Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Arion Berger is a freelance writer based in Arlington, VA.

Marshall Berman, author of All That is Solid Melts Into Air and Adventures in Marxism, teaches at CCNY/CUNY. He is currently working on One Hundred Years of Spectacle, a book on Times Square whose earliest incarnation was a Village Voice article commissioned by Bob Christgau.

Perry Brandston lives at the opposite end of 12th Street from Robert Christgau. He doesn't even know what emo is.

Tom Carson is a former staff writer for LA Weekly and the Village Voice and the current "Screen" columnist at Esquire. His novel Gilligan's Wake will be published by Picador in early 2003.

Nick Catucci writes for the Village Voice and Spin. He lives in Brooklyn.

Georgia Christgau writes when she can and teaches English at an alternative public high school in New York City.

Debra Rae Cohen is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where she is learning to garden, among other non-New Yorkish pursuits. She is the author of Remapping the Home Front: Locating Citizenship in British Women's Great War Fiction (Northeastern University Press, 2002).

After highly educational stints as a New York-based talent scout for A&M, Columbia and RMM Records, Carol Cooper still freelances for various domestic and foreign publications, along with running her tiny music-publishing company, Nega Fulo Music. She also intermittently releases indie records and small-press publications through her own imprint, Rhythm Tattoo Productions.

Carola Dibbell publishes rock criticism sporadically and fiction rarely. She lives in the East Village with her husband, Robert Christgau, and their daughter, Nina.

Julian Dibbell writes about technology and culture. He is currently a visiting fellow at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society.

Jon Dolan is a senior associate editor at Spin. He lives in Manhattan where he avidly supports the Minnesota Twins and fondly recalls the womb.

Steve Erickson is the author of six novels, including Days Between Stations, Arc d'X and The Sea Came In at Midnight, which have been published in ten languages, and two books on American politics and popular culture. He writes the film column for Los Angeles magazine and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.

Simon Frith is Professor of Film & Media at the University of Stirling, Scotland. His most recent academic article was "Towards a sociology of rock criticism."

Holly George-Warren contributes to the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Country Music, among other publications. Her most recent books include American Roots Music and the third edition of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (as coeditor) and Cowboy! How Hollywood Invented the Wild West and How the West Was Worn (as author). She lives in Phoenicia, New York, with her husband, Robert Burke Warren, and their son, Jack.

Gary Giddins has been writing his Weather Bird column for the Village Voice since 1974. His books include Visions of Jazz, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism in 1998, and Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams, which won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award in 2001.

New Yawker Jason Gross is the editor/perpetrator of Perfect Sound Forever online music magazine (, freelancer (Village Voice, Time Out, All Music Guide, Mojo, Spin) and accidental producer (OHM: Early Gurus of Electronic Music, Liliput and Oh OK reissues, more soon). He is desperately in need of sleep and a social life and welcomes any help with either endeavor.

Joe Gross is a native of the Chocolate City's most vanilla suburb, Falls Church, VA. He has written for, among other places, Spin, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, and Washington City Paper and is currently employed as a writer at the Austin American-Statesman.

Dave Hickey is a freelance writer of fiction, songs, greeting cards and cultural criticism. He lives on the ninth floor of an apartment building in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tom Hull is the "intransigent genius" (Christgau’s words) behind He wrote for Christgau in the late '70s, and continues to dabble in all sorts of subjects (mostly at

James Hunter has written about music and books for the Village Voice, US Weekly, Rolling Stone, The Journal of Country Music, Vibe, Nostalgia, the New York Times Magazine and other publications. He lives in West Virginia.

Tom Johnson ended his journalistic career in 1982, and since that time has been a full-time composer, based in Paris. His articles from the Village Voice were assembled in 1989 as The Voice of New Music, which is now in the public domain and can be downloaded from Johnson's web site,

Glenn Kenny is the film critic for Premiere and the editor of A Galaxy Not So Far Away: Writers and Artists on 25 Years of Star Wars (Owl Books/Henry Holt).

In seasons of metaphysical feast and material famine, Benjamin Kogan Franklin can be found walking the lawn and mowing the dog while smoking the drainpipe for frugality's and inquiry's sake, humming "Autumn Leaves" and raking songs into baskets. Taking them to markets while clouds cluster into apple trees, awaiting their own harvest and Eve.

Joe Levy is a former music editor at the Village Voice, Spin, and Details and the current music editor at Rolling Stone.

Greil Marcus is the author of Lipstick Traces, The Old, Weird America, Double Trouble, The Dustbin of History and "I Can't Get No Nookie."

Michaelangelo Matos was born in Minneapolis, worked as a staff writer for Seattle Weekly and freelances in New York.

Perry Meisel is a Professor of English at NYU, and the author of, most recently, The Cowboy and the Dandy: Crossing Over from Romanticism to Rock and Roll (Oxford). With Walter Kendrick, he co-edited Bloomsbury/Freud: Letters of James and Mix Strachey, 1924-1925 (Basic Books).

Milo Miles has worked as a popular-music journalist for more than 20 years in multiple media, including the Boston Phoenix, the Village Voice, the New York Times, NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" and the on-line publications and

Jim Miller, Director of Liberal Studies and Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Faculty of the New School, is also editor of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The original editor of The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, he is also author of Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947-1977.

John Morthland lives in Austin, Texas, where he is a music columnist and writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and freelances for other publications. He is the editor of Mainlines, Blood Feasts and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader, to be published by Vintage Anchor in Spring 2003.

Barbara O'Dair is the editor of Teen People. She met Bob and Carola during the years 1985-88, when she worked for the Village Voice as a writer and editor. She lives with her companion and two young daughters in New Jersey.

John Piccarella wrote criticism for the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, New York Rocker, the Boston Phoenix and other publications between 1976 and 1991. He lives with his wife and four children in Astoria, New York.

Ann Powers was the music editor of the Village Voice and a pop music critic for the New York Times. She is currently a Senior Curator at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Kit Rachlis has been the arts editor of the Boston Phoenix, the executive editor of the Village Voice, and the editor-in-chief of the LA Weekly. He was a senior projects editor at the Los Angeles Times and is currently the editor-in-chief at Los Angeles magazine.

John Rockwell, former classical music and dance critic for the Oakland Tribune and Los Angeles Times, former classical music and rock critic for the New York Times, former Paris-based European cultural correspondent for the New York Times, former director of the Lincoln Center Festival, former editor of the Sunday Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times, and sometime author, is now senior cultural correspondent for the New York Times.

Andrew Ross is the director of the Graduate Program in American Studies at NYU, and the author of Strange Weather: Culture, Science and Technology in an Age of Limits.

Jeff Salamon is a former senior editor at the Village Voice who chucked it all for a life in the great state of Texas, where he is currently the arts editor of the Austin American-Statesman. Reports of his professional death have been mildly exaggerated.

Greg Sandow became a music critic when Bob Christgau inexplicably offered him a column in the Village Voice. Since then he has written about both classical music and pop. Currently he's a critic for the Wall Street Journal, a member of the Graduate Studies faculty at Juilliard, and a consultant for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Rob Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and lives in New York. He's only seen one face, but he's rocked it a million times.

Robert Sietsema is restaurant critic at the Village Voice. His editor is Bob Christgau.

Laura Sinagra is a freelance writer living in New York. Her music and film writing appears regularly in Spin, the Village Voice and Minneapolis City Pages.

RJ Smith has written for GQ, the New York Times Magazine and Grand Royal. He is media columnist and a senior editor at Los Angeles magazine, and is currently writing a book about African-American L.A. in the 1940s.

Tom Smucker retired after 30 years as a technician at the phone company, where he was the editor of his union local's newspaper. He is a Deacon at a liberal mainstream Protestant church in the East Village. He and his wife and sometimes their children live metaphorically and physically in the same apartment building as Bob and Carola and their daughter.

Peter Stampfel has spent most of his 63 years perfecting the art of having fun with such success that he is now working on--make that playing on--the science of having fun. A few of his upcoming projects are another Holy Modal Rounders album, an album with the Muscular Christians, an album with old friends Luke Faust and John Parrott (sometimes with the Muscular Christians) and a four CD recording of the 20th century, 100 songs, one from each year, 1901 to 2000. He is hoping to record another Du-Tels album with Gary Lucas soon.

Ariel Swartley continues to write about music (sometimes) and other varieties of popular culture, including, but not restricted to, books, gardens, movies and food. She lives in Los Angeles, which has turned out to be the city of her dreams.

John Szwed spent most of his life as an academic trying to be taken seriously as a pop and jazz freelancer. But time has passed him by, and he has retreated back into teaching anthropology at Yale, writing books and paying his own way into clubs.

Greg Tate is a staff writer at the Village Voice and a musician. His band Burnt Sugar recently released a 3-CD set, That Depends on What You Know (Trugroid).

Mim Udovitch has written about popular culture and the arts for publications including Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, Esquire, and the New York Times.

Ed Ward is retired from rock criticism, but can be heard irregularly on NPR's "Fresh Air," where he is the "rock historian." He lives in Berlin, from which he writes on cultural topics for the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Lindsay Waters is Executive Editor for the Humanities at the Harvard University Press. His book Against Authoritarian Aesthetics appeared in 2000 in Putong Hua from the Peking University Press. A version of the book may appear in English some time and--if and when--it will include chapters entitled "Towards a Garage Aesthetic" and "Kant Goes Electric."

Eric Weisbard was Music Editor of the Village Voice and a senior editor at Spin, and is currently senior program director in the Education Department of the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough, 2002

Ann Powers