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  • What I Like About You - Capital-'R' Romantics and Secular Priests

    Article

    What I Like About You - Capital-'R' Romantics and Secular Priests

    Whenever Mom caught the teenaged me mooning about, she'd put one hand on her forehead and lay the other on the table, palm up: "I, too, am a Suffering Romantic Poet. Woe is me. Now do the dishes." She was usually right. Most despair doesn't deserve t...

    by Sasha Frere-Jones on February 25, 2003
  • Article

    Primordial Oo's - Reasons to Be Cheerfully Wistful, Pt. 3

    Baxter Dury takes those beautifully ethereal oo's and ah's that you find in the background of old Beatles-Kinks-Floyd records and makes them his foreground. Well, not exactly. He also sings words and main melodies, but in such an ethereal high-pitche...

    by Frank Kogan on February 25, 2003
  • Trans-Europe Expression - Sun Sun Sun on the Autobahn

    Article

    Trans-Europe Expression - Sun Sun Sun on the Autobahn

    "Pilot," the catchy-as-a-5:15 standout on the Notwist's elegantly beautiful fifth album, Neon Golden, is not the kind of song customarily championed for pop immortality. Sure, it's got the emotional equilibrium classic pop requiresin "Pilot" 's case...

    by Piotr Orlov on February 25, 2003
  • Article

    I Said Ignoramus, Not Dummie

    I've happened upon enough mix albums to essay another very occasional edition of the Ignoramus's Guide to Last Year's Dance Music. Encyclopedic these will never be. But believe in Steinski, Rupture, and Extra Yard. And note that the Pick Hits come fr...

    by Robert Christgau on February 25, 2003
  • Gloss This Mess Around - Two Brothers Walked Into a Bar

    Article

    Gloss This Mess Around - Two Brothers Walked Into a Bar

    The one time I met Frank and John Navin, the two Chicago brothers who front the Aluminum Group, I just had to lie to them that the new yellow Volkswagen Beetle I'd driven to the unbelievably tidy