Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Robert Christgau's Is It Still Good to Ya?

News

Expert Witness: Some Inventive, Alternative Hip-Hop

New in Expert Witness:

  • Homeboy Sandman & Edan: Humble Pi (Stones Throw) A-
  • Open Mike Eagle: What Happens When I Try to Relax (Auto Reverse) A-
  • Atmosphere: Mi Vida Local (Rhymesayers) **
  • 2Mex: Lospital (Water the Plants) *
  • Red Pill: Instinctive Drowning (Mello Music) *

New questions and answers will be published on Tuesday, November 20: Xgau Sez.

Christgau's new book, Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017, was published October 26 by Duke University Press.

Website was updated on Thursday, including all Expert Witness reviews from January to last week.

Expert Witness: Pistol Annies' Sharp 'Interstate Gospel'

New in Expert Witness:

  • Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel (RCA) A
  • Becky Warren: Undesirable (self-released) A-
  • Mandy Barnett: Strange Conversation (Dame Productions/Thirty Tigers) A-
  • Robbie Fulks/Linda Gail Lewis: Wild! Wild! Wild! (Bloodshot) ***

New questions and answers were published on November 6: Xgau Sez.

Christgau's new book, Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017, was published October 26 by Duke University Press. Some recent reviews and discussion:

Christgau also wrote a new essay about the new book:

Expert Witness: Rich Krueger's Ambition and Paul Simon's Farewell

New in Expert Witness:

  • Rich Krueger: NOWThen (Rockink) A-
  • Paul Simon: In the Blue Light (Legacy) A-
  • The Chandler Travis Three-O: Backward Crooked From the Sunset (Iddy Biddy) *
  • Rich Krueger: Overpass (CDBaby) *

New questions and answers will be posted on Tuesday, November 6, before the polls open: Xgau Sez.

Christgau's new book, Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017, was released last week (October 26) by Duke University Press.

Expert Witness: A Tribute to Blue Lu Barker (and Blue Lu Herself)

New in Expert Witness:

  • Maria Muldaur: Dont You Feel My Leg: The Naughty Bawdy Blues of Blue Lu Barker (Last) A
  • Blue Lu Barker: Remastered Collection (J. Joes J. Edizioni Musicali) A-
  • George Jones & the Jones Boys: Live in Texas 1965 (Ace) ***
  • Duke Robillard and His Dames of Rhythm (M.C.) **
  • Willie Nelson: My Way (Legacy) *

New questions and answers were posted on Tuesday, October 23: Xgau Sez.

Christgau's new book, Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017, was released today (October 26) by Duke University Press.

Expert Witness: Riton and Kah-Lo's Unrap

New in Expert Witness:

  • Riton & Kah-Lo: Foreign Ororo (Last Gang) A-
  • I'm Not Here to Hunt Rabits (Piranha) A-
  • Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4 (Strut) ***
  • Seun Kuti & Egypt 80: Black Times (Strut) *
Expert Witness: Ed Hamell's Brutal, Bastard-Bashing Fantasies

New in Expert Witness:

  • Hamell on Trial: The Night Guy at the Apocalypse: Profiles of a Rushing Midnight (Saustext) A
  • Lyrics Born: Quite a Life (Mobile Home) A-
  • Mudhoney: Digital Garbage (Sub Pop) ***
  • Will Hoge: My American Dream (Thirty Tigers/EDLO) **

New questions and answers were posted on Tuesday, October 9: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: On Noname's Poetic Breakthrough

New in Expert Witness:

  • Noname: Room 25 (self-relesed) A
  • The Internet: Hive mind (Columbia) A-
  • Blood Orange: Negro Swan (Domino) ***
  • Medhane: Ba Suba, Ak Jamm (Grand Closing) *
Expert Witness: On Eminem

New in Expert Witness:

  • Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Aftermath/Shady/Interscope) A
  • Eminem: Kamikaze (Aftermath/Shady/Interscope/Goliath) B+
  • Jean Grae & Quelle Chris: Everything's Fine (Mello Music) ***
  • E-40: The Gift of Gab (HTS) **
  • Rae Sremmurd: SR3MM (Eardruma/Interscope) *

New questions and answers were posted on Tuesday, September 18: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: Some Raggedy-Ass Rock and Some Tropical Fuck Storm

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Mekons 77: It Is Twice Blessed (Slow Things) A-
  • Tropical Fuck Storm: A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Tropical Fuck Storm/Mistletone) A-
  • Ceramic Dog: YRU Still Here? (Northern Spy) ***
  • Ike Reilly: Crooked Love (Rock Ridge) **
  • Marc Ribot: Songs of Resistance 1942-2018 (Anti-) *

Also new:

Also old, but new here:

Expert Witness: John Kruth's Broad Compass

New in Expert Witness:

  • John Kruth & La Società del Musici: Forever Ago (Ars Spoleteum) A-
  • Clay Harper: Bleak Beauty (self-released) B+
  • Sam Baker: Land of Doubtr (self-released) **
  • Chris Butler & Ralph Carney: Songs for Unsung Holidays (Smog Veil) **

New questions and answers were posted on Tuesday, September 4: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: Hinds' Good-Hearted Chops

New in Expert Witness:

  • Hinds: I Don't Run (Mom + Pop) A-
  • Bali Baby: Baylor Swift (Twin) A-
  • Kali Uchis: Isolation (Virgin EMI) ***
  • Primo!: Amici (Polyester) *
XgauSez

New questions and answers on Tuesday, August 21: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: Methodist Hospital's Goofy Apocalypse

New in Expert Witness:

  • Methodist Hospital: Giants (self-released) A-
  • Rolling Blackouts C.F.: Hope Downs (Sub Pop) B+
  • Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Sparkle Hard (Matador) ***
  • Low Cut Connie: "Dirty Pictures" (Part 2) (Contender) **
  • Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune) **
  • Okkervil River: In the Rainbow Rain (ATO) *
  • Eyelids: or (Jealous Butcher/Schizophrenic) *

Also:

Expert Witness: Amanda Shires's Powers of Observation

New in Expert Witness:

  • Amanda Shires: To the Sunset (Silver Knife) A-
  • Lori McKenna: The Tree (CN/Thirty Tigers) B+
  • Sarah Shook & the Disarmers: Years (Bloodshot) **
  • Ashley Monroe: Sparrow (Warner Bros.) *

The second batch of answers to Xgau Sez was posted on Tuesday, at the top of the usual page.

Expert Witness: Three Cutting, Politically Minded Records

New in Expert Witness:

  • Chicago Farmer: Quartet Past Tonight (chicagofarmer.com) A-
  • AD the Voice: Maxi-Single (Statik Entertainment) A-
  • American Aquarium: Things Change (New West) B+

Expect a second batch of answers to Xgau Sez sometime Tuesday. It will be posted at the top of the usual page.

Expert Witness: Elza Soares's Disruptive Brilliance

New in Expert Witness:

  • Elza Soares: Deus É Mulher (Deck) A-
  • Tom Zé: Sem Você Não A (Irara) B+
  • Iara Rennó: Arca (YB Music) ***
  • Tom Zé: Tribunal do Feicebuque (Irara) ***
  • Iara Rennó: Flecha (YB Music) *

We've done a partial update of the website. This includes a page for Robert Christgau's new essay collection to be published October 26 by Duke University Press: Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017. The book contract requires that we embargo 70% of the book's content for three months before and two years after publication, so you will notice that a number of essays (59) will now link to the book page.

These changes are happening at a time when lots of things on the website are in process of being revamped, so it's quite possible for a partial update to introduce new bugs. If you encounter any problems, please notify the webmaster.

Xgau Sez

The first batch of answers to Xgau Sez have been posted. Some style issues are still up in the air, but that link will always get you the latest answers.

You can ask a question using this form.

Expert Witness: SOPHIE's Sweet Clarity

New in Expert Witness:

  • Sophie: Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides (Transgressive/Future Classic) A-
  • Beats Antique: Shadowbox (Beats Antique) A-
  • DJ Koze: Knock Knock (Pampa) **
  • Allen Ravenstine: Waiting for the Bomb (Morphius/MVD) *

We're setting up a new section where Robert Christgau will be answering questions from readers. To submit a question, use this form. Current plan is to post first set of Q&A on Tuesday, July 24.

Christgau has a new book coming out in October from Duke University Press: Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017. You can order a copy at Indie Bound or your preferred book retailer.

Expert Witness: G.O.O.D. Music's Good (and Less Good) Music)

New in Expert Witness:

  • Pusha T: Daytona (G.O.O.D. Music) A
  • Tierra Whack: Whack World (self-released) A-
  • Kanye West and Kid Cudi: Kids See Ghosts (G.O.O.D. Music) A-
  • Gift of Gab: Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again! (Giftstribution) ***
  • Nas: Nasir (G.O.O.D. Music) *
  • Kanye West: Ye (G.O.O.D. Music) *

We're setting up a new section where Robert Christgau will be answering questions from readers. To submit a question, use this form.

Expert Witness: Merrill Garbus's Creative Compulsions

New in Expert Witness:

  • tUnE-yArDs: I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (4AD) A-
  • Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel (Mom + Pop) A-
  • Neko Case: Hell-On (Anti-) B+
  • Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice (Matador) **
  • Lily Allen: No Shame (Warner Bros.) *

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