web site hit counter Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music

Availability: Ready to download

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 fines 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.


Compare

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 fines 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.

30 review for Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I downloaded an advance reader e-book copy of this and started and finished it within an hour. this book is hilarious and the accompanying art is SO GOOD and absolutely perfect for the various rock critic laws they represent. I definitely felt a bit personally attacked, as did my poor gf who does in fact write about music, but there was a lot of truth in this book. bands definitely hail from their place or origin and that album is totally seminal I don't know why you'd disagree with that come on I downloaded an advance reader e-book copy of this and started and finished it within an hour. this book is hilarious and the accompanying art is SO GOOD and absolutely perfect for the various rock critic laws they represent. I definitely felt a bit personally attacked, as did my poor gf who does in fact write about music, but there was a lot of truth in this book. bands definitely hail from their place or origin and that album is totally seminal I don't know why you'd disagree with that come on :-P

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    "Inactive older musicians MUST be "coaxed out of retirement." They don't want money or enjoy making music." Had me giggling in my seat. "Inactive older musicians MUST be "coaxed out of retirement." They don't want money or enjoy making music." Had me giggling in my seat.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erick Mertz

    I told my wife, this is the book you want to read if you want ammunition to razz me about my musical snobbery. Every review cliche, rock narrative standard and witticism is brandished here with a raw humorous edge. For twenty years I have written music review and I’ve used every one of these cliches so many times that it’s absurd. They’re like shorthand. I don’t even know where they came from, to tell the truth. The book is short. It’s a thirty minute read if you throw in the introduction. It’s a I told my wife, this is the book you want to read if you want ammunition to razz me about my musical snobbery. Every review cliche, rock narrative standard and witticism is brandished here with a raw humorous edge. For twenty years I have written music review and I’ve used every one of these cliches so many times that it’s absurd. They’re like shorthand. I don’t even know where they came from, to tell the truth. The book is short. It’s a thirty minute read if you throw in the introduction. It’s a great addition to your bathroom, or your holiday gift exchange, or better, as a gift for that person on your list who takes music (all too) seriously.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    Great fun and so true. If there is not a similar book about book reviewing, someone needs to write it. In fact, there may be some overlap ... My thanks to the publisher for this advance reading copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Petr Šrajer

    "You are prohibited from saying anything bad about the following: Michael Jackson, the Beatles, the Ramones, Wu-Tang Clan, Björk, Radiohead, Taylor Swift, Talking Heads, Fugazi, and Abba." // "Any drum beat that uses only tom-toms is "tribal.'" Prokrastinační rychlovka, sestavená z klišé rockových kritiků a tipů, jak k nim dospět. "You are prohibited from saying anything bad about the following: Michael Jackson, the Beatles, the Ramones, Wu-Tang Clan, Björk, Radiohead, Taylor Swift, Talking Heads, Fugazi, and Abba." // "Any drum beat that uses only tom-toms is "tribal.'" Prokrastinační rychlovka, sestavená z klišé rockových kritiků a tipů, jak k nim dospět.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John Spiller

    "Rock Critic Law" may be 224 pages, but most of them consist of one sentence or a picture. Azerrad nails the rock critic cliches, but this "book" was so slight that it could have been listicle on BuzzFeed. "Rock Critic Law" may be 224 pages, but most of them consist of one sentence or a picture. Azerrad nails the rock critic cliches, but this "book" was so slight that it could have been listicle on BuzzFeed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music is a fun, short read by the author of Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991. It is filled with many, perhaps most, of the cliches music writers use as a crutch. You've seen these laws in action in every magazine, website, or book containing music reviews, interviews or profiles of rockers. Two examples: Do you know why no critic ever has described an artist's third collection of song Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music is a fun, short read by the author of Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991. It is filled with many, perhaps most, of the cliches music writers use as a crutch. You've seen these laws in action in every magazine, website, or book containing music reviews, interviews or profiles of rockers. Two examples: Do you know why no critic ever has described an artist's third collection of songs as a "junior" album? I guess it's because of this law: Second albums are a "sophomore effort," NEVER a "sophomore album." And an effort can never be freshman, junior or senior. Also: If a new group includes at least two former members of a now-defunct band, then it is "formed from the ashes" of that band. If you want reasons behind these laws, or the history of how they've evolved, you're in the wrong place. Just enjoy both the "laws" and the accompanying illustrations. If you write about rock, you may want to keep this near your writing place. Try to be a little more creative, huh? Thank you!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Y.S. Stephen

