"And yet, the rock critics of the world are going to spend their time voting on which 1983 videos were the most fun to watch. And we're going to accept Prince, or Grandmaster Flash, or King Sunny Ade, or Flipper, or Big Country, or Bob Fucking Dylan.. and we're gonna push whatever we like as the bearer of the future of rock'n'roll, as if there is such a thing. I think this is kind of what Lester Bangs meant by the 'be the first one on your block' attitude; unfortunately, he died before he could offer any kind of solution or alternative, except that we should listen to old John Hooker records. I wish I had a solution, and God and Lester know I need one more than the Christgaus and Marcuses of this world do – I just turned 23 a month or so ago, and I only started to listen to music 'seriously' in 1979, and I haven't seen a real rock'n'roll revolution yet, and I want a There's A Riot Goin' On or a New York Dolls or a Johnny Rotten so bad I could shit. But I'm not going to get one."
The Village Voice changed a great deal during the years he worked there, he said. During most of that time he was given “carte blanche,” he said. He left the post when the Village Voice was purchased by New Times Media -- a couple years after the Village Voice had started to “rein in” the music section.
But for a while there he had a great time.
"It was my dream job,” he said. “I was really getting away with murder.”
The topic of voice came up several times during our conversation. When he would edit pieces at the Village Voice, he said, sometimes a writer's pitch letter had a better voice than was contained in their submitted piece, so he would cut and paste. A good music critic has a distinctive voice – he likes those who are conversational, who write like they talk, he said.
After leaving the Village Voice he worked as senior editor at Billboard from 2006 to 2007 and while it was quite different from the Village Voice it was interesting. He still does some freelance editing for Billboard, he said.
While at both jobs he missed writing his own music pieces, having been kept busy editing others.