Rock Journalism

Where Is Greil Marcus' Liner Notes To Dylan's "Another Self Portrait"?

By Iman Lababedi | August 29, 2013

No I don’t expect Spotify to provide them but you better believe I expect Itunes to negotiate on their customers behalf. How can you request 50 cents a song for these songs and not give us the complete (or complete as you can) package

The Rock Interview, Ryan Domball And the Over-Arching Goal

By Iman Lababedi | August 12, 2013

Is Ryan really asking Kevin if the most important goal behind his music is to to be unaware of other music?

Mick Farren Passing Ignored By Stone, Pitchfork

By Iman Lababedi | July 31, 2013

Ignoring Mick Farren’s death feels like just a very strange, rude and vert typical act of malfeasance.

Steve Crawford Visits (rock) nyc

By Iman Lababedi | July 30, 2013

Crawford is, if anything, nicer in person and his family is awesome,

Cyber Bully Jann Wenner Sends Cease And Desist To "The People's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame"

By Iman Lababedi | July 19, 2013

The end result of unbridled capitalism is the same as it ever was monopolies, and those who own the monopolies will do anything necessary to maintain them

Lotsa House, Not So Much Talk at the Talkhouse

By Iman Lababedi | July 5, 2013

It took me back to The Talkhouse, which I found essentially, not even disappointing; I found it not really there at all

Noisecreep Offers Up Prime Advice On Surviving Warped Tour 2013

By Helen Bach | June 21, 2013

We know how brutal a fest can be. Iman braved rain, mud and cold. Alyson starves and trains in her marathon gear. Me? I die of late July heat every year more sun burnt and dehydrated than the last.

Humorless Rock Critics And Sampling Reeling In the Years

By Iman Lababedi | May 17, 2013

Ryan overstates the case for Vampire Weekend, and he conflates Ezra’s existential crises into a serious philosophy. But fear of dying is nothing of the sort

Pitchfork And Consequence Of Sound Read The Same Press Notes

By Iman Lababedi | May 14, 2013

It might not be illegal, or even immoral but taking the etymology of a song off a press release and not stating it… It is certainly pathetic. Oh and Pitchfork hire Vampire Weekend to play at their Festivals and then assign their Senior Editor to review them. You can’t trust these guys. I bet they cheated on their SATS.

Hang The Cliche: Stool Pigeon Seminal Slamdunk Of Rock Critics!

By Iman Lababedi | May 9, 2013

“Soundscape” (I love that one: “Substitute for ‘song’ used to describe boring shoegaze, post rock and elecronica records whose alternatively ‘majestic’, ‘eerie’ or ‘glacial’ instrumentals are supposed to evoke grand vistas of some sort. Dimly, the writer perceives that this is all Brian Eno’s fault”)

The Fascinating Clare Grogan Of Altered Images -Interviewed By Me In 1983

By Iman Lababedi | May 8, 2013

“No. I think ‘OK…yeah.’ I think it doesn’t matter whether I’m young or old or anything. The way you talk about it, it’s as if our fans are 40-year-old men in flasher raincoats. That’s what you mean by an older audience. We’re talking about 18-year-olds, like that.”

How To Write a Rolling Stone Celebrity Profile

By Iman Lababedi | May 1, 2013

I am sure that you, like me, read in wonder Rolling Stones Magazines wondrous musician (and actor) profiles, wondering precisely how the likes of Brian Hiatt manages to get Bruno Mars to open up like… er, like something that opens… a shellfish or a clam.

Stoned In Macomb: "The Rick Johnson Reader" Reviewed

By Steve Crawford | April 25, 2013

While the Johnson Reader currently hasn’t sold as many copies as the Holy Bible, you, dedicated fan of the Rock NYC website, have the power to change this unfortunate course of history and commerce.

The Talkhouse: Artists May Log In Here

By Iman Lababedi | April 12, 2013

It is a little too early to go to town on “The Talkhouse” too nastily, but I better hurry up because you can bet a paywall is in the works. The websiteit just stinks of obsequious star fucking, it is too “Artists May Log In Here”

Rolling Stone Magazine And Kurt Cobain

By Iman Lababedi | March 27, 2013

Jann Wenner and his henchmen don’t give a damn, they are like the folks who sell flowers at graveyards. Nevermind breaking pop was no surprise, the buzz on the album was pretty deafening at the time. Only an insulated bunch of know it alls who fire any one who disagrees with them could get it wrong.

Carla DeSantis Black's GRL Talk

By Steve Crawford | February 23, 2013

“Such a tricky question, Steve!! But truly – anyone who stays true to their own vision and doesn’t allow the music business machine to sabotage their art is my hero – or heroine!”

One Star Nick Cave Review In The New York Post: Who Are These Guys?

By Iman Lababedi | February 22, 2013

This isn’t really a question of taste, I would give it two to two and a half stars I think, it certainly isn’t as good as Dig Lazarus Dig. And I don’t think Matos is just bad, they way I did Aquilante, but I think he knows what he knows and he isn’t so good at everything else.