    Any blogger or writer would admit that it is convenient using cliches to drive home a point. Hunting for the right words or phrases is part of the job but it takes time and energy to come up with them. Hence some of us resort to lazy writing by scooping up easily accessible words that do not convey the exact meaning of what we have in mind. We then string them together in a sentence without thinking too much about the reader. Rock Critic Law by Michael Azerrad is a reference book that compiles 10 Any blogger or writer would admit that it is convenient using cliches to drive home a point. Hunting for the right words or phrases is part of the job but it takes time and energy to come up with them. Hence some of us resort to lazy writing by scooping up easily accessible words that do not convey the exact meaning of what we have in mind. We then string them together in a sentence without thinking too much about the reader. Rock Critic Law by Michael Azerrad is a reference book that compiles 101 examples of the most common cliches in music reviews. It highlights the thread of rigid and lack of imagination within the music review scene. With the help of colourful illustrations, the author pokes fun at lazy metaphors and tacky prose that has become the hallmark of that genre. There aren't lots of books about review writing. Though Rock Critic Law is more of a reference book, I welcome it all the same. The book shows us examples of how damaging cliches are to writing. It also reveals how taking shortcuts in writing produces ridiculous meanings that stray away from our original thoughts, producing shoddy and uninspiring work. Rock Critic Law by Michael Azerrad is published by Dey Street Books (HarperCollins). Many thanks to Dey Street Books for review copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    As a fan of music magazines and also someone who writes about music, I got a kick out of Michael Azerad’s "Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music." This book is written with tongue firmly in cheek as Azerad points out many of the cliches that music writers constantly use and lays them out as laws. If you are a reader of music criticism you’ll recognize descriptions like “ if two guitars play a melodic line in harmony, you MUST say they are "twin lead guitars” And if As a fan of music magazines and also someone who writes about music, I got a kick out of Michael Azerad’s "Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music." This book is written with tongue firmly in cheek as Azerad points out many of the cliches that music writers constantly use and lays them out as laws. If you are a reader of music criticism you’ll recognize descriptions like “ if two guitars play a melodic line in harmony, you MUST say they are "twin lead guitars” And if you write about music you’ll likely have to plead guilty to having used many of these laws. I know I have! This is a slim volume that can be read in one sitting. Each law is illustrated by a humorous cartoon, and extra points for Azerad for making the cartoons non- gender specific, acknowledging the fact that there are women music writers out there!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Fun, slight, apt. I chuckled at the rule that every Replacements profile must include the descriptor "shambolic." Yep. As someone who grew up devouring rock criticism in the 90s and early 2000s (in magazines like Magnet, Spin, Alternative Press, No Depression, Q, The Big Takeover, and of course on websites like Pitchfork), these journalistic tropes are very familiar, and it's funny to see how some have even informed my own writing. Why, just the other day I wrote something about a "seminal" film Fun, slight, apt. I chuckled at the rule that every Replacements profile must include the descriptor "shambolic." Yep. As someone who grew up devouring rock criticism in the 90s and early 2000s (in magazines like Magnet, Spin, Alternative Press, No Depression, Q, The Big Takeover, and of course on websites like Pitchfork), these journalistic tropes are very familiar, and it's funny to see how some have even informed my own writing. Why, just the other day I wrote something about a "seminal" film from my youth - the overuse of that word is called out here. I can imagine treating this as a sort of Strunk and White's Elements of Style for the rock critic - a funny and concise handbook of don'ts.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Budman

