There’s a lot of crappy things written about music. We try and sort through the muck and pick out our favorite pieces you should check out throughout the week. In this week’s Best Music Writing, amazing features on Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, Kate Nash, Juan Gabriel, Christine and the Queens and Nick Cave are included.
Obituary: Juan Gabriel, Mexico’s mirror – Ann Wroe, The Economist
The Economist is the absolute best at churning out high-level obituaries and Ann Wroe doesn’t falter when discussing the significance of Juan Gabriel here. I didn’t know the man’s music but after seeing bouquets of flowers surround his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after his death, this was as great an explanation on what made him Mexico’s greatest pop star as you’ll find anywhere.
Laura Jane Grace: A Trans Punk Rocker’s Fight to Rebuild Her Life – Alex Morris, Rolling Stone
An incredible feature that opens your eyes to just how much of a struggle the Against Me! singer has gone through ever since undergoing her transition from male to female. Probably the best thing I’ve read from Rolling Stone all year.
Christine and the Queens: ‘I just want to shatter everything’ – Laura Snapes, The Guardian
One surprise this festival season was Christine and the Queens after seeing her exceptional live show at Governors Ball. I had hardly ever seen a pop show quite like it. She owned the stage while also utilizing a talented all-male dance troupe. This feature is a great introduction to Heloise Letissier, the woman behind the alter ego Christine and the Queens. Not surprisingly, Letissier faced lots of misogyny in the very traditional confines of France.
Cracked Foundations: What happened to Kate Nash? – Tom Rasmussen, Noisey
When I first saw Kate Nash live the week before I later saw her at Coachella in 2014, one thought stood out. Kate Nash is a bad ass. The girl that brought peppy but cheeky pop ballads as a teenager had transformed into something much more punk rock. This story sheds light on how that change didn’t go over well with her label, prompting them to drop her when she didn’t fit into the box they wanted her to anymore. Nash is one of the most devastatingly honest songwriters and people in music and this feature captures that perfectly. What makes this feature especially entertaining is the writer’s personal connection with Nash’s music.
This is fucking difficult: Nick Cave’s One More Time With Feeling – Alex Lee Thomson, Line of Best Fit
This takes a look at the heartbreaking documentary behind the making of Nick Cave’s 16th-studio album One More Time With Feeling, out today. The album follows the tragic death of Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur, which makes it an understandably tough watch. This is a great read on what makes this documentary so compelling and how it makes Cave as human as he’s ever seemed.