“Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Ragged Glory [Reprise, 1990]
“It’s three o’clock in the fucking morning, will you turn that thing down? All I hear down here all night is thump-thump-thump-thump thump-thump-thump-thump—same fucking tempo, same fucking beat, on permanent repeat, you don’t even have to walk over to the amplifier to start it up again, just galumph up and down in that stupid hippie pogo. Of course I love him too. I know the guitar is great. So what? This isn’t the Beacon, goddamn it. It’s my apartment.” A-”—Robert Christgau, "Consumer Guide" (Village Voice, October 23, 1990)
Steven: When did you decide to concentrate on other kinds of journalism and why?
RJ: I’d always been interested in how cultural artifacts tell us stuff about the cultures that made them. And in the late ’70s and early ’80s to be in New York during post-punk and hip-hop and the indie thing, it was no brain stretch to find all kinds of meaning among the music. I wish it were so easy in a lot of the music most written about today. Today critics aren’t supposed to explore “what’s being said?” as much, and there’s a lot of pushing to find stars and prop them up.
A certain form of critical writing and a voice was coming easy to me, and doing the same thing over and over again is usually death for a writer. I wanted to work harder than I was and push myself and so moving to Los Angeles and taking on other subjects seemed like a good move. I should say that somewhere along the way I became more interested in telling stories. Good criticism can tell a story, but other sorts of writing seemed more availing, and I started exploring them.