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The Nitpicker's Corner Archives

Ragin’ Canadian Al Clark of chilly Toronto has nabbed us for more than a nitpick–he’s found a bona fide mistake in The Rock Snob*s Dictionary! In our entry for the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, we say they “scored a U.K....

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Ned Flood of Boston, MA, takes issue with the passage in the “Bambaataa, Afrika” entry of The Rock Snob*s Dictionary that mentions that Bambaataa was an early hip-hop ambassador to white listeners, “performing at such Downtown new-wave clubs as the...

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Many, many readers, most recently Emily Schumacher of Peoria, IL, have Snobbishly written in to complain that, in the intro to The Rock Snob*s Dictionary, we note that David Crosby (unlike his more obscure and therefore more Snob-valued pal in...

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A thoughtful note from reader Matthew Patton of Deltona, Florida: “Thought I’d mention two directors who should have been included because they apparently have big Trash Snob followings, although neither of them had what I’d call serious talent. The first...

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“Re: your Marcel Ophuls entry in The Film Snob*s Dictionary,” writes Adam Nebbs of Hong Kong, “it should be pointed out that The Sorrow And The Pity isn’t a Holocaust epic, but a French-collaborating-with-the-Nazis-in-Vichy-France epic.” We are so busted, Adam....

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Brian Koppelman of New York City offers a nitpick that could apply to both the Rock Snob and Film Snob books: “One glaring oversight hit me. You left out Jon Brion, the tastemaker’s tastemaker. The man responsible for taking Aimee...

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Ryan McDermott of Washington, D.C., writes re: The Rock Snob*s Dictionary, “Where are Sonic Youth and Pavement? They are the purveyors of everything indie! Every band living right now owes everything to them. Plus, the album cover for Goo is...

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With the weenie-ish vim of a true Film Snob, Richard Campbell of Dallas, Texas, writes in to complain about something we got wrong in the Bernard Herrmann entry (pp. 46-47) of the Film Snob book. “It is stated that Bernard...

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William Hynes of West Springfield, Massachusetts, writes in to point out that XTC’s promo for “Generals & Majors” is not the only video in which Virgin’s Richard Branson appeared. “I believe you can see a young Richard Branson on the...

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Bill Geerhart of Los Angeles writes, “I enjoyed The Rock Snob’s Dictionary, but I could not believe that you omitted Bear Family Records but included Sundazed and Rhino. More than any other label, Bear caters to the Rock (and Country)...

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Confirmed Film Snob Andrew Patner of Chicago kindly tells us, “Your takes on the critics are all spot on and your choices of same are discerning and worthy of true Film Snob status. I’m guessing that there is some Chicago...

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With the weenie-ish vim of a true Film Snob, Richard Campbell of Dallas, Texas, writes in to complain about something we got wrong in the Bernard Herrmann entry (pp. 46-47) of the Film Snob book. “It is stated that Bernard...

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Only a few days after its publication, The Film Snob*s Dictionary is bringing out the Cine-Nitpickers. The first we’ll mention by name is Jared Hersh of Santa Barbara, CA, who takes issue with our assertion in the intro that “the...

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Scary black-metalist Hugh Gaukroger of Sydney, Australia–make that Hügh Gaükrögër–chides us, “Your section on ‘Norwegian death metal’ [pp. 84-85 in the Rock Snob book] is completely wrong. It’s actually Norwegian Black Metal, and no mention is made of the corpse...

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Larry Weinberg of San Francisco sweetly informs us, having just completed the Rock Snob book, that “It’s like everyone’s wives are saying, ‘My husband IS Larry David,’ and I feel that I AM that asshole rock snob!” Putting his Snobbiness...

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We’ve received bushels (figuratively) of e-mails in response to December’s post about The Robert Christgau Rock Snob Aptitude Test. To bring those of you who missed that post up to speed, a friend of the Rock Snob brain trust sent...

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Mark Sullivan of lovely Silver Spring, Maryland, has a bone to pick with us re: our Lee Hazlewood entry in the book. “While I congratulate you on spelling ‘Hazlewood’ right (instead of HazELwood, as it is so often misspelled, even...

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Ward Whipple of Lombard, Illinois, was one of many readers to write in about our use of the headline “M.U.: The Best of Snobsite,” an allusion to Jethro Tull’s bafflingly named hits collection M.U.: The Best of Jethro Tull. “‘M.U.’...

