Robert Christgau

Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017

(First Published)

Main Details
Author Robert Christgau
Publisher Duke University Press
First Published
Identifying Codes
ISBN 13 978-1-4780-0022-8
Format Paperback
Publication Location Durham, NC, USA
Page Count 443 pages
Font Minion Pro
Language English
Chapters Introduction. Robert Christgau's Greatest Hits: Volume UUU 1
Prologue. Good to Ya, Not for Ya: Rock Criticism vs. the Guilty Pleasure 9
I. History in the Making
Ten-Step Program for Growing Better Ears 19
Dionysus in Theory and Practice 19
B.E.: A Dozen Moments in the Prehistory of Rock and Roll 27
Let's Get Busy in Hawaiian: A Hundred Years of Ragged Beats and Cheap Tunes 34
Rock Lyrics Are Poetry (Maybe) 42
"We Have to Deal With It": Punk England Report 48
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster: The Music Biz on a Joyride 65
Not My Fault, Not My Problem: Classic Rock 76
A Weekend in Paradise: Woodstock '94 81
Staying Alive: Postclassic Disco 96
Harry Smith Makes History: Anthology of American Folk Music 103
Getting Their Hands Dirty: Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life 107
A Month on the Town 111
U.S. and Them: Are American Pop (and Semi-Pop) Still Exceptional? And by the Way, Does That Make Them Better? 120
What I Listen for in Music 130
II. A Great Tradition
Pops as Pop: Louis Armstrong 135
Not So Misterioso: Thelonious Monk 140
First Lady of Song: Billie Holiday 149
Folksinger, Wordslinger, Start Me a Song: Woody Guthrie 154
Caring the Hard Way: Frank Sinatra: 1915-1998 159
Like Ringing a Bell: Chuck Berry: 1926-2017 161
Unnaturals: The Coasters with No Strings Attached 165
Black Elvis: Same Cooke 172
Tough Love: Etta James 176
The Excitement! The Terror!: Miles Davis's '70s 181
Sister, Oh Sister: Kate and Anna McGarrigle 185
Two Pieces About the Ramones: 190
1. Ramone
2. Road to Ruin
Nevermore: Nirvana 196
A Long Short Story: The Go-Betweens 200
Generation Gaps: The Spice Girls 204
Ooh, That Sound: The Backstreet Boys 206
Tear the Sky Off the Mother: 'N Sync 207
The World Is His Boudoir: Prince 208
Two Pieces About Aretha Franklin: 209
1. Queen of Pop
2. Familiar and Fabulous
Two Pieces About Bob Dylan: 214
1. Dylan Back: World Goes On
2. Secrets of the Sphinx
Ain't Dead Yet: Holy Modal Rounders 220
How to Survive on an Apple Pie Diet: John Prine 221
The Unflashiest: Willie Nelson 225
III. Millennium
Music from a Desert Storm 231
Ghost Dance 238
The Moldy Peaches Slip You a Roofie 241
Attack of the Chickenshits: Steve Earle 245
Facing Mecca: Youssou N'Dour 249
Three Pieces About M.I.A
1. Burning Bright
2. Quotations from Charmin M.I.A.
3. Right, the Record
IV. From Which All Blessings Flow
Full Immersion with Suspect Tendencies: Paul Simon's Graceland 259
Fela and His Lessers 267
Vendant l'Afrique 270
Dakar in Gear 275
A God After Midnight: Youssou N'Dour 278
Franco d Mi Amor 279
Forty Years of History, Thirty Seconds of Joy 285
Tribulations of St. Joseph: Ladysmith Black Mambazo 289
Music from a Desert War 292
V. Postmodern Times
Growing by Degrees: Kanye West 301
The Slim Shady Essay: Eminem 303
Career Opportunity: The Perceptionists 314
Good Morning Little School Girl: R. Kelly 316
Master and Sacrament: Buddy Guy 319
The Commoner Queen: Mary J. Blige 321
A Hot Little Weirdo: Shakira 323
What's Not to Like?: Norah Jones 326
No-Hope Radio: Radiohead 330
Rather Exhilarating: Sonic Youth 334
Adult Contemporary: Grant McLennan: 1958-2006 337
Titan. Polymath. Naturalist: Ray Charles: 1930-2004 338
He Got Us: James Brown: 1933-2006 339
Old Master: Bob Dylan 342
Estudando Tom Zé 343
Gypsy Is His Autopilot: Gogol Bordello 349
Triumph of the Id: Lil Wayne 353
Brag Like That: Jay-Z 357
Paisley's Progress: Brad Paisley 362
Smart and Smarter: Vampire Weekend 367
The Many Reasons to Love Wussy 372
Hearing Her Pain: Fiona Apple 377
Firestarter: Miranda Lambert 381
Monster Anthems: Lady Gaga 384
Dancing on Her Own: Robyn 388
Three More Pieces About M.I.A.: 393
1. Spread out, Reach High: M.I.A.'s Kala
2. Illygirl Steppin Up
3. Spelled Backwards It's "Aim"
The Unassumingest: Lori McKenna 400
VI. Got to Be Driftin' Along
Who Knows It Feels It: Bob Marley 407
Shape Shifter: David Bowie: 1947-2016 411
The Most Gifted Artist of the Rock Era: Prince: 1958-2016 414
Forever Old: Leonard Cohen: 1933-2016 416
Sticking It in Their Ear: Bob Dylan 419
Don't Worry About Nothing: Ornette Coleman 420
Sensualistic, Polytheistic: New York Dolls 421
Index 425


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