03 September 2006

Bye Bye Bobby Christgau

If Bruce Brugmann is to be believed, the new editor of the Village Voice has finally sacked Robert Christgau, its Jurassic music critic. While I'm not generally in favour of unemployment, especially the forced variety, Christgau had just about reached retirement age anyway. Still raving about long-in-the-tooth 80s noise rockers Sonic Youth being "the best band in the universe"), he had gone beyond the role of being the embarrassing would-be hip uncle to symbolizing much of what was wrong with the Voice. The first time I picked up the Voice, which would have been sometime in the mid-60s, I found it absolutely exhilarating; for the last couple decades, it's been New York's employer of last resort for bitter and/or delusional old lefties.

Which is probably why Brugmann finds it so threatening that the Voice finally shows signs of joining the 21st century: the same "alternative" media conglomerate that recently bought the Voice has, with its SF Weekly and East Bay Express titles, been making mincemeat of Brugmann's own wildlife refuge and petting zoo for superannuated radicals, the SF Bay Guardian.

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