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Critical Failure: Popular Music


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

Chris Johnston is a senior writer and music critic with the Age.

Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow’s debut nonfiction book Late Bloomer was published in July 2021. Her writing appears regularly in The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Big Issue. She co-wrote and co-presented the 2017 ABC podcast Behind The Belt, a documentary “deep di... Read more

Mikey Cahill

Mikey Cahill writes the Rock City column for News Ltd.

He reviews and writes about music for Hit, jmag and Inpress. He has just been added as a Judge for the Australian Music Prize 2010.

Lawrie Zion

Lawrie Zion is a senior lecturer in La Trobe University’s journalism. In the 1980s Lawrie Zion wrote his PhD at Monash University examining the pop music scene in Australia during the 1960s and played piano in bars. For much of the last two decades he has worked in the media, including a nine-year... Read more


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