Although she stopped writing about music in the early 1980s, Ellen Willis was an influential rock critic. The first popular music critic ever hired by The New Yorker, Willis provided a feminist perspective on the male-dominated world of rock. Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music (University of Minnesota Press) collects Willis’ columns and articles from the late ’60s and early ’70s, a time when many of us thought rock mattered. The volume is edited and introduced by Willis’ daughter, Nona Willis Aronowitz. Willis, who died in 2006, had a million opinions on the live and recorded works of the rock gods, including Minnesota native Bob Dylan. It’s a fun and edifying read. — M.S.
(American Jewish World, 9.30.11)