This is the first episode of Auriculum, an occasional podcast that will appear here on And It Don’t Stop. Auriculum is a word of my own invention, meant to designate the entirety of each person’s aural reality. This episode is the first of a three-part conversation with Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield, whose great books Love is a Mixtape and Dreaming the Beatles I highly recommend. Rob and I discuss the early days of rock criticism, the role of the Village Voice in covering the emergence of both punk and hip hop, and the way taste leads to knowledge. This episode is available to everyone; parts two and three will be available to subscribers only. Thanks to Wussy for granting permission to use their song “Teenage Wasteland” as the theme song for Auriculum.