Greil Marcus

One of rock’s last great critics standing

Before everyone really was a critic, Greil Marcus was one of the first rock journalists to connect the music he loved to larger cultural themes. Rolling Stone’s first reviews editor and a contributor to seminal rock mags like Creem took—and takes—it all super-seriously, but not without a sense of humor. All lovers of punk rock and its perceived revolutionary powers should check out Marcus’ fascinating 1989 book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, in which the Sex Pistols and punk are given equal and rightful analysis alongside movements like Situationism and Dadaism. Marcus has been a guest of Experience Music Project’s annual Pop Conference, and returns tonight as part of their Oral History Live! series. EMP’s curatorial team will quiz him on his latest book, The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy in the American Voice. How about a prophecy for the American rock critic’s voice? Aspiring writers can relax a little: “crunk” may have been added to Merriam-Webster’s this year, but “blogosphere” ain’t in there just yet.

Thu., Sept. 27, 7 p.m., 2007

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