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An Interview With Me from 2013 by GodIsInTheTV Zine

Neil Kulkarni is well-known (but don’t call him (in)famous) as a straight-writing music and culture critic, with caustically acerbic opinions on nearly every aspect of postmodern Britain. We tested Kulkarni’s patience, taking in subjects such as UK race-relations, his hometown Coventry and the demise of the Melody Maker (spoiler alert: if you object to the word ‘C*nt’, do not read this article).

In your capacity as a music critic, you are known for your intolerance of reviews you see as ‘boring’. What’s your criteria for boring or engaging?

“Well, that doesn’t come from any ‘capacity as a music critic’ at all; it comes from being a reader and a listener first and foremost. When I wrote that blog about the NME I was totally shocked, (as I’m always genuinely surprised that anyone, particularly successful writers, give a toss what this old knacker writes) by people’s shock – this idea that critics shouldn’t criticize other’s writing but that was exactly how I started out in this malarkey,…

My Crisps Journey: 10 Packets Of Crisps That Have Stayed With Me

Although a guilty participant myself, like many I realised fairly quickly what the 'Pick 10 Albums That Stayed With You' thang on Facebook started becoming - a chance, like all lists, to prove the unimpeachably eclectic taste of the participant rather than actually reveal anything. It was the social-media equivalent of putting all your COOLEST albums at the front of your racks/on your record-player before going out of an evening (in the ridiculous hope that should you pull, whoever you'd managed to get back to yours would see the devestating width, breadth and intrigue of your records and immediately fall hard for you).

Music is way too diffuse and myriad to have these tricks of selective memory perform anything other than that kind of self-promotional role. I found myself eliminating so much, and including stuff I loved but that barely 'stayed' with me if only to tick off equality/diversity boxes. Music is so loaded with resonances, political, social, racial, sex…

Air Waves - 'Warrior' (Bandcamp/Western Vinyl)

Oh lord, this album just gets me.

I keep coming back to a line I wrote a lifetime ago: "Indie is four people getting together wanting to create something sublime and immortal having had their lives swallowed by pop and needing to do the same, surveying the infinite possibilities and deciding three guitars some drums and some good songs will just about do".

I wrote that line a lifetime ago when I was 21. Although couched in somewhat radgey phraseology what I was agitating for, set alight by the music going on in the margins of 1994, was actually something strangely hopeful, a modern pop that sounded modern and that sounded like modern life. In the dismal flag-waving retrograde depths of Britpop such a hope felt daft, impossible, and consequently the only hope worth having. NOW, my god, guitars, drums and some good songs is more than enough - it's so RARE though, finding an indie band whose motivation I can't question. Motivation is so key to music, and when it's …