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Friday
Nov112011

Media Consulting: The Yard Restaurant and Bar (mX Melbourne)

A client of mine, the Yard Restaurant and Bar was featured in the mX "Night Out" section on November 10, 2011. Here's a peek:

Assuming the frontage of a quiet terrace, inside one finds an idyllic escape from the city that's not too far away from all the comforts of urban life, nestled in the back streets of South Melbourne. Warming oneself under the glass atrium is a delight to behold - and will become a fixture for dozy after work drinks and "morning after the night before" brunchers.

Interested? Feel free to contact me for further information.

Tuesday
Oct112011

The Facebookless Frontier, two months on

Two months ago I deactivated my Facebook account and never looked back. Last month sat from the sidelines, irritated by the routine "complainageddons" that spring from a well of minor interface changes to the free social platform/marketing exercise. People said that throwing away Facebook was akin to severing a healthy limb which had served me well and would continue to in the future. But after two months, I barely recognize that it still exists to other people. The my social world continues to turn and I've come to view this so-called "third hand" as useless as if both necrotic and lame (and selling my particulars to third parties.)

My phone hasn't been ringing off the hook with former Facebook friends wondering if I'm still alive, but the core of my friendship groups has been strengthened since I'm taking the effort to call, text or email friends instead of passively staring at an abstracted representation of them on a screen. Interestingly, I've met more people through Twitter via the Melbourne, Australia twitter meetup known as MTUB than I ever have through Facebook. I've made many new friends this way. Post-Facebook, I still keep up attendance at my interest group meetings, either through organizing them myself or attending new ones.

Thus I pondered it from a media ecological perspective, in the vein of my revered Neil Postman; just what problem did Facebook solve for me? Discovering that it caused no subsequent problems resulting from my exit, it actually spurred some solutions insofar my relationships and how I approach them is concerned.

  • New friend? Give them a text or a call: Adding them to Facebook is much like slipping a dollar bill in a wallet. People aren't trading cards to be collected and traded. If I genuinely like someone or enjoy their company, I will let them know one way or another. The experiential "addition" to one's Facebook friends list means many things to many people. There's a certain personal development "bonus" for acting as an initiator.
  • No invitation, no attendance: I've missed out on various social engagements the past two months; but if I don't know about it, I'm not there! I don't miss whatever I'm unaware of, right?
    If I'm told in person, I reserve the date and make sure I attend. There's only a "yes" or "no" option for me!
  • Less distraction: Yesterday, I went on a half-day Twitter moratorium and completed all my "to-do" tasks prior to 2pm. I interviewed broadcaster and journalist Steve Cannane for the book project, completed an article for an online mag and started work for a new client. With no "Twitter-Facebook moebius strip of distraction" for my attention to contend with, stuff gets done!
I think it's safe to declare that I won't be re-joining for good. The benefits greatly outweigh any drawbacks and my social life feels as vibrant as ever. If you're considering whether to write the final words in your 'book and put it to rest, I cannot recommend it enough!

Wednesday
Sep212011

Thesis Diary #13: The Debrief

Yesterday I steeled myself against the wind to solemnly march into Tony Moore's office for my thesis mark. I could see bare parts of his desktop for the first time to which I remarked "Wow, I didn't even know your desk was made out of wood!"

He ignored mounting e-mails and handed me a miniature novel of examiner's comments regarding my thesis. Agonizing in what felt like a Oakeshottian duration of dithering, he finally announced that I had gained a distinction for my efforts.

A sigh of relief. I did far better than I expected.

Tony was supremely supportive of the mark; he knew it lay within me to achieve a high distinction and I agreed. He was impressed considering that I'd never taken honors classes (which apparently teach one to write in the academic style requisite for such long tasks) and that my previous degree was from outside the field of communications and journalism. He complimented me on my academic rigor despite these deficiencies and praised me as a "good writer"; I felt very humbled by it.

The comments and tips Tony bestowed will prove valuable for my book project with Leticia Supple on rock journalism. Some even provided additional sources such as a thorough BBC documentary on rock journalism that was screened in 2009 - which came as a surprise to both Tony and I!

As I left, he wished me luck, saying: "Remember to invite me to the book launch."

I shook his hand and smiled. "Mate, you're at the top of the list."

---
If you have an hour or two to kill and want to know more about rock journalism theory than you'd ever care to, my thesis is now available for download.

