Superior Scribing Awards:
Other Great Pieces of Music Journalism

By Jason Gross

  • Alec Hanley Bemis: "A Small New Future" (LA Weekly, September 24, 2004)
    Not enough dot-connecting, too much space devoted to the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, and it's pretty shallow to divide the industry into Cynics and True Believers when the truth is that most fall in between that. But give Bemis credit for linking Napster and underground festivals with the swift decline of multi-platinum acts. Also included is a great Jon Hassell quote about how he approaches the creative process: "I prefer to shoot the arrow, then paint the target around it."

  • Stefan Braidwood: "How Hip-Hop Music Is Slowly Transcending Its Circular Culture" (Popmatters, July 28, 2004)
    The beginning and end of this article are brilliant and heartfelt. You only wish that in the rest of the article, the message (hip-hop must grow and evolve but also remember its roots) was carried out in as straightforward a manner as this: "I will mix records together with no respect for their discrete heritage or creators; set your anthems as backing vocals for the rhymes I've spent my fruitless hours of drudgery whetting with pent-up bitterness; paint your greyly hideous constructions wildly, vibrantly beautiful; and funnel the electricity from your streetlights into my decks and speakers, to dance with my peers in new and explosive ways that pay homage to our frantic, cooped-up energy." That doesn't make a statement like this true: "No black artist has become truly successful without a 'ghetto pass.'" Hammer and the Fresh Prince would have never sold any records if that was so.

  • Andy Borowitz: "Osama: Piracy Threatens Terror-Tape Industry" (Borowitz Report, April 16, 2004)
    "In the past, I have been able to hire the best writers, directors, and cave designers to make my terror tapes truly chilling," said a sterner-than-usual bin Laden on his latest tape. "But if illegal piracy of these scary tapes persists, the time will come when making new scary tapes will no longer be economically feasible."

  • Lee Ballinger: "Cold Sweat" (Counterpunch, January 10/11, 2004)
    How P. Diddy and Jay-Z got rich off Third World sweatshops.

  • Wayne Bremser: "The Digital Threat to Jazz" (Newsday, September 26, 2004)
    The problem with online services isn't just that they have piss-poor selections for jazz but also that they don't have any details about the music they carry. For a style that's as thorough about details and history as jazz is, this is a major flaw--and one that affects other types of music found online too.

  • Tim Cavanaugh: "Artists For Censorship: An Argument For the Uselessness of Culture" (Reason, April 27, 2004)
    Interesting conceit, though you wish the analysis of all the examples went deeper. Why are some artists actually scared of art? How do they resolve a paradox like that? What about time period and social climate of these works? Answers would definitely help us understand the climate of self-censorship that's happening now.

  • Rupert Christiansen: "Classical Music Is Not Just for Nerds" (The Telegraph, February 11, 2004)
    I really wish he wouldn't make the argument that classical music isn't unhip just because it's complex (what would Terry Riley or La Monte Young say?) but this is a good corrective, especially after the lumps given from School of Rock.

  • William Jelani Cobb: "Past Imperfect: The Hoodrat Theory" (Heritage, April 26, 2004)
    Rapper Nelly chooses to avoid his problem with women and how they're seen in his videos. Speaking of protesters at his own campus, the author notes, "They were highlighting a truth that is almost forgotten in hip-hop these days--a truth so basic that I wish I did not have to state it: anything that harms black women harms black people."

  • Jim DeRogatis: "Idle Worship, or Revisiting the Classics" (Chicago Sun-Times, July 4, 2004)
    For the sake of indemnity, let me say that I contributed to the book covered in this piece (which DeRogatis edited). Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable article because even if you don't agree that Sgt Pepper's deserves a kick in the teeth (as an old Beatles fan, I have a soft spot for it, though it's not my favorite), this audacious piece will at least get you thinking about it again. Contrary? Over the top? Maybe, but I'd take it easily over the 300,000th article praising the same record.

  • Stephen M. Deusner: "Thinking Inside the Box" (Alternet, December 21, 2004)
    While Rhino's Left of the Dial box set celebrates the '80s rock underground well, its diversity is both a strength and weakness. Not to mention that its history is coming around to teach us something today.

  • Elizabeth DiNovella: "Rock in a Hard Place" (The Progressive, January 21, 2004)
    Good Tom Morello interview where he has the nerve to suggest that musicians should form a union and have benefits, just like many other minimum wage workers. Such audacity...

