys) or bob stanley (saint etienne)... oh, and there's also everett true, but i haven't heard his band... and lester bangs - didn't hear anything by him either.

j

joan vich, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Gay Dad! And Cliff Jones was shit at both.

Dom Passantino, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Franklin Bruno (Nothing Painted Blue), John Darnielle (Mountain Goats), Rob Christiansen (Eggs).

charlie va, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

David Tibet from Current 93 was a journo for Sounds in the 80's

baxter wingnut, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Patti Smith innit?

Mark Pytlik, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

My favorites would be Darnielle and Sacha Frere-Jones (from Ui).

Mark, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

no comments but let's throw Chrissie Hynde and Kris Needs into the pot, too - see if anyone wants to make a case either way

Paul, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

rjyan kidwell aka cex has done some writing for his local baltimore rag too.

mark p, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

come on ppl: MARK P and DAVE Q!!!

mark s, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

My flatmate has a (the?) Lester Bangs rec - it's surprisingly gd, esp. the song 'I'm in love with my walls'.

Charles Shaar Murray used to have his own blues covers group called something like Steam Shovel or Steam Packet ... And of course Meltzer has written lyrics for Blue Oyster Cult and played w/ various punkers...

I prefer Julian Cope's Krautrock bk to any of his recs...

Andrew L, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Al Larsen (Some Velvet Sidewalk), Mia Clarke (Electrelane), Stephen McRobbie (The Pastels), Andrew Clare (I'm Being Good), Stuart Murdoch (Belle & Sebastian), Lois Maffeo (Lois), Steve Malkmus (Pavement), John Colpitts (Oneida) ... this list could go on and on. Maybe someone should define what is meant by "journalist" and "musician". If iit has anything to do with whether people get money from pursuing either occupation then you're on very dodgy ground (and I'd also like to withdraw myself from both categories)...

But how else to differentiate?

Jerry, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I liked some of Tom Johnson's compositions (esp. "Nine Bells"), but I'm not really familiar with his music writing, so I can't vouch for it. (I'm not sure he still writes about music, but I think he used to cover avant-garde music for the Village Voice.)

DeRayMi, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

hey bangs actually typed his review to someone (the guess who?) onstage while they were playing!!

mark s, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

johnson had the kyle gann slot before kg: i think his book, The Voice of New Music, is pretty good, very undidactic and curious in spirit (i mean curious like wants to know more, not curious as in weirdo)

mark s, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Mark S: It was the J Geils Band, if memory serves.

Does Morrissey count? Biography of the NY Dolls, load of rejected criticism in the late 80s, etc etc.

Dom Passantino, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

david toop.

mt, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Jack White reviewed the Charley Patton box set for NME. It was quite good. Electric Music (or Electric Music AKA) were supposedly music writers of some sort...

Mr Swygart, Sunday, 11 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill); David Nichols (Huon); David Keenan (Telstar Ponies); Staurt Braithwaite (Mogwai); Ben (Dirtbombs); Jimmy Possession (The Guy Who Invented Fire); Matthew Corwine (DJ); Conrad (Trail Of Dead); Gary Valentine (Blondie); Captain Sensible (The Damned); Jeremy Gluck (Barracudas); Jamie Sellers (Quint); Steve Albini (Shellac); Sarah Dougher; Joey Ramone (wrote a series of articles for addicted to noise); Jim Irvin (Furniture); Sally Margaret Joy (Furniture); Chris Roberts (Catwalk); Dickon Edwards (Fosca/Orlando); Lou Barlow (Sebadoh); Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats); Neil Kulkarni; Taylor Parkes;

How many would you like? It's annoying that whenever this question is trotted out the same dull names are always cited - Lester Bangs, Bob Stanley, Chrissie Hynde, myself even. Morrissey wrote far less than all the people on the above list; yet he always gets mentioned.

There are tens of thousands (the list above took me 5 minutes to compile)... and, if you start including people like Taylor and Neil, then it goes on and on. It's the norm for writers to dabble in music, not otherwise. And vice versa.

And I haven't even begun to touch on DJs.

Jerry, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

It's the norm for writers to dabble in music, not otherwise.

In that case I violate the norm. Then again, I'm astoundingly lazy.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Apologies if that answer seems unneccessarily grumpy.

I've just had to read through an entire 340 page manuscript AGAIN - and found mistakes on the chapter headings. Why don't book companies employ proof readers?

Jerry, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Astonishingly lazy? You, Ned? That reminds me... isn't that Negativland interview a little overdue... like eight months?

And yes, it is far too early for me to be up.

Jerry, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Duane Zarakov! He's only a music critic to get girls though.

maryann, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Right. Like *that* works...

Jerry, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

How about him what's in the Regular Fries? I think he used to be a journo, that's what my May 1999 copy of Select says.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

How about Utensil, the (now hiatusing) band featuring Ira Robbins on guitar and Michael Azzerad on bass?

Yancey, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Astonishingly lazy? You, Ned?

I feel it most days. Maybe I'm not, who knows!

