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Rock Criticism with Jonathan Lethem, Mavis Staples & Björk

Jonathan Lethem

This week, Jim and Greg take a close look at a topic very close to their hearts: rock criticism. They talk to author Jonathan Lethem to make the case for rock journalism as great American writing. Lethem is an award-winning novelist and MacArthur Genius grant recipient. Along with Kevin Detmar, Lethem co-edited an anthology of rock criticism called Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay-Z.

Jim and Greg also discuss the life and impact of Lester Bangs, one rock critic who, in many ways, made Jim the critic he is today. We also get a glimpse of some of the critics that deeply influenced Greg, from Greil Marcus to Nelson George.