  • Guy Dixon: "Band-Aid: Musician, Heal Thyself" (Globe and Mail, April 24, 2004)
    As musicians look for psychiatric help for their rough-hewn lifestyle, Dixon ponders the dilemma of the effect it will have on their art. Doesn't pain and suffering breed great music? Will therapy put an end to that? Also see Lola Ogunnaike's "The Shrinking of the American Band" (New York Times, July 11, 2004).

  • Peter Dreier and Dick Flacks: "Give Us Back Our Damn Flag" (L.A. Weekly, July 2-8, 2004)
    'We progressives are patriotic too and we've got the songs to prove it! Including 'America the Beautiful'..."

  • Ted Drozdowski: "Spin doctor" (Boston Phoenix, October 15, 2004)
    For an artist like Tom Waits who has spread his unique style over a smaller and smaller area for decades now, it'd take a scientist to properly dissect his work. Drozdowski must have a PhD, not only delving into Waits's political side but also noticing new nuances in his music.

  • David Eggers: "School of Rock" (The Guardian/Spin, November 19, 2004)
    McSweeney's mastermind and well-regarded author Eggers is often better in concept than execution but this fine article traces threads of how music fans learn about high art through shout-outs in songs. Admittedly, like the people he notes in the piece, I got to know about Edith Head and Mildred Pierce through They Might Be Giants and Sonic Youth.

  • Robert Everett-Green: "Firing up the Classical Zappa" (Globe and Mail, February 21, 2004)
    Notable not just for examining Zappa's love of high and low-brow culture but also for chronicling how he does and doesn't fit into the classical world (for the wrong reasons as far as some fans are concerned).

  • Matthew Garth: "Stop the Press Box!" (Slate, April 22, 2004)
    Commenting on Donald Rumsfeld: "Need for publicity subjects himself to ridicule by swaths of the intellectual classes on the one hand and the bizarre confirmatory hagiographic MASH-note writing of female neoconservatives on the other. In the right cultural matrix, is capable of pop-hip-hop stardom; in the wrong one, a potential hillbilly heroin addict with a talk radio dynasty."

  • Jason Gay: "Bush: The Missing Years" (GQ, September 2004)
    The real story about George W. that Dan Rather was never allowed to report on, including Bush's time as an undercover CIA agent, posing as a Rolling Stones roadie. Reporting back to his superiors, Bush passes on important information such as, "Jagger shaves legs." And yes, some readers actually wondered why this bombshell story wasn't reported more widely.

  • Josh Getlin: "The New SOS: Save of Songs" (Chicago Tribune, December 27, 2004)
    Anyone crying about how pop music is turning into trash today should be more concerned that the classic pop music that was supposed to represent a golden age in modern American history is actually finding its way into the trash. Literally. Just be thankful that Michael Feinstein is trying to salvage it.

  • Malcolm Gladwell: "Something Borrowed" (New Yorker, November 22, 2004)
    Mixed feelings about what work should be protected by law--the writer has a good perspective as an admitted victim and perpetrator. "Under copyright law, what matters is not that you copied someone else's work. What matters is what you copied, and how much you copied. Intellectual-property doctrine isn't a straightforward application of the ethical principle 'Thou shalt not steal.' At its core is the notion that there are certain situations where you can steal."

  • Maria Golia: "Meditations On the Navel Ban" (Nth Position, July 4, 2004)
    You thought the FCC was harsh on Janet? How about the Muslim nations that diss belly dancers?

  • Renee Graham: "Anti-gay Lyrics Become a Black-and-White Issue" (Boston Globe, October 5, 2004)
    As disgusting as some of the recent homophobic reggae lyrics are, Graham rightfully questions why some dancehall artists are targeted while such un-PC artists like Eminem get a pass.

  • Dave Hoekstra: "The Night Anti-Disco Fans Went Batty at Sox Park" (Chicago Sun-Times, July 9, 2004)
    Some context and personal reminiscing about a music riot, the likes of which we hopefully won't see again any time soon.

  • David Holwerk: "Poet of the People" (Sacremento Bee, December 19, 2004)
    An immodest proposal that Merle Haggard should be named the Poet Laureate of California, backed up with some prime lyrics to prove the point--and yes, they do read like good prose. The fact of the matter is, Hag has been a laureate for a while now, official recognition notwithstanding.

