My name is James Greene, Jr. (please, call me James) and I’m a freelance writer. My work has appeared in such publications as Crawdaddy!, Orlando Weekly, New York Press, No Recess!, and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. I also wrote the liner notes to Gluecifer’s best of / rarities disc Kings Of Rock (currently out of print).
My first book, This Music Leaves Stains: The Complete Story Of The Misfits, was published in 2013. Please to be consulting the TMLS F.A.Q. for pertinent details. According to the Austin Chronicle I “pull no punches” as I “accurately and respectfully” relate the tale of these New Jersey punks. Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster told me he “really liked” This Music Leaves Stains.
In 2017, I had a second book published. It’s called Brave Punk World: The International Rock Underground From Alerta Roja to Z-Off and it’s all about the development of punk rock around the globe. Learn more here. “I loved this book,” said online rock critic Mark Prindle in a Facebook post. The guy who mows my mom’s lawn hasn’t read it yet but tells me it’s on his list.
Personals: I was born and raised in the southwest corner of Connecticut, the Nutmeg State. Oh, what a state of nutmeg in which we lived and breathed. Brooklyn, Albany, and Florida have also been home. I’ve never been married and I’ve never owned land. I’ve also never had my tonsils out. I had a dog once. Her name was Minnie. I fed her carrot sticks.
I have a BA in organizational communication from the University of Central Florida. Yes, the college where they shot “Superboy.” Somehow Disney still reigns as Orlando’s most popular tourist destination.
You can hear the sound of my voice on Yaxzon Jackson, the podcast wherein I discuss Michael Jackson with Rollie Hatch.
That’s all for now. Thanks for visiting.
If you click but one link below, make sure it’s the Andrew Koenig story. Gets my vote for best thing ever to appear on this ramshackle e-circus.
Headlines For The Soundgarden Reunion
Carry On, You Bass-Smashing Drum God
Tobey Maguire: “I Did Steroids.”
JG2’s Bucket List
Boy Wonder To Bow Out, Spelling End To Dynamic Duo
Unsolicited Spring Break Review
Rock Critic Mark Prindle: The JG2Land Interview
On The Subject On John Hinckley, Jr.
Spring Break On The Planet Of The Apes
Darth Vader Searches For Luke Skywalker On Chatroulette
An Open Letter To Ed Helms And Jason Sudeikis
A Sad Gumby Would Be Almost Unbearable To Look At
Arrested In Time: The Life & Death Of Andrew Koenig
The Curse Of Turbo Man
Requiem For Bif
We’re All Gonna Get Laid: A Look Back At Caddyshack
I Don’t Know Who Aunt Barbara Is…
Ten Real-Life Batman Villains
Unsolicited Baseball: The Tenth Inning Review
This is one of those things that makes my head throb, my chest sting, and my testicles ache. Crawdaddy.com, the Internet extension of legendary rock rag Crawdaddy!, is ceasing publication on July 22. The controlling bean counters have long been displeased with C-Dad’s relatively low traffic, but instead of investing a little time, energy, and moolah to improve the situation, they just went out and bought an already proven Internet winner. Hence, the return of indie music chronicle Paste Magazine, which Crawdaddy.com will be folded into.
I’ve been contributing to Crawdaddy.com since around the time it launched in 2007. It was enormously exciting to be included in a new chapter of this storied magazine’s saga. After all, Crawdaddy! was America’s first journal of rock n’ roll criticism, a volume whose silly name belied the groundbreaking and forward-thinking writing its pages contained. William S. Burroughs and John Lennon, C! contributors from way back when, generally didn’t lend their names to crap. I can’t tell you how thrilled I felt being Geordi La Forge to their Mr. Spock and Bones McCoy, as it were (Crawdaddy! founder Paul Williams would of course be Captain James Tiberius Kirk in this goofball metaphor that doesn’t even really make sense considering the mag first returned after its initial 1979 fold in 1993; guess that makes me Quark, or maybe Seven of Nine?).
