Writing the Record
The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Table of Contents
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The last time I saw Ellen Willis was in the late spring of 2006, when we met to discuss my dissertation, a project I would later revise into this book. Now, I can only remember snippets of our encounter. Out of respect for the graduate students on strike as New York University’s administration blocked their efforts to unionize, she insisted we meet off campus, choosing...
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On October 30, 1955, the New York Times announced to the rest of the city word of a new downtown newspaper. Called the Village Voice, it printed its first issue on October 26 and sold for five cents every Wednesday at Lower Manhattan vendors. Editor Dan Wolf and publisher Ed Fancher intended to make their paper Village-centric not just in distribution. Localism also governed its choice of writers—as Wolf put it, the neighborhood teemed...
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Over the course of Goldstein’s polemic, his tone grew more urgent—one might even say incensed. “We learn to tell Dostoevski from Spillane, but we know nothing about the flicks,” he wrote. “We learn to tell Rembrandt from Keane, but we know nothing about advertising.” Here, in the fourth edition of his new ...
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The above is an excerpt from Richard Goldstein’s “Giraffe Hunters,” a piece he wrote toward the end of 1966. Its graphic imagery portended what would be the overwhelming theme of his writing as his tenure at the Voice came to a close: the industry’s violent, dramatic capture of the spirit of rock. Coming just months after his column’s enthusiastic beginning, “Giraffe Hunters”...
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The Voice critics who wrote into 1969 and beyond continued to question the efficacy of a rock-fueled revolution—a debate deeply intertwined with concerns over whether rock culture was losing its momentum, cogency, and meaning. Christgau professed his ambivalence in his column Rock & Roll &, writing “Rock and roll . . . is going to revolutionize the world,” before...
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The 1970s secured Christgau’s standing as one of rock criticism’s most perspicacious observers as well as its eagerest workhorse. As editor of the Voice music section, he steered the writing of numerous prominent critics; his tireless effort at the Consumer Guide, for a number of years printed in the Voice as well as Creem, guaranteed that his writing style and taste preferences...
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About the Author, Back Cover
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Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: American Popular Music
Series Editor Byline: Jeffrey Melnick, Rachel Rubin