How to Be a Rock Critic Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through July 29 2017

"John Lennon at his best despised cheap sentiment and had to learn the hard way that once you've made your mark on history those who can't will be so grateful they'll turn it into a cage for you."

This sentence, from "Thinking the Unthinkable About John Lennon," Lester Bangs's subversive, caustic, and dead-on eulogy for John Lennon—and quoted in Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's How to Be a Rock Critic—could just as easily have applied to Bangs as it did to Lennon. The writer was most famous for various music-related missives in Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, and Creem, where he was also an editor, but he's often been portrayed as a goofy and effusive exaggeration of a record-collecting nerd in everything from Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous to Jim DeRogatis's biography Let It Blurt. What Bangs should be recognized for is his colorful, exceedingly conversational prose style and ability, unique among the finest critics, to make his writing seem like one side of an extended dialogue with the reader. For Bangs criticism wasn't a consumer report but rather an elaborate and oblique kind of autobiography, composed by an intensely sensitive thinker who was intolerant of bullshit. Continue reading >>

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