Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ten-Step Program for Growing Better Ears

book cover
  1. Don't give up now.

  2. Have a few drinks--smoke a joint, even.

  3. At the very least, lighten up, willya?

  4. Forget about soothing your savage beast.

  5. Repeat three times daily: The good old days are the oldest myth in the world. Or, alternatively: Nostalgia sucks.

  6. Go somewhere you think is too noisy and stay an hour. Go back.

  7. Grasp this truth: Musically, all Americans are part African.

  8. Attend a live performance by someone you've never seen before.

  9. Play your favorite teenager's favorite album three times while doing something else. Put it away. Play it again two days later and notice what you remember.

  10. Spend a week listening to James Brown's Star Time.

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