Out of the Vinyl Deeps by Ellen Willis
Ellen Willis on Rock Music

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Synopsis

In 1968, the New Yorker hired Ellen Willis as its first popular music critic. Out of the Vinyl Deeps collects for the first time Willis’s Rock, Etc. columns and other writings, reasserting her rightful place in rock music criticism. More than simply setting the record straight, this book reintroduces Willis’s singular approach and style to a new generation of readers.
 

About Ellen Willis

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Ellen Willis (1941–2006) was a groundbreaking radical leftist writer and thinker whose true loves were rock music, feminism, pleasure, and freedom. She was the first pop music critic for the New Yorker and an editor and columnist at the Village Voice. She wrote for numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, the New York Times, the Nation, and Dissent. She was the founder of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program at New York University, and she published three books of essays, Beginning to See the Light, No More Nice Girls, and Don't Think, Smile!Nona Willis Aronowitz has written about women, sex, music, technology, film, and youth culture for publications such as the Nation, the New York Observer, the Village Voice, and Salon. She is coauthor of Girldrive: Criss-crossing America, Redefining Feminism. Sasha Frere-Jones is a musician and writer from New York. He is a staff writer for the New Yorker and a member of the bands Ui and Calvinist. Daphne Carr lives and writes in New York City. She is editor of the Best Music Writing series. Evie Nagy is an associate editor at Billboard Magazine.
 
Published April 30, 2011 by University Press of Minnesota. 272 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Out of the Vinyl Deeps

The New York Times

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“What it comes down to for me — as a Velvets fan, a lover of rock ’n’ roll, a New Yorker, an aesthete, a punk, a sinner, a sometime seeker of enlightenment (and love) (and sex) — is this: I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism.

Jun 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Publishers Weekly

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Ellen Willis's appointment as the first popular music critic for the New Yorker in 1968 was not only a radical decision in a male-dominated industry, but also a breakthrough that would alter the entire landscape of rock journalism.

May 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

BC Books

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At a memorial for her in 2007 he had this to say: “Ellen was one of the few people I’ve ever known who I’d say unequivocally was smarter than me.” High praise indeed from the self-anointed “Dean Of American Rock Critics.” Thankfully, all of these articles are reprinted exactly as they appeared, ...

May 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

BC Books

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As the very first “pop music” critic for The New Yorker magazine, Ellen Willis (1941 - 2006) was one of the founders of modern rock criticism.

May 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Kirkus Reviews

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Ellen Willis might have been the best rock music critic in American history, though she mostly stopped writing about music in 1980.

May 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Entertainment Weekly

She combined a love of pop culture with a passion for feminist theory to create a unique body of music writing, which finally gets a proper showcase in Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music, edited by her daughter, Nona Willis Aronowitz.

May 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Seattle PI

As the very first "pop music" critic for The New Yorker magazine, Ellen Willis (1941 - 2006) was one of the founders of modern rock criticism.

May 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Journal Sentinel

indifferently performed and produced, as if it had been slapped together from homemade tapes.”) Willis also threaded her feminism into her criticism, but she didn’t let the seemingly inherent sexism of rock douse her love of the music: “even when the content was antiwoman ...

May 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Austin Chronicle

Willis ran critical circles around her counterparts (including former beau Robert Christgau) and took pop culture as truth, rather than passing fad or obsession, something sorely lacking in rock criticism today.

Jul 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Book Forum

For Willis, that engagement came as a necessity: Writing for the New Yorker, a publication that was skeptical about rock music, she took on the role of explainer more than a Cream or Village Voice writer needed to, writing stuff like this in 1968: "Among the many interesting developments in pop m...

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

New York Observer

Rock fashion, rock attitude and rock energy, which have comprised the pre-eminent force in our culture since Elvis, have evolved to the point where they’re no longer tethered to the music that created them.

Jun 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

The Paris Review

A conference was held recently at New York University to explore Willis's writing, how she laid the groundwork for a new generation of writers (music and otherwise), and how she passed the torch.

May 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Prague Post

In a world where anyone with access to the Internet can deem themselves a music critic, it is fruitful to re-engage with a higher echelon of music writing, much of which has traditionally been propagated by writers who came of age when the preferred - and, for some, the only available - means of ...

Dec 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen...

Reader Rating for Out of the Vinyl Deeps
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