Started reading Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis On Rock Music. So far I’ve just read the foreword by Sasha Frere-Jones, the current music critic of the New Yorker, who, I was recently surprised to find out was neither a woman or a black person, which was oddly disappointing. Moving on – Ellen Willis was the first rock critic at the New Yorker, and the first prominent woman rock critic ever, which is pretty damn cool. Frere-Jones quotes Willis’ co-worker Karen Durbin at length in the foreword:
Ellen was that wondrous creature, an intellectual who deeply valued sensuality, which is why she wrote with such insight about rock and roll but also with such love. She respected the sensual; in a fundamentally puritanical culture, she honored it. She saw how it could be a path to transcendence and liberation, especially for women, who, when we came out into the world in the early to midsixties, were relentlessly sexualized and just as relentlessly shamed. Rock and roll broke that chain: it was the place where we could be sexual and ecstatic about it. Our lives were saved by that fine, fine music, and that’s a fact.
I’m so pumped to read this book!