SO Pazz And Jop Pulled It Together, So How Close Did rock nyc Get In Its Prediction…

By Iman Lababedi | January 17, 2013

Nothing really blew me away and part of the reason is that new R&B’s prime attribute appears to be to take the thought process of hip hop self-love and give it a hangover.

Pitchfork Get Immersive

By Iman Lababedi | January 9, 2013

Digital music has evolved, but album art hasn’t,” says Pitchfork founder/CEO Ryan Schreiber. “In the vinyl and CD eras, album packaging was considered an extension of the music. The artwork, lyric inserts, and credits added another dimension that mp3s haven’t replicated. Our hope is to bring that experience online, and perhaps even help it to evolve

Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees 2012: Heart?

By Iman Lababedi | December 30, 2012

diva Donna Summer, Canadian rockers Rush, sister-duo Heart, singer/songwriter Randy Newman and blues guitarist Albert King.”. Oh, and Public Enemy and and and, Rush were nominated by the fans.

rock's back pages Top 10 Albums By Musicians Over 50 Years Old

By Iman Lababedi | December 25, 2012

Is 50 too old to rock? Apparently not as these popular albums from 2012 prove unequivocally… but who else voted for Public Enemy?

No Pazz And Jop Poll For The Voice In 2013?

By Iman Lababedi | December 19, 2012

As a special favor to out faithful reader (you know who you are, don’t be coy), here is the top five Pazz And Jop albums for 2012. No, don’t thank me: 1- Frank Ocean, 2 – Bob dylan, 3 – Lemarr Kendrick, 4 – Leonard Cohen, 5 – Fiona Apple -No, dont thank me

"The One: The Life And Music Of James Brown" By RJ Smith Reviewed

By Mahalia Dark | December 18, 2012

From the 50s to the 90s he drove a power funk rhythm right through Jim Crow to Black Power and out the end and released some of the greatest dance music of all time. “Please Please Please”, “Sex Machine”, “Cold Sweat”, he ran roughshod over some of the greatest musicians of all time, and planted himself at the center of American pop to this day. Hip Hop owes Brown everything.

Pitchfork 4.5 Review Of Dinosaur Jr.

By Iman Lababedi | December 13, 2012

Oh, and what is the difference between a 4 and a 4.5 and a 4.7 and a 5 rating? The answer is none, of course.It is Pitchfork being Pitchfork and may the lord have mercy on us all.

Uncool, A New Music Critic Website Financed By Kickstarter?

By Alyson Camus | December 7, 2012

It’s that simple, if Amanda Palmer could finance her album, videos and tour with Kickstarter, why not applying the same idea for a music critic site? Music writers David Greenwald and Daniel Siegal, who worked for Billboard, GQ, the LA Weekly, Rolling Stone’s website and the LA Times, want to create a new site for in-depth music reporting and criticism, totally financed by the money they will raise with their Kickstarter campaign.

Rolling Stone's Album Review Ratings Explained

By Mahalia Dark | November 21, 2012

So here is a guide to what it all means and remember, the future lies not in our stars but in ourselves (which has nothing to do with anything of course)…

An Exclusive Grace Jones Interview I Conducted Back In 1983 For Creem!!

By Iman Lababedi | November 8, 2012

Grace’s music is a tangled interlocking of roots and rebellion under a gauzy tinsel town rapping. It is truly rebellious, because it subverts from the inside out and converts from the outside in. She is a singular person, spreading the wings of fashion into the winds of style

Taylor Swift's Rolling Stone Interview: Nothing Is Revealed

By Iman Lababedi | October 24, 2012

here is one tough quote, maybe two. The second one is when Taylor doesn’t appreciate being asked twice about whether “Dear John” is about John Mayer, and the first , to a business associate, is a thing of beauty: “I resent the idea that you can just start a sentence with ‘respectfully’ and then you can say whatever you want”. Wow, hot stuff,eh?

Joe Nick Patoski's “The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America.” Reviewed

By Steve Crawford | October 23, 2012

Whether the subject is western swing music, barbeque, or water conservation, Patoski has the Lone Star State covered like a blanket.

Not With The Band: On The Difficulty Of Reviewing Music And The Absurdity Of Grading It

By Alyson Camus | October 16, 2012

At the end there is no more good reason to review music we like than music we don’t care for, if we review music, all music should be reviewed. Still, because of its immense subjectivity, the value of reviewing music in the first place has to be demonstrated.

rock nyc reposts (without permission) Richard Meltzer's 1982 Clash Review

By Iman Lababedi | October 10, 2012

What I love about this is not merely the use of the word mere, but how it isn’t really rock criticism as we know it. When you can review well, you don’t have to really prove it. Anyway, here you go… one of the greatest pieces of rock criticism you will ever read:

Rock Critics Who Became Musicians! You Will be Shoooocked…

By Iman Lababedi | September 25, 2012

There may be no money in writing about music, but many a musician has used it as a stepping stone to a career as a pop star!

