Available again: JOE CARDUCCI's testament.

“Rock and the Pop Narcotic is a 1991 book of popular music criticism by Joe Carducci. (Revised edition 1995.)

“Rock and the Pop Narcotic is perhaps the only book of popular music criticism that attempts to achieve a genuine aesthetic of rock music. Other works, such as Richard Meltzer’s The Aesthetics of Rock or Simon Frith’s Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music, either focus on lyrical content or on the sociology of the music’s listeners. Rock and the Pop Narcotic is both a critique of the sociological approach and a polemic in favour of the music’s artistic qualities. During the rest of the 1990s the book gradually acquired cult status, with record producer Simon Napier-Bell citing it as one of his ten favourite music books in the UK’s Guardian newspaper in 2005. Clinton Heylin included two chapters in The Penguin Anthology of Rock Writing, with the remark, “Rock and the Pop Narcotic…may well be the most important critique on rock music written in the last 10 years.”

Following is from Wikipedia…

“Joe Carducci is a writer, record producer, and former A&R executive, formerly most closely associated with the influential record label SST Records. Biographical information on Joe Carducci can be hard to come by. He was born in Merced, California in 1955 but grew up in Naperville, Illinois. He also lived for a time in Chicago in the late 1970’s where he ran an independent mail-order record retailer. From 1981 to 1986 he was an A&R man and record producer for SST Records, working with among other bands the Minutemen, the Meat Puppets, Black Flag and Saccharine Trust. He wrote lyrics for the song “Jesus & Tequila” by the Minutemen (Double Nickels on the Dime, 1984) and “Chinese Firedrill” from Mike Watt’s 1995 solo album Ball-Hog or Tugboat?. He now resides in Wyoming, where he runs Redoubt Press. Carducci is probably best known as the author of Rock and the Pop Narcotic. Carducci wrote the screenplays for the 1998 films Rock and Roll Punk and Bullet On A Wire, and has other script projects in the works.”

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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