Since 1990, Kot has been the music critic at the Chicago Tribune, where he has comprehensively covered popular music --- from hip-hop to rock en espanol --- and reported on music-related social, political and business issues (see his daily blog, Turn it Up, at the Web site).

With Jim DeRogatis, Kot cohosts Sound Opinions, "the world's only rock 'n' roll talk show," on national public radio. The show has a worldwide audience via its Web site,, and is nationally syndicated through its home base at Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ-FM 91.5. The show’s guests have included Radiohead, Yoko Ono, Arcade Fire, Peter Bogdanovich, Mission of Burma, Tom Petty, Anthony Bordain, Laurie Anderson, Jon Brion, John Cale, the Strokes and Cameron Crowe.

Kot’s books include Wilco, “Learning How to Die” (Broadway Books), “Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music,” (Scribner) and the forthcoming “I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers and the March up Freedom’s Highway” (Scribner). He also coauthored “The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Rivalry” (Voyageur Press) with DeRogatis.

His music criticism and journalism also has appeared in Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Cash: By the Editors of Rolling Stone,” "Harrison: A Rolling Stone tribute to George Harrison," "The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock" and "The Rolling Stone Album Guide."

A longtime contributor to Rolling Stone, Kot has written for a dozen national publications, including Details, Blender, Entertainment Weekly, Men's Journal, Guitar World, Vibe and Request. He blames Ira Robbins, Jack Rabid and Greil Marcus for his lifelong obsession with music and music-writing.

In his spare time, Kot is a youth basketball coach, and is proud to say that both his daughters survived his coaching and went on to lead happy and productive lives (so far, at least). He and his partners operate Over the Edge, a travel-team program based in Chicago that prepares grade-school athletes to compete at a high school level with an emphasis on the game’s fundamentals. For more information, visit With his fellow Over the Edge coach Keith Miniscalco, Kot is coauthor of “Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball” (Human Kinetics).

Kot has lived on Chicago's Northwest Side through numerous character-building winters with his wife, Deb, two daughters and far too many records.
© 2014