    Perhaps I would have found this conceit amusing had I run across it on Twitter, one "law" at a time, instead of between hardcover pages. Rock Critic Law is just a sparse list of clichés that rock critics use in album reviews (and as someone who reviewed LPs for weekly papers for maybe a decade, I'm sure I'm as guilty as anyone). There's no analysis here of why reviewers, for instance, invariably refer to an artist's second LP as a "sophomore" effort when no literary critic would use that word to Perhaps I would have found this conceit amusing had I run across it on Twitter, one "law" at a time, instead of between hardcover pages. Rock Critic Law is just a sparse list of clichés that rock critics use in album reviews (and as someone who reviewed LPs for weekly papers for maybe a decade, I'm sure I'm as guilty as anyone). There's no analysis here of why reviewers, for instance, invariably refer to an artist's second LP as a "sophomore" effort when no literary critic would use that word to characterize a novelist's second book. The reader gets only Azerrad's handful of words noting that rock critics write "sophomore" rather than "second," opposite a flat illustration that adds color and nothing else, and then turns the page to the next cliché. I understand why an agent would suggest converting the #RockCriticLaw hashtag into a book, and even why a publisher would print it, but why would anyone buy the thing?

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Stewart

    Rock Critic law is a quick read, padded to book-length with illustrations, but a very entertaining one, especially for anyone who has read a lot about rock music. I won't quote any of my favourites here, because if every reviewer lists two or three then you could read the entire book on this website, but this is definitely one of those books which you quote to friends. Since I've finished it I've smiled wryly to myself often when I see these cliches appearing again and again in rock writing. Rea Rock Critic law is a quick read, padded to book-length with illustrations, but a very entertaining one, especially for anyone who has read a lot about rock music. I won't quote any of my favourites here, because if every reviewer lists two or three then you could read the entire book on this website, but this is definitely one of those books which you quote to friends. Since I've finished it I've smiled wryly to myself often when I see these cliches appearing again and again in rock writing. Reading the book itself was fun but it's made reading amazon reviews even funnier than they were before. For that reason alone I'm happy to recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Freddy

    A funny collection of rock critic clichés— any reader of music reviews, band histories, and artist biographies will recognize these (“Rock guitar solos: ‘blistering.’ Blues guitar solos: ‘stinging.’ Metal guitar solos: ‘face-melting.’ But whatever the genre, a good guitar solo MUST evoke physical pain.”). Azerrad’s also made me more mindful of my own writing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jake Harris

    Advance Reader’s Copy. A, uh, stunning sophomore effort sure to become an instant classic and influence the creative output of music geeks and journalists all over. (But seriously this is going next to my AP Stylebook and Strunk&White reference, and will be used often)

  15. 5 out of 5

    pianogal

    There's not much to this one, but I found it highly enjoyable. The drawings are equally as fun as the laws. I don't read a lot of rock reviews, but I think I've personally seen at least half of the laws, in action. Super fun. There's not much to this one, but I found it highly enjoyable. The drawings are equally as fun as the laws. I don't read a lot of rock reviews, but I think I've personally seen at least half of the laws, in action. Super fun.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Pretty funny! When I was a music journalist, I was guilty of some of these, but surprisingly, I found out I'm mostly in the clear :) It's a short read, nothing AMAZING, just an entertaining little piece, as it was meant to be. Pretty funny! When I was a music journalist, I was guilty of some of these, but surprisingly, I found out I'm mostly in the clear :) It's a short read, nothing AMAZING, just an entertaining little piece, as it was meant to be.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J

    Fun, but way too short! It serves as a reminder of the intellectual laziness that we can fall into when reviewing music.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Fun insider jokes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    A decent list of funny bullet points detailing music journalism cliches, with a great set of illustrations. A "book," though? NSM. A decent list of funny bullet points detailing music journalism cliches, with a great set of illustrations. A "book," though? NSM.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jay Gabler

    Some of these are fair enough, but I kept finding myself getting defensive. You can't just call an album an "album" 100% of the time! Some of these are fair enough, but I kept finding myself getting defensive. You can't just call an album an "album" 100% of the time!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Fergus

    Quite fun. I was surprised by how few of these sins I commit... Also, amused by the ones I have used in the past.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lea

  23. 4 out of 5

    Naturals Credit Card

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  25. 5 out of 5

    Deanna Chapman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dennis G

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alex Hulst

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  30. 4 out of 5

    WendyRoan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.