Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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And It Don't Stop on Substack

Robert Christgau's newsletter And It Don't Stop appears three (or four) times a month on Substack. Subscribe here.

Robert Christgau's Big-Hearted Theory of Pop

Book Reports features reviews of not only the pop-music tomes you'd predict but also literary fiction, Marxist-adjacent cultural commentary, feminist debates over pornography, and even books about the past decade's financial crisis. It follows a collection that Christgau published last year, Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017, which includes Christgau's takes on, among many other things, classic rock, Kanye West, the music of Desert Storm, Lollapalooza, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and so-called guilty pleasures--a category that Christgau rejects, since, for rock critics, as he puts it, "pleasure is where meaning begins." Together, these collections make the sneaky case that Christgau is not just the Dean of American Rock Critics, his self-awarded and perhaps slightly off-putting nickname, but one of America's sharper public intellectuals of the past half century, and certainly one of its most influential--not to mention one of the better stylists in that cohort. Fun is a big part of why.

--David Cantwell, The New Yorker

News

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Some thoughts on Eminem, trying (and failing) to get into Neutral Milk Hotel, Chicago blues (Chess and otherwise), A+ best-of albums, pretty good live Stones, and the affordability of CDs. -- in his Substack newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: February, 2024

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: February, 2024: Eternal bebop, aesthetic force with brains, country soul from Newark, and hip-hop dreams with humanistic impulses. Plus: robot limbs, the aging alt-rock bohemia, hypnotic guitar minimalism, and more. Reviews of: Aesop Rock, Dogo du Togo, Jack Harlow, Hothouse, Millie Jackson, James Kahn, Jim Kweskin, The Mountain Goats, Meshell Ndegeocello, Nirvana, Okuté, Bill Orcutt, The Paranoid Style, Sleater-Kinney. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Dean's List: 2023

Robert Christgau published a piece, Dean's List: 2023 -- The 83 best albums of the last year (or so) -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop. The piece has been archived in the Pazz & Jop section, split into essay and list (the latter not fully linked yet).

A Duller Bang

Robert Christgau published a piece, A Duller Bang -- a review of The Rolling Stones, Hackney Diamonds (Geffen) -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Radiohead and the pitfalls of prog, an executive decision, the remarkable Ms. R, cannibalizing great songs, the uncollected Consumer Guide, and the varieties of musical experience -- in his Substack newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: January, 2024

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: January, 2024: Brisk takedowns of Tucker Carlson and Jeff Bezos alongside shoplifting advice; hip-hop with undaunted flow and hip-hop with adult anxieties; and indomitable riffing courtesy of Detroit punks. Reviews of: Bar Italia, Blondshell, Bob Vylan, Danny Brown, Hamell on Trial, PJ Harvey, Sofia Kourtesis, Memphis LK, Nicki Minaj, Native Soul, Pony, Shabazz Palaces, Todd Snider, Tyvek. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Up in the Morning and Out to School

Robert Christgau published a piece, Up in the Morning and Out to School -- a review of Dave Roche, On Subbing: The First Four Years (2004, 128 pp.) -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- An implausible hypothetical briefly considered; Taylor's rerecordings, same; PJ Harvey and the two tests; tips welcome; a jazz starter kit for toddlers; CDs welcome -- in his Substack newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: December, 2023

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: December, 2023: Dolly ranges from good fun to genius, Buck 65 ranges through the alphabet, the Feelies range through the Velvet Underground, and the Human Hearts range through simple yet well-honed melodies. Reviews of: Barbie the Album, Buck 65 (2), CMAT, Ryan Davis & the Roadhouse Band, The Feelies, The Human Hearts, Terry Klein, Megan Moroney, Azuka Moweta & Aniome Brothers Band, Homeboy Sandman, Tele Novella. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: Steely Dan, 1995

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Steely Dan, 1995 -- "Not Alone With Steely Dan," The Village Voice, November 15, 1995 -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: Steely Dan, 1974

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Steely Dan, 1974 -- "Steely Dan's Boogie Has Its Own Boom," Newsday, April 14, 1974 -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Steely Dan's Long Strange Trip

Robert Christgau published a piece, Steely Dan's Long Strange Trip -- Alex Pappademas and Joan LeMay, Quantum Criminals: Ramblers, Wild Gamblers, and Other Sole Survivors From the Songs of Steely Dan (2023, 268 pp.) -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Therapy, the Vandellas vs. the Supremes vs. the Marvelettes, Wilco (The Reviews), the listening method, the Kennedys then and now, and Pazz & Jop motivations. -- in his Substack newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: November, 2023

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: November, 2023: Sixteen unfaltering songs from a Navy vet; painful honesty from Indonesia; electronic textures and beats with occasional choruses; and songs of global warming and the rich getting richer. Reviews of: Bombino, Zach Bryan (3), DJ Shadow, The Front Bottoms, Grrrl Gang, Horse Lords, Lil Wayne, R. Ring, A. Savage, Hemlocke Springs, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Class Origins of '50s Rock and Roll

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: The Class Origins of '50s Rock and Roll -- A presentation from the 2011 EMP Pop Conference -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

A Farewell Playlist

Robert Christgau published a piece, A Farewell Playlist -- Music to accompany two days of mourning and celebration -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Sinead's voice, Chinese novels, Placebo and the ecstasy of influence, the squall of Johnny Thunders, radio days, Spofity's Roganomics. -- in his Substack newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: October, 2023

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: October, 2023: Two country singers searching for connection in different ways, democratic-socialist folk-rock agitprop grab bag, and a singer/songwriter/bandleader relearning and reclaiming her undeniable gifts. Reviews of: Armand Hammer, Chai, Tyler Childers (2), The Fugs, The Hives, Malcolm Holcombe, Low Cut Connie, The Moldy Peaches, Willie Nelson, Parchman Prison Prayer, Ed Sanders, Lucinda Williams, Bailey Zimmerman. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Unhappy news, the one-man campaign to render "Mr. Lee" a recognized classic, working with the State Department, McCartney (not Paulie), genius and generations, whining from down under. -- in his Substack newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Hanging in There Till the Living End

Robert Christgau published a piece, Hanging in There Till the Living End -- Joy Harvey, 1943-2023 -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

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