Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Stiffs Live [Stiff, 1978]
Elvis the C provides a brand new existentialist pronunciamento, "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself," but the real threat there is Nick Lowe's "Let's Eat," which garnishes a hot-and-greasy Mitch Ryder organ pump with lyrics like "I wanna move move move move move my teeth" and "Let's buy two and get one for free." Filling out the good side are "I Knew the Bride" (Lowe's answer to "You Never Can Tell"), Larry Wallis's "Police Car" (grand theft automatic), and two cuts by Wreckless Eric that seem unlikely to be eclipsed by their studio versions. Unfortunately, Costello's live "Miracle Man" and the three Ian Dury performances were eclipsed before they came out. B+