Sunday
Sep042011

100% Genuine, Bonafide Corporate Rock: What is rock authenticity?

One of the ironies of “critical rock journalism,” writes cultural studies theorist Andy Brown is “that it is operated in a hegemonic fashion across the popular music market in the period of its pomp, willfully obscuring its actual commercial dynamics and its cultural and institutional role in shaping the rock canon and the rock audience.”  Critical rock journalism by its reliance on advertising dollars and the industry for its own copy or sellable capital (interviews from artists, advanced promo copies, etc.) is “inauthentic” by journalistic standards. The stories on artists or the industry, even if they do not engage with the sources directly service the music creators and copyright holders; those who have everything to gain from words being printed about them. What differentiates the “trade paper” or the “mainstream” from the “cool” or the “genuine” is a concept known as “authenticity” or “cultural capital.” But how do publications and journalists wield it and accumulate it? We must first deconstruct authenticity as an abstract and observe it in “action.”

Cultural capital is conferred on certain publications, granting them a subcultural “rock authority.” This gives rise to the conception of cultural capital as “cool” or “authenticity.” Whether its journalism thrives in the underground “zine” culture or written for “payola,” traditionally known as the act of labels paying deejays or journalists to promote certain artists, cultural capital is closely linked with “monetary” capital.

With the invention of the printing press and other more advanced technologies such as the internet and television, the “eye becomes more important than the ear” – a system of signification and meaning emerges in the form of a subculture with its own discrete and extensional rituals.  Thus we can point toward a rock subculture with its own internal consistencies and tendency for self and other identification. According to the philosopher Heidegger, authenticity is defined to “be one’s own self, as part of the history of one’s community.” In a broader philosophical context, authenticity is to say:

“that his or her actions truly express what lies at their origin, that is, the dispositions, feelings, desires, and convictions that motivate them. Built into this conception of authenticity is a distinction between what is really going on within me – the emotions, core beliefs, and bedrock desires that make me the person I am – and the outer avowals and actions that make up my being in the public world…We commonly suppose that authenticity has a considerable value even if it does not produce such extrinsic goods as wealth, fame, or pleasure.”[1]


The image of a rock band according to rock scholar and critic Simon Frith must have certain characteristics for it to be accepted as “authentic” by people who self-identify as part of the rock subculture and its various sub-divided subcultures almost as much as the sound and arrangement of the music, and be recognized as part of the “subcultural sphere” of rock music. If an artist exists in a rock subculture which is overwhelmingly dominated by corporate interests, how can an artist stay “authentic?” How can a “rocker” such as Bruce Springsteen dress like a working-class, thirty-seven year old “teenager” and be celebrated for it despite his multi-million dollar success?

Authenticity can be described as the performative “image” based aspect of the music as an experience, a cultural product and “within the ascription carries the corollary that every type of music, and every example, can conceivably be found authentic by a particular group of perceivers; it is the success with which a particular performance conveys the impression that counts,” especially if it is consecrated by a publication with cultural capital such as NME or Rolling Stone and/or if it is written by a preeminent and established consecrator such as Richard Christgau or Greil Marcus. 

Frith writes of a “continuing struggle between music and commerce [at] the core of rock ideology.”  There is a very real tension between identity vs. difference at the heart of this struggle; rock music has been important as a rallying point for a collective identity but the music industry itself has appropriated this phenomenon and incorporated it as a sales pitch: “market choices aren’t just a matter of self-indulgence,” Frith writes, but a link to communities; “musical tastes matter so much to people because…they take them to be a statement of what sort of people they are” and rock fans and those who “buy into” the subculture are not immune.  The rock music media culture seems to matter to individuals with “mutual interests leading to the sharing of accumulated knowledge and the creation of a specialized language (be it visual or oral) and other cultural products.”  By all accounts, the perceived “image” and expression of this culture through style is more important than whether it is performed in the service of fans, artists or corporate entities. The “what, where and who” of rock subculture is more important than the “why” and the “how.”

A trend or a scene must be defined and via its musical or visual style in order to be communicated to an audience as genuinely as possible. This is achieved by establishing an order, setting up exemplars of this order, making it concrete and then “initiating the collapse.”  By setting up a movement through the accumulation and expenditure of cultural capital, record labels via rock journalists can package the content for sale and target it to subcultural groups and conversely, attempt to dismantle older styles and “overcome human resistance” to make way for new trends. Such is the case of Nirvana in the 1990s.

