What a Teaching Resource

Apparently I had a big day on Twitter without anybody letting me know. Cool — It’s been a few decades since I’ve been dismissed as a reactionary, even if it’s thanks to my inability to hear ’90s r&b the right way. (I’m not sure what their beef with my Teena Marie feature is, beyond her whiteness.) And here I thought I was a kneejerk liberal these days. I’d love to know who the “whole school of Chuck Eddy-influenced white male writers” consists of. I apologize for dragging Duke University Press through this. They’ve been great to me. (But no, I won’t whine about being “cancelled.” I’ve been on my own island for years. There’s nothing left to cancel!)

Mixed feelings on this one (which is probably fair, since he seems to be mixed on me, too.) Not sure I remember anything else he’s written.

3 comments

  1. via facebook:

    Tom Lane
    I saw his Twitter feed last night and today, and did think about messaging you. Definitely ticked me off. Lots of comments from people who never read your writings. Thought you might find the whole thing too petty to care.

    Chuck Eddy
    Actually, I find it kind of hilarious! Seriously, I live for this kinda thing.

    Tom Lane
    Chuck Eddy Did you see his original tweet that started it all?

    Chuck Eddy
    Is there a different one? I’m still no Twitter-following expert…

    Stephen Thomas Erlewine
    Chuck Eddy it started here.

    Chuck Eddy
    Thing is, they’re not wrong! To be honest, in retrospect, I’m kind of surprised it took this long. Shows how widely my books aren’t read. Kind of amazed Craig Seymour stumbled upon it. Wish I could see Mosi’s answer to what Carl said, but it’s not like I’m going to sign up for Twitter after all this time.

    Steve Schneider
    Chuck Eddy they’re not wrong about what?

    Chuck Eddy
    I wish everybody had the privilege to make fun of stuff I had. The problem’s not that I could do it, obviously — It’s that other people maybe couldn’t.

    Steve Schneider
    Chuck Eddy Ah. That’s valid. I just get a cold chill up my spine when I hear someone use the phrase “he thought he could say anything” in regards to popular music, as if it’s a bad thing.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    Yeah the structural critique re privilege is valid, as Mosi gets at, but the fist-shaking rhetoric about somebody being cavalier about jodeci 30 years ago…wow.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    and yeah, this was in a frikkin zine!

    Ryan Durney
    Wow, a reviewer with genuine expressive opinions about art! You mean, a person can absorb art and react with their own perspective?!
    WITHOUT considering everyone else, at all times?… See More

    Ryan Durney
    I am a liberal progressive in all ways.
    But I will never support the psycho side of the horseshoe. I am on the side of art and expression, no matter its politics.

    Chuck Eddy
    Sure, but my dumb criticism is open to dumb criticism too, you know?

    Steve Schneider
    Chuck Eddy As long as you promise to wear a Dumb Donald hat while you engage in it.
    ·
    Steve Schneider
    (I remember reading a David Lee Roth interview in which he said he loved Erykah Badu because he was certain her head wrap was where she kept her weed. Wish I had a link to that interview so I could really blow up that Twitter feed)

    Chuck Eddy
    Pretty sure I mention that headwrap in one of my books somewhere (in conjunction with my thoughts about “MyBabyDaddy” by B-Rock and the Biz.)
    —————–

    Tom Lane
    There were more, but that’s all I could stomach after awhile.

    Steve Schneider
    So the thesis here is that irreverence toward any Black artist is a privileged dismissal of Black culture in general? Damn, now I’m rethinking everything I’ve ever said about Rockwell.

    Sundar Subramanian
    The replies go further!: “I’d offer that irreverence is a form of white supremacy.”

    Chuck Eddy
    Is this white supremacist too, I wonder?

    On Racist College Radio Playlists, 1981

    Sundar Subramanian
    Yeah, that argument of yours influenced my thinking. Not to mention that you’re irreverent about artists of any race.

    Chuck Eddy
    Basically, we’re not allowed to be critics, or at least ones who don’t take everything seriously. Cool — Glad I got away with what I did decades ago. Too bad about now. (Though by the way, nobody paid me for those Radio On blurbs. I wish!!)

    Chuck Eddy
    Still pretty sure white cis-male heavy metal fans hate me way more though.

    Steve Schneider
    Chuck Eddy Beat me to it! I was just going to say I’m old enough to remember when the most controversial thing about you was seeing nothing punk in early Iron Maiden.

    Chuck Eddy
    Common denominator: Apparently NOBODY likes what I write about Teena Marie (though at least I understand what the metalheads’ complaint is.)

    Jaz Jacobi
    Chuck Eddy I like what you write about Teena Marie. But then, I technically am what you might call the “school of Chuck Eddy-influenced unpublished white male writers.” 🙂

    ————————–

    Kevin Bozelka
    Preposterous!