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Reader Benjamin Sumner, a “Rock Snob from birth and Katrina victim” who has relocated to Denver, writes in to take issue not with us but with Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hutter, whose summertime Mojo interview we mentioned in this item from August....

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Eric Feder of New York City laments that our book does not include the word “pastoral,” which, we agree, would be a worthy addition to our crit-speak entries, which include “corsucating” (p. 23), “lo-fi” (p. 63), and “seminal” (p. 109)....

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“Taking my life into my hands,” writes Robert Sharp of Solihull, United Kingdom, “I send this gentle correction and hopefully I will be neither the first nor the last one to do so. In the entry on Sugar Hill Records...

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Veteran Nitpicker Tom Nash of Mahopac, New York, is thrilled that dB’s main man and occasional R.E.M. touring buddy Peter Holsapple is among the ranks of this site’s Nitpickers. “I actually own his CD with Chris Stamey, and while this...

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Not really a Nitpick, but lovely: Marie from New York City (next time, your full name, Marie!) writes in to commend us for providing “a great source of information for a neophyte Rock Snob and rock-history lover like myself. I...

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To be filed under “Nitpicks We Stopped Reading After the First Fifty Words or So,” this, from Russell Lane of Marblehead, Massachusetts: “For god’s sake, NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!! The most famous example of rock-star tinnitus is...

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“Here is something I caught,” writes Peter Rappmund of Golden, Colorado. “Page 52 [in our entry on the High Llamas and their leader, Sean O’Hagan], ‘the Doves’ should be changed to ‘Doves.’ “‘The Doves’ (formerly Thrashing Doves) refers to the...

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Chris Michie of San Francisco, California, wrote a multipart Nitpick that we’ll only begin to excerpt here. One part of it concerns our characterization of Brian Eno [p. 37 in the book] as “the keyboard player for Roxy Music” early...

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A self-professed Prog Snob (poor fellow) from Los Angeles named Jim Allen writes in to nitpick our entry on the Hammond B3 organ [pp. 49-50], which we not only cite as a distinctive element of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling...

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A cheery gent named Sam Matheson of Ottawa, Ontario, writes in with “Two Punk Nits.” (Isn’t that the name of a side project by Pere Ubu’s David Thomas?) “Black Flag entry: Greg Ginn was their guitarist, not bassist,” Sam says...

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Frederick M. Dolan, a professor of rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley (see his homepage here), is “just a bit puzzled that there is no mention (unless I missed it) of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band,...

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A thoughtful Nitpick comes our way from Jim Cosby of Philadelphia–presumably no relation to the “Fat Albert” Cosbys of Philadelphia, but who knows? “The first Nitpick concerns the dismissive, overly-generalized tone of your entry for power-pop [p. 96],” writes Jim....

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DJ Liquid Todd of New York, New York–real name, Hymie Ephraim Moskowitz*–was the most prominent personage of several Dance Rock Snobs to point out our whopper of an error concerning the Technics SL-1200 Mark 2 turntable, which we describe on...

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A pleasantly civil Nitpicker by the name of Rich Firestone, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, writes, “As a snob myself, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Paul McCartney DID NOT write the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s ‘I’m The Urban...

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A Tim Long of West Hollywood, California, “formerly of Toronto,” commends us for including Al Jaffee’s “Snobby Answers to Loser Questions” in the new Snob Comix! section of the site, but finds the cartoon wanting in comparison to its spiritual...

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Steve Gasbarre begins his e-mail to us with “I briefly glanced through your book at a Borders. I believe you said that Robert Palmer was”–ZMMMMMP! Sorry, Steve, but you’ve broken the cardinal rule of the Nitpicker’s Corner, not having purchased...

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John Upchurch of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, writes, “Being a proud owner of the re-issue of the Monks’ Black Monk Time, I feel compelled, in a fit of snobbery, to report that the album re-issue came out in Feb ’97 (not ’99)...

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Spike “Not His Real Name” Priggen of New York, New York, a musician and self-proclaimed Snob whose hugely entertaining site Bedazzled! is one of the more fun links offered on our Snobroll, laments the absence of the scraggly Brit popsters...

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Peter Holsapple of Arabi, Louisiana, who identifies himself as “that guy from The dB's who played with R.E.M.”–a sly allusion to a previous nitpicker's nitpick–writes in to challenge the spelling of one of Steven Daly's Snob-approved Desert Island Discs. “My...

