What to read right now XXVI: The Consumed Guide

Josh Spilker

X marks the Christgau / The Consumed Guide

Take some scathing music criticism and smash it together and you have The Consumed Guide by Brian Joseph Davis, a remix of some of Robert Christgau's most scathing reviews in his longtime Consumer Guide columns. Davis emphasizes its poetic qualities, creating line breaks among the ruins in a steady set of stanzas arranged in alphabetical order. What comes out is a fascinating cut-up of poetry, uncanny but somewhat familiar in diction, like if someone took all the reviews from Rolling Stone Japan and ran them through Babelfish.

If that doesn't sound like an endorsement, it really is, because what clever excerpts like this appear:

Super-catchy fluke fashion-plated pandering,
sure beats sexual exploitation as an artistic
specialty, surges into something resembling
life, swelling Springsteen-cum-Lizzy
pseudoclimaxes, syncretic asshole,
synthesized pseudorathskeller clink-andchatter, synthetic funk rhythms make me
laugh out loud. Terrified high-school boys can call them their own.

It's instantly familiar, but tweaked and all of Pitchfork depends on these very word and makes David Shields, William Burroughs, and your lit theory professor proud.

The people at Vol 1. Brooklyn have an excerpt, or you can grab the whole thing for free in ebook format at Davis' website.

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