The First Collection of Criticism by A Living Female Rock Critic

The First Collection of Criticism by A Living Female Rock Critic

Book - 2015
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"Jessica Hopper's music criticism has earned her a reputation as a firebrand, a keen observer and fearless critic not just of music but the culture around it. With this volume spanning from her punk fanzine roots to her landmark piece on R. Kelly's past, The First Collection leaves no doubt why The New York Times has called Hopper's work "influential." Not merely a selection of two decades of Hopper's most engaging, thoughtful, and humorous writing, this book documents the last 20 years of American music making and the shifting landscape of music consumption. The book journeys through the truths of Riot Grrrl's empowering insurgence, decamps to Gary, IN, on the eve of Michael Jackson's death, explodes the grunge-era mythologies of Nirvana and Courtney Love, and examines emo's rise. Through this vast range of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews, and oral histories, Hopper chronicles what it is to be truly obsessed with music. The pieces in The First Collection send us digging deep into our record collections, searching to re-hear what we loved and hated, makes us reconsider the art, trash, and politics Hopper illuminates, helping us to make sense of what matters to us." -- viewed on May 19, 2015.
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : Featherproof Books, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780983186335
Branch Call Number: 781.66 HOPPER
Characteristics: 201 pages ; 23 cm


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Jan 30, 2016

The title's a little misleading but, then again, Hopper is trying to make a point, which she acknowledges. It is a bold statement, but also an indication of the paucity of female music critics in a profession that remains mostly a boys club. The Chicago-based Hopper, who writes for indie bible Pitchfork, compiles her writing from the last decade or so, which touches on the sexism of emo ("Where the Girls Aren't"), emerging rappers (Kendrick, Chance, Chief Keef), female musicians (Cat Power, St. Vincent), R. Kelly's horrible sex crimes, and Hole's "Live Through This." Hopper's a good, observant critic, but too many of the articles feel short and the book is a little uneven. Despite the title, there's not much about the difficulties of being a female critic and the deep-rooted sexism of rock music. Still, it's a valuable addition to rock criticism and an important book for multiple reasons.

LPL_DirectorBrad Aug 16, 2015

Incredible collection of essays on music.


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