The Chicago Tribune (Almost) Rocks
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 13, 2006 4:15PM
We have no beef with The Chicago Tribune’s primary rock critic, Greg Kot. We’ve never accused him of exactly being cutting edge, but we do believe he writes insightful and honest critiques for the most part. Unfortunately, since Matt Lurie left the paper, the Trib had been pretty devoid of anything approaching decent music coverage. They’re consistently behind the trends and most of their freelancers would be better used to compose press releases instead of attempting to craft any sort of critical evaluation. And that’s when any evaluation is actually in play, instead of a fawning band profile.
But that seems to be changing.
Earlier this week we were stunned to see an incredibly well-crafted piece discussing TV on the Radio. It stunned us because it was not only a fine profile of the band, it was written in a language relatable to the average (read: non-indie, non-fan) reader. Hell, we will admit we don’t always get what TV on the Radio is all about, but we certainly enjoyed reading about them. Once we looked at the byline we were equally stunned to realize it was penned by Jessica Hopper, of Hit It Or Quit It / The Reader / "Where The Girls Aren't" / etc. fame.
Then today we were floored by a one-two punch. First of all, on the front page of the Tempo section, there was a less than glowing review of The Rolling Stones performance this week. What?! The Trib actually admitting that The Stones might a) be dealing with overexposure at this point and b) suck (okay, they didn’t totally say they suck, but for The Trib this was the equivalent) is truly a landmark event.
And then today’s capper was the story about five bands in Chicago to catch before they’re big. While we could quibble about the fact that Pelican, Andrew Bird, Diverse, Head Of Femur, and The Changes aren’t exactly unknowns, we were pleased to see that The Redwalls and Kill Hannah weren’t on the list for once. Will wonders never cease!
The only thing that could surprise us more this week would be if there was an announcement that Jim DeRogatis was defecting to The Trib. And then Ebert. Because then we would never have a reason to read another copy of the Sun-Times ever again.
Anyway, we don’t know who is behind this sudden hubbub in the music section of The Trib, but we can say we like it. Keep it up!