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THE ROBERT CHRISTGAU ROCK-SNOB APTITUDE TEST

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Robert Christgau (above), as all Snobs know, is the Village Voice rock sage who has been grading new rock releases in his “Consumer Guide” column since 1967. Though Bob is now 94 years old, he still rocks and has his own wicked cool Web site, which carries the modest tagline “Dean of American Rock Critics.” (Lest we forget, the poet, statesman, and Zappa fan Vaclav Havel is the Dean of Czech Rock Critics.)

One of our friends was trawling the Christgau site’s voluminous archives and found this review of a 1974 Gordon Lightfoot album:

Sundown [Reprise, 1974]
If Gordon had dyed his hair and taken a short course at the local car wash–you think he would have lasted a week?–he might have found a new career as Jim Croce II. Instead, he scored one of his periodic hit singles, thus securing his status as a weird new kind of purist: uncompromising proponent of commercial folk music. Two songs about the lure of the sea and one about urban despair go down as easy as the usual plaints about female perfidy. Chad lives? B-

Our friend writes to Snobsite, “I suggest we administer the Christgau Comprehension Test to one hundred randomly selected rock writers across the country and see how many of them can figure out what the hell ‘Chad lives’ means. I’m guessing zero. I’m guessing this is one of those many instances in which Christgau attains his creative and spiritual goal of Complete Obfuscation.”

Sounds like a capital idea, this test, but why not ask this site’s very smart readership if they can help out! “Chad lives,” anyone?

December 02, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

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