Robert Christgau’s Consumer Guide: Also in the Voice this week is Da Dean’s verdict on bootlegs. He likes them! He gives the a new bootleg compilation that’s appeared in certain lovely record stores a big fat A! Can you dig it?

But he adds:

“A dubious ethos does prevail, at least on this selection. It’s as if the guilty pop pleasure — Eminem, Celine Dion, Salt-n-Pepa, even the rap of “Get Ur Freak On”…is somehow validated by its juxtaposition to Nirvana, the Clash, the Stones, the Stooges, the fucking Strokes, and for that matter fucking Gary Numan.”

I think this is spectacularly wrong. It’s hard to think of any of the tracks on the best bootlegs in the world ever.. as exercises in validating cheap pop thrills. Bootlegs are usually too tacky and crass to validate anything (other than the bootlegger’s skillz, maybe). At their cheesiest, they rework pop hits into dumb dance anthems for a new generation, sort oflike the identikit version of “Satisfaction” I heard at the last wedding I went to, what with its hyped-up drums and smoother vocals. But at their wittiest, they suggest equivalence between the A and the B in the A vs. B; they suggest that the seperation between the pleasures of the Stooges and Salt ‘n’ Pepa aren’t wide enough to spit through. Even more radically, they suggest the complete abolition of all hierachies of taste.

And anyway, how the hell could any, ANY work of art be validated by its proximity to the Dead Kennedys? (“Destiny Kennedies”) Or Blur? (“Don’t call Me Blur”) Or Herb fucking Alpert? (the ECC track) And how can anybody see “Bium Bium Bambalo” as anything but a labelled diagram demonstrating that Sigur R’s is as banal and soporific as Celine Dion?

If there’s any music that’s being validated by the RAWK acts Christgau cites, it sure isn’t pop…it’s sports metal. “Get Your 9lb. Cock On,” “Push It/No Fun,” and the currently uncompiled “Lisa’s Got Hives” all describe a world where this much-maligned fusion sucks neither in theory or in fact, or as Steve Erickson sez: “Imagine rap-metal created by African-American women with a sense of humor.”