Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Pavement: Westing (by Musket and Sextant) [Drag City, 1993]
This concept CD about the limits of vinyl fetishism--23 cuts off EPs, flexidiscs, and other ephemera you may have read about or even purchased--is the ideal way to hear rather than collect their song-noise, which starts out as pissed-off speedtoons crackling through the pickup of an old GE portable and gradually gets (somewhat) bigger. Even irritating instrumental doodads like "Krell Vid-User" gain presence (aka "warmth") in digital form, and besides, if you get too irritated you can zap 'em. Pretend this is all that remains of a great art-punk band that never wert and chances are you won't want to. A-