Qui Criticahit Critici?
The Best American anthology series is one of my favorite things, and I grab most of them each year: the one about science is always good, and the sports collection rarely has a stinker. The Best American Travel Writing usually has an outstanding piece or two, but also has a troubling habit of including stories written in the first-person present tense (“I awake in Bogotá and the frogs are frogging, but in Spanish.”) that I cannot read because that sort of thing gives me a stroke. The mysteries and short stories I leave on the shelf.
The book collecting the best music writing must be the poorest seller: some years it doesn’t even show up on the tables at Barnes & Nobles, and to be honest: it’s usually the worst one, uneven and distinctly padded with filler.
Which is weird, since Important Rock Writers pumped out a lot of good stuff this year. Thanks to my spies in the publishing industry, TotD can present some of the articles that didn’t make the cut for this years Best American Music Writing collection:
- “Yet Another 15,000 Words on Bruce Springsteen For Some Reason” by Dave Marsh.
- “A Pretty Girl, A Computer, and a P-Funk Sample: This Counts as a Band Now” by Sasha Frere-Jones.
- “Dad Rock Stories You Have Heard Before, Slightly Reworded” by David Fricke.
- “Treating Black People Like the Subjects of Sociological Experiments” by Vanessa Grigoriadis.
- “Going to the Ghetto And Laughing at Black People” by Noisey.
- “Explaining Black People to Themselves” by Jeff Chang.
- “Elvis’ Breakfast Menus, 1970-1971” by Peter Guralnick.
- “Fifty Million Basic Bitches Can’t Be Wrong: Overthinking Taylor Swift” by Jon Pareles.
- “That Time Stiv Bators Jerked Me Off” by Legs McNeil.
- “Something Either Brilliant or Completely Unreadable” by Nick Tosches.
- “How Seriously Can I Take Drake?” by Steven Hyden.
- “How Seriously Can I Take Motley Crue?” by Chuck Klosterman.
- “How Seriously Can I Take Motley Crue, Too?” by Neil Strauss.
- “A Wimp Talks About Cassettes” by Rob Sheffield.
- “Someone Under Fifty Has Heard Of Me” by Robert Christgau.
- “Mimi Farina: A Life” by Jim DeCurtis.
- “Another Goddamned Article Trying to Talk You Into Liking Can or Wire or The Residents or Roky Erickson” by Every Rock Critic At One Point Or Another.