That reminds me... isn't that Negativland interview a little overdue... like eight months?

I'll be reviewing the new album, but beyond that I'm despairing of ever getting that together. I can try again, though!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

shouldn't critics make great musicians, since they understand music so well?

I think there's a better case to be made for this in the world of film where you have the whole Cahiers du Cinema crowd: Godard, Truffaut, etc. I can't think of a comparable accomplishment by a music critic. Of course there's Jim Greer who went from being an avid Guided By Voices backer at Spin to being a bassist for the band, but you have to wonder how much talent that requires.

o. nate, Monday, 12 August 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
Resurrecting this...

Regarding the Cahiers du Cinema crowd...well, correct me if I'm wrong - I've only started reading some of their stuff, but wasn't the magazine essentially a collaborative personal effort. (ie - not for money/pay?) That's always the impression I've had. I think that all real musicians have some next-level critical skills. But I would guess that the criticism coming from musicians would be more likely found at a place like Freaky Trigger/ILM than as a gun for hire at a rag like Rolling Stone.

In other words, the real critics fled to the internet, websites, and blogs.

Snobbish and elitist? Of course. That's what I'm into.

Girolamo Savonarola, Sunday, 19 January 2003 20:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Never seen this thread before. It only convinces me even further that I should give up writing.

kate, Sunday, 19 January 2003 20:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

david shepperd is another

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Sunday, 19 January 2003 20:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Surprised that no one has mentioned Metal Mike Saunders. I suppose some would argue that he is neither... Not me, though.

flightsatdusk (flightsatdusk), Sunday, 19 January 2003 20:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

is lois maffeo a good writer? cause her records are pathetic.

keith (keithmcl), Sunday, 19 January 2003 22:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nick Kent's Subterraneans (also featuring Glen Matlock) were prety good.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Sunday, 19 January 2003 22:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

a compact example of lotsa renowned musicians writin'n'writin':
"ARCANA: musicians on music" (Granary/Hips Road, 2000; edited by ...J.Zorn) -- the approaches differ and... so forth and etcetera, but there're FRED Frith (Simon's brother), Z'EV, Mike Patton(!),Ikue Mori, Marc Ribot, George E. Lewis, B.Frisell, Myra Melford, Guy Klucevsek in there, a.o. ...some of them may appear rather "technical" for a non-muso-reader's taste, i think

A ?UESTION: re STEVE LAKE ?! a great, great writer -- but has he ever made music himself? the reason i'm asking, i saw some catalogue once, and there were a coupla records listed where Steve Lake seemed to be credited as one of the performers; as these were Improv kinda things, it *could* been him... but has anybody here actually HEARD a 'Steve Lake record'?

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Sunday, 19 January 2003 22:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

MARK PRINDLE!!!

Evan (Evan), Monday, 20 January 2003 03:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

somebody said all the real critics fled to the internet?
are you old enough to shave?

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 20 January 2003 04:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Steve Harley was a music journalist before his Cockney Rebel days.
Cub Koda (after years with his Brownsville Station) began writing a column called "The Vinyl Junkie" for Goldmine magazine, later published in DISCoveries.

another one (another one), Monday, 20 January 2003 11:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
What about Mia Clarke? She plays well, writes better...and is hot as hell.

sandy k, Wednesday, 9 April 2003 18:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

ILM's own Sasha Frere-Jones.

oops (Oops), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 19:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Hrvatski
Eugene Chadbourne

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 19:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I "make" "music" sometimes.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 19:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Samir Khan of Kepler (ex-Pitchfork scribe)

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 19:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wasn't Lester Bangs in Schrapnel?

SplendidMullet (iamamonkey), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 21:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

All musicians are just frustrated rock critics.

Keith Harris (kharris1128), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 21:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

or was it Leggs McNeill? fuck

SplendidMullet (iamamonkey), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 21:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

greg tate has his burnt sugar bigband

H (Heruy), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 21:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

shrapnel was with legs mcneil

H (Heruy), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 21:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

thank you! its coming back to me now

SplendidMullet (iamamonkey), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 21:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Andrew Beaujon from Eggs writes for Spin. And at least one ILMor has heard my rockin' bandz.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 22:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

doveman.

forksclovetofu, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 15:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

Charles Rosen, excellent at both btw

Now, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 15:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

Robert Forster

If you can believe your eyes and ears (outdoor_miner), Wednesday, 21 April 2010 16:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

wasn't chrissie hynde a music journo originally?

Dr X O'Skeleton, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 19:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

Had no idea that Chris Richards was in Q and Not U.

Spent the holidays digging through boxes and was pleased to find myself in excellent company. Entertainment Weekly Oct. 8, 2004 pic.twitter.com/t1BltlQDod

— Chris _ _ Richards (@Chris__Richards) January 1, 2018

Beret McKesson (jaymc), Monday, 1 January 2018 23:51 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Robert Schumann.

pomenitul, Monday, 1 January 2018 23:54 (eleven months ago) Permalink


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