Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Willi Carlisle: Peculiar, Missouri [Free Dirt, 2022]
Covering Utah Phillips and Almeda Riddle, citing J.D. Salinger and E.E. Cummings, Midwestern folkie who's proud of both labels applies his wavery tenor to "people who don't fit in." "Meritocracy's a lie," as he noted on 2016's Too Nice to Mean Much, so in this world where "somebody's true religion's always someone else's joke" you'll find detailed descriptions of living in your van and a breakout party in the Wal-Mart that serves the Kansas City suburb of his title. Pay special attention to "Life on the Fence," composed while driving to Austin and trying to figure how to explain to the woman he thought would make him "shiny and new" that he seems to have fallen in love with this guy he hooked up with in Memphis. A-