Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Emperor X: Western Teleport [Bar/None, 2011]
Lapsed science teacher Chad Matheny specialized in electro-noise until he figured out how chords and beats work, enabling him to put together a futuristic folk music in which nerdy melodies rise out of a shambolic clatter that's the best anyone can expect with the power going out all the time. The opening "Erica Western Teleport" and the closing "Erica Western Geiger Counter" celebrate his crush on a rebel hero who scopes corporatist disaster areas where dystopian sci-fi is indistinguishable from democratic-socialist realism. In "Compressor Repair" he wishes he could fix the ecologically incorrect air conditioner of a girl who deserves to be cool. "Allahu Akbar" establishes his material solidarity with the strugglers of Tahrir Square. A-