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

Consumer Guide: January, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: January, 2022: A 29 year old starts again, an 80 year old comes alive, and a "Marque Moon" cover from two guys separated by 37 years. Plus songs from Georgia, Timbuktu, Congo, Nashville, and the Velvet Underground. Reviews of: BaianaSystem, Chuck Berry, Precious Bryant, Anansy Cissť, Combo Lulu, McKinley Dixon, I'll Be Your Mirror, Ka, Kasai Allstars, the Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band, Carly Pearce, Allen Ravenstine, Peter Stampfel and the Dysfunctionells, Morgan Wade. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: Chuck D All Over the Map

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, Chuck D All Over the Map -- From the Oct. 22, 1991, Village Voice, when Greg Tate and Robert Christgau interviewed Chuck D -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Life at 400 Heartbeats Per Minute

Robert Christgau published a piece, Life at 400 Heartbeats Per Minute, a review of Paul Reddish (writer-director); David Attenborough (narrator), Hummingbirds: Jewelled Messengers" (2012), as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- A Wikipedia shout out, the alt-right assault on election workers and school-board members, desert-island Miles, fondness for ABBA revealed, the serial comma defended, and a brief history of rhyme -- in his Substack newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

In addition to his brief note on the late Greg Tate in the December Consumer Guide, Christgau published further notes on Tate in two recent multi-part tributes, at BookForum and NPR. They are archived here and here.

Consumer Guide: December, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: December, 2021: Protest music then & now, decency with slightly sour pitch, politics not charity, hip-hop that's flying and grounded, Xmas song greatness, pandemic anomie, and Greg Tate's Arkestra goes for Miles. Reviews of: Vietnam Through the Eyes of Black America (3), Courtney Barnett, Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber, Bushido, Gift of Gab, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Lori McKenna, Palberta, Parquet Courts, Emily Scott Robinson, Tierra Whack, Neil Young & Crazy Horse. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Three Roches Crack Wise

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, The Three Roches Crack Wise -- From the Feb. 20, 1978, Village Voice: Carola Dibbell on the Roches live at Kenny's Castaways -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Like Pops Never Happened: A Fortysomething's History of Music

Robert Christgau published a piece, Like Pops Never Happened: A Fortysomething's History of Music, a review of Kelefa Sanneh's book Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- The UC Davis writers' enclave, baseball movies worth a swing, respecting the Dead, Virgil Thompson and Harold Bloom vs. the hoi polloi, the plot against democracy, and underestimating evil -- And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: November, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: November, 2021: Songs about God, scrumptious pussy, climate change, pool hopping your way to love, living paycheck to paycheck, and buying this and that but wanting flowers from outer space. Reviews of: Asleep at the Wheel, BKtherula, Hayes Carll, Illuminati Hotties, Ada Lea, Mereba, Kacey Musgraves, Onetwothree, Ready or Not, The Rough Guide to Spiritual Blues, Sacred Soul of North Carolina, Swan Silvertones, Dean Wareham. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Faster Miles an Hour Who Knows Where

Robert Christgau published a piece, Faster Miles an Hour Who Knows Where, a review of Joshua Clover's book Roadrunner, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Rolling Stones

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, The Rolling Stones -- From Blender, a review of the Stones at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Connecticut August 26, 2005 -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Once more unto the mongering, the Stones sans Charlie, baseball avec sabermetrics, grading the second Velvets albums, appropriation vs. appreciation, Billie Eilish vs. Al Green -- And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: October, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: October, 2021: Songwriters from Austin, Chattanooga, and Nashville. Rappers from London by way of Nigeria and Belgium by way of the Congo. Also: a worldly sophisticate, a genuine adult, and a Wolf who howls. Reviews of: Thomas Anderson, Baloji, Nathan Bell, The Contraptionists, Dave (2), Mickey Guyton, Lil Nas X, Sho Madjoi, Man on Man, John R. Miller, Homeboy Sandman, Kalie Shorr, Howlin' Wolf. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Yankees Learn to Lose

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, The Yankees Learn to Lose -- As a topsy-turvy, streaky season draws to a close (or does it?) some thoughts on this year's Yankees and the Yankees of 47 years ago -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Avoiding Wet-Bulb 35C

Robert Christgau published a piece, Avoiding Wet-Bulb 35C, a review of Kim Stanley Robinson's book The Ministry for the Future, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Favorite vs. Best vs. Whatever

Robert Christgau published a piece, Favorite vs. Best vs. Whatever -- Ballots for Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs poll and some thoughts on precious dollops of pleasure -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- The rock-critic economy, rumba reading, not sucking in your 70s, Van the Prick, and the meaning of meaning-mongering -- And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

The Big Lookback: Ghost Dance

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, Ghost Dance -- The struggle to make sense of how things felt--and sounded--20 years ago -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Consumer Guide: September, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: September, 2021: A decade worth of New Jersey indie rock, Tune-Yards' very best, erotic engagement and ennui from the '20s (the 1920s, that is), and Lucy Dacus's verbally and musically detailed religious apostasy. Reviews of: Adult Mom, Leroy Carr, Lucy Dacus, The Front Bottoms (5), Dylan Hicks Tommy James & the Shondells, James McMurtry, More Girl Group Greats, Sztu, Tune-Yards. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: Little Records With Big Holes

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, Little Records With Big Holes -- A 1971 piece on singles from Tommy James, Jean Knight and Freda Payne, the joys of AM radio and the dark forces of shlock-rock -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

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