Words and music
View all events in this series
Critiquing music can be fraught: whether it was Miles Davis or Elvis Costello who said it first, ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture’. Our first event on the art of music criticism focuses on popular music.
From street presses to mainstream broadcasting, what does it mean to critically engage with music in Australia, and are we doing it well?
Chris Johnston is a senior writer and music critic with the Age.
Clem Bastow is an award-winning cultural critic and cake-baker. Her work appears in the Saturday Paper and Guardian, and she co-presents Superfluity on 3RRR. In 2017 she co-presented the ABC professional wrestling podcast Behind The Belt, and she co-produced the first wrestling 'death match' ever held on Tasmanian soil, Night Massacre, for Dark Mofo in 2018.
When she's not fighting crime by night, Clem works as a tutor in screenwriting at the University of Melbourne, and she is currently undertaking a PhD in action cinema and screenwriting at RMIT.
Mikey Cahill writes the Rock City column for News Ltd.
Lawrie Zion is a senior lecturer in La Trobe University’s journalism.
All of our lives have soundtracks. We cherish certain songs that have meant something to us in our lives, lyrics that have helped us through tough times and inspired us to do better, or think differently. Similarly, everyone has a shortlist of seminal books, or short stories, or poems that have made a difference to them – pieces of writing that have formed who they are.
Who do our favourite writers listen to? What do the musicians we admire love to read? In each event, our guest writer will highlight two pieces of music that have inspired their writing, while our guest musician tells us about two pieces of writing that have helped shape their musical direction. We eavesdrop on their exchange of treasures, and the conversation that ensues.