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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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...

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.

July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).