But those of us who wrote for Christgau learnt more from it. While Christgau did much influence my taste or my opinion, he changed the way I thought about writing about music. For instance, without Christgau, I would never have timed the lengths of the songs on Taylor Swift's Speak Now, to make the point that she was overwriting her songs.
Without Christgau I would never have studied song placement on an album so carefully.
And without Christgau I would never have worried so much about what my voice sounded like. When I started rock nyc I wanted to sound like a blogger and to, in effect, repudiate my rock critic past only to realize I wasn't being true to myself: that I couldn't help sounding like a knowitall and it wasn't helping to hide.
Simple thinks, like italics for album names, quotation marks for song titles, or the urge to write less all the time, to make my point and then stop dead… that I got from Christgau.
It is a little like John Fowles "The Magus" -a literary godgame.
One more thing: when I started writing about music, I was heavy into punk. But one day I received an Ashford And Simpson album meant for another writer via the Village Voice. I called up Christgau and he recommended I listen to it, "You might learn something". I did and I did.
Thanks, Mr. Christgau.