Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  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
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:


  • Nothing to Fear [Soul Ting, 2002] A-
  • What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective [Illegal Art, 2008] A

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Nothing to Fear [Soul Ting, 2002]
The man who invented the bootleg mix has an ear that predates the Sugarhill Gang and a borscht-belt sense of humor. He flows records into a linear funk devoid of depth charges, liminal sounds, and other perversities on the cognitive dissonance tip. This radio show turned so-sue-me CD leans heavily on dance-friendly hip hop both commercial and underground, older r&b, and known spoken-word--Eve and Blackalicious, JB's and Marvin Gaye, Marx Brothers and Music Man. What I can't ID I'll live with enjoying. But I would like to know the real-life identity of the rapper who plays the inept role model and whatnot. If Steinski didn't script him, who did? 'Cause he's got a future in situation comedy. A-

What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective [Illegal Art, 2008]
Coming to hip-hop as an older outsider, moonlighting adman Steve Stein went for verbal meaning in his beat-based sound collages, the earliest of which--"The Payoff Mix," "Lesson 2 (James Brown Mix)" and "Lesson 3 (History of Hip Hop)," all collaborations with Stein's engineer buddy Double Dee--were as foundational for turntablism as "The Message," and still sound as fresh. But he's in command of a wide range of black music--funk, soul, jazz, breakbeat and hip-hop (where his tastes run old-school and underground)--and his beats can make you chuckle. Steinski loves straight comedy and exploits an impressive store of datedly "hip" spoken-word records to add extra irony to the history he evokes and reproduces. Because he's always preferred the popular to the esoteric, his uncleared samples have offended cultural capitalists from Walter Cronkite to the Incredible Bongo Band. Note that this rarities collection includes the excellent bonus radio-broadcast-turned-CD Nothing to Fear, which came out in 2002 and vanished soon after. Buy it while you can. A

See Also