Wasted effort

I have to say: the more I learn about and think about how the brain understands and uses music, and the more I think about how our appreciation of music is related to various contexts like our culture, our emotional state etc. the more I think the work of the esteemed rock critics like Robert Christgau and Lester Bangs* is a complete waste of time. It’s almost tragic. It’s like these guys that write 300 page treatises on the semantics of the Klingon language. On one hand, the required intelligence and attention to detail is very commendable. But it’s just not real.

* You could argue that Bangs transcended his topic — he wasn’t really writing about rock music as much as using rock music as a starting point to discuss the insanity of life.

(Some might read this post and see signs of an indefatigable ego at work. It could be construed that I’m saying that I’m more intelligent than these rock critics, and I know the truth whereas they don’t. I haven’t put much thought into it, but that sounds about right.)

2 Responses to “Wasted effort”


  1. John Saleeby

    No, you aren’t saying that those guys were dopes. You’re saying that they were very bright, intelligent guys wasting their time writing bullshit. A review of the new Paul McCartney and Wings album is just an opinion on the quality of a new recording by a Popular Musician. Such a thing is below the talent of anybody who has even half a talent.
    And you’ve got to get over Lester Bangs. How many times do I have to tell you, Richard Meltzer is the MAN. He may have written Rock Reviews for Crawdaddy, CREEM, and all that crap thirty five years ago but today he’s writing stuff about his past, women, family, etc. that you’ve got to read to believe. He is brilliant.

  2. Wil

    Well, I could use a new writer to get into. Maybe this Meltzer will do.