Archive for the 'music' Category

The ghost of Rolling Stone past

Rolling Stone today may be the bloated corpse of rock you won’t even poke with a stick in case you puncture it and accidentally catch a whiff of the fetid gases trapped inside, but once upon a time it paid for some great writing.

But rock journalism, as Frank Zappa said, could be seen as “…people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read.”

And as with any literary criticism, good writing is good writing. Just because you’re writing about something great (or bad) doesn’t make your writing good (or bad. Or right.)

Aladin Sane, 1973

Aladin Sane, 1973

David Bowie

Aladin Sane

…Aladdin is less manic than The Man Who Sold the World, and less intimate than Hunky Dory, with none of its attacks of self-doubt. Ziggy, in turn, was less autobiographically revealing, more threatening than its predecessors, but still compact. Like David’s Radio City Music Hall show, Aladdin is grander, more produced: David is more than ever more mastermind than participant. Aladdin’s very eclecticism makes it even less exposed, conceptually, than Ziggy. Three of the tracks, “Pretty As a Star,” “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” and the related “The Jean Genie,” are inferior, they lack the obdurate strength of the remaining songs, not to mention the perfection of Hunky Dory and Ziggy. The calmness of the former, the inexorability of the latter (which manages to subsume the question of each individual song’s merit) are not Aladdin Sane’s.

But The Jean Genie as an inferior track? History is not always kind. I expect it will be equally kind to me.

But there’s always the flip side.


And so on and so forth