Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
Books:
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
    RSS
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Two new essay collections, published by Duke University Press

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

And It Don't Stop

Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide continues beyond its 50th anniversary in his subscriber-supported newsletter, And It Don't Stop. Read about it, sample the merchandise, and subscribe.

News

XgauSez

New batch of questions and answers.

Expert Witness: Robert Christgau Reviews 'Springsteen on Broadway'

New in Expert Witness:

  • Bruce Springsteen: Springsteen on Broadway (Columbia) A
  • Robert Forster: Inferno (Tapete) B+
  • Chris Butler: Got It Together! (Future Fossil) **
  • Peter Stampfel and the Atomic Meta Pagans: The Ordovician Era! (Don Giovanni) **

Rolling Stone has published an excerpt from Robert Christgau's new collection, Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading:

Expert Witness: Billie Eilish's Teen Goth Angst

New in Expert Witness:

  • Billie Eilish: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Darkroom/Interscope) A
  • Little Simz: Grey Area (Age 101) A-
  • Billie Eilish: Dont Smile at Me (Darkroom/Interscope) B+
  • Little Simz: Stillness in Wonderland (Age 101) *
  • Little Simz: A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons (Age 101) *

Robert Christgau's second Duke University Press collection, Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading, is now ready to ship. 30% off from here with promo code E19CRGAU. Read an excerpt, including the introduction.

Christgau will appear and read from his book at McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers, 52 Prince Street, New York, NY, on Monday, April 29, at 7:00 pm.

Expert Witness: Khalid's Textured Anxiety

New in Expert Witness:

  • 6lack: East Atlanta Love Letter (LVRN/Interscope) A-
  • Khalid: Free Spirit (RCA) A-
  • Kyle: Light of Mine (Independently Popular/Atlantic) ***
  • Khalid: Suncity (RCA) ***
  • Brockhampton: Iridescence (Everything/RCA) **
  • Fat Tony: 10,000 Hours (Don Giovanni) *

A new batch of XgauSez questions and answers appeared last Tuesday.

Official publication date is May 3, but Robert Christgau's second Duke University Press collection in six months, Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading, is now ready to ship. 30% off from here with promo code E19CRGAU. Read an excerpt, including the introduction.

Christgau will appear and read from his book at McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers, 52 Prince Street, New York, NY, on Monday, April 29, at 7:00 pm.

XgauSez

New batch of questions and answers.

Expert Witness: Salif Keita's 'Un Autre Blanc'

New in Expert Witness:

  • Salif Keita: Un Autre Blanc (Believe/Naive) A-
  • Hama Sankare: Ballťbť (Clermont Music) A-
  • Hama Sankare: Niafunkť (Clermont Music) B+
  • Gato Preto: Tempo (Unique) ***
  • Bombino: Deran (Partisan) ***

Gabriella Paiella interviews Robert Christgau and Carola Dibbell for New York magazine's "Marriage: An Investigation": When Infidelity, Infertility, and Cancer Only Make Your Marriage Stronger.

Expert Witness: Stella Donnelly's Musical Encyclopedia of Assholes

New in Expert Witness:

  • Stella Donnelly: Beware of the Dogs (Secretly Canadian) A-
  • Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow (Jagjaguwar) A-
  • Jenny Lewis: On the Line (Warner Bros.) ***
  • Sir Babygirl: Crush on You (Father/Daughter) **
  • Girls on Grass: Dirty Power (self-released) *
Expert Witness: Pedro the Lion's Return

New in Expert Witness:

  • Pedro the Lion: Phoenix (Polyvinyl) A-
  • Jason Ringenberg: Stand Tall (Courageous Chicken) B+
  • Eric Church: Desperate Man (EMI Nashville) **
  • Gurf Morlix: Impossible Blue (Rootball) *
  • Bottle Rockets: Bit Logic (Bloodshot) *

A new batch of XgauSez questions and answers appeared last Tuesday.

We've added a book page for Robert Christgau's new book, Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading (Duke University Press), to be published April 12.

XgauSez

New batch of questions and answers.

