My Little Red Book
Terminated for Reasons of Taste
Reviewed by Libby Webster, Fri., June 17, 2016
Chuck Eddy contributed music criticism to every worthwhile publication under the sun. Terminated for Reasons of Taste, a comprehensive collection of his work, divides by the decade via essays for major publications, zines, message board posts, and artist profiles (including an awesome early profile of the Beastie Boys), charting music's odyssey from the Twenties to the present. In each section's intro, the quietly local brainiac is at his most likable and reflective, marveling at the easy authority of his writings from the Eighties and owning up to some cringeworthy mansplaining in his Nineties criticism. (Why even include the sexist reviews of Paula Cole, Alanis Morissette, and the "who's married to who" factoids of later essay "The Ladies of Triple A"?) A time capsule of when music criticism was solely white men writing about white men for white men, Terminated makes a strong case for better representation in the field, but Eddy's smarts, freakish knowledge of the obscure, and some hilarious takedowns make the collection feel like hanging out with a cool uncle who gifts you music knowledge nuggets impossible to find elsewhere.
Terminated for Reasons of Tasteby Chuck Eddy
Duke University Press, 344 pp., $26.95 (paper)