Turkey Shoot 2001

SHUGGIE OTIS Inspiration Information:
World Psychedelic Classics 2: California Soul
(Luaka Bop) What a waste. With a bigger boost from his hustler-bandleader dad, who started recording Johnny Jr. at 17 and got Al Kooper to produce the lad's first album, this genius in disguise might have become a very successful studio guitarist. You get to keep meeting the stars, and if you're biz-savvy, ad work eventually provides a reliable income stream. Instead Shug merely created what experts from the High Llamas all the way to Tortoise agree was "almost like a new style of music that could have developed but never did." Given his vocal inferiority to AWB, Hall & Oates, and the Brothers Johnson, this presumably refers to the funk-lite fusion experts from the High Llamas all the way to Tortoise have taken it upon themselves to defunkify, with cultural consequences not yet detectable. C PLUS

PEACHES The Teaches of Peaches
(Kitty-Yo import) Not cock-rock, bukkake-rock. And though you may be lucky enough not to know what that means, Peaches had better. Doesn't matter whether she's a performance artist, a concept rocker, a bored schoolteacher, or an expat with a gimmick. "Come on, hot rod/Give me your wad" etc. is prosex postfeminism for the age of Internet porn, in which thousands of women a day prove how cool they are by smiling through their semen facials. It's wish fulfillment for boys who make passes at girls who wear glasses. And given a beat by Chilly Gonzales's low-techno bump and grind, it's perfect for a fashion industry finally past the embarrassment of junkie chic. B MINUS

Mista Don't Play Everythangs Workin
(Loud) I don't try to play every horrible hip hop record—certainly not to the end. But this lump of thug gold got extra horrible after the single, so I stuck with it. He raps like your downstairs neighbor banging a broom on the ceiling, with beats to match. If a ho comes down from the suburbs and shoots him in the mouth, it'll only be poetic justice. D PLUS

RAINER MARIA A Better Version of Me
(Polyvinyl) Structurally, indie-rock is as healthy as any other unsubsidized commodity in a panic economy. Clubs will fail, arty fans feel the pinch, but the infrastructure won't blow away. Musically, however, it's just limping along, especially when it declines the crutch of genre homage. Take this high-buzz Wisconsin-to-Gotham brainchild of ex-Ezra Pound guitarist William Kuehn. Compared by one admirer to "pop bands like Versus, Verbena, and of course Superchunk" while another cites its "male/female vocals a la Velocity Girl (minus the pop)" (and neither mentions Veruca Salt or Värttinä), Rainer Maria is the genuine collegiate article: impressionistic and overwrought. Emo is a male preserve. But emo fans are woman-friendly enough to sit still for music contoured to the vocal stylings of Caithlin De Marrais, who came in knowing poetry doesn't have to rhyme and picked up the bass as she went along. C

SISQO Return of Dragon
(Def Soul) The little man had a big hit. His solo debut went quadruple platinum, making him the quota-pumping toast of many media. But he wanted more than fame and fortune. He wanted the Grammy snobs denied "Thong Song." So his follow-up crossed PG-13 thug and subpar Luther Vandross. Certified platinum shortly after its June release, it was off the charts by September. Let's hope we all last until 2004. It would be truly terrible if militant Islam were to deny us our Dru Hill reunion. C

TOOL Lateralus
(Volcano) What am I supposed to say about the latest in meaning-mongering for the fantasy fiction set? That they are not as good as King Crimson? That I do not like my Billy Cobham comp even less? That this is not progress? That I am not a virgin? All of the above. Plus I never liked Crimson much to begin with. C

TRAIN Drops of Jupiter
(Columbia) Managed by the same music lovers who gave the world Matchbox 20/Twenty and Better Than Ezra. Went platinum. That should triangulate them for you. Bombs away. C MINUS

PETE YORN Musicforthemorningafter
(Columbia) The younger brother of a bigtimeentertainment lawyer and the hottest agent in Hollywood is as neotraditionalist as Gillian Welch, only his chosen tradition is the El Lay sound perfected by Peter Asher and Chuck Plotkin: kempt guitar hooks atop solid drum parts he lays down himself, with some Mitchell Froom-style studio murk for hipness and atmosphere. If you love rock and roll it'll make your skin crawl on contact. If you have a weakness for tune it'll grow on you. Only then, if you have any brains left, you'll wonder why you haven't connected with a single phrase and find more El Lay on the lyric sheet—a fusion of old-style singer-songwriter indirection and new-style song-doctor ur-banality. Honors the diction and cadences of ordinary speech, 'tis said—until there are scansion problems, when up pop anti-idioms like "the look upon your face" and "you were never fond of anything I said." You said it, buster. B MINUS

Must to Avoid

ENYA A Day Without Rain
(Reprise) Pondering the fate of post-September 11 pop, everyone predicted what they already wished for—Slipknot undone, Britney in hiding. What happened instead was the unthinkable—sales of Enya's first album since 1995 spiked 10 months after release. (And she thought that movie where Charlize Theron fucked Keanu Reeves and died of cancer was a promotional coup!) Two years in the making with the artiste playing every synthesizer, the 11 songs here last a resounding 34 minutes and represent a significant downsizing of her New Age exoticism since 1988's breakthrough, Watermark—it's goopier, more simplistic. Yanni is Tchaikovsky by comparison, Sarah McLachlan Ella Fitzgerald, treacle Smithfield ham. Right, whatever gets folks through the night. But Enya's the kind of artist who makes you think, If this piffle got them through it, how dark could their night have been? Like Master P or Michael Bolton only worse, she tests one's faith in democracy itself. D MINUS

« Previous Page
Next Page »
New York Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • May
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu