Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Carola Dibbell
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News

Robert Christgau's memoir, Going Into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man, was published by Dey Street Books and released on February 24.

Carola Dibbell's novel, The Only Ones, was published by Two Dollar Radio and released on March 17.

Book promotional events:

  • April 29: McNally Jackson, 52 Prince, New York, 7PM: It's the End of the World As We Know It: A Dystopian Fiction Panel (Carola Dibbell, Porochista Khakpour, Emily St. John Mandel, Lincoln Michel, Shya Scanlon -- moderated by Jason Diamond and Rahawa Haile).
  • May 5: Dibbell: St. Marks Bookshop, 136 East 3rd Street, New York
  • June 4: Dibbell: Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn (with Sandra Newman)

New in Expert Witness:

  • Sunny Sweeney: Provoked (Thirty Tigers) A-
  • Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (High Top/Thirty Tigers) B+
  • Steve Earle & the Dukes: Terraplane (New West) **
  • Sturgill Simpson: High Top Mountain (High Top Mountain) **
  • Corb Lund: Counterfeit Blues (New West) *

New in Expert Witness:

  • Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. (Mom + Pop) A
  • Nellie McKay: My Weekly Reader (429) A-

New in Expert Witness:

  • James McMurtry: Complicated Game (Complicated Game) A
  • Terry Allen: Bottom of the World (self-released) A-
  • Gurf Morlix: Eatin' at Me (Rootball) ***

Recent links for Robert Christgau's Going Into the City:

Recent links for Carola Dibbell's The Only Ones:

New in Expert Witness:

  • Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope) A-
  • Rae Sremurrd: Stremm Life (Eardrum/Interscope) A-
  • Drake: If You're Reading This It's Too Late (Cash Money) ***
  • Far East Movement: K'Town Riot (Cherrytree) **
  • J Cole: 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Roc Nation/Columbia) *

Recent links for Robert Christgau's Going Into the City:

Recent links for Carola Dibbell's The Only Ones:

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Paranoid Style: The Power of Our Proven System (Misra cassette '13) A-
  • The Paranoid Style: Rock and Roll Just Can't Recall (Worldwide Battle) A
  • The Close Readers: The Lines Are Open (Austin) A-

Recent links for Carola Dibbell's The Only Ones:

Also, note that Nylon Book Club picked The Only Ones as one of "the two books you need to read this month." The other one was by Kazuo Ishiguro.

New in Expert Witness:

  • Heems: Eat Pray Thug (Megaforce) A
  • Lupe Fiasco: Tetsuo & Youth (Atlantic) A-
  • Sisyphus: Sisyphus (Asthmatic Kitty) B+
  • DJ Rashad: Double Cup (Hyperdub) ***
  • Common: Nobody's Smiling (Def Jam/Artium) **
  • Serengeti: Kenny Dennis III (Joyful Noise) *

Excerpts from Robert Christgau's Going Into the City:

Also, a few choice links:

New in Expert Witness:

  • Angola Soundtrack 2 (Analog Africa) A-
  • Aby Ngana Diop: Liital (Awesome Tapes From Africa) A-
  • Ata Kak: Obaa Sima (Awesome Tapes From Africa) A-
  • Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako: Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako (Sterns Africa) ***
  • The Rough Guide to the Best African Music You've Never Heard (World Music Network) ***
  • Monoswezi: The Village (Riverboat) ***
  • Lala Njava: Malagasy Blues Song (Riverboat) **
  • Dieuf-Dieul de Thiès: Aw Sa Yone Vol. 1 (Teranga Beat) **
  • Alpha Blondy: Mystic Power (VP) **
  • Afrobeat Airways 2: Return Flight to Ghana 1974-1983 (Analog Africa) **
  • Seun Kuti + Egypt 80: A Long Way to the Beginning (Knitting Factory) **
  • William Onyeabor: Who Is William Onyeabor? (Luaka Bop) *
  • Mark Ernestus Presents Jeri-Jeri: 800% Ndagga (Ndagga) *

Recent articles:

New in Expert Witness:

  • Kate Tempest: Everybody Down (Big Dada) A
  • Wormburner: Pleasant Living in Planned Communities (Dive) A-
  • Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott: What We Have Become (Virgin EMI) ***
  • Pet Shop Boys: Electric (X2) **

New in Expert Witness:

  • Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie: December Day (Legacy) A
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Always With Us (Uyohlale Unathi) (CDBaby) A-
  • Loudon Wainwright III: Haven't Got the Blues (Yet) (429) A-
  • David Greenberger & Dozens: Near the Edge of the Penny Jar Spill (Pel Pel) ***
  • Chuck E. Weiss: Red Beans & Weiss (Anti-) **
  • Oscar Brown. Jr. & Maggie Brown: We're Live (ESP Disk) *
  • Willie Nelson: Let's Face the Music and Dance (Legacy) *
  • Scott Ramminger: Advice From a Father to a Son (Arbor Lane) *

New in Expert Witness:

  • Ex Hex: Rips (Merge) A-
  • Allo Darlin': We Come From the Same Place (Slumberland) A-
  • Alvvays: Alvvays (Polyvinyl) B+
  • Shilpa Ray: It's All Self-Fellatio (Bad Seeds, Ltd.) ***
  • Courtney Barnett: The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (Mom + Pop/Milk!) **
  • Girlpool: Girlpool (Wichita Recordings) **
  • Potty Mouth: Hell Bent (Old Flame/Marshall Teller) *

