Pop & Hiss

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Ryan Adams reacts to Times review

December 6, 2008 |  9:24 pm

On Friday, Pop & Hiss published a review of Thursday night's Oasis concert at the Staples Center, a piece of criticism that has since elicited a response from opener Ryan Adams, who played that night with his backing band, the Cardinals. Reviewer Mikael Wood praised Adams' recent "Cardinology," but a comment later in Wood's review hit Adams the wrong way, and prompted the artist to respond with a post on his blog.

Here's the portion of the review that concerns Adams, as well as the musician's response to it. First, the review:

Opening the show with his sturdy alt-country backing band the Cardinals, Ryan Adams tried to work a similar mixture of antagonism and affection. Here's another darn sunshiney anthem, he said (in slightly more colorful language) before playing "Go Easy," a typically melancholy cut from this year's fine "Cardinology."

Apparently irritated by the audience's reluctance to receive his music with the hushed reverence it deserves, Adams retreated to sarcasm (not to mention bizarre, possibly booze-fueled ruminations on Jethro Tull and "the tyranny and horrors of math"). As Thursday's headliners demonstrated, though, that's a weapon that requires experience to handle.

Adams was none too pleased with the phrase "possibly booze-fueled," as the artist makes clear that he is now sober, and struggled with substance abuse for 10 years.

Adams writes in a post titled "LA TIMES--Apologize for YOUR REMARK" (the spacing is copied from Adams' post):

I want to stand in the light and even if, even if in the review of OASIS you did not like the music I make as part of a band, you can say that.

but you cannot have my sobriety.

it is MINE and the gift i choose to give to my friends first,

the fans of my and OUR music,


to any kid or adult lost somewhere too, that look, me too, me too,

But the standing here and standing up is the work.

Please remove your comments or apologize for inferring myself or my band members were on substances.

Because you were wrong.

You were every very wrong to take that from us.

As a journalist you don’t have to know the life story of a person.

but in this case,

you were wrong.

Take it back, LA TIMES journalist (if you haven’t already)

Ryan Adams

Here is the Times' review of "Cardinology."

-- Todd Martens

Photo credit: Getty Images