October 13th, 2011
Our local entertainment rag, 77 Square, has a couple music-related articles today.
The first is called “Madison hip-hop musicians band together to grow the local scene”. If you’re either new to or not from the Madison area, then it’s important to know that clubs catering to hip-hop fans have fallen like dominoes, often times because the city shuts them down owing to violence associated, fairly or not, with the venues.
The articles discusses how local purveyors of hip-hop have been getting gigs and growing the scene via social networking sites.
77 Square also has a review of Madeleine Peyroux’s show last night at the Union Theatre. Reading it made me kind of sad about the decline of the newspaper industry.
In her review Lindsay Christians mentions that Peyroux covered the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Billie Holiday. She also notes a performance of “the forceful, bluesy ‘Love in Vain’”. Why does she not mention that this is a Robert Johnson tune?
I can’t help but think that she is simply out of here element. It’s not that Christians is a bad writer but her strengths seem to be theatre and food, especially wine. I learn things when I read her reviews of plays and various comestibles so I’m not out here to mindlessly bash her. But she is no music critic, in my humble opinion, and my guess is that this is simply because 77 Square can’t afford a lot of people so everyone does double or triple duty. One result is that writers end up having to come up with stories about things out of their purview.
It’s disappointing because, when Wilco comes to town, everyone and their mother has a review but when Madeleine Peyroux and other artists of genres not in favor right now are here, it is often times only 77 Square that will write a review.
Unfortunately, I don’t see this situation changing.