Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Taraf de Haïdouks: The Continuing Adventures of Taraf de Haïdouks: The DVD [Crammed Discs, 2006]
If a CD comes with a DVD attached, assume I haven't watched it. I prefer music that doesn't glue me to my chair and have long since had enough of the dancing fingers and showoff fans of video convention. So this recommendation is for the "bonus CD," a more compelling version of a 2000 London concert than the one you can watch--more subtitles please, less Johnny Depp. But the DVD proves that the over-70s in this fabricated, fabulous Romanian Gypsy group have more dignity, soul and cojones than the under-50s. Youngish lothario Caliu's speed runs out of gas where ancient and now deceased leader Nicolae's deliberation keeps on coming. The guy with the grill's old-man singing is as commanding as any bluesman's. Best song is "Little Buds," a slow one--and a wild one. A-