San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic Joel Selvin is the last of the great rock 'n' roll newspapermen. Streetwise and knowledgeable, he's been around the block with the best of 'em. His new collection, Smart Ass: The Music Journalism of Joel Selvin, is the perfect history for any lover of the glorious sounds of the mid to late 20th century. He has a knack for nailing truths in few words with wit and edge. “She remains the bright, snappy wise guy she always has been,” he wrote of Bonnie Raitt in 1994. His Northern California beat reportage covers everyone from Bill Graham to Merle Haggard, from Creedence to the Dead, and extends in time from Eddie Cochran to Metallica. His blues and soul columns are among the best — even his writing chops got the blues. Dig his tribute to the late guitar god Mike Bloomfield or his empathetic, insider's story about the tragic life of Sugar Pie De Santo. Selvin will read and answer questions tonight.

Thu., March 31, 7 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly