Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-03-19


The Cannanes: Small Batch EP (Exro.FM EP, 2013) Diehard Australian dream-poppers so wispy I still doubt they can sustain anything longer, although I might check out the right best-of ("Tiny Compartment," "Bumper") **

David Greenberger & Ralph Carney: Oh, Pa (Pel Pel, 2012) Starring 75-year-old smoker and verbal gymnast Fergie, with everybody else a sideshow ("The Fergie and David Show: The Meaning of Embarrassment," "Fergie's Gilligan's Island," "Reason to Get Up," "The Fergie & David Show: A Recording Session") *

Michael Koppy: Ashmore's Store (Good Track, 2012) Inserted in a 112-page minibook and constructed around a seven-section, 27-minute song that was once twice as long, 62-year-old's legacy statement gets an A for Ambition and a C for Corn ("All in the Timing: A Hollywood Romance in Seven Chapters," "Nineteen Years Old") *

Gurf Morlix: Finds the Present Tense (Rootball, 2013) Lucinda's ex-guitarist "wallow[s] in 'em all night long" and wrote the one about "guns in schools" long before it had a news hook ("My Life's Been Taken," "Bang Bang Bang") **

Willie Nelson: Remember Me, Vol. 1 (R&J, 2011) Great singer renders great songs with 80 to 90 percent of the professionalism his 78 years have imbued ("Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! [That Cigarette]," "Satisfied Mind") **

Aaron Neville: My True Story (Blue Note, 2013) Doowop neoclassicism so loving and exquisite it lacks but one crucial virtue--innocence ("My True Story," "Ting a Ling") ***

Pere Ubu: Lady From Shanghai (Fire, 2013) Steals a hook from Anita Ward before resuming his previously announced program of "Smash the Hegemony of Dance/Stand Still" ("Thanks," "Musicians Are Scum") **

Peter Stampfel & the Ether Frolic Mob: The Sound of America (Red Newt, 2013) Old coots sit around their virtual porches reinventing the hootenanny, young folks step up ("Shake It Break It," "Deep in the Heart of Texas") **

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