    Carl Wilson
    I weighed in late at night and didn’t feel like I did the best job, but i tried!

    Sundar Subramanian
    Yeah, that argument of yours influenced my thinking. Not to mention that you’re irreverent about artists of any race.

    Chuck Eddy
    I guess what stumps me most is that they’re under the impression I treated Black artists somehow less reverently than I treated white artists — particularly, I admit, white artists beloved by other music critics. It’s like I was supposed to walk on eggshells around Jodeci and SWV but not, I dunno, around Sinead O’Connor. Or Korn. Or Phish. Or Mötley Crüe. Does Carl Wilson, say, think I should have been careful not to “say anything” around those acts, too? If not, what’s the difference?

    Carl Wilson
    I understood what I said to be defending you, Chuck, I’m sorry if that was not clear.

    Chuck Eddy
    No need to apologize, Carl! I’m just trying to wrap my head around this.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    Based on how he keeps tagging the publishers, I guess he’s just mad that japes from 30 years ago got published 5 years ago as opposed to more earnest histories of new Jack swing. So while you were glib about all those acts, those white acts also get plenty of po-faced appreciation elsewhere. So you’re just the lucky sassy guy who got tolerated by the system rather than the problem itself, which is the system.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    if the mob really came to your door, all you’d have to say is “yeah they should totally publish your jodeci book”

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    I also saw some reply where he said he’s mostly mad about it being “canonicized” and that some professor is probably teaching this. I gotta say…any teacher making people read your old radio on blurbs should definitely be investigated.
    Jake Alrich
    oh shit should I not be reading Chuck Eddy’s Kix blurbs to my Kindergarten music classes?

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    kids gotta learn about bumping the lala sooner or later

    Steve Schneider
    Anthony Cohan-Miccio A+ reference

    ———————-

    Carl Wilson
    Btw, i’ve also been roasted the past couple of days on twitter (for not liking the Lil Nas X album properly) – not as badly as you, but sympathies there.

    Jake Alrich
    Valid or not it’s the timing of this that gets me. For sure it is suddenly imperative that we rail against these decades-old Jodeci takes from an anthology that came out in 2016. Maybe he can follow it up by impugning George Bernard Shaw for his overtly sexist criticism of Eleanora Duse.

    Chuck Eddy
    …(collected from fanzines that came out between 1993 and 1997, read by almost exactly the same number of people who wrote for them)…

    Jake Alrich
    Chuck Eddy for a minute I thought you meant GB Shaw and I was like, “yes I remember fondly his essays on Ibsenism for Maximum Rock n Roll”

    Raymond Cummings
    As much as it bothers some folks, anyone should be able to have and express an opinion about any artist or band or record – even if they’re opinions I or you don’t like. This is the second time recently that someone has come swinging for Chuck on Twitter.

    Chuck Eddy
    Wait, what was the first time? (Just want to make sure I didn’t miss one.)

    Raymond Cummings
    Matthew Perpetua.

    Still Lazy After All These Years

    Raymond Cummings
    To be clear, I abhor gross music criticism as much as anyone and won’t defend it. (Mores certainly change over time.) But the implication that people of one race don’t have the right to have opinions about the work of people of another race has never sat well with me.

    Chuck Eddy
    They might want to take a tally of how many albums by artists of, um, different races are in my metal book (for starters — it’s not like my other books or writing have ever been lacking). And how much guff I’ve gotten about that over the years. Though, I dunno, maybe that’s irrelevant too?

    Laina Dawes
    Raymond Cummings Thank you.

    David Strauss
    The ironies being that A: Seymour is getting a lot more gigs than Chuck is, these days — he has a book coming out! Why is he bitching? and B: Implying moral failure based on aesthetic preferences is a very early 2000s Vice attitude to take. Also, tagging your publisher as intimidation is a shittier thing to do than turning off Jodeci when they come on the radio and, frankly, does not reflect well on Seymour as a human being.

    Chuck Eddy
    I don’t get the publisher-tagging thing, though maybe that’s my Twitter illiteracy showing. Is he trying to make sure they don’t give me a book deal?

    David Strauss
    Chuck Eddy What else could it be? Don’t know if it’s cancel culture so much as the reflexive instinct of the modern writer class, like spitting after smoking too much.

    Chuck Eddy
    Surprised to see we only have 9 facebook friends in common. Would’ve guessed way more — Pretty sure he’s had a familiar byline for years.

    Daniel Seward
    Anyone who gives raven-symoné 7.5 should be bulletproofed from future criticism….waitll they get to Lester outtakes that didn’t make print..

    Nigel Richardson
    Back in the 70s all we read the music papers for was the “irreverence”.

    Chuck Eddy
    It was a huge part of Creem’s appeal here in the US too, obviously. But I get the idea to anybody born after say 1969, it’s like a foreign language.

