Kill Your Idols Ė Jim DeRogatis, Carmel Carrillo, editors

By Tom Pizzola,  The Hartford Advocate

Music critics should never hold anything sacred. That includes our
favorite bands, genres of music, or even CDs that are considered
classics by fellow critics. This helps us maintain a certain level of
independence and freedom of thought. We should have the right to say
that a certain CD, though deemed a classic, isnít neccessarily what itís
all shaped up to be.
     Thatís why I like this book so much. Jim DeRogatis has put together
a group of younger critics (and few older souls who think young) and let
them loose on a bunch of CDs that are considered classics; some that if
you cop to not enjoying might get your imaginary critics license revoked
by certain powers that be. Since Iím one who never shys away from a good
argument and never tows the party line, I liked the way these critics
were willing to throw caution to the wind and let it rip on some
deserving and not so deserving targets.
    Letís face it,  Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles deserve all the scorn
that can be thrown their way. Springsteen and Morrison arenít nearly as
close to being the rock gods people make them out to be. And quite
frankly, the Smashing Pumpkins were nothing more than a bloated excuse
to let Billy Corganís ego run wild.
     I was also quite pleased at the way the book shattered the myth of
being a hipster. In fact, Melanie Hauptís critique of Patti Smithís
Horses not only gives an eloquent argument against the album but an
eloquent argument on why you should never like a record because it will
win you hipster cred. Iím going to whip this one out the next time
someone convinces me that Iím not smart enough to understand the
ďbrillianceĒ of Sonic Youth, Pavement or Frank Zappa. Thanks Mel, you
just gave me the proper ammunition to fight my war against the true
music snobs.
     But most importantly, it gave me some ideas on some respected CDs
that I would love to eviscerate. It made me think -  and thatís the
biggest compliment I can pay this or any other book.