About Charlie Bertsch

Charlie Bertsch is Zeek's Music Editor. Previously, he was Music Editor at Tikkun. His work has appeared in The Oxford American, Punk Planet, the New Times weeklies and other publications, including the pioneering internet publication Bad Subjects: Political Education For Everyday Life, which he helped to found back in 1993. He has taught literature, film and cultural theory at the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. At present, he is working on two book projects, one that considers the fate of cultural criticism in the era of social networking and another that examines the "documentary impulse" in film and literature since Modernism.

High Fidelity

By September 12, 2009

"And the Glitter Is Gone", the final track on Yo La Tengo’s rewarding new album Popular Songs, opens with a fade-in, gradually immersing the listener in the pools and eddies of a groove whose source lies somewhere upstream. For someone … Read More

History Rewritten With Lightning

By September 4, 2009

There are scenes in Quentin Tarentino’s new film Inglourious Basterds sure to make your heart race. The film opens with a tour-de-force of tension, in which SS Colonel Hans Landa, superbly played by Christoph Waltz, interrogates a dairy farmer suspected … Read More

Love Lessons

By August 17, 2009

Projects like Open Strings are difficult to review. I have been listening to this double album, the latest release from Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn’s Honest Jon’s label, for twelve hours a day since it arrived in the mail … Read More

Copy Right, Copy Left, Copy Central

By August 7, 2009

It’s getting harder and harder to discuss any aspect of contemporary culture without explicitly considering its means of distribution. Whether your topic is film, literature or music, the massive changes brought about by over a century’s worth of technological innovations … Read More

Prog is Not A Four Letter Word

By August 3, 2009

When word that Brooklyn indie-rock stalwarts Oneida were planning to release a triple album as the second installment in a triptych of LPs, members of their devoted fan base rejoiced. But the announcement also excited interest in circles where the … Read More

Tastefully Mixed Down?

By July 17, 2009

Because Beyond the Pale’s impressive new album Postcards comes with no liner notes, no explanation of where the music comes from, it invites listeners to find out for themselves. But that is not an easy task. Some tracks, like the … Read More

The Burden of Light

By July 10, 2009

Publicity cuts both ways. With the help of a smart press pack and a persistent publicist, a musician who defies categorization can inspire the creation of a new category. But success of that sort can be heavy load to bear. … Read More

That Noise in the Background

By July 3, 2009

Maybe you’re in a crowded restaurant, deep in conversation, when you gradually start to realize that there’s a song you like penetrating the din. Or you’re browsing at the mall to a piped-in soundtrack that refuses to be consigned to … Read More