Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  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
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

DJ Shadow: Endtroducing . . . DJ Shadow [Mo Wax/FFFR, 1996]
Armed with a sampler, a sequencer, and the black plastic he gave up trying to catalogue in 1989, 24-year-old Josh Davis of Davis, California and London, England distills everything he loves about drumbeats, symph-schlock, and oddball Americana into a 63-minute work with a beginning, a middle, and a to-be-continued. Some under a minute, some over nine, the 13 tracks are designed for headphones--Apollonian even if beat-driven, their only vocals spoken-word and comedy samples that accrue a mysterious fascination without ever revealing their relevance to each other or anything else. Except, that is, for the 30-second intro to the six-minute "Building Steam With a Grain of Salt," in which a square, self-taught drummer explains himself as a reassuring crackle attests to his vinyl authenticity down in the mix: "I'd like to just continue to be able to express myself as best as I can. And I feel like I'm a student of the drums. And I'm also a teacher." And then he chuckles nervously. And then Davis loops that chuckle for a second or two, making of it music and chaos and satire and self-mockery and music all at once. A+