Music Critic Simon Reynolds Visits KCRW’s Bookworm

From KCRW DJ Eric J Lawrence:

Simon Reynolds has long been one of my favorite writers on the subject of pop music.  Initially I was drawn to his work because of the subject matter – he was among the first music critics to offer book-length analyses of topics such as twee pop, post-punk, post-rock and rave culture, amongst others.  But I soon realized the quality of his writing was an equal attraction, where he magically walks the line between the cool distance of an academic and the immediacy of a breathless fan.

In October of last year, I wrote up a brief description of his then most recent book, Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews for this very blog.  As fate would have it, just a few days later Reynolds made mention of the KCRW remixes of David Bowie’s “Golden Years” in his own blog ( – scroll down to 10/16), with a special mention of my remix as being the one that left him “gobsmacked.”  Now, Simon and I had never met or communicated in any way before, lest anyone think this was some sort of tit-for-tat back-slapping.  But I assure you, discovering Simon’s kind words about my remix was highly flattering, second only to knowing that Bowie himself had heard my work and approved.

When I learned that Reynolds would be coming to the station for a taping for “Bookworm” with Michael Silverblatt on the occasion of the release of his new book, Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past, I made sure to be around to be able to meet him (for the first time, I swear) and to thank him for the mention of my remix.

It was a pleasure to meet him, and Michael graciously invited me to listen in to the taping of their interview, which was fascinating.  So I strongly recommend that you listen to this intriguing conversation that is now up in our archives. (Or just download the podcast and listen at your convenience).

Added bonus: hear Michael Silverblatt reveal how he is as much a music-worm as he is a bookworm! (Well, maybe not as much…)




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