    Bill Werde
    Am I late to the cancellation? Just wanted to add, one actually hilarious element of this situation is that there is a verified @chuckeddy account — an older gentleman who recently converted from the GOP to being a Democrat in Kentucky — who has been receiving a suddenly flow of what must be very puzzling Twitter replies.

    Chuck Eddy
    As if all the toe-the-line Trumpublicans constantly attacking him about mask mandates and vaccine conspiracies weren’t bad enough…

    Joseph McCombs
    Well, this whole conversation was deeply depressing.

    Chuck Eddy
    Sure is. Is that Twitter thread still going? I wonder, but don’t dare check.

    Jason Gross
    The hell with the haters. You’re one of the best editors I ever worked with.

    Daniel Durchholz
    What’s the deal with his Twitter handle – “Craig Seymour, Black gay music critic?” Dude, don’t tell me what you are, tell me what you know.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    It’d be pretty weird to list what you know in your Twitter handle. I bet he’s trying to piss people off who don’t know want to acknowledge what he is, and it worked!

    Chuck Eddy
    “Chuck Eddy, short over-the-hill anosmic music critic”….Nah.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    Chuck Eddy own it!

    Daniel Durchholz
    Anthony Cohan-Miccio Well, I wouldn’t suggest trying to cram all he knows, whatever that might be, into his Twitter handle. His tweets – and his writings, for that matter – should speak for themselves.

    Daniel Durchholz
    Chuck Eddy In the spirit of Dr. Johnson: “Daniel Durchholz, a harmless drudge.”
    ·
    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    Why? People put all kinds of stuff in their handles – jokes, political messages, gender pronouns. What’s wrong with asserting your identity? How does it keep the writing from speaking for itself any more than knowing the author’s name (which often suggests gender and ethnic background)?

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    I also get the sense that, if your response to “I’m black and gay” is “please don’t tell me these things, it’s distracting” his response is “too bad, dont read it then.”

    Daniel Durchholz
    Anthony Cohan-Miccio It’s obviously not disgusting. Okay, you’ve convinced me. It’s not my style, but let him do him.

    ———–

    Chuck Eddy
    By the way, somebody may well (I hope) have pointed this out on Tweeter, but I’m pretty certain Duke University Press has Black* and gay writers. (*They published Greg Tate’s second Flyboy book a few years back, as I recall.)
    https://www.dukeupress.edu/Special-Pages/Search?searchtext=Black%20gay%20culture&searchmode=allwords&fbclid=IwAR3ZP2si0GJqVbjIUAk0ENTpsi4qajm7RodqzSZRqYedFsFnNRZUWT4uqpg

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    that’s the shitty thing about Twitter. “Fuck you, jodeci RULES!” and “wow, white guys sure had an easier time getting respect for spouting off” are perfectly valid opinions, but he’s gradually transitioning from one take to the other in real time, ignoring the context of the offending material entirely.

    Jaz Jacobi
    I am going to be chuckling over the handle “Disco Tex Avery” for the next week

    Chuck Eddy
    Retweeted 748 times so far, apparently. Is that good or bad?

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    not bad for a small concert, bad for a tour
    ·
    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    I seriously wouldn’t sweat it. People love to pass around old takes and cluck tongues, but anybody digging deeper knows youre at worst a beneficiary of privilege and not a man who was determined to bring down The Box. And it adds up to a number of people Styx wouldn’t bother playing a medley for today.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    And I promise to try and be this cavalier about my own name if it ever comes up that I got to be on a CMJ panel about the ying Yang twins.

    Nicole Kessler
    Twitter’s attention span is so short it will be completely forgotten by Friday, it is a silly place.

    ———————–

    Jaz Jacobi
    I’ve been thinking about some of these issues during the long slog toward me trying to self-publish a fanzine before I die. The whole reason I wanted to write about stuff I like was pretty much borne out of wanting to “set an agenda” and “be dismissive” or “say anything”–to create something *I* want to read, because few other people were doing it, and if other people like it too, that’s gravy. In the many years I have talked about/procrastinated over doing this, the discussion of privilege has become a voice in my ear all the time–especially in terms of the perception that liking stuff that sits outside the accepted norm is “campy” or “so bad it’s good” instead of sincere, which I’ve come to realize *does* have quite a bit to do with class privilege: people who have less leisure time and discretionary income probably are less likely to spend good money/time on taking a chance that something will be “goofy/weird” enough to “be interesting.”

