Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Robert Christgau's Going Into the City

News

Expert Witness: Enjoy, However Bad This Shit Gets

New in Expert Witness:

  • M.I.A.: AIM (Interscope) A
  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: This Unruly Mess I've Made (self-released) A-
  • Yoni & Geli: Testarossa (Joyful Noise) B+

Also added to the website: Sandra Newman's novel, The Country of Ice Cream Star (July 2015).

Expert Witness: Frank Ocean's Candidness and the Ambitious Blood Orange

New in Expert Witness:

  • Blood Orange: Freetown (Domino) A-
  • Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe (Domino) B+
  • Frank Ocean: Blond/Blonde (self-released) B+
Expert Witness: 'Prima Donna' and Young Thug's Name Is Actually Jeffery

New in Expert Witness:

  • Vince Staples: Prima Donna (Def Jam) A-
  • Young Thug: Jeffery (300/Atlantic) A-
  • Young Thug: Slime Season 3 (300/Atlantic) **
  • Young Thug: I'm Up (300/Atlantic) **
  • Rae Sremmurd: SremmLife 2 (Eardrum/Interscope) *
Expert Witness: It's Britney, Bitch

New in Expert Witness:

  • Britney Spears: Glory (Deluxe Edition) (RCA) A-
  • Tegan and Sara: Love You to Death (Warner Bros.) A-
  • Bibi Bourelly: Free the Real (Pt. #1) (Circa 13/Def Jam) **
  • Ravyn Lenae: Moon Shoes (Atlantic) (Atlantic) **
  • Empress Of: Me (Terrible) *
  • Tegan and Sara: Heartthrob (Warner Bros.) *
Expert Witness: Ethiopian Jazz and Other Stuff You've Never Heard Of

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Rough Guide to Ethiopian Jazz (World Music Network) A-
  • Joi Sound System: Joi Sound System (RealWorld) B+
  • Khun Narin Electric Phin Band: II (Innovative Leisure) **
  • Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, and the Rajasthan Express: Junun (Nonesuch) *
Expert Witness: Exchange Rates and Record Crates

New in Expert Witness:

  • Mestre Cupijó e Seu Ritmo: Siriá (Analog Africa) A-
  • Senegambia Rebel (Voodoo Rebel) A-
  • Sonido Gallo Negro: Sendero Mistico (Glitterbeat) **
  • Son Palenque: Afro-Colombian Sound Modernizers (Vampi Soul) **
Expert Witness: The World Is a Setup

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Paranoid Style: Rolling Disclosure (Bar/None) A-
  • Pylon: Live (Chunklet) B+
  • Pet Shop Boys: Super (Kobalt) **
  • The Dandy Warhols: This Machine (The End) **
  • Garbage: Strange Little Birds (Vagrant) *
  • The Dandy Warhols: Distortland (Dine Alone) *

Robert Christgau and Carola Dibbell will be at the Queens Book Festival on Sunday, August 7, at Kaufman Studios, Astoria (R train to Astoria):

  • Carola will be on a panel at 12 PM called "Expanding the Landscape of Fantasy and YA Imagination" with Daniel Jose Older and Andrew J Peters, moderated by Dominique Taylor -- Panel 2 on the YA stage

  • Bob will be on a panel at 1 PM called "Memoirs and the New York Scene" with graffiti artist Louie "KR.ONE" Gasparro -- Panel 3 at Queens Literary Salon.

By the way, the website has been updated, with all EW reviews up through July 2016 added to the CG database, other recent articles (subject to negotiated timelock delays), and some old stuff that Scott Manzler transcribed and sent in (see What's New. Archival material largely depends on fans doing the digging, so thanks again.

Expert Witness: A Lori McKenna Special

New in Expert Witness:

  • Lori McKenna: The Bird & the Rifle (CN/Thirty Tigers '16) A-
  • Lori McKenna: Lorraine (lorimckenna.com '11) A-
  • Lori McKenna: Massachusetts (Liz Rose Music '13) B+
  • Lori McKenna: Bittertown (Signature Sounds '04) ***
  • Lori McKenna: Numbered Doors (Liz Rose Music '14) **
  • Lori McKenna: Heart Shaped Bullet Hole (self-released '12) *

Also new at BN Review:

Expert Witness: Alt-Country for Punks

New in Expert Witness:

  • Leland Sundries: Music for Outcasts (L'Echiquier) A-
  • Walter Salas-Humara: Explodes and Disappears (Sonic Pyramid) B+
  • Blake Mills: Heigh Ho (Verve) ***
  • The Kropotkins: Portents of Love (Mulatta) ***
  • Corb Lund: Things That Can't Be Undone (New West) **
  • The Two-Gentleman Band: Two at a Time (Bean-Town) **
  • The Rough Guide to Americana (World Music Network) **
  • Blake Mills: Break Mirrors (I) *
  • The Yawpers: American Man (Bloodshot) *
Expert Witness: Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, Clams Casino, and Growing Up

New in Expert Witness:

