Episode 9: Jessica Hopper

Host Rachel Yoder talks with music critic Jessica Hopper and author Alissa Nutting about everything from productive stalking and self doubt to parenting as a writer and early failed forays in poetry.

JESSICA HOPPER is a music and culture critic based in Chicago. Her work has been included in Best Music Writing 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011. Her book, The Girls Guide to Rocking, was named one of 2009’s Notable Books for Young Readers by the American Library Association. Her latest book, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim.

With this premiere volume, spanning from her punk fanzine roots to her landmark piece on R. Kelly’s past, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic leaves no doubt why the New York Times has called Hopper’s work “influential.” Not merely a selection of two decades of Hopper’s most engaging, thoughtful and humorous writing, this book serves as a document of the last 20 years of American music making and the shifting landscape of music consumption. Through this vast range of album reviews, essays, columns, interviews, and oral histories, Hopper chronicles what it is to be truly obsessed with music, the ideas in songs and albums, how fantasies of artists become complicated by real life, and just what happens when you follow that obsession into muddy festival fields, dank basements, corporate offices or court records.

Rachel