Nirvana is an example of authenticity being embedded in the “cultural capital” that music press project to their readership in order to consecrate it. In the early 1990s Kurt Cobain, lead guitarist and vocalist for Nirvana, was at the forefront of the grunge movement. He became the template for its authenticity in this (albeit fragmented) subculture. Cobain grew up in a Seattle, Washington suburb called Aberdeen and led a troubled youth moving from house to house. He had no formal artistic education yet produced sculpture and poetry regardless. His past history was one of alienation, delinquency and homelessness. He also suffered from debilitating stomach cramps and was encouraged by girlfriend Courtney Love, herself a rock musician, to use heroin to ease the pain. Kurt and his bandmates (Kris Novoselic and Dave Grohl) were also known for their Bohemianism, subverting codes of gender and masculinity, kissing one another while in cross dress for an episode of Saturday Night Live in 1992.

Despite the semi-romanticized punk-rock upbringing and “slacker” ethos, Nirvana was one of the biggest alternative rock bands in modern rock music history. Carrying the flag for the Seattle grunge sound, a mélange of down-tuned, mid-tempo post-punk and metal edged riffs, their second record Nevermind topped the US charts in January 1992 and eventually sold over 9 million units worldwide. They were described in “sociological terms” as


“defining a new generation, the twentysomething "slackers" who have retreated from life; as telling unattractive home truths about a country losing its empire and hit by recessing as representing the final, delayed impact of British punk on America.”[2]

However the massive success that came with selling that many records would be considered unthinkable in terms of projecting authenticity in the 1960s and 1970s context (although relatively speaking, the Beatles et. al. sold millions without it effecting their authenticity); Cobain appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone with a t-shirt emblazoned with “Corporate rock magazines suck” on the front – he appeared to be the antidote to mainstream style despite embracing it almost in its totality; Nirvana in deed embraced the mainstream despite appearing to rail against it in word. Rock journalists also attempted to portray Kurt Cobain’s authenticity, placing him as literate in the rock subculture; one interviewer spied “scores of CDs and tapes are strewn around [his] stereo – obscurities such as Calamity Jane, Cosmic Psychos and Billy Childish, as well as Cheap Trick and the Beatles.”  What Cobain listened to matters in this context; the “why” is obvious – these bands were part of a canon of authentic rock that was once established by rock journalists.

The band was signed to the major label Geffen Records which was once cutting edge and alternative but now a major player; they made frequent appearances on MTV the international music channel (eventually releasing an acoustic record from an “MTV Unplugged” session) and even appeared on the aforementioned Saturday Night Live, a US national network television program. To demonstrate just how far Nirvana and Cobain operated outside of the perceived conventions of authenticity in terms of independence, he regularly appeared on MTV.  MTV is owned by Viacom, the world’s fourth largest media conglomerate. MTV operates on a simple business model as explained by media critic Robert McChesney in Douglas Rushkoff’s PBS documentary The Merchants of Cool: “everything at MTV is a commercial…sometimes it’s a music video other times it’s paid advertisements…there’s no non-commercial part of MTV.”  Keith Cameron writing for NME, positioning himself and the magazine as an authentic consecrator (as opposed to the publications part of “tabloid” tradition of pre-1967 trade press) of the rock field to authentically explain Cobain’s success:

As far as the tabloid music press were concerned, Nirvana were just too good to be true. Rarely had the rollercoaster dynamic of rock'n'roll been so extreme – unknowns shoot from nowhere to top of charts with incendiary musical formula. The all-important twist? They didn't even try! They don't want to be successful! Brilliant. And now, with the accountants still hiring bulldozers to gather up the money, they've begun to blow it all via smack, the biggest sucker punch of the lot. From nobodies to superstars to fuck ups in the space of six months?! That had to be a record.[3]


Despite this wholesale “sellout,” the style Cobain embodied was considered as authentic by the rock subculture and its readership regardless.   In fact, as journalist Simon Reynolds points out in his review of Nevermind for the New York Times, commenting on the irony inherent in “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “ teen spirit is routinely bottled, shrink-wrapped and sold. Mr. Cobain, acutely aware of the contradiction of operating in an industry of today’s youth with lyrics like “Here we are now, entertain us/How stupid and contagious.”

