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 -- Generalizations too vast to swear by, instrumentals worth hearing, the algorithm vs. the people, and Frank Zappa vs. George Clinton -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

By the way, also added a note on Robert Quine from 2004.

The Big Lookback: Biz Markie

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Biz Markie -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Consumer Guide: July, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: July, 2021: Underwear-clad quarantine broadcasts, bouncy Sleater-Kinney, mood music for a time of perpetual disquiet, and Cobain variations. Plus: strong women on love, cheerleaders and the men who rule the world Reviews of: This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Rolling Stones

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: The Rolling Stones -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Combating the Sound of Whiteness

Robert Christgau published a piece, Combating the Sound of Whiteness, a review of articles by Amanda Petrusich and Geoff Mann on country music and its "overwhelming whiteness," as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- lousy (or not) Stones albums, world champion Beatles albums, some musical geniuses, some upbeat albums, and whither rock & roll? Plus: the story of 1974's Consumer Guide to America's Yogurts -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: June, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: June, 2021: Seeing the light with Loretta Lynn, driving with Olivia Rodrigo, mourning cats with Dry Cleaning, and wrapping your troubles in Lou Reed's dreams. Plus: sounds from Ghana, Japan, Norway, and Chicago. Reviews of: Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, Chai, J. Cole, Dry Cleaning, Girl in Red, Loretta Lynn, Vic Mensa, Mdou Moctar, Olivia Rodrigo, Spillage Village, Wau Wau Collectif, What Goes On: The Songs of Lou Reed. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: Joy of Cooking

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Joy of Cooking -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Book of Books, Rockcrit and Musicology Division

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Joy of Cooking -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Some thoughts on dolts (or not), the Smart Monkee, rock bios, the greatest albums of the '90s (not ranked) and the best novels of the 21st century (ranked). Plus: In every dream life a headache -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: May, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: May, 2021: The gospel from an Atlanta rap collective, hummable hooks from LDR, free flowing zingers from a well-read alt rhymer, and powerhouse vocals from the Sahara via the Hudson Valley. Reviews of: Anti-Flag, Khaira Arby, Carsie Blanton, Blue Muse, Lana Del Rey, For the Good Times: The Songs of Kris Kristofferson, Milo, No-No Boy, Nostrum Grocers, Todd Snider, Spillage Village, Too Much Joy. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

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: Tamar Aphek, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Eminem, Joe Fahey, Girl in Red, Felix Hatfield, If I Have to Wreck L.A., Adeena Karasick/Frank London, Gary Lucas, Mike, The Plastic People of the Universe, Dua Saleh, The White Stripes, Neil Young With Crazy Horse. 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.

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