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

All the Time in the World

Robert Christgau published a piece, All the Time in the World: The Living End in Peter Stampfel and Willie Nelson -- his 2019 Museum of Pop Culture Conerence lecture, themed around music, death, and after life -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

A Century in Four Hours and Forty Minutes

Robert Christgau published a piece, A Century in Four Hours and Forty Minutes -- a review of Peter Stampfel's 20th Century in 100 Songs -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Taste vs. judgment, the (somewhat) enduring appeal of Leon Thomas, the diminishing appeal of Green Day, reading about if not listening to Joanna Newsom, and the hymnals of Judee Sill and Todd Snider -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: April, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: April, 2021: Dispatches from the inferno as seen from Melbourne, the Twin Cities, Detroit, NYC and Prague. Plus the White Stripes ring the bell, Neil Young empties the rust bucket, and '60s blues wrecks L.A. Reviews of: . This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Root of All Evil

Robert Christgau published a piece, Root of All Evil -- a review of Ned and Constance Sublette, The American Slave Coast (2016, 754 pp) -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- On writing (or not) a history of popular music, consumer guiding (or not) the '60s (and Aretha) (and James Brown) (and the Dead), and Drake (or not). Plus organizing CDs and vinyl -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Auriculum (Ep. 5)

Robert Christgau posted a podcast, Auriculum (Ep. 5): Bob & Carola & The Art and Science of List Making, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Consumer Guide: March, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: March, 2021: Rhyme sprees from a revolutionary, a poet with laundry to do, and a compulsive veteran. Plus staccato guitar outbursts, an Arkansas bard, a South African doyenne, and losers get a glow up. Reviews of: Hayes Carll, R.A.P. Ferreira (3), The Hold Steady, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Lithics, Little Ann, Irene Mawela, Harvey McLaughlin, Gurf Morlix, Paris, Django Reinhardt. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Definitive Guide to (What May Be) Pop's Definitive Year

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Definitive Guide to (What May Be) Pop's Definitive Year -- a review of Michaelangelo Matos, Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- On writing (or not) a history of popular music, consumer guiding (or not) the '60s (and Aretha) (and James Brown) (and the Dead), and Drake (or not). Plus organizing CDs and vinyl -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Oh? OK Then.

Robert Christgau published a piece, Oh? OK Then, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Auriculum (Ep. 4)

Robert Christgau posted a podcast, Auriculum (Ep. 4): Xgau & Sheffield Trade Year-End Lists, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Consumer Guide: February, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: February, 2021: Hip-hop from an anxiety-ridden melodicist, an FDNY veteran, and an unpredictable eccentric. Plus bellowing punk protest, durable jangle-pop, solo acoustic road tales, and Gaga Gaga Gaga. Reviews of: The Beths, Jay Electronica, Justin Farren, Idles, Juice Wrld, Ka, Lady Gaga (3), Mukdad Rothenberg Lankow, Naeem, New Orleans Mambo: Cuba to Nola, Sleaford Mods, Lil Uzi Vert. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Dean's List: 2020

Robert Christgau published a piece, Dean's List: 2020, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop. The piece is archived in the Pazz & Jop section, split into essay and list.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Going underground with movies and the Velvets, saying yes to sampling and no to Sidney Bechet and the War on Drugs, and putting "Brown Sugar" out to pasture. -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: January, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: January, 2021: Music from Morocco, Senegal, Kingston (Jamaica and New York), Minneapolis, and Omaha, Nebraska. Plus rhyme as analysis and rhyme as meaning, and Taylor Swift's future Christmas classic. Reviews of: Phoebe Bridgers, Drive-By Truckers, Open Mike Eagle, Fox Green, Group Doueh & Cheveu, Guiss Guiss Bou Bess, McCarthy Trenching, Munson-Hicks Party Supplies, Sault, 75 Dollar Bill Little Big Band, Songhoy Blues, Taylor Swift, Toots and the Maytals, and Viktor Vaughn. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

PS: We did a fairly major website update today, meant to fix a lot of problems introduced by the transition to PHP 7. If you notice anything broken, please alert webmaster at this domain name. Please be specific about the URL and any error messages.

Continuing Education

Robert Christgau published a piece, Continuing Education, on Jeannie Seely. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Doing It and Doing It and Doing It Well

Robert Christgau published a piece, Doing It and Doing It and Doing It Well, on Dale Cockrell's book, Everybody's Doin' It: Sex, Music, and Dance in New York 1840-1917 This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- The art of storytelling and album covers. Also: consensus meters, epic curation, and a protest playlist -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: December, 2020

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: December, 2020, with reviews of: Backxwash (2), Bktherula, Phoebe Bridgers, Etran de l'Ar, Fontaines D.C. (2) Mickey Guyton, Clay Harper, Jon Hassell, Qwanqwa, Serengeti, Shopping, Sunny Sweeney, and Chuck Willis. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

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