It’s not for me to say if Crawdaddy.com matched the Crawdaddy! of yesteryear, but I can say firmly and proudly that between 2007 and now we produced a mountain of engaging, thought-provoking, and emotionally charged content. I am honored to have shared space with such great scribes including but not limited to Andres Jauregui, Dan Weiss, Denise Sullivan, Howard Wyman, Allie Conti, Mark Prindle, Ryan Wasoba, and Jocelyn Hoppa. Jocelyn was actually Crawdaddy.com’s Editor-in-Chief when I joined up; she did a great job running things and I’ll be forever grateful to her for giving me a shot at a time when I had more parking tickets than published clips.
At some point back there, Jocelyn stepped down and Reviews Editor Angie Zimmerman took over as EIC. The transition was seamless, and for once I could say I had a job where the new boss was just as awesome as the old boss. How often does that happen? Approximately never.
The best part about writing for Crawdaddy.com was the freedom. Our work was only edited for grammar, spelling, and factual information. We could write anything about anything, so long as it pertained in some way to rock / pop music, and I don’t mind telling you we were paid in the neighborhood of handsomely. That was, to steal a phrase from J. Springfield, an embiggening feeling. I’ve worked for other places that pay significantly less yet watch their content like the most conservative of hawks, desperate to adhere to a certain established mold. How sharply frustrating it is to hear from an editor that you can’t write x opinion piece because it might upset the corporate dictators, or to see a colorful phrase excised from your work because some stuffed shirt deemed it “uncouth.” Dried up stinky dog shit like that never happened at Crawdaddy. In the end, you were the judge, jury, and executioner of your own work.
That luck was also our downfall. The corporate dictators never looked at Crawdaddy.com beyond the visitor statistics. They couldn’t monitor our content because they didn’t know what it was. We could have been printing pages from Mein Kampf or a 1984 Toyota Celica owner’s manual and they wouldn’t have known. They just saw we weren’t getting hits, and hits equal revenue, and what we were doing obviously “wasn’t unique” or we’d be getting more traffic than every porn site combined.
I think anyone who spent more than a few minutes perusing Crawdaddy.com, whether they liked it or not, could ascertain that we were doing something unique. It wasn’t a catalog of list-based journalism or trend-riding link bait. Obviously part of the blame here lies with The Social Network, a movie that convinced a lot of old white men that websites are only worth a damn if they can get you blown in a men’s room.
But I kid Aaron Sorkin. It’s not his fault Papa left us for someone younger with bigger
tits SEO. I guess that’s just business as usual. It’s still heartbreaking, though, because Crawdaddy! has such a rich history and recently it felt like the website was really growing and reaching more faces awash in LED glow. Now everything we did over the past four years is going to be relegated to a dusty wing of an already too-cluttered web presence. It feels like the end of Raiders, but the inevitable sequel isn’t so inevitable.
I’ll be blogging like regular over at Crawdaddy.com for the next two weeks, so keep tuning in for the requisite updates about Glenn Danzig, Axl Rose, and archaic ’90s rap groups. The motivation is faltering, but I know many of you out there are fans and appreciate the C-Dad, and that keeps me from spending my days face down in the bathtub marinating in a small pool of warm Sprite and my own filth. Thank you sincerely for your support.
Since 1996, Mark Prindle has been reviewing entire discographies of major rock artists on his website in a manner that often can only be described as patently absurd. He goes on rather lengthy unrelated tangents, sometimes assumes the viewpoint of inanimate (and often gross) objects, and tosses off non sequiturs like so much dandruff. Despite the silliness, Mark always gets his point across. He’s the most passionate reviewer working today (and when he really tears into a stinker, it’s a thing of beauty).
In recent years, Mark’s taken up interviewing musicians for his site, as well as regularly cracking wise on the FOXNews show “Red Eye.” The old boy was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to speak to me, JG2, about his beloved music review website, bands he’s misjudged in the past, and which members of Bloodrock he wants to fuck most.
JG2: Are there any bands / artists you are just never going to review on your site for personal reasons? Like, you just fuckin’ hate ’em and can’t even fathom givin’ ’em the time of day?
MARK PRINDLE: Never say never, because my musical preferences and obsessive-compulsive reasons for reviewing bands change daily. However, there’s a pretty fair chance that I will never review Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Jandek, or Elvis Costello. I say this because I went through the trouble of acquiring all four artists’ entire discographies years ago before slowly coming to the realization that I hated most of it! As such, the only record I now own by any of them is Fleetwood Mac’s excellent Rumours. And don’t be like “Dude, Tusk rules!” because Tusk has like three good songs on it.