  • Molly Ivins: "Happy Birthday, America" (Alternet, July 1, 2004)
    "Here's to all the musicians from country to hip-hop to rock to classical to jazz to folk to be-bop to norteno to polka to reggae, and to all the fusion forms thereof. Here's to all the artists who get no respect--the washboard players and lute strummers, harmonica blowers and banjo pickers. Here's to their endless generosity in playing special benefits for retired musicians who are ill and have no health insurance, all over America, every night. And here's to the great Ray Charles, bless his heart. May we all hear his version of 'America the Beautiful' this holiday."

  • Mark Jenkins: "Regrouping: The Rules" (Washington City Paper, September 17, 2004)
    "Do your reunion shows in locations you previously either seldom or never played" and "Regroup temporarily (at first, at least) for a prestigious, non-commercial event at the instigation of a 'curator' or other quasi-scholarly observer."

  • Chris Jones: "Power to the People" (Chicago Tribune, February 1, 2004)
    How technology is making consumers demand flexible art choices. The pace of change is dizzying (think Moore's Law on crack) but the public isn't getting any less pique or complacent.

  • David Kamp: "American Communion" (Vanity Fair, October 2004)
    Chronicling the end of Johnny Cash's career where his religious faith was one of the only things that kept him going through his drug addictions, failing health, and the death of his wife. Even Rick Rubin gets the spirit here.

  • Julia Keller: "What's So Great 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding?" (Chicago Tribune, November 14, 2004)
    As she notes in the sub-title, "Division is sometimes necessary for a culture to progress," meaning that we need conflict in our culture to produce great art (citing Elvis P, Ellen DeGeneres, Gary Trudeau)--also, note the qualifier "sometimes." Too bad that the RNC doesn't believe in peace 'n' love. There sure will be plenty of conflict, and not just outside their own ranks.

  • John Lahr: "King Cole" (New Yorker, July 12, 2004)
    A much better tribute to Cole Porter than the recent bio-pic. He led double and triple lives in public and private and in his songs, full of sly multi-leveled meanings. All of which means that he was much more modern than he ever imagined.

  • Steve Lamacq: "The Enemy Within" (The Guardian, March 19, 2004)
    "Since the Strokes' success, U.S. labels have used the UK as a testing ground for indie bands. It's the kiss of death for homegrown talent, says Radio 1 DJ, Steve Lamacq."

  • Dale Lawrence: "Busting Berry's Music" (, July 21, 2004)
    The not-so-surprising revelation that the RIAA is shooting itself in the feet again, this time targeting the same mixtapes that top-selling rappers use to promote themselves. Their answer to this 'problem'? Shut down a small record store because they don't include address and contact information on the back of the CDs. No, I'm not going to try to suss out the (lack of) logic here...

  • Last Plane To Jakarta: "101 Things To Which You Can Compare Interpol Besides Joy Division" (LPTJ, September 12, 2004)
    "...every one of them, with just a little elbow grease on your part, is guaranteed to increase the yield of crisp prose and insightful observation in your reviews. Hey, you're welcome!"

  • Bob Lefsetz: "Hits Sales Chart-Week Ending 11/15/04" (Musicthoughts mailing list, November 16, 2004)
    His typical mix of humor, wisdom, old-fogey-dom and pop-star-hata bullshit. Britney? "Done." Eminem? Done after Xmas (though sales now prove otherwise). Also Done or DOA: Vanessa Carlton, Destiny's Child, Korn. Question for Shania: "WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?" Advice for Shania: Stop bathing and smiling. Thoughts on Shawn ‘Napster’ Fanning's latest venture into blocking illegal downloads: "Snocap is kind of like passing out condoms to the people with money, and telling the poor people that they're on their own."

  • Robert Lloyd: "Time of the Session" (LA Weekly, April 9, 2004)
    Any article that salutes and gives due to the studio musicians that made the '50s and '60s move and groove is definitely commendable.

  • John Nova Lomax: "Amazing, Graceful--RIP, Brother Ray" (East Bay Express, June 17, 2004)
    Yet another moving tribute--if anything good came of Charles's passing, it's that it inspired a wave of wonderful articles.

  • Dorian Lynskey: "Can One Live on Free CDs Alone?" (The Guardian, September 1, 2004)
    Forget about online music killing the music industry--magazines and newspapers may make record stores obsolete first.

  • Tyler Mackenzie: "Found in Translation" (Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2004)
    How America might be able to make friends in the Middle East with pop song contests instead of bombing raids.

