This year we’ve compiled our “greatest hits,” including selections of the most beloved music writing from our archive—guest edited by Brittany Howard, the Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and frontwoman of the Alabama Shakes. This jam-packed issue also includes new essays on iconic Southern artists who have changed the trajectory of American music.
Rather than including a CD this year, we’ve asked guest contributors to curate a selection of playlists that limn the bounty of Southern music across genres. These are available to stream on Spotify.
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Elizabeth Wurtzel (1967– 2020) is the author of Prozac Nation, Bitch, and More, Now, Again, and of the ebook Creatocracy: How the Constitution Invented America. She was the pop music critic for New York Magazine and the New Yorker. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.
Originally published in our 1993 Music Issue
Long before any R.E.M. albums went gold or platinum, the band’s omnipresence on the college scene made them as much an oppressive force in bookworm circles as the “mainstream” music they were supposed to be an “alternative” from was to the rest of the world.