Monday, May 23, 2005

It becomes great the thousandth time you read it.

Maybe. But this Greg Kot-Bono sitdown [reg. required] is so many kinds of wrong I can't make it through my first read, and stalled out on page two (of three looong pages). ChiTrib critic Kot is unhappy that U2, "the most important mainstream rock band of my generation," has retreated from the experimentation of albums like Zooropa and Pop, and recently criticized the band's hit-heavy concert setlist. Bono couldn't take this sitting down (or is he standing?), and arranged a meet: "Some of what is going around as a result of your article is not just unhelpful to our group and our relationship to our audience, but just really problematic for what in the broad sense you might call rock music. The things you think are wrong with it, and the things that I think are wrong with rock music, are polar opposite. Your vision of rock and mine are 180 degrees apart. And that's why I need to talk to you." O my god. That's why you need to shut up. They talked for ninety self-serving minutes, two titans protecting their own terrain like a couple of stringy kids defending turf on the sticky backseat of mom's Malibu on the way to Burger King. Hard to tell which is worse, Kot's overweening sense of his own importance or Bono's pathological inability to tolerate the notion that his work might not inspire rampant consumer spending in every last citizen.

Thankfully, some critics have their heads on straight, and keep their eyes on the real prize (no, not unfettered access to rock godz):

[ interviewer]: Like what you pointed out, the whole thing about the writer injecting himself into the story. I don't really like that too much, the whole Lou Reed-Lester Bangs thing. I thought that got more personal than it should have been, you know?

Greg: Yeah, there you go. I'm with you, man. You know what gets lost in the equation all the time?

[rc interviewer]: What?

Greg: The reader.

[rc interviewer]: Yeah, that's the frustrating part...

Greg: Some critics forget who they write for. They think they're writing for the other critics, or they think they're writing for the band, and with both approaches you might as well not even bother

Amen, brother.

[via fittedsweats]


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