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A wisenheimer named Henry Alford, of New York, New York, writes, "In the entry for Greg Shaw, 'astute Los Angeles scenester (1949-2004),' we learn that Shaw 'still sports the regulation Byrdsian pageboy 'do required of power-popsters.' Seldom are scholarly researchers...

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With a graciousness and beneficence unbecoming a nitpicker, Paul Paddock of New York, New York, writes, "As a true Snob myself, I can't help but start my own list of your wonderful book's most glaring omissions. For instance, I saw...

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Joe Murphy of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, complains that the term "axe," [p. 6] can describe other instruments besides an electric guitar. "Yeah, I know, it's a 'rock' snob's dictionary, not jazz or country, but the term 'axe' can also apply...

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Chris Bellomy of Fort Worth, Texas, wonders why on earth Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music didn't make Steven and David's lists of Snob Desert Island Discs."It would surely top mine," he says. Chris, we're in the perverse minority who enjoy...

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Lots of readers have written in to The Nitpicker's Corner to give us their lists of what we've come to call Should'ves, meaning, artists or entities who should've made it into the book. Interestingly, both Clay Peterson of Athens, Georgia,...

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Tycho Manson of Toronto, Canada, whose parents have a lot to answer for, name-wise, writes, "Am halfway through the book. The Association but not the Left Banke? Please." Tycho, to warrant entry in The Rock Snob*s Dictionary, an artist or...

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Jeff Gordinier of Irvington, New York, writes in to nitpick the previous nitpicker. "Surely, Jay Strell of Brooklyn, New York, knows that the title of the album is Europe '72, not Live '72. I thought Deadheads were supposed to be...

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Jay Strell of Brooklyn, New York, questions our assertion, during our April 20 appearance on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, that Deadheads can't be Rock Snobs. We argued that A) jam bands aren't really Snobberific; and B) Snobs are more...

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We're not afraid to nitpick ourselves when the occasion arrives, and, whilst visiting our local book merchant today (one of many errands we were running, along with visiting our local affineur to see what was ripening in his cheese cave;...

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Poor Richard Manuel of The Band hanged himself in a state of despair in 1986, but he sure commands the respect of visitors to Snobsite.com. Patsi Bale Cox of Nashville, Tennessee, citing our explanation of who Manuel was in Greil...

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Oh, the shame the Rock Snob brain trust feels when a Snob reader nails us so completely that we can't even morally get away with making fun of said reader! Such is the case with Beth Hamer of London, England,...

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J.D. Smith of Washington, D.C., wonders why we don't include the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot in our Snobroll of especially Snobby critpersons, along with his pal Jim DeRogatis. Smith, in high dudgeon, further fulminates that "special punishment should be meted...

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David Whitney of Arlington, Massachusetts, takes issue with the sample sentence we use to illustrate the common Snob usage of the word SEMINAL [p. 109]. We wrote, The Germs were a seminal L.A. punk band, but guitarist Pat Smear didn't...

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A gentleman who identifies himself as Gary Pig Gold of Jersey City, New Jersey, chimes in on the "Who Invented Country Rock?" controversy by arguing, "Did someone/anyone neglect to cite Mike 'Wool Hat' Nesmith (i.e. 'Papa Gene's Blues'), Rick(y) Nelson...

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Greil Marcus of Berkeley, California, writes in again (see below) to nitpick about the name of The Nitpicker's Corner! "I do think you should call The Nitpickers Corner 'Our Shame, Our Salvation' or something like that," he says. "As a...

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With a schoolmarmish, chiding tone befitting a true Rock Snob, Harvey Kubernik of Los Angeles, a veteran journalist, L.A. scenester, and author of the compelling This Is Rebel Music: The Harvey Kubernik InnerViews, can barely contain his indignation about our...

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A difficult, verbose reader who identifies himself as Ray of Bleecker Street writes, "While I appreciate the need to keep each entry brief, punchy and bereft of any frills (a lesson that The Minutemen taught us so brilliantly), I'm sure...

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A fellow by the name of Andrew Loog Oldham writes from Bogota, Colombia, “On noting Jack Nitzsche [p. 84], it’s shame you could not note Jack as having played on ‘Satisfaction,’ ‘Let's Spend the Night Together,’ and ‘Play with Fire.’...

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Greil Marcus of Berkeley, California, writes, “There are various things I’ve noticed—almost all of the sex 'n' drugs stuff in Cocksucker Blues [p. 20] was staged. And Crawdaddy! [p. 25] was started in Boston in 1965, though no one outside...

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