Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jody Rosen is entitled to his own opinion

By Richard K. Barry

I do understand that music critics for Rolling Stone magazine need to maintain elevated levels of snark. I'm sure it's in their job description. I don't really care, but I do object when they feel the need to speak for others by declaring that a particular genre or song is "widely maligned as trash."

Maligned by whom? Trash according to whom?

Some clown by the name of Jody Rosen tells us that Quentin Tarantino is to be applauded for using Jim Croce's song "I Got a Name" in the soundtrack for Django Unchained. The reason is that Jim Croce is, in Rosen's words, "Seventies folk cornball," though Tarantino is able to "champion [the music's] coolness and reveal its beauty."

Yes, Tarantino is the star; Croce's music, cornball.

Rosen can like what he likes, but he should steer clear of speaking for others.

Always loved Jim Croce.

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  • This is the same magazine that trashed all of Led Zeppelin's albums, as well. I'm not even that much of a Zeppelin fan. But I do admit their albums are all hard rock classics. (They're certainly vastly better than today's dullard sub-Zep clones which clog up the airwaves).
    "Rolling Stone" tried to cultivate this hipper-than-thou attitude of "we're too cool to like Led Zeppelin."
    "Rolling Stone" also (at the time) hated ABBA. Which to me, shows that they simply never had much of a sense of humor (or, for that matter, an appreciation for pop genius).

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 4:48 PM  

  • I don't really care what this guy likes or doesn't like, it was just the bullshit line about everybody apparently sharing his opinion that pissed me off.

    By Blogger Richard K. Barry, at 7:00 PM  

  • The first album I ever bought was Life and Times. Croce had a great sense of story and could better craft a melody in a limited vocal range than any other song writer that I know of.

    He was a little bit "joke folk" but I don't think that makes him cornball. It all comes down to the fact that the man was more interested in telling stories than anything. (Listen to him live: he talks more than sings.) But just the same, the guitar work between him and Maury Muehleisen is gorgeous. The production is first rate. And Croce's voice is both tuneful and emotive. (The modern crop of screechers could learn a lot from him!)

    But the reaction to "I Got a Name" (which Croce didn't write) is a net positive. It seems to show insecurity on the part of the writer, however. It's kind of the same thing where everyone (rightly) loves Robert Johnson (because, hey, everybody loves Robert Johnson), but people feel the need to justify liking Mississippi John Hurt (because, hey, who's he).

    I still listen to Croce from time to time even though I know all of his songs by heart (even the non-canonical ones). When I was nine I didn't listen to anything else. Can you tell?

    By Anonymous Frank Moraes, at 8:17 PM  

  • re:
    >>everybody loves Robert Johnson

    Yes, that's the truth. I have a friend who is a hard-core Limbaugh listener and a big country music fan who loves the likes of Hank Williams Jr. and Toby Keith. If he's not an outright racist, he's awful close. (He gets angry if one suggests that there is anything racist about birtherism, or that anything Limbaugh says is racist---which, frankly, to me proves he's a racist, but is incapable of grasping this fact).
    Anyway, I loaned him a Robert Johnson CD a while back. Much to my surprise, he fell in love with it and he's now a fan of Johnson, as well as other early blues giants, like Blind Willie Johnson. I was quite surprised. It was like if Ted Nugent announced his love for VĂ­ctor Jara.
    Maybe (via the power of music) there is some hope for this world.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 9:30 PM  

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