But even this conceptualization of subcultural “authenticity” is problematic. The symbolic objects that authenticate style are not born directly from the exponents of the style itself but by commercial interests which is communicated by the authenticity of the rock press; only those who participate in rock music culture and the lengths at which they “jealously defend” the use of cultural symbols, music and style differentiates those who identify with the rock culture and subcultures (punk, indie, etc.) and those who do not.  In the 1980s and 1990s with the rise of commercial music television such as MTV and the horizontal integration of the music press, fashion and other concerns, the Nirvana as pre-packaged rebellion trajectory is much more commonplace – the authentic counter-culture is now a field of cultural production dominated by commercial interests. McChesney thinks that:

“we're in a really interesting phase culturally where the notion that there's something distinct from commercial culture comes into question when everything's commercialized.... I think it's a troubling notion, the idea that our references are so commercialized now that all our dissidents, all our autonomous voices are getting their cues from MTV on how to revolt. And I think that's a real tension that's going on among young people today.”[4]


This rings especially true when considering the now disbanded rap-rock group Rage Against the Machine; – a politically-charged hangover from the heady days of left-activist counterculture that were supporters of socialist and even anarcho-syndicalist causes yet were signed to Epic Records, owned by global media conglomerate Sony Music Entertainment.

Zack De La Rocha, lead vocalist for the group has maintained his authenticity by being gassed by police during a concert and traveling to Mexico to engage with the left-wing rebel Zapatista movement. He insisted in an interview with Kerrang! Magazine that using the mainstream media to consciously promote the band’s political message and their routine refusal to talk to journalists has merely:

"[ensured] the protection of this band's integrity…That we were walking what we were talking, as opposed to just talking. We're dealing with a monstrous pop culture that has a tendency to commodify and pacify everything - it's happened to so many bands in the past. It's important that artists in my position set an example and there's a fine line between the promotion of a product and the promotion of an idea."[5]


The fact their message appears more authentic is more important than the medium it arrives on in their view and most likely the views of their fans. To a fashion, de la Rocha has transformed his own band into a prized commodity that oozes authenticity through reluctantly granting access to journalists. It gives those in the rock field a point of departure to determine who are the most powerful in the rock field and how to market this to a readership.
However, ultimately, whomever identifies with the alternative rock subculture is merely affording opportunities to major labels like “Warner [to] sell you the Throwing Muses instead of Madonna.” 

Taking Marxist positions that “all products of the culture industry are inherently inauthentic,” it seems like a non-concern amongst actors and participants in the rock field that legitimate rock’s authenticity. Modernist scholar Schumway argues with the example of Cobain and de la Rocha, their super-stardom in the rock field

“comes a new question of authenticity: is the star the person he or she appears to be on screen or on stage? The answer must always in the strict sense be “no” because to be a star is to be presented to the public packaged and mediated. The audience knows this at some level, and yet the desire to know the authentic individual persists. As David Marshall has argued, “the relationship that the audience builds with the film celebrity is configured through a tension between the possibility and impossibility of knowing the authentic individual.”[6]
The notion of the impossibility of an authentic individual is also conferred on to journalists that work in the rock music field. Jones argues that ideology plays a central role in rock music and rock subcultural authenticity; ideology and common sense. In his view, it is “common sensical” to view that a common human activity, i.e., music making has been “colonized by commerce” and that the authentic expression of style speaks more “truth” about the music than whether it was born out of autonomy or not, or to some unacceptable extent that would deem the music or band “inauthentic.”
  
It seemingly is the task of rock journalists and the rock press to communicate opposition or difference in their own fashion in accordance with staying true to the “cultural capital” that is conferred upon them by fans and others who participate in the rock subculture even though, through journalism, attempt to bridge that divide between “fan” and “star” without seeming beholden to either yet servicing both - lies the real irony. Authenticity in rock and its journalism is "authenticated" if one cares only about the image and care not not how it gets to you and "why."

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This essay is part of a collaborative project with blogger, music critic and MetalAsFuck.net founder Leticia Supple on rock journalism and criticism. You can read her excellent and incisive contributions here.

