Tag Archives: Michael Azerrad

Bonus Book Review: “Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music” by Michael Azerrad

Rock Critic Law Michael AzerradRock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music by Michael Azerrad is another book I got from Harper-Collins over three months ago. The copy I got is an unedited proof and according to the letter I got with it, this book won’t be released until October 18, 2018 (Amazon says the release date is December 15th). I’m not sure why they sent it out so early. I wrote to them in May and asked if it was okay to post a review, but they said they would prefer if I hold off until the month before publication (it is available for pre-order on Amazon). And so, this book has remained on the end table in my living room collecting dust for months and at this point, I just need to move it to the bookshelf. I’m going to defend this early review by saying that this book already has 5 reviews on GoodReads.com!

Author Michael Azerrad has written for most of the major music publications: Spin, Rolling Stone, Revolver, Mojo, etc.. He’s also the author of Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana and Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. Several years ago, he started a Twitter feed under the name @RockCriticLaw and he set about making up ridiculous, yet profound, rules for anyone who reviews rock music.

For obvious reasons, I found this topic intriguing since no one had ever told me that there are rules for what I’ve been putting out on my blog for the last nine years. I’ll start by saying that the Introduction to this book may have more words than the 101 rules themselves. The rules are taken from Azerrad’s Twitter feed and some were even contributed by Twitter followers. Here are some of the rules:

All fan bases are either “devoted,” “dedicated,” or “loyal.”

Bass players are the only musicians that can be “nimble.”

If there are three or more bowed instruments on a track, then you MUST note the “lush orchestration.”

It doesn’t take long to breeze through these rules even with their comic illustrations on the facing pages to add to the humor behind each one. It’s disappointing that the book ends so quickly and makes me wonder if Azerrad should have held out until he could have made a “500 rules…” book to give the reader more bang for their buck, since the book retails for $23.99 and takes less than 30 minutes to read. And even though I was amused by it and got it for free, I probably won’t be keeping this book around to reread or use as a reference guide for my future reviews. It might just be easier to follow him on Twitter. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!






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Four books I won’t be reviewing for you this week…

A funny thing happened this week. I read three books that I knew I wasn’t going to review. And then, come Friday, I finally cracked open (not literally since it was on my iPad) a book that I had planned on reviewing for this blog…but that’s not going to happen either. This left me in quite a predicament today with nothing at all to review! So, I decided I would tell you about each of the books and why I’m not going to review them for you. I still think you may find them of interest and you’re more than welcome to invest in your own copies if you’d like, but you’re going to have to develop your own opinion of them. So, here goes…

Rock Critic Law Michael AzerradLast month, I received this book in the mail unsolicited. I’m not sure why, but I believe it’s because I had once inquired about getting a review copy of another book the publishing house had recently announced. My copy of Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music by Michael Azerrad is labeled “Uncorrected PROOF Not for Sale”. When I looked up more details of the book (that weren’t listed on the one-off sheet that came with the book), it turns out that it won’t be published until December 2018. I wrote to the publicist on the one-off sheet and asked if I could review it and she said they would prefer I wait until closer to the release date. Okay….so we wait!

As some of you may know, I fill my daytime hours with being a publicist for authors who write about the Beatles. It’s a strict rule of mine not to review my clients work. It’s not fair to them, me or my blog audience. So when I was sent Mary’s Prayer by Mary McGuinness to read and consider her as a perspective client, I knew I wouldn’t/couldn’t review it. I’ll leave it at that since I seem to have already toed the line on what I feel I can ethically post on my blog. So, no review on this book either…

Long Players A Love Story in Eighteen Songs Peter Coviello

This is another book I got from Penguin books First to Read program, where I get advanced copies of ebooks in exchange for my reviews. I’ve reviewed a couple of them here in the past, but Long Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs by Peter Coviello is not a book I plan on reviewing on this page. As anyone can see, the title and cover (and Penguin’s description) might give one the impression that this book is about music, but it’s not…trust me…IT’S NOT! I still need to finish reading it though for the program, but it left me without a book to blog about this week.

As I mentioned in earlier, I’m a publicist by day, blogger by night and napper in-between. So this week, for the fourth (or fifth), but absolutely the final time, I proof-read Sandi A. Borowsky‘s soon to be published Exploring Fab Four Landmarks. I’m happy to report that the book is now on its way to the printers and will be released (most likely) in June.

So there you have it! I spent the week reading three books that I knew I wouldn’t review and one book that there was just no point in reviewing. Why did I publish this, you ask? Because I feel like a schlepp after waiting until the end of the week to start reading a book that I found to be so off topic that my fans would have questioned my sanity on choosing it to review!

I’ll try to redeem myself in next week’s post…


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