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:
  And It Don't Stop
  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:

Consumer Guide Album

Television: The Blow Up [ROIR, 1982]
John Piccarella and I annotated this eighty-five-minute tape because guitar heroes like Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd deserve a heroic live album. While the more word-heavy songs worked better in the studio, on the likes of "Foxhole," "Prove It," and "Marquee Moon," ahem, "Verlaine takes off in directions that even he probably didn't anticipate, indulging a lyrical wanderlust he never permitted himself when he had time to think about it. And Lloyd, always constrained by the necessity of getting his solos and rhythm riffs just right in the studio, goes nuts here--what he wanted to express on `Satisfaction' was so beyond his chops that he would regularly unwind his bottom E string, twist it behind the neck, and tense the guitar like an archer's bow, producing the unearthly noises preserved for posterity on this cassette." You also get two other key covers and a definitive "Little Johnny Jewel." But the sound could have been brighter--cf. Arrow, the bootleg disc where I first encountered the finest of these performances. And so, as with so many ROIR cassettes (and commercial tapes in general), audio makes the difference between a laudable document and living history. B+