  • Mike McGonigal: "Hiding in Plain Sight" (Seattle Weekly, April 14, 2004)
    After dozens of albums and relative obscurity only rivaled by Jandek, the curtain is slowly lifted on the Sun City Girls, the most truly punk indie-band in many ways.

  • Bob Mehr: "Wilco: Are We Out of the Woods Yet?" (Chicago Reader, June 11, 2004)
    A grueling portrait of Jeff Tweedy's demons, which didn't begin or end with unauthorized medications.

  • Fred Mills: "The Merda Files" (Metro Times, December 1, 2004)
    After Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix, the words 'black rock' were mostly an anomaly before the coalition that bears its name emerged in the mid-1980s. In the meantime, there was this Motor City combo who only had two albums to their name and didn't play the music game the right way (not that the industry or public was going to warm up to black rock then). Mills lovingly details the tale of Black Merda, who would be vindicated by the hip-hop generation and finally see that the world might be ready for them.

  • Shawn Moynihan: "Newspaper Rock Critics Face the Music on Ageism" (Editor & Publisher, April 12, 2004)
    If we're questioning Sir Mick or Sir Paul for staying in the game, should we let graying scribes off the hook if they keep writing after they've become irrelevant too?

  • Rachel Neumann: "The Best Prince of My Life" (AlterNet, July 2, 2004)
    "He is exactly like I remembered--short, pan-sexual, and multitalented. It's me who is different. Instead of helping me escape, as he did when I was a teenager, Prince helped me celebrate who I am now, the real eighties long behind me and never, ever to return."

  • Andrew Orlowski: "Why Wireless Will End 'Piracy' and Doom DRM and TCPA" (The Register, February 11, 2004)
    A truly modest proposal for a musical flat fee. Great analogies, seeing how car insurance, teenage fucking, and Steve Jobs' lies are all related.

  • Tim Page: "The Art of Being an Original Original" (Washington Post, January 2, 2004)
    You wish he had a place in his heart for any pop music (Beefheart, anyone?) but he makes his point nicely with Joyce, Beethoven, and other highbrow choices that aren't necessarily automatic favorites, all without appearing snobbish. His Alain Resnais entry helped me finally figure out the no wave band DNA.

  • Alex Petridis: "Will the Creator of Modern Music Please Stand Up?" (The Guardian, April 16, 2004)
    Sorry folks, no clear answer yet about who actually made the first rock record, but more fun in searching for the answer. Plus this astute observation from DJ Tony Thorpe: "I often wonder if people who are into all the information side actually lose what rock'n'roll is all about. They're more interested in who was making the coffee in the studio than the actual music, the feeling. You can enjoy a record even if you don't know or care who it's by." Also see "Rock Celebrates 50 Years--Or Does It?" (CNN, July 1, 2004) and Steve Morse's "Can't Get the Date Straight for Rock's Birthday" (Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2004).

  • Dave Queen: anything in the Village Voice or Seattle Weekly
    Specializing in covering old farts you never thought you'd need to hear about again (Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper), Queen spews out mind-boggling sentences that demand repeated readings (if only to comprehend them), kind of like trying to communicate with an Attention Deficit Disorder adolescent. Once you get past all that, he's a damn bright guy and funny as hell. Any one of his stories gives you a good idea about his M.O. and you can sample them in full at his fan page, or dine on tasty tidbits like this: "Thirty-six true summers ago, Jon Anderson tired of being a milkman, so he decided to combine the Mars Volta with the Outfield." I can't wait for his anthology.

  • Ben Rayner: "Music Biz Should Admit Live Pop Shows are Dead" (Toronto Star, October 31, 2004)
    Putting Ashlee Simpson's not-so-live performance on Saturday Night Live in perspective. "Most of the people attending a Madonna or Britney Spears show are there because they expect a performance, not Ella Fitzgerald at Carnegie Hall." And "...if you're looking to Ashlee Simpson to uphold some sacred ideal of musical worth and veracity, you've got far bigger problems than a little lip-synching." Rayner also did a good piece about how the indie rock culture has changed enough so that it can't support one of its best-known creations: "Time Licked Lollapalooza" (Toronto Star, July 27, 2004)

  • Howard Reich: "The New House of Swing" (Chicago Tribune, October 24, 2004)
    Wynton Marsalis's house of jazz might be a noble attempt to elevate the stature of the music or may just become a moldy old fossil house. Only time will tell. Also see Thor Christensen's "New York City's Hall Devoted to Jazz Has Fans and Critics" (Dallas Morning News, October 22, 2004).