  • Vic Mensa: There's Alot Going On (self-released) A-
  • Joey Purp: iiiDrops (self-released) A-
  • Vic Mensa: Innanetape (self-released) ***
  • DJ Shadow: The Mountain Will Fall (Mass Appeal) ***
  • Clams Casino: 32 Levels (Columbia) **
Expert Witness: Car Seat Headrest, the Julie Ruin, and Drugs

New in Expert Witness:

  • Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial (Matador) A
  • The Julie Ruin: Hit Reset (Hardly Art) A-
  • Tame Impala: Currents (Interscope) **
  • Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Style (Matador) **
  • Big Thief: Masterpiece (Saddle Creek) *
Expert Witness: Tall Tales and Big Country

New in Expert Witness:

  • Brandy Clark: Big Day in a Small Town (Warner Bros) A-
  • Carrie Underwood: Storyteller (Arista) A-
  • Eric Church: Mr. Misunderstood (EMI Nashville) ***
  • Carrie Underwood: Greatest Hits: Decade #1 (Arista Nashville) **
  • Sam Hunt: Montevallo (MCA Nashville) *
  • Tim McGraw: Sundown Heaven Town (Big Machine) *
Expert Witness: Believe It or Not, Paul Simon Is Still Making Music

New in Expert Witness:

  • Paul Simon: Stranger to Stranger (Concord) A-
  • Plus Sized Dan: Plus Sized Dan With Marshall Ruffin (Plus Sized Dan) A-
  • Benjamin Dean Wilson: Small Talk (Tapete) **
  • Veda Hille: Love Waves (Canadian Council of the Arts/Conseil des arts du Canada) **
  • Benji Hughes: Songs in the Key of Animals (Merge) *
Expert Witness: Praise to the Most Blessed

New in Expert Witness:

  • Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book (self-released) A
  • Aesop Rock: The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers) A-
  • Mr. Lif: Don't Look Down (Mello Music) **
  • Lecrae: Church Clothes 3 (self-released) *
Expert Witness: Women Rule the World

New in Expert Witness:

  • Thao & the Get Down Stay Down: A Man Alive (Ribbon) A-
  • Heartsrevolution: Ride or Die (Owsla) A-
  • White Lung: Paradise (Domino) A-
  • Heron Oblivion: Heron Oblivion (Sub Pop) ***
  • The Kills: Ash & Ice (Domino) *
Expert Witness: Listen to More (Swing) Jazz

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Rough Guide to South African Jazz (World Music Network '16) A-
  • Township Swing Jazz Vol. 1 (Harlequin) B+
  • Debo Band: Ere Gobez (FPE) B+
  • Debo Band: Debo Band (Next Ambiance '12) ***
  • The Rough Guide to South African Jazz (World Music Network '00) *
Expert Witness: Roots Rock Radicals

New in Expert Witness:

  • Buddy Miller: Cayamo Sessions at Sea (New West) A-
  • Margo Price: Midwest Farmer's Daughter (Third Man) A-
  • Brandi Carlile: The Firewatcher's Daughter (ATO) A-
  • Cam: Untamed (Arista) **
  • Lisa Said: First Time, Long Time (lisasaid.com) **
  • Kelsea Ballerini: The First Time (Black River Entertainment) *
  • Lucinda Williams: The Ghosts of Highway 20 (Highway 20) *

A minor update of the website includes Christgau's 2015 Dean's List. This dates from early April, so doesn't include later 2015 picks from Kyle, Dawn Oberg, and The Internet.

Expert Witness: Baton Rouge, Big Beats, and Beyoncé

New in Expert Witness:

  • Beyoncé: Lemonade (Columbia) A-
  • Kevin Gates: Islah (Atlantic) A-
  • A$AP Ferg: Always Strive and Prosper (Polo Grounds/RCA) ***
  • Azealia Banks: Slay-Z (self-released) **
Expert Witness: The Poet and the Hustler

New in Expert Witness:

  • Dawn Oberg: Rye (Blossom Theory '12) A
  • Dej Loaf: Sell Sole (self-released '14) A-
  • Dawn Oberg: Bring (Blossom Theory '15) A-
  • Dej Loaf: Just Do It (self-released '12) B+
  • Dej Loaf: #AndSeeThatsTheThing (BMG/Columbia '15) B+
  • Dawn Oberg: Horticulture Wars (Blossom Theory '08) **
  • Dej Loaf: All Jokes Aside (self-released '16) **
Expert Witness: Alt-Rap Exemplars

New in Expert Witness:

  • Lyrics Born: Now Look What You've Done, Lyrics Born!: Greatest Hits! (Mobile Home) A
  • Homeboy Sandman: Kindness for Weakness (Stones Throw) A-
  • Open Mike Eagle + Paul White: Hella Personal Film Festival (Mello Music) B+
  • Cavanaugh: Time and Materials (Mello Music) ***
  • Blackalicious: Imani Vol. 1 (Black Mines) **
  • D.R.A.M.: #1EpicSummer (self-released) **
  • Lyrics Born: Real People (Mobile Home) *

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