JG2: I would never say anything positive about Tusk. Still, you don’t think it might be interesting to look at Fleetwood Mac’s disco from the perspective of someone who only likes Rumors? I mean, that description fits a significant portion of this country. You’d be relating, figuring out why the other albums didn’t connect as hard. On the other hand, I can understand how you might not want to talk about a bunch of shit you hate.
MP: I already sold all of the albums and have no intention of re-purchasing them. There are hundreds and hundreds of other “full catalogs” in my collection that I would rather spend my time on than Fleetwood Mac.
JG2: Did you have any clue the site would go on for this long? Do you foresee yourself maintaining the site / reviewing records until the day you die a penniless pauper in an East Village tenement like Bobby Driscoll?
MP: I had no idea. I actually retired from the site for a year and a half back around 1998 to concentrate on my own music, but upon discovering that nobody liked my own music, I returned to reviewing! I see myself maintaining the site until death, or until people stop reading it. I don’t know who Bobby Driscoll is, and Wikipedia is way over there.
JG2: He’s this dead guy, it doesn’t really matter. So what spurned your recent decision to begin playing music out in public again?
MP: Mostly unemployment. Also, the feeling that I could put on an entertaining and humorous show for a certain breed of music fan. And most of all, the fact that the drummer from Neutron Drivers invited me to open for his band! Musically our show was terrible, but the audience seemed to enjoy the jokes. That just spurred us on to do more MORE MORE! (i.e. two more shows).
JG2: Your review pages have received countless memorable comments over the years. What are some of the few comments that have really stuck with you? The ones from musicians you were reviewing, or normal people just going off on some shit they don’t agree with you on?
MP: [The comments] don’t stick with me. I post them and forget about them — THANK GOD. If they stuck with me, I’d cry all the time! I remember the “Hewu” comments on my Linkin Park page being pretty funny though. Also the people at the top of my PIL and U2 pages who didn’t get the stupid jokes in the opening paragraphs. And I suppose the AC/DC’s Ballbreaker comments should be mentioned if only because there are so many of them!
JG2: How many times do you listen to a record before you sit down to write the review?
MP: At least twice very closely while taking notes. Sometimes more, depending on how difficult it is to “get” the music. For example, when I review death metal, I have to listen extremely closely several times before I can totally understand what the band is doing.
JG2: Are there any artists / albums you’ve reviewed that you’ve completely changed your position on since posting a review? Who, and why?
MP: I now love the Didjits to death and wish I’d raved more in my reviews instead of complaining about the singer’s voice and how there were “too many slow songs.” I actually rewrote my Rush page years ago when I unexpectedly became a fan of the band. I can’t think of any aside from those at the moment. I even still enjoy all those old Everclear CDs! No idea what’s up with that. It happens more often with albums. Every once in a while I’ll listen to an album that I originally gave a good review, and come away thinking, “WAS I OUT OF MY MIND!?!?!” This has appened with several late-period Agnostic Front records, one of the post-Jim Morrison Doors albums….ehh, probably others. There’s no accounting for momentary poor taste, I guess.
JG2: If you were stranded on a desert island with Dick Ebersol and could only bring ONE record to smash over his head when he made the inevitable pass at you, which would it be and why?
MP: Is he gay? I could turn him straight. On the Ebersol tip, I hope that Lorne Michaels releases box sets for the “SNL” years when he wasn’t around. If he does, next up is the infamous Season Six!
JG2: What do Miley Cyrus and Otto von Bismarck have in common?
MP: My absolute lack of interest.
JG2: Has any member of Bloodrock ever contacted you to thank you for your rabid fandom?
MP: NO, the pricks! I’ve heard the singer became a ruthless businessman, so maybe he’s too busy wheeling and dealing to drop me a line. But surely Stevie Hill could send a quick hello!
JG2: If you could sleep with one member of Bloodrock, who would it be and why?
MP: Definitely one of those replacement players on the final two albums, because if any Bloodrock members have vaginas, it’s those two pussy-assed girl pansy fairy sissies.