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

Like Pops Never Happened: A Fortysomething's History of Music

Robert Christgau published a piece, Like Pops Never Happened: A Fortysomething's History of Music, a review of Kelefa Sanneh's book Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- The UC Davis writers' enclave, baseball movies worth a swing, respecting the Dead, Virgil Thompson and Harold Bloom vs. the hoi polloi, the plot against democracy, and underestimating evil -- And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: November, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: November, 2021: Songs about God, scrumptious pussy, climate change, pool hopping your way to love, living paycheck to paycheck, and buying this and that but wanting flowers from outer space. Reviews of: Asleep at the Wheel, BKtherula, Hayes Carll, Illuminati Hotties, Ada Lea, Mereba, Kacey Musgraves, Onetwothree, Ready or Not, The Rough Guide to Spiritual Blues, Sacred Soul of North Carolina, Swan Silvertones, Dean Wareham. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Faster Miles an Hour Who Knows Where

Robert Christgau published a piece, Faster Miles an Hour Who Knows Where, a review of Joshua Clover's book Roadrunner, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Rolling Stones

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, The Rolling Stones -- From Blender, a review of the Stones at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Connecticut August 26, 2005 -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- Once more unto the mongering, the Stones sans Charlie, baseball avec sabermetrics, grading the second Velvets albums, appropriation vs. appreciation, Billie Eilish vs. Al Green -- And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

Consumer Guide: October, 2021

Robert Christgau published his Consumer Guide: October, 2021: Songwriters from Austin, Chattanooga, and Nashville. Rappers from London by way of Nigeria and Belgium by way of the Congo. Also: a worldly sophisticate, a genuine adult, and a Wolf who howls. Reviews of: Thomas Anderson, Baloji, Nathan Bell, The Contraptionists, Dave (2), Mickey Guyton, Lil Nas X, Sho Madjoi, Man on Man, John R. Miller, Homeboy Sandman, Kalie Shorr, Howlin' Wolf. This is part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

The Big Lookback: The Yankees Learn to Lose

Robert Christgau published a Big Lookback piece, The Yankees Learn to Lose -- As a topsy-turvy, streaky season draws to a close (or does it?) some thoughts on this year's Yankees and the Yankees of 47 years ago -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Avoiding Wet-Bulb 35C

Robert Christgau published a piece, Avoiding Wet-Bulb 35C, a review of Kim Stanley Robinson's book The Ministry for the Future, as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Favorite vs. Best vs. Whatever

Robert Christgau published a piece, Favorite vs. Best vs. Whatever -- Ballots for Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs poll and some thoughts on precious dollops of pleasure -- as part of his subscription newsletter, And It Don't Stop.

Xgau Sez

Robert Christgau published his monthly Xgau Sez q&a section -- The rock-critic economy, rumba reading, not sucking in your 70s, Van the Prick, and the meaning of meaning-mongering -- And It Don't Stop. Like all of Xgau Sez, this is archived here.

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.

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