References:

  1. Guinon, C. “Authenticity” in Philosophy Compass, (Vol. 3, No. 2, 2008) p. 278.
  2. Savage, J. “Sounds Dirty: Truth about Nirvana” in The Observer, 15 August 1993.
  3. Cameron, K. “Nirvana: Love Will Tear Us Apart” in NME, 29 August 1992. http://bit.ly/lrFxNo
  4. McChesney, R., “The Symbiotic Relationship Between the Media and Teens” in Frontline: The Merchants of Cool, PBS website, 2001 http://to.pbs.org/gQyD3g
  5. Myers, B. “Hello, Hello...It's Good To Be Back: Rage Against the Machine” in Kerrang! 16 October, 1999 
  6. Schumway, D. R. “Authenticity, Stardom and Rock ‘n’ Roll” in Modernism/Modernity (Vol 14, No. 3. 2007) p. 530.

Monday
Aug292011

The Graduate School of Rock: Scholars sculpting rock into art

On November 9, 1967, Jann Wenner’s first editorial appeared in the inaugural edition of Rolling Stone magazine. It read:

“We have begun a new publication…sort of a magazine and sort of a newspaper…reflecting what we see are the changes in rock and roll and the changes related to rock and roll. Because the trade papers have become so inaccurate and irrelevant and because the fan magazines are an anachronism, fashioned in the mold of myth and nonsense…Rolling Stone is not just about music but also the things and attitudes that the music embraces.”[1]


By imbuing it with an authority of publications of record similar to that of newspapers, Wenner laid down the charge for all “serious” rock music magazines that endeavored to present rock music as serious instead of frivolous, a part of the real experience of a culture instead of mere entertainment – as intelligent art as opposed to vacuous "pop." Throughout history, popular and folk music has been defined in opposition to classical “art” music. Prior to the 1960s, pop music could not be considered high culture like the great classical canon – it was commercial, trashy and intended for the lowest common denominator. But rock, like jazz and folk before it ultimately gained merit for its inherent artistry, bringing it to bear scholastic examination.

Scholars and rock journalists’ unifying contention in the early era of rock was that the music mattered in a way that “surpassed pure entertainment, breeding an equally strong need to understand and explain why this was so…in the critics’ view rock was as much art as jazz, but like film, far more democratic.”  Cultural theorist Tim Wall cites the academic scholarship of Black American blues music of the 1940s as hugely influential on mainstream American and European popular music of the 1950s and 1960s which eventually was applied to rock music.  Rock sociologist and critic Simon Frith devotes the first chapter of his landmark text on rock music and subculture Sound Effects to “rock roots” from both a sociological and musicological perspective as a launching point for academic analysis. Frith describes rock music as an art form that is “primitive” insofar that rock musicians impart emotion through pre-linguistic devices such as sounds and rhythms. He contends that “rock music is the result of an ever changing combination of independently developed musical elements, each of which carries its own cultural message.”  Rock and roll came into its own in the 1960s during a re-appropriation of Black music such as soul and pop through interlocutors like Chuck Berry who then went on to influence the Beatles, “opening up the space for the development of rock music” by further appropriating Black American blues, soul and of course rhythm and blues (R’n’B.)  Prior to the 1967 Wenner moment, rock music was largely ignored by the establishment, especially in Britain. The BBC had not ventured to play rock music which was instead broadcast by pirate stations and others such as Radio Luxembourg. John Peel, a DJ for pirate station Radio London was considered by the rock music subculture as one of their consecrators and eventually was “poached” by the BBC to head up its new pop music radio station, BBC Radio 1.  This motley collection of “fans” became a “real,” structured hierarchy – there were consistencies in the dress, style, taste, politics and activities of these people that consumed and produced rock music. Outside observers could easily identify rock fans; it was the beginnings of an expressive rock subculture.

Ever since the 1930s, studies on subculture had been the domain of academia. Rock music, rock fashion and rock performance was and still is a mass leisure activity or pursuit, giving rise to a self-conscious group of consumers that identify as part of a rock subculture. The Birmingham School of Contemporary Cultural Studies was one of the first academic units to purposefully examine the rock subculture in Britain which lent further credence to rock music as not only an art form but the linchpin, expression and overall rallying point for a subculture. Frith and Horne in Art into Pop explain rock and pop music’s explosion into academia can be explained by the “extraordinary art school connection” with British musicians and later American musicians adding “image, style and self-consciousness – an attitude to what commercial music should and could be…This attitude has been influential even when a particular genre (like punk) didn’t actually sell records.”  Subcultures express a response to a set of conditions that are tied together into structured, relatively coherent wholes and rock music is a binding force for a rock subculture can also be viewed in this fashion.  However, the mere appreciable existence of rock music subculture did not make it an artform worthy of academic criticism, debate and study. Rock music criticism – the act of thinking and writing critically about rock as art - did not fully begin until the post-1967 Wenner moment.