    Chuck Eddy
    I’ll have to think about that last point. But it’s funny — despite what Carl said in his tweet way up there somewhere, I never perceived myself as “setting the agenda” — okay, maybe later I did, when I was music editor at the Voice. Six or seven years, tops. But when I wrote these newly controversial fanzine blurbs (the readership of which, again, was just barely in double digits) I was just a lowly freelancer living in Philly, wondering whether I should get a real job. I wasn’t even in the Voice much during that period, if I was in it at all. And if I was setting an agenda, I have no idea who would have been following it, since I was barely even in touch with other critics or part of their conversations. (Which isn’t far from how I perceive my standing now, give or take facebook. Don’t Twitter, don’t EMP, don’t do Slate Music Club, etc. Also don’t write, outside of a blog whose readership *might* match Radio On’s.)

    Jaz Jacobi
    Chuck Eddy I go through this sometimes–the struggle to express an unpopular opinion, without coming across as “this is how *everybody* should think” all the time. The more confident I get in my “voice,” the closer to a perceived arrogance gets heard, which feels kind of funny because all along I just felt like some goofball running his mouth off in a way that no one ever likely would *listen* to.

    Jaz Jacobi
    But I also am interested in how 98% of what I hear about “whiteness” is from the mouths of other white people–especially in how this relates to this sort of gatekeeping re: perceived “blackness”/”not-blackness” that always irritates me coming from so many white folks I’ve known. The kind of thing where white people assign themselves hip points for appreciating P-Funk [y’know, the sort of thing their white friends aren’t cool enough to know about], while at the same time scoffing at Earth, Wind & Fire or Lionel Richie as some sort of Uncle Tom-style watered down version of “funk that white people will like.”

    Mike Webber
    I’ve been called a “Coastal Elite” which is quite a feat for a native Kansas Citian living in Austin.

    Nigel Richardson
    This is why white guys of a certain age should only ever write about the 13th Floor Elevators, Amon Duul II and the Fall.

    Ned Raggett
    Well I hey

    Rob Kemp
    howdy Chuck Eddy “But I get the idea to anybody born after say 1969, it’s like a foreign language” by which you mean, irreverence…why do you cut off the ability to fathom this quality at this year?

    Chuck Eddy
    Transition from Creem to Spin? Year’s random-ish; my math might be wrong.

    Fast Eddy
    Chuck Eddy I didn’t know U had a school. 😄

    Like

  2. via facebook:

    Steve Pick
    Chuck Eddy This is some crazy stuff. It’s fairly obvious these people haven’t spent five minutes reading you!

    Steve Schneider
    Chuck Eddy From now on, “Honestly, I was just flipping through the ’90s section as research for my book” is going to be my catch-all answer to everything

    Sara Quell
    Re Creem/Spin – compare ‘Lemmings’ to ‘Spinal Tap’ and the latter’s so gentle it’s like ‘Ernest Goes On Tour’ or something. (Tried leaving comment on the blog but phone wouldn’t let me)

    Like

  3. via facebook:

    Sara Quell
    My phone’s so slow that if I search for the Chuck Eddy post I’m responding to my building will get swatted, but it was the one where a progressive-minded Tweeter called out his “irreverence”. My initial reaction was “LOL. Wait, they’re serious? JFC” but on reflection, the working-and-below-class muso communities I lived amongst in both London and Toronto were equally intolerant of iconoclasm. (It’s no exaggeration to claim that violence would be a highly possible result of criticizing Joe Strummer when addressing the former, or Triumph the latter. [I can play all of ‘Hemispheres’ on acoustic and you can’t tho so plz don’t bother]) Which made me think of ‘Stairway’ on Queensryche, specifically about how maybe ‘punk”s ultimate significance was the reassertion of communitarian values contrary to Classic Rock’s “Holy Individual Initiative”, which we now know was only possible for people with garages etc., but the HII’s complete (for that and a host of other reasons) discredit and demise is still kind of a shame for the art form, because it was that asociality that made Classic Rock the greatest form of any artistic medium in human civilization, the ‘album’ being the optmal presentation style, finest example of which being Sparks’ ‘Whomp That Sucker’ (more about that later, or maybe not), which makes me think “what if you live in a crabbucket and ‘punching down’ is really ‘punching laterally’?” (R. Hilburn: “Billy Joel is the sort of popular artist who makes elitism not only defensible but necessary”) I also recall ‘Spin’ bitterly denouncing ‘The Wrestling Album’ on the grounds of “Rock and roll was originally for the misfits, not bullies”, and I sort of ‘felt’ the reviewer at the time, and still do. My beef with poptimism is that critics don’t seem to know what real pop fans (who supposedly know everything) are really like. (Like, the microaggression I’ve supposedly perpetrated by blogging about preferring Swell Maps to Shinedown is supposedly worse than being called a “f*gg*t” for even knowing the former exist, despite their being approx. 900,000 of them for every one of me.) Predictably enough, now this jive bunny and rootless cosmopolitan says “Somebody give those motherfuckers a Nobel for their contribution to vaporwave”

    Like

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