Monster Anthems

Behind Lady Gaga's postmodern spectacle, a voice of surprising power.

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Sister Oh Sister

A new reissue of early recordings reveals a heartbreaking work of sibling genius.

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The Righteous Path

The Southern songcraft of the Drive-By Truckers keeps a steady hand on the wheel. Robert Christgau listens to Go-Go Boots.

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Dancing on Her Own

Robert Christgau gets moved by Swedish pop star Robyn's infectious beats and pugnacious lyrics.

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Live Albums

The year in pop music: not momentous, so it happens, but still expanding.

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The Dean's List: Christgau's Best of 2010

A critic's rundown of a year in pop music.

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Discovering Teranga

A visit to Dakar in pursuit of Senegal's musical treasures.

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Estudando Tom Zé

Why the world needs to know about Brazil's mad musical genius, Tom Zé.

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Ain't That a Shame

Four biographies of rock'n'roll greats try to place music legend in the world of documentable fact.

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Maturity for Modern Kids

The grown-up anthems of Arcade Fire. Read more...

Illygirl Steppin Up

The boundary-eroding music of M.I.A. mashes the personal and the political with toughness, wit, and beats. Read more...

Who Knows It Feels It

Before Bob Marley was a visionary and culture hero, he was a musician.

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Pops as Pop

Robert Christgau on the enduring power of Louis Armstrong's horn -- and voice.

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The Triumph of the Id

Why Lil Wayne resides in a musical universe all his own. Read more...

Smart and Smarter

Vampire Weekend’s second outing is no sophomore slump. Read more...

Resuscitations and Business Plans: The Best Albums of 2009

After twelve months of listening, the songs that beg to be heard again. Read more...

The Dean's List: The Best Albums of 2009

Fourscore (plus three) records worth remembering from a year's devoted listening. Read more...

Not So Misterioso

Robin D.G. Kelley's new biography of Thelonious Monk inspires a reflection on a musician and composer whose gifts keep on giving.

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Paisley's Progress

A country star finds his voice. Read more...

A Classic Illustrated

The creator of Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat takes on...the Creation.

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Constructed Social Scenes

The indie-rock bohemias of Toronto, New York, and Chapel Hill -- chronicled by the participants. Read more...

Unbeautiful Winner: Leonard Cohen

Considering Leonard Cohen's place in the Tower of Song. Read more...

Forty Years of History, Thirty Seconds of Joy

Politics and transcendence in the art of the Congolese soukous. Read more...

Character References

Unearthing the buried pleasures of Serengeti's satirical creations. Read more...

Positive Harangues

Craig Finn's bar-band-made-big holds steady to its singalong roots. Read more...

Charity Cases

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Two collections offer new perspectives on the fine art of the cover tune.

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Remembrance of Seasons Past

The lure of nostalgia isn't the only thing that makes writing about baseball so tough. Read more...

Lily Allen: The Same Everygirl After All

The brash singer's sophmore effort revels in wit over drama. Read more...

Bohemias Lost & Found

Does it take a Village to make a Bohemia? Read more...

The List and the Listener

The Dean of Rock Critics dives into the pages of 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die. Read more...

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 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.