Bob Dylan To rock nyc: "Go Find Someone Else To Pick On"

By Iman Lababedi | September 18, 2012

Of great interest, or at least controversy, is Dylan’s claim he was transfigured by the soul of another Bobby Zimmerman, a leader of the Hell’s Angels who had died several years earlier in a bike crash.

New York Post Relegate Madonna Yankee Stadium Review To Website

By Iman Lababedi | September 12, 2012

Look at the Post’s real estate and business sections: they work like an ongoing argument between editorial staff and readers on the nature of both. Music works as a part of a larger framework with no inner life and with even its biggest stars relegated to the sidelines.

Phil Mushnick: Unfortunately, Our Greatest Rock Journalist Writes About Sports

By Iman Lababedi | September 5, 2012

A Post columnist since 1982, Phil Mushnick writes the media cool column “Equal Time” where he slamdunks the ridiculous Mike Francesca and the powerful, ESPN with equal alacrity

Pitchfork And Dirty Projectors:The Appearance Of Impropriety Gets Brighter

By Iman Lababedi | September 1, 2012

I don’t understand how this is not merely accepted but in a sense applauded. Dirty Projectors “Hi Custodian” short is co-produced by Pitchfork and will be streamed on Pitchforks website. Talk about improper.

Two Rock Star Interviews that cancelled On Me!

By Iman Lababedi | August 23, 2012

I got a call from Creem Editor Dave DiMartino the day after Kate rushed back to England, telling me they hadn’t been sure when i was doing the interview and were certain it was me who upset them!

Does Rita Ora, Or Karmin, Really Need To Compete For Rolling Stones Largese?

By Iman Lababedi | August 22, 2012

What it boils down, is free publicity for musicians willing to downgrade themselves for the puffed out egotism of a rock mag that overreaches as a rule. Both of these women should refuse to participate. Just say, “no, I don’t think so”, and walk it off.

Pitchfork's Grayson Currin First Rate Spider Bags Review

By Iman Lababedi | August 15, 2012

“a xylophone-dotted instrumental played by a half-dozen guitarists, but its almost post-rock surge and otherwise playful countenance make it feel less like a departure or deviation than a great if wordless Spider Bags tune”

New York Times Music Pages No Longer One Stop Shopping For Major Reviews

By Iman Lababedi | August 14, 2012

Both VV and NYP have terrible music sections. And the paper of record is not the paper of record when it comes to reviewing local concerts any more. On the web, Brooklynvegan do what they do, but really what they do is listings for indie bands. It is fine, and I love it, but it isn’t a recording of live local concerts.

What I Learnt About Music From Robert Christgau

By Iman Lababedi | August 8, 2012

When I started writing about music, I was heavy into punk. But one day I received an Ashford And Simpson album meant for another writer via the Village Voice. I called up Christgau and he recommended I listen to it, “You might learn something”. I did and I did.

Rock's Backpages: Barney Hoskyns Rock Critic Archive Is Tremendous Fun

By Iman Lababedi | August 7, 2012

The site is essentially the most fun reference book you’ve ever seen. And it is indeed used as such. Not just Barney’s alma mata Oxford University, but US infirmary of the standards like Harvard and NYU also subscribe.

Streaming Killed The Rock And Roll Critic

By Iman Lababedi | July 26, 2012

If you don’t have to pay for music, your need to be educated in music dissipates. If you have the choice of just about anything, and can boil it all down to a list, or, as in Pandora a self programmed radio station, where do you enter into it.

Brooklynvegan Excellent Kurt Vile Review

By Iman Lababedi | June 20, 2012

But sometimes, I fall upon somebody elses review of a concert I have also written about and goddamn, that clown wrote circles round me’. Maybe more often that I care to admit.

When Rock Stars And Rock Journalists Become Friends

By Iman Lababedi | June 7, 2012

My rule of thumb is never pick on people smaller than you are and NEVER write to please any one at all, and NEVER EVER EVER get too friendly with your subject matter.

Beyonce Wins Black Journalism Award, Black Journalists Should Be Very Annoyed

By Iman Lababedi | May 9, 2012

had talked about taking a vacation before, but always ended up in the studio after two weeks, so no one believed me. This time, though, I was serious. I was going to give myself a year to do the things I never get to do. Simple things like play with my nephew, pick him up from school, visit museums, go to concerts…

Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stone And The Moral Imperative

By Iman Lababedi | December 27, 2011

According to Rolling Stone Mag, Springsteen told Bob Seger that Bruce’s next album will be his best in years. Where wil that leave RS loathsome 5 star review of “Working On A Dream”? If Dream is 5 stars out of 5 stars, what can they make his new one when Bruce is, indeed, correct and it is a return to form?