They Bet Your Life

Reading tales from inside the hedge fund casino.

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The 2013 Dean's List

An annual, opinionated rundown of the best of a year in listening.

 

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The Consensus Has Consequences

Our listener-in-residence on his year in music.

 

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Unruly Reading

A critic's year in reading takes in "life-changing" books old and new.

 

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The Cynic and the Bloke

On tour with Donald Fagen and Rod Stewart.

 

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No Hitting

In Norman Rush’s Subtle Bodies, a  memorial service brings old friends together.

 

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Tell All

Intimate memoirs of New York life and love.

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Gypsy Is His Autopilot

The Roma roots and world-conquering rhythms of an unclassifiable band.

 

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Give the Drummer Some

A musical polymath's life in beats.

 

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Voices from a Desert War

Saharan musical traditions ancient and modern, in a region riven by conflict.

 

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Richard Hell: The Thrill-Seeking Years

In I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, a punk icon issues a wailing rock memoir.

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They Don't Want to Talk About It

A pair of courageous new memoirs from married music makers.

 

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May the Consensus Have Consequences

From Channel Orange to a Syrian wedding party.

 

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The Dean's List 2012

A year's worth of essential listening.

 

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Who's That? Brooown!

Das Racist may be gone, but they shouldn't be forgotten soon.

 

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The Geek Who Came in from the Cold

David Byrne looks back on a life turning questions into ecstacy -- and Jonathan Lethem unpacks the Talking Heads' signature work of nervous transport.

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Derring-Do Scraping By

In Michael Chabon's new novel, a record store in a troubled bohemia proves a setting as fantastic as any in the author's recent work.

 

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Darkest America

A new study grapples with the long, complex legacy of blackface minstrelsy in performance.

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Hearing Her Pain

Fiona Apple can be hard to like. Love is a different matter.

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Music for Lovers

Before the era of the phonograph and radio, Americans were opening their ears.

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Preaching Agnosticism (with Laugh Lines)

"Outlaw country" singer-songwriter Todd Snider's storytelling talent is its own religion.

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The Many Reasons to Love Wussy

How a pair of best friends from Cincinnati are leading the best band in America.

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Tough Love

Etta James's voice was a great beauty -- but she never forgot how to play rough.

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The Dean's List: Christgau's Best of 2011

Robert Christgau's annual rundown of the year's best in pop music.

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Dad-Rock Makes a Stand

Looking ahead sometimes means looking back.

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Dark Night of the Quants

Can a wordsmith read his way to comprehension of the global financial mess?

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Pioneer Days

Two of rock's greatest critics, and why they moved on.

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Brag Like That

Arrogance—and mastery—in the rhymes of Jay-Z and Kanye West.

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Not Fade Away

Mining the past for musical pleasures that offer more than than nostalgia.

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Making Out Like Gangsters

Four new books explore the nexus of business, crime, and the making of popular music.

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About the Columnist
Robert Christgau is a critic at All Things Considered, writes for the National Arts Journalism Program's ARTicles blog, teaches in NYU's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, and has published five books. His highly searchable website is robertchristgau.com.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.