Well, this is a total bummer. After slaving away at the project for an unbelievable 41 years, word comes today that this month’s installment of Robert Christgau’s Consumer Guide will be the last. He made the announcement in a note on the MSN site, where the column has been published since Christgau left the Voice in 2006.
Barring miracles unlikely to ensue, this is the final edition of Christgau’s Consumer Guide, which MSN will no longer publish following this month’s edition. The CG has generally required a seven-days-a-week time commitment over the 41 years I’ve written it, and I’m grateful to MSN for paying me what the work was worth over the three-and-a-half years I published it here. But though I always enjoyed the work, work it was, and I’ve long been aware there were other things I could be doing with my ears. So while I have every intention of keeping up with popular music as it evolves, being less encyclopedic about it will come as a relief as well as a loss.
Almost every word of the Consumer Guide will continue to live at Christgau’s site, along with basically everything else he’s ever written, making it by far the most important destination for anyone looking to write about music for a living. He approaches his craft more seriously and with as carefully honed a bullshit detector as anyone anywhere. Sure, he knows it, and sure, he’ll tell you about it any chance he gets, but who wouldn’t? He continues to write roughly one piece per month for Barnes & Noble, and they’re of head-shakinkgly high quality. Recent favorites include one about Lily Allen, another about Lil Wayne, and the single most convincing defense of Vampire Weekend ever written.