New in Expert Witness:

  • Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop) A
  • tUnE-yArDs: Nikki Nack (4AD) A-
  • TV on the Radio: Seeds (Harvest) A-
  • The National: Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) ***
  • Thurston Moore: The Best Day (Matador) **
  • St. Vincent: St. Vincent (4AD) **

New in Expert Witness:

  • Taylor Swift: 1989 (Big Machine) A-
  • Shakira: Shakira (RCA) A-
  • Katy B: Little Red (Columbia) ***
  • Tove Lo: Queen of the Clouds (Island) ***
  • Haim: Days Are Gone (Columbia) **
  • Lorde: Pure Heroine (Lava/Republic) **
  • Sia: 1000 Forms of Fear (Puzzle/RCA) *

New in Expert Witness:

  • Burial: Rival Dealer (Hyperdub) A
  • Steve Reich: Radio Rewrite (Nonesuch) A-
  • Boozoo Bajou: 4 (Apollo) A-
  • Khun Narin Electric Phin Band: Khun Narin Electric Phin Band (Innovative Leisure) B+
  • Jaipur Kawa Brass Band: Dance of the Cobra (Riverboat) ***
  • Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven (Warp) ***
  • Moody Good: Moody Good (Owsla) **
  • Rework: Philip Glass Remixed (Orange Mountain) **
  • Flying Lotus: You're Dead (Warp) **
  • Summonx: Power Salad (Interchill) **
  • Skrillex: Recess (Atlantic) **
  • Sam Shalabi: Music for Arabs (Majmua Music) *

New in Expert Witness:

  • Golem: Tanz (Corason Digital) A-
  • Lily Allen: Sheezus (Warner Bros.) A-
  • Toni Braxton & Babyface: Love, Marriage & Divorce (Motown) A-
  • Mary J. Blige: The London Sessions (Capitol) A-
  • Jonathan Richman: No Me Quiejo De Mi Estrella (Vapor/Munster) ***
  • Keyshia Cole: Point of No Return (Interscope) **
  • Derek Senn: The Technological Breakthrough (dereksenn.com) *

New in Expert Witness:

  • Company Freak: Le Disco Social (OpusLabel/Superlatude) A-
  • Bushwick Gospel Singers: Songs of Worship Vol. 2 (self-released) A-
  • Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce: Complicated Day (Enja/Yellowbird) A-
  • Chris Butler: Easy Life (Future Fossil) B+

Robert Christgau's Pazz & Jop ballot is here. For more statistical analysis of his ballot, see this.

New in Expert Witness:

  • Kool A.D.: Word O.K. (Bandcamp mixtape) A
  • Kool A.D.: 63 (Bandcamp mixtape) A-
  • Kool & Kass: Peaceful Solutions (Bandcamp mixtape) A-
  • Kool A.D.: Not O.K. (Bandcamp mixtape) B+
  • Kool & Kass Are . . . Peaceful Solutions: Coke Boys 5 (Bandcamp mixtape) **
  • Kool A.D.: 19 (Bandcamp mixtape) *

Old, but new on the website:

New in Expert Witness:

  • Beyoncé: Beyoncé (Platinum Edition) (Columbia) A
  • D'Angelo and the Vanguard: Black Messiah (RCA) A-

New in Expert Witness:

  • Azealia Banks: Broke With Expensive Taste (Prospect Park) A
  • Iggy Azalea: The New Classic (Def Jam) A-
  • Wu-Tang Clan: A Better Tomorrow (Warner Bros.) A-
  • Nicki Minaj: The Pinkprint (Deluxe Edition) (Cash Money/Republic) A-
  • Lecrae: Anomaly (Reach) ***
  • Buck 65: Neverlove (Warner Music Canada) ***
  • Tricky: Adrian Thaws (False Idols) ***
  • Big Sean: Hall of Fame (Def Jam) **
  • T.I.: Paperwork (Grand Hustle/Columbia) *
  • Freddie Gibbs and Madlib: Pinata (Madlib Invazion) *
  • Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 2 (Mass Appeal) *
  • Earl Sweatshirt: Doris (Columbia) *
  • Ghostface Killah: 36 Seasons (Salvation/Tommy Boy) *

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Old 97's: Most Messed Up (ATO) A
  • Amy LaVere: Runaway's Diary (Archer) A-
  • Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume One (ATO) A-
  • Link of Chain: A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither (Signature Sounds) A-
  • Robert Randolph and the Family Band: Lickety Split (Blue Note) B+
  • Jason Isbell: Southeastern (Southeastern) ***
  • Mavis Staples: One True Vine (Anti-) **
  • Grant Peeples and the Peeples Republik: Punishing the Myth (Gatorbone) **
  • Valerie June: Pushin' Against a Stone (Concord) **
  • Hard Working Americans: The First Waltz (Melvin) **
  • Otis Taylor: My World Is Gone (Telarc) **
  • Thomas Anderson: On Becoming Human (Out Here) **
  • John Murry: The Graceless Age (Evangeline) *
  • The Defibulators: Debt'll Get 'Em (PigCow) *

Recent articles:

Also note that Carola Dibbell has a new website, featuring her first published novel, The Only Ones. Many of her other writings are still hosted here.

For More Information