To the editors:

In this age of disgusting Yuppie materialism and New Age inward selfishness, it is especially refreshing to enjoy the music of the self-avowed “knee jerk anarchist,” Michelle Shocked. It is also refreshing to read Roger Moore’s articulate analysis of Shocked’s dynamic LPs and live performance. (“The Shocked agenda: bringing the revolution back home,” Reader, March 24, 1989)

I’ve read just about everything that’s been published about Shocked, and Moore’s piece far outshines the usual superficial success story bios printed in publications such as People or Time magazine. Moore has put Shocked into sharp focus while avoiding the temptation (which I’m sure he felt) to idealize and idolize.

By emphasizing the political nature of her music while acknowledging the simple but powerful folk stylings she relies on, Moore provided a well-rounded and in-depth portrait of the artist as a young woman.

Precisely for the reasons cited in his article, we named Michelle Shocked as the best new artist of 1988. And I’m sure Moore would join us in predicting that, barring a rift with her record company or a foray back into the Underground, she will emerge as one of the most influential singers of the 1990s.

Russ Tarby

Music Editor

Syracuse New Times

Syracuse, New York