Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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And It Don't Stop on Substack

Robert Christgau's newsletter And It Don't Stop appears three (or four) times a month on Substack. Subscribe here.

Robert Christgau's Big-Hearted Theory of Pop

Book Reports features reviews of not only the pop-music tomes you'd predict but also literary fiction, Marxist-adjacent cultural commentary, feminist debates over pornography, and even books about the past decade's financial crisis. It follows a collection that Christgau published last year, Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017, which includes Christgau's takes on, among many other things, classic rock, Kanye West, the music of Desert Storm, Lollapalooza, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and so-called guilty pleasures--a category that Christgau rejects, since, for rock critics, as he puts it, "pleasure is where meaning begins." Together, these collections make the sneaky case that Christgau is not just the Dean of American Rock Critics, his self-awarded and perhaps slightly off-putting nickname, but one of America's sharper public intellectuals of the past half century, and certainly one of its most influential--not to mention one of the better stylists in that cohort. Fun is a big part of why.

--David Cantwell, The New Yorker

News

The Big Lookback: Ghost Dance

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, Ghost Dance -- The struggle to make sense of how things felt--and sounded--20 years ago -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Consumer Guide: September, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: September, 2021: A decade worth of New Jersey indie rock, Tune-Yards' very best, erotic engagement and ennui from the '20s (the 1920s, that is), and Lucy Dacus's verbally and musically detailed religious apostasy. Reviews of: Adult Mom, Leroy Carr, Lucy Dacus, The Front Bottoms (5), Dylan Hicks Tommy James & the Shondells, James McMurtry, More Girl Group Greats, Sztu, Tune-Yards. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: Little Records With Big Holes

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, Little Records With Big Holes -- A 1971 piece on singles from Tommy James, Jean Knight and Freda Payne, the joys of AM radio and the dark forces of shlock-rock -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Out of the Box

Robert Christgau published a piece, Out of the Box, a review of Mike Hull's film Betrayal at Attica, on the 1971 massacre of prisoners (and guards) ordered by New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Pleasure without guilt, inspirational verses, the generosity of Sonny Rollins and David Bowie (et. al.), bridging the language gap (or not), and the selling of bridges and other products of capitalism And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: August, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: August, 2021: Discontented candor, miraculous West Indian guitar, political hip-hop with aesthetic vortex, and punk-sparked roots. Plus: Ghanaian Afrofunk, a happy armed robber, and rhythm as a unit of meaning. Reviews of: Gyedu-Bley Ambolley, Directions in Music 1969 to 1973, Emily Duff, Billie Eilish, Robert Finley, The Goon Sax, Anthony Joseph, Los Lobos, Mach-Hommy, Billy Nomates, Amy Rigby, Joseph Spence, Star Feminine Band. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Storytellers

Robert Christgau published a piece, Storytellers, a review of Liz Phair: Horror Stories; Marc Ribot: Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist; Jim Flannigan: Don the Burp and Other Stories; as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Generalizations too vast to swear by, instrumentals worth hearing, the algorithm vs. the people, and Frank Zappa vs. George Clinton -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

By the way, also added a note on Robert Quine from 2004.

The Big Lookback: Biz Markie

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Biz Markie -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Consumer Guide: July, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: July, 2021: Underwear-clad quarantine broadcasts, bouncy Sleater-Kinney, mood music for a time of perpetual disquiet, and Cobain variations. Plus: strong women on love, cheerleaders and the men who rule the world Reviews of: Aesop Rock, Body Meπa, Matt Caflisch, Cloud Nothings, Garbage, John Kruth, Low Cut Connie, Nirvana, Liz Phair, Pom Pom Squad, Sa-Roc, Sleater-Kinney, Sons of Kemet. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Rolling Stones

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: The Rolling Stones -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Combating the Sound of Whiteness

Robert Christgau published a piece, Combating the Sound of Whiteness, a review of articles by Amanda Petrusich and Geoff Mann on country music and its "overwhelming whiteness," as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- lousy (or not) Stones albums, world champion Beatles albums, some musical geniuses, some upbeat albums, and whither rock & roll? Plus: the story of 1974's Consumer Guide to America's Yogurts -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: June, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: June, 2021: Seeing the light with Loretta Lynn, driving with Olivia Rodrigo, mourning cats with Dry Cleaning, and wrapping your troubles in Lou Reed's dreams. Plus: sounds from Ghana, Japan, Norway, and Chicago. Reviews of: Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, Chai, J. Cole, Dry Cleaning, Girl in Red, Loretta Lynn, Vic Mensa, Mdou Moctar, Olivia Rodrigo, Spillage Village, Wau Wau Collectif, What Goes On: The Songs of Lou Reed. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: Joy of Cooking

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Joy of Cooking -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Book of Books, Rockcrit and Musicology Division

Robert Christgau published a piece, The Big Lookback: Joy of Cooking -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Some thoughts on dolts (or not), the Smart Monkee, rock bios, the greatest albums of the '90s (not ranked) and the best novels of the 21st century (ranked). Plus: In every dream life a headache -- as part of his subscription newsletter And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: May, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: May, 2021: The gospel from an Atlanta rap collective, hummable hooks from LDR, free flowing zingers from a well-read alt rhymer, and powerhouse vocals from the Sahara via the Hudson Valley. Reviews of: Anti-Flag, Khaira Arby, Carsie Blanton, Blue Muse, Lana Del Rey, For the Good Times: The Songs of Kris Kristofferson, Milo, No-No Boy, Nostrum Grocers, Todd Snider, Spillage Village, Too Much Joy. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

All the Time in the World

Robert Christgau published a piece, All the Time in the World: The Living End in Peter Stampfel and Willie Nelson -- his 2019 Museum of Pop Culture Conerence lecture, themed around music, death, and after life -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

A Century in Four Hours and Forty Minutes

Robert Christgau published a piece, A Century in Four Hours and Forty Minutes -- a review of Peter Stampfel's 20th Century in 100 Songs -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

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