Congratulations are in order: Scene music editor Tracy Moore and frequent contributor Chris Neal have been selected for inclusion in Da Capo's Best Music Writing 2007.
Moore's "Never in Nashville" cover story chronicles the '80s punk scene in Music City, while Neal's "Nothin' but a Good Time" examines the return of two of the era's mainstream arena-rockers, Poison and Cinderella.
This year's Best Music Writing was edited by none other than the Dean himself, Robert Christgau.
From "Never in Nashville":
The year: 1980. Punk had already peaked in Los Angeles and New York.From "Nothin' but a Good Time":
Sid Vicious was dead; by year's end, Darby Crash, lead singer of L.A.'s Germs, would join him. Yet the sound was just making its way to Nashville—a city where the music industry still hadn't gotten over The Byrds on the Grand Ole Opry. Pat Albert, bassist for Nashville's first hardcore band, Committee for Public Safety, remembers the city being so out of touch with rock's cutting edge that he had to drive to Atlanta to find Clash albums.
"Back then," Albert says, "if you saw a guy walking down the street with a mohawk or a leather jacket, you'd pick him up before some Lynyrd Skynyrd fan hit him with a beer bottle."
There's a particularly tragic passage in Life on Planet Rock, the new memoir by Lonn M. Friend, one that crystallizes the sweetly hopeful moment just before grunge and alt-rock swept away the moussed-and-made-up metal bands that had dominated the late 1980s. In summer 1991, Friend, then the editor of hard-rock magazine Rip, played Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach an advance copy of Nevermind, the not-yet-released second album by Nirvana. "Holy mother of Jesus!" Bach exclaimed when confronted with the vital, urgent noise created by the unknown Seattle trio. "This shit rocks! We're gonna take this band out with us!"