  • Monica Roos: "James Roos: Loving Father and Tough Music Critic" (Miami Herald, March 14, 2004)
    Saluting her tough-old-bird dad, Roos pays tribute to a writer who made enemies with his principled opinions, all in the hope of creating a worthy artistic community in Miami. On a similar tip, see Marc Shulgold's "Cheerleading Critics Won't Save Classical Music" (Rocky Mountain News, October 30, 2004).

  • Jay Rosen: "Tom Fiedler's Rock Concert Credibility Blues" (PressThink, September 11, 2004)
    As an editor warns his staff about giving up their objective halo by attending politicized rock concerts, an NYU professor wonders if rock critics (and other newspaper staff) are allowed to have opinions and be seen as possibly supporting certain causes (you know, like the fair-and-balanced folks on Fox News).

  • Alex Ross: "Listen to This" (New York, February 9, 2004)
    A bit of a fogey (at the age of 36) and a little too sentimental over his classical youth, this is nevertheless a wonderful exploration of how a cultured music fan embraced pop without giving up his roots. Another fine article by Ross covered some up-and-coming classical talent and their lack of present day heroes and role models: "Ignore the Conductor" (New Yorker, May 17, 2004). And this is a guy who said to a roomful of critics at a conference, "There is nothing shameful in unchecked enthusiasm. If I walk out dancing on air, I say it in the review, even if my colleagues smirk."

  • Edward Rothstein: "If Music is the Architect..." (New York Times, May 22, 2004)
    Certainly not the first person to think of the idea that the place where music is heard will effect the type of music heard there but a fascinating inquiry into this phenomenon. It's too bad that he wouldn't have extended this outside the realm of classical. Surely there's a book in there. Someone call Christopher Small!

  • Kelefa Sanneh: "The Rap Against Rockism" (New York Times, October 31, 2004)
    One of the most talked about articles this year but what few people are saying is that a lot of this has been said before, say, back when 'rockism' was used as an argument in the '80s against people who didn't like synth bands. Also, Jeff Chang talked about this in his Da Capo piece (see the super-scribing section), as well if not better. Still, Sanneh deserves credit at least for doing a non-sensationalistic article that's causing a lot of conversation and debate--you don't see enough of that nowadays. For semi-skeptics (like yours truly), there was Matthew Wilder's "The Anti-Rockist Protests Too Much" (City Pages, November 17, 2004).

  • Danny Schechter: "One Year On, Big Media More Willing To Cover Up Than Change" (News, June 2, 2004)
    How Janet's boob managed to overshadow media consolidation.

  • David Segal: "No Girls Allowed" (Washington Post, August 20, 2004)
    I'm at least gratified that someone addressed the question, "Why aren't there more women guitar heroes?" Or, more specifically, "Why aren't there more distinctive women guitarists?" Saul Davis points out a number of examples like Nina Gordan, Liz Phair, Fanny, Barbara Lynn, Suzi Quatro, Courtney Love, Ani diFranco, Maybelle Carter, Big Mama Thornton, Lottie Beaman, JoAnn Kelly, Kathy Valentine, Carla Olson, Rosie Flores, Kris Wiley, and Melissa Etheridge, but again, I wonder how unique they really are in their style of playing (which means that the article's right). But why does Segal (or anyone) still take Camille Paglia seriously anymore?

  • Tom Shales: "Michael Powell Exposed! The FCC Chairman has No Clothes" (Washington Post, November 21, 2004)
    You think I'm too tough on Powell? There's plenty to hate, unless you happen to be in the industry he's supposed to regulate. Then, you'll have the honor of him suckling you at the expense of the public (which he's supposed to serve, right?).

  • Derek Sivers: "Programming is Like Songwriting" (O'Reilly Network, May 31, 2004)
    Admittedly, it helps to be a tech geek to really appreciate this, but even if you only have an inkling about what he's talking about, it's still very enjoyable.

  • Ethan Smith: "Downloading Music Gets More Expensive" (Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2004)
    Just as RIAA-approved downloads catch on, the majors are already gearing up to raise prices again, even though that might nip the burgeoning trend in the bud. Nice to see that they still don't get it...

