Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music (Hardcover)
Straight out of his beloved Twitter feed @RockCriticLaw, acclaimed rock journalist and author of the classic books Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana and Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad turns his trenchant eye to the art of rock writing itself, hilariously skewering 101 of the genre’s seemingly endless litany of hackneyed phrases and tropes.
One of the finest music writers today, Michael Azerrad has catalogued the shortcuts, lazy metaphors and uninspired prose that so many of his beloved colleagues all too regularly rely on to fill column inches. In 2014, he began his wickedly droll Twitter feed @RockCriticLaw to expose and make fun of this word-hash. Now, he consolidates these "Laws" into one witty, comprehensive and fully illustrated volume.
Rock Critic Law includes timeless gems such as:
- If a band pioneered something, you must say they are "seminal." That is the Seminal Law of Rock Criticism.
- If a recording features densely layered guitars, then you MUST use the phrase "sonic cathedrals."
- Even when it’s easy to find out with research, by all means ask a band how they got their name.
- Please feel free to deny an artist’s individuality and say they are "the new [x]."
- If two guitars play a melodic line in harmony, you MUST say they are "twin lead guitars."
All 101 Rock Critic Laws are accompanied by original illustrations from Ed Fotheringham, beloved Seattle scenester and highly regarded artist who has created album covers for everyone from, well, seminal grunge band Mudhoney to iconic jazz label Verve Records, as well as illustrations for The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and more, making this book a must-have for music lovers everywhere. A unique appreciation of music writing from one of its own, Rock Critic Law irreverently captures all the passion and furor of fandom.
About the Author
Michael Azerrad is a rock journalist, author and drummer. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mojo, Spin and the New Yorker. He frequently appears on television as a commentator on rock music and was most recently the editor-in-chief of the Talkhouse. He is the author of the books Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana and Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981–1991.