In Britain in the 1950s and early 1960s, writing on rock music was limited to trade publications and “fan pages” that were analogous to “film fan” magazines of the 1930s. These papers focused primarily on the “stars” and not a literary or discursive analysis of films unlike the French art cinema journal Cahiers du Cinema or similar publication; some trade publications in the US such as Billboard tracked chart positions and industry news but there was little in the way that could be described as criticism or journalism.  The music press at this time could be viewed as merely an instrument of the music industry reflecting the “increasing importance of records and record sales” and provided “no perspective, historical or otherwise on the music they covered; they had no developed critical positions…they presented the industry’s own public view of itself.”  In the 1960s onwards, rock journalism emerged into its own field, critically evaluating rock music so as to develop an “account of the music as art” as distinct from other previous forms of music reporting such as the aforementioned trade papers and “teeny bopper” fan-oriented magazines. American rock magazine Crawdaddy! was launched in February 1966. Editor Paul Williams proclaimed it “free from teenage-magazine perspectives” and proudly proclaiming that the magazine’s specialty would be “intelligent writing about pop music” while charging Billboard with “non-critical criticism,” opening up the high-low cultural dichotomy arguably for the first time.  These magazines attempted, as Simon Frith wrote in 1981, to “take the new musicians and their audiences as seriously as they took themselves.”  Rock fans could now determine what cultural products were noteworthy for their artistry and which ones were lesser or inferior through specialized cultural interpreters – rock critics and rock journalists.
The emergence of rock radio stations, magazines such as the aforementioned, article collections, specialist periodicals and record guides all set up a “critical apparatus” that positioned academically credentialed journalists as both “participants and observers of the rock revolution” thus conferring the authority on their works from mere participants or observers of rock music.  Those interested in the subculture could not only use these magazines as reflections of their readership, but also act as an entry point into these readerships.  The subculture’s artistic expression was under scrutiny from writers of a scholarly background, using similar appraisal techniques usually reserved for critiques of literature, visual art or classical and jazz music. Through such analysis, we can view rock as a true “art.”

This criticism is produced in a professional manner from a position of influence and cultural authority. Rock critics become “arbiters of taste” from the aforementioned “cultivated disposition” imbued upon them from academia, the emergence of a “genius” styles of writing and a sustained body of works of that quality in the rock music field. Their “self-defined task is not only to suggest what to buy, but how to make sense of [rock journalism as a movement, style, subculture, etc.]”  This role as navigator through the world of the rock subculture is not cast arbitrarily. The notion of what constitutes authenticity in the rock subculture and how it is expressed through rock journalism, rock music and rock style is another question in the discourse which will be discussed at length in another essay.

Rock critics and journalists in the 1967 moment onwards and arguably until the 1999 “flattening” of the industry by rapid-fire online content distribution and generation “fought” the battle for rock music; the writing that elucidated and analyzed it was armed with an immersion in academia and a revolt into style. Bringing art into pop (or merely viewing pop as art) laid the foundations for rock criticism and journalism to flourish into the mainstream culture and accepted as a popular “art.” Though much has been made of the “high/low” dichotomy of culture in the past, the new media ecology and conceptualization of consumer/producer/critic as a singular, “remixed” entity existing on the internet or digital media breaks down these distinctions into a multi-valued orientation in which artistic or subcultural merit can be found in almost any production (according to the viewpoint of the subculture or individual.) Though some academics would froth at the mouth if one asserts a loss in the fidelity of “high culture,” the simple fact is that rock as a subculture values this music and style as art and as such, is given praise or criticism by those knowledgeable in the art of rock and of course, the art of analysis and criticism. If one can articulate the points of difference or commendable attributes of rock music then they too can shape the canon as a “cultural interlocutor” through their transmission of authenticity and “professional” or historical awareness as an art.

This essay is an early draft in a series of critical examinations of music criticism and journalism. The project is being co-written by Leticia Supple, blogger and founder of MetalAsFuck.net. Read her essays here.

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[1] Lindberg, U., Gudmundsson, G., Michelsen, M. and Weisethaunet, H. Rock Criticism from the Beginning: Amusers, bruisers and cool-headed cruisers, Peter Lang Publishing: New York, NY, 2005. p. 146.