Robert Christgau http://kunm.org en Album Review: 'Runaway's Diary' http://kunm.org/post/album-review-runaways-diary Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Memphis singer songwriter Amy LaVere specializes in lyrics that are more barbed than her sweet soprano prepares you for. Our music critic, Robert Christgau, thinks she's never gotten that balance quite as right as she has on her new album, "Runaway's Diary."<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RABBIT")<p>AMY LAVERE: (Singing) Old man, I hear they call you rabbit...<p>ROBERT CHRISTGAU, BYLINE: Louisiana-born Amy LaVere gets a lot of things done. Tue, 27 May 2014 20:44:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 45821 at http://kunm.org Album Review: 'English Oceans,' By Drive-By Truckers http://kunm.org/post/album-review-english-oceans-drive-truckers Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The band Drive-By Truckers are in their third decade playing alternative country music tinged with Southern pride. Critic Robert Christgau says they put out a great album in 2008 then hit a lull. But he says their latest album, out this week, is a true comeback.<p>ROBERT CHRISTGAU, BYLINE: I confess I had no idea what the title song of the Drive-By Truckers' "English Oceans" was about until I read the press kit. Oh, it's Mike Cooley's poetic take on how Republican operative Lee Atwater imagined the male, white, Southern psyche. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 42140 at http://kunm.org Aesop Rock And Kimya Dawson Showcase Their Strengths http://kunm.org/post/aesop-rock-and-kimya-dawson-showcase-their-strengths <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q_7fT-vSXU</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 29486 at http://kunm.org Aesop Rock And Kimya Dawson Showcase Their Strengths Marc Ribot Isn't Trying To Comfort Anyone http://kunm.org/post/marc-ribot-isnt-trying-comfort-anyone After six years as a sideman for many soul veterans, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/17083894/marc-ribot">Marc Ribot</a> made his name in 1985 with <em>Rain Dogs</em>, the album that marked <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15295750/tom-waits">Tom Waits</a>' permanent transition from eccentric singer-songwriter to truly weird singer-songwriter. Ribot has held down straight gigs since then, but his work has tended toward the avant-garde. Tue, 30 Apr 2013 19:52:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 28508 at http://kunm.org Marc Ribot Isn't Trying To Comfort Anyone Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal http://kunm.org/post/jonny-fritz-country-jester-gets-personal <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2_RIg0vZPQ</p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 00:16:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 28315 at http://kunm.org Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal Homeboy Sandman: A Rapper Leaves Law Behind http://kunm.org/post/homeboy-sandman-rapper-leaves-law-behind The bare facts of Homeboy Sandman's back story don't sound very hip-hop: prep school in New Hampshire, Ivy League B.A., even some pieces for The Huffington Post. But, as is often the case with class and race in America, bare facts don't tell the whole story.<p>Sandman's Dominican-born father was a gifted heavyweight who quit boxing to become a lawyer. His Puerto Rican mom graduated from college around the time her son was winning his third scholarship, this time to law school. Wed, 19 Dec 2012 20:55:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 22739 at http://kunm.org Homeboy Sandman: A Rapper Leaves Law Behind Big K.R.I.T.: Big Heart, Thick Drawl http://kunm.org/post/big-krit-big-heart-thick-drawl <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/137107219/big-k-r-i-t">Big K.R.I.T.</a> will turn 26 in August and seems halfway to stardom. His Def Jam debut, <em>Live from the Underground</em>, will feature a <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15402961/b-b-king">B.B. King</a> cameo and is scheduled for a June 5 release. It should hit the charts high.<p>Although he's never had an official album, he's been releasing free mixtapes regularly since 2005. His 2010 <em>K.R.I.T. Wuz Here</em> won him a contract with Def Jam. 2011's <em>Return of 4Eva</em> made many top 10 lists. Fri, 25 May 2012 20:29:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 13261 at http://kunm.org Big K.R.I.T.: Big Heart, Thick Drawl By This 'Beak And Claw,' A Trio Shall Synthesize http://kunm.org/post/beak-and-claw-trio-shall-synthesize <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15121560/sufjan-stevens">Sufjan Stevens</a> is a classically trained singer-songwriter whose recent work has leaned symphonic. <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/92313933/son-lux">Son Lux</a> is a classically trained beatmaker whose solo albums do indeed evoke luxury. Serengeti is a self-trained rapper who creates voices for a panoply of full-fledged characters who range from scufflers to yuppies. Wed, 23 May 2012 20:30:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 13161 at http://kunm.org By This 'Beak And Claw,' A Trio Shall Synthesize Jeffrey Lewis: Cosmic And Tongue-In-Cheek 'Dream-Songs' http://kunm.org/post/jeffrey-lewis-cosmic-and-tongue-cheek-dream-songs <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDINJ7BvjyQ</p> Mon, 31 Oct 2011 21:36:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 3301 at http://kunm.org Jeffrey Lewis: Cosmic And Tongue-In-Cheek 'Dream-Songs' Woody Guthrie's 'Note Of Hope' From Beyond The Grave http://kunm.org/post/woody-guthries-note-hope-beyond-grave When <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15394720/woody-guthrie">Woody Guthrie</a> died in 1967, he left behind an enormous cache of unpublished lyrics and prose, which has resulted in an exceptionally rich posthumous career. <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15193203/bob-dylan">Bob Dylan</a>, who should know, has written of Guthrie: "He was so poetic and tough and rhythmic. There was so much intensity, and his voice was like a stiletto." Though I probably shouldn't admit it, I rarely listen to Woody Guthrie for pleasure. Mon, 03 Oct 2011 18:57:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 866 at http://kunm.org Woody Guthrie's 'Note Of Hope' From Beyond The Grave Mates Of State: Reaching Surprising New 'Mountaintops' http://kunm.org/post/mates-state-reaching-surprising-new-mountaintops <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15398253/mates-of-state">Mates of State</a>'s members are literally mates: Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been a duo since 1996, married since 2001, and parents on tour since 2004. Their basic concept is two strong voices, Gardner's slightly predominant, over her keyboards and Hammel's drums. Over the years, the band has expanded its instrumental range and brought in guests for sonic color. Thu, 29 Sep 2011 19:32:00 +0000 Robert Christgau 700 at http://kunm.org Mates Of State: Reaching Surprising New 'Mountaintops'