Los Angeles, California
Videotapes revealed the Columbine shooters quoting Shakespeare in planning their melee. In this election year, what candidate will take up the noble cause of removing this insidious dead white male's works from the hands of our impressionable youth? I know a lotta people who've been hoping for an excuse to get Sting's albums stickered.
Mount Tabor, New Jersey
Album I would have liked to hear: Lou Bega . . . in the Life of Chris Gaines.
Someday we'll be able to say we knew him before he became the Artist Formerly Known as Beck.
Santa Barbara, California
If this Latin pop explosion was really so major, why didn't we see bigger sales of the Pope's album, Abba Pater? He was the only one who actually sang in Latin.
Steve Merritt, Trent Reznor, and that Morrissey kid. "Three Bummers." Quintuple album. Giants Stadium. Let's make this happen.
Rock is like a fallen tree. Dead and rotting, it will sustain whole microecosystems of bugs, toads, fungi, mosses, for decades to cometeeming populations of minuscule critters living off its moribund tissue, its necrotic myth-flesh of gesture and expression. Sure you can focus on a specific fungus-patch or toad-clutch (e.g. thrash/death/black metal or emocore) and perceive virulent vitality. But the tree, the overarching macro-myth, is still dead.
This past year rock partied like it was 1999. And like it was 1949 and all the years in between. There's no future! There's no past either. If time is erased, rock, the expression of an urgent now, is dead.
I don't know who's here to save rock and roll, or even that it can or should be saved. You'd have to give some heavy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the thing, and I'm not sure I want to taste its beery breath or feel its bloated corpse. But I'd take a fat, washed-up rock star over a shiny, happy pop star any day.
Brooklyn, New York
Didn't R.E.M. promise to break up after 1999? It's 2000we don't have our flying cars or robot maids, but we do have Michael Stipe? This is bullshit!
So much for living on the moon or eating steak dinners in pill form. With Santana back on top, the future has been postponed indefinitely.
Curtis Mayfield said what was needed before people realized what was needed. He articulated what others only thought privately, brought the debate out of the family room. His guitar eternally set on quiet fire, he did it with such grace and joy and melody you never knew you were getting a talking-to. He urged people to get ready, and sooner or later, swayed by the sound, they got ready.
Given the horror of the music business, some substance or at least fun grew in its vast black shadow. Maybe it has to do with why I never go to the movies: I'd rather mainline my emotions from the stereo without storylines or explanations. I don't have true love or a fast car, but I do have a radio, and sometimes it's the same kind of rush.
Lissa Townsend Rodgers
No more rap-metal unless the people involved are truly freaks on a leash. No more songs about bitches and niggaz unless it's straight from the heart. No more taking it back to the old school. No more Iggy Pop records. No more even blonder, even younger, even bigger-breasted children lip-synching their way to rehab. No more jazz in hip-hop and vice versa. No more techno videos where someone is feverishly running away from something down dark city streets, through alleyways and up staircases. More than three Latinos on the radio. More banjos.
Fact is, every new year that goes by lately, I actually hear more albums I like than the year before. Which isn't a surprise given how the quantity of music keeps climbing overall. There's more awful stuff every year, too.
Brooklyn, New York
My resolution for '00 is the same one I've made the last five years: SPEND LESS TIME LISTENING TO BAD MUSIC. I wish the music business would help me keep this resolution.