I’ve stumbled across a couple of real interesting rock music sites recently. The first, Professor of Pop, is written by Andrew Goodwin who actually teaches a course at the University of San Francisco on Led Zeppelin. While it all sounds like so much juvenilia, the blog is well written and interesting. He is a drummer as well as a scholar, so his critiques range way beyond the typical “this band sounds like a cross between The Beatles and Ozzy Osbourne” school of rock criticism. Why couldn’t my school offer a course on Led Zeppelin? That’s a class I wouln’t have skipped. This blog will probably heat up with the big Zep reunion show coming up, as well as the rumored tour and recording to follow.
The second site is Bill Wyman’s blog Hitsville. No, not that Bill Wyman, this one has written about rock for places such as SF Weekly, Chicago Reader, Slate.com, Salon.com and worked for NPR radio. He writes insightfully and very tartly about the new economics of rock music. Ever wonder how Lenny Kravitz can indulge his taste for the extremely expensive homes he seems to purchase regularly, despite not having any real album sale royalties in recent years? This blog spills the beans.
He also is the creator of the Moby quotient, a mathematical formula that he and a friend came up with to chart exactly how badly an artist has sold out. They named the formula after Moby since he once bragged that he had licensed every single song on his 1999 album “Play”. The formula is pretty good, because it weighs offenses to our sensibilities based on the evilness of the licensing client, the sacredness of the song to the rock canon and the reputation of the band for being either revolutionary or an outsider. Hence, they believe that Kelly Clarkson can sing for her supper pretty much anywhere, while a serious tear in the world’s space/time continuum has been created by The Clash’s shilling for jeans and automobiles.
If you want more infomation on the Moby quotient and a handy calculator go here.