Expert Witness: Ariana Grande's Garden of Sonic Delights

New in Expert Witness:

  • Ariana Grande: Sweetener (Republic) A-
  • Amber Mark: Conexao EP (Virgin EMI) A-
  • Diana Gordon: Pure (self-released) ***
  • Ariana Grande: Thank U, Next (Republic) ***
  • Robyn: Honey (Konichiwa/Interscope) ***
Expert Witness: Todd Snider's Replayable 'Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3'

New in Expert Witness:

  • Todd Snider: Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 (Aimless) A
  • Leyla McCalla: Capitalist Blues (PIAS America) A-
  • Our Native Daughters: Songs of Our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways) **
  • Leyla McCalla: A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey (Jazz Village) *
Expert Witness: Aesop Rock and Tobacco's Funny Collab, 'Malibu Ken'

New in Expert Witness:

  • Malibu Ken: Malibu Ken (Rymesayers) A-
  • Serengeti: Dennis 6e (People) A-
  • MC Frontalot: Net Split (Level Up) **
  • Serengeti: Jueles - Butterflies (Audio Recon/Deacon) *
  • Serengeti: Music From the Graphic Novel Kenny Vs the Dark Web (Burnco) *

New questions and answers were posted Tuesday, March 5: Xgau Sez. New batches will appear every third Tuesday.

Expert Witness: Dreezy's Step Up and Nūr's Spooky, Abstract Rap

New in Expert Witness:

  • Dua Saleh: Nūr (EP) (Against Giants) A-
  • Dreezy: Big Dreez (Interscope) B+
  • Bali Baby: Resurrection (Twin) B+

Two new pieces in Publishers Weekly, related to Robert Christgau's forthcoming (April 12) essay collection Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading (Duke University Press):

Expert Witness: Carsie Blanton's Unabashed Politics

New in Expert Witness:

  • Carsie Blanton: Buck Up (Carsie Blanton) A
  • The Paranoid Style: Rock & Roll Just Can't Recall + 3 (Bar/None) A
  • The Rails: There Are Other People in This World Not Just You (Thirty Tigers) ***
  • Kate Vargas: For the Wolfish and Wandering (Kate Vargas) ***
  • Caroline Rose: Loner (New West) **
  • The Regrettes: Feel Your Feelings Fool! (Warner Bros.) **
Expert Witness: Jazz-Rock Staple Harriet Tubman

New in Expert Witness:

  • Harriet Tubman: The Terror End of Beauty (Sunnyside) A-
  • Thiago Nassif: TrÍs (Foom) A-
  • Qais Essar: The Ghost You Love Most (self-released) ***
  • The Hot 8 Brass Band: On the Spot (Tru Thoughts) ***
  • RAM: August 1791 (Willibelle) **
  • Nordub: Sly & Robbie Meet Nils Petter Molvaer Feat Eivind Aarset and Vladislav Delay (OKeh) **

New questions and answers were posted Tuesday, February 12: Xgau Sez. From this point, new batches will appear every third Tuesday.

Expert Witness: Alex Chilton's Fragile Love Songs

New in Expert Witness:

  • Alex Chilton: From Memphis to New Orleans (Bar/None) A-
  • Alex Chilton: Ocean Club '77 (Norton) A-
  • Big Star: Live on WLIR (Omnivore) B+
  • Alex Chilton: Songs From Robin Hood Lane (Bar/None) *

The Village Voice released their 2018 Pazz & Jop package, including:

Expert Witness: Saba's Humanist Hip-Hop

New in Expert Witness:

  • Saba: Care for Me (Saba Pivot) A-
  • The Coup: Sorry to Bother You: The Soundtrack (Interscope) A-
  • Czarface: Czarface Meets Metal Face (Silver Age) ***
  • G Herbo: Humble Beast (Machine) ***
  • Saba: The Bucket List Project (Saba Pivot) **
  • 1800 Seconds: Curated by Pusha T (Mass Appeal) *
Expert Witness: The Ex's Protest Music and Idles' Rage

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Ex: 27 Passports (Ex) A-
  • Idles: Joy as an Act of Resistance (Partisan) A-
  • Marie Davidson: Working Class Woman (Ninja Tune) *
  • Public Service Broadcasting: Every Valley (PIAS America) *

New questions and answers will be posted Tuesday, January 29: Xgau Sez.

Robert Christgau's Is It Still Good to Ya? is a finalist for NBCC Criticism Award

The National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors has announced its finalists for 2018 awards. There are six categories, and Robert Christgau's Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017 has been selected as one of the five finalists in Criticism. The NBCC Awards have been awarded annually since 1975.

New XgauSez

New questions and answers were posted Tuesday, January 15: Xgau Sez.

Most Recent -- More Ancient

More Information