Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jon Langford: All the Fame of Lofty Deeds [Bloodshot, 2004]
Purportedly a concept album in which Mr. Deeds goes to Nashville because he's outgrown his band, and life will never be the same because fame can do that (also death). Actually a bunch of songs in which Mr. Langford goes to Chicago because he can't stand Margaret Thatcher, and life will never be the same because George W. Bush can do that (also Satan). The "hard road that always brings you back" has brought him back to where he once escaped, so now he's considering Switzerland, yodel-ay-ee-oooo. True love aside, how the hell did he wind up in America? "The country is young . . . not too good on the sharing," so let the zombies tear it apart. Only he loves its music, which sustains him even in the absence of one of the ad hoc bands he'll never outgrow--the arrangements, early Cash with extras, are as committed as the singing we've learned to assume. The glory of America at war with its shame, and don't bet it'll hold up its head forever. A