  • Sam Smith: "22 Questions With Jamie Hoover" (Lullaby Pit, July 11, 2004)
    Worth it just for the offbeat questions asked near the end, and one of them that has a worthy answer to it. SS: "What’s your favorite reality TV show?" JH: "The Evening News with Dan Rather" (mind you, this was before the Memo gaffe about Bush).

  • Colin Snowsell: "'80s Nostalgia And The Vicious Circle" (Popmatters, September 9, 2004)
    A very thoughtful zeitgeist piece, wondering aloud why sui generis '80s pop stars (Prince, Beastie Boys, Morrissey) are able now to thrive again. The ending--where he thinks this will wake up the pop public to fresh, original talent today--is a little too pollyanna-ish, but the connection Snowsell finds between the artists and the fans is interesting. Though the fact that these artists are unique certainly helps them hold on to an audience, I wonder what more specifically appeals to their fans, i.e. seeing themselves in or envying these artists, admiring not just the music but their whole aura, etc.

  • Franklin Soults: "Paying the Rent" (Boston Phoenix, December 17, 2004)
    A worthwhile analysis of how De La, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli are still finding out who they are and what this portends for underground rap.

  • Adam Sternbergh: "Britney Spears: The Pop Tart in Winter" (Slate, October 28, 2004)
    Getting 'real' isn't so easy for everyone's favorite tabloid diva, especially when she's having an identity crisis.

  • David Patrick Stearns: "Should New Music be Chased From Concert Halls?" (Philadelphia Inquirer, December 19, 2004)
    Q: Where is the ideal listening experience, your home or the concert hall?  A: neither, and both...

  • Bill Thompson: "Don't Sue Me, I'm Only the Piano Player" (BBC, January 16, 2004)
    Be very careful if you sing "Happy Birthday" at the next kiddie party.

  • Scott Timberg: "In An Insular State of Mind" (Los Angeles Times, February 29, 2004)
    How the U.S. government's xenophobia is choking American culture. On a similar tip, the Guardian's "Mr Ferrer Can't Be With us Tonight" (February 18, 2004) documents the disgraceful cases where even Grammy winning artists are kept out of the States thanks to its pathetic immigration and visa laws. Also see Timberg's touching tribute to the folks who help and don't help us at the record stores: "The Music Clerks Who Can Spin Your World" (Los Angeles Times, December 9, 2004)

  • Michael Ventura: "Dancing in the Dark" (Austin Chronicle, November 11, 2004)
    Post-election analysis to rally the progressive troops, including this insightful information about matrimony: "You may measure the unhappiness of heterosexual marriage by the ferocity of the opposition to gay marriage. Listen to the country music that rural red counties listen to: the hits are about the failure of males and females to get together. In trailer park or penthouse, half the marriages end in divorce and many that don't are shameful compromises. Marriage, in America, is in a state of unbridled panic."

  • Walter Wasacz: "Losing Your Mind In Berlin" (Metro Times, November 11, 2004)
    How techno legend Richie Hawtin embraced the German capital and how it embraced him back. Also, why they're such a perfect match for each other and stand to be better for the pairing.

  • Edward Wasserman: "Resurrect Local Radio" (Miami Herald, Nov. 15, 2004)
    As if we needed more proof that Clear Channel isn't acting in the best interest of local communities, we have this challenge issued to stir small broadcasters out of their slumber and onto the airwaves. Local news is part of what defines a community and without it, we're truly lost, wherever we live...

  • Carl Wilson: "Horrified Observations of Horrified Observers" (The Globe and Mail, November 20, 2004)
    Snobbish rockers who hate teen pop are no better than the disco hatas back in the day. Arthur Russell was there to show us the light, but we almost totally ignored him.

  • Unknown Author/General Reponses: "What Compels a Musician to Busk?" (BBC News, August 19, 2004)
    Nell from London: "What a life! Play the music you want to play, when you want to play it. Wear whatever clothing you like and take breaks whenever you are tired, bored or need to be somewhere else. People love you because music brings joy to their lives." Gemma from London: "I was on the tube last summer, having just been dumped by my long-time boyfriend. A busker got on the train and started to sing. He came over to me (I was clearly upset) and did the 'cheer up, it might never happen' bit. I told him it already had and that I'd just been dumped and would he go away and leave me alone. Instead, he started singing 'Isn't She Lovely'--which made me cry for all the right reasons! And he wouldn't take a penny from me--he restored my faith in the male of the species!"

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