Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot: "Should We Separate the Art from the Artist?"

On Thursday, July 11th at 7 PM, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library (500 N. Dunton Avenue in Arlington Heights) presents Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot from WBEZ's Sound Opinions as they examine the music world through a lens of #MeToo. Since fall 2017, #MeToo has shined a spotlight on sexual harassment and assault in many aspects of American culture, including Hollywood, media and politics, where powerful men have fallen rapidly. However, the music world had lagged behind up until now. The Book Stall will have books from both speakers available for sale at the library. 

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested--you can do so here

R.Kelly, Michael Jackson and Ryan Adams have all recently had allegations about sexual misconduct and abuse linked to their names. And there is a long, troubling history of groupie culture stretching from Elvis to Led Zeppelin to the present. The Music Industry is finally experiencing its #MeToo moment!

As journalists and members of academia, DeRogatis and Kot, are free-speech absolutists, yet they examine the issue with an even bigger question. What is our responsibility if we enjoy – or fail to speak out about – the troubling themes in an artist’s work? If we revel in Woody Allen’s films or Louis C.K.’s comedy, are we muting the women who have told harrowing tales about these men? As fans and critics, can we really separate the art from the artist? And, perhaps more importantly: Should we? 

Jim DeRogatis is an associate professor of instruction at Columbia College Chicago and the host, with Greg Kot, of the nationally syndicated public radio show Sound Opinions. The author of Let it Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs and other books, he spent 15 years as the pop music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in Chicago.  His newest book is Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly. 

"More than a straight-forward account of Kelly's wrongdoing ... Soulless offers a dogged combination of biography, investigative reporting, and cultural criticism. ... As much as Soulless is an account of Kelly's misbehavior, it's a finger firmly pointed in the direction of the people and institutions that enabled, and even encouraged, him."--Pitchfork

Greg Kot has been the music critic at the Chicago Tribune since 1990. Kot is co-host of the nationally syndicated public radio program Sound Opinions, and the author of several books, including Wilco: Learning How to Die; and Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music. He lives in Chicago. His newest book is I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom's Highway .

"Emotional honesty resonates throughout I'll Take You There. Kot provides an unflinching look into the Stapleses' struggles to maintain their spiritual and artistic integrity...I'll Take You There is a biography that's well worth the heavenly journey."--NPR


Event date: 

Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Event address: 

Arlington Heights Memorial Library
500 N. Dunton Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419740077
Availability: Not on hand, usually available within 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - June 4th, 2019

I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the Music That Shaped the Civil Rights Era Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451647860
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Scribner - November 4th, 2014

“A biography that will send readers back to the music of Mavis and the Staple Singers with deepened appreciation and a renewed spirit of discovery” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—from the acclaimed music journalist and author featured prominently in the new HBO documentary Mavis!

This is the untold story of living legend Mavis Staples—lead singer of t