Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2011-03-04

2011-03-04

Les Savy Fav: Root for Ruin (Frenchkiss, 2010) Root as in cheer and root as in stick your snout in the mud, and though I wish their vision of apocalypse had more finance and less earthquake in it, maybe the protagonists of the lead "Appetites" cover that option. The reason you'll care is that these guys came to understand how much Fugazi would be improved by songcraft and also how to provide same. The reason you may not care all that much is that the songs do cheer ruin on. "Excess Energies," which depicts a scenemaker's progress from fake ID to broke 35 and beyond, feels more autobiographical than it probably is. "Lips 'n Stuff" celebrates and dissects the friends-with-benefits trap. A-

Low Cut Connie: Get Out the Lotion (lowcutconnie.com, 2011) The anthem here is "Shit Shower & Shave," in which scuzzballing Adam Weiner explains how "cleanliness is godliness" for a guy embarking on his quest for nocturnal emission, especially if he aspires to better than the handjob-for-hire of the album title. Less mannered here than on his pseudo-doowop project Ladyfingers (lady fingers? do we detect a fetish?), Philadelphian Weiner and some Brits with nothing better to do churn out a resolute rock and roll whose joyless momentum and stubborn little tunes will tell you more than you want to know about the pursuit of pleasure in America's deader downtowns and strip malls. My guess is that he romanticizes this pursuit some, perhaps because he believes the alternatives are measurably worse. You don't have to share his cynical sentiments. But there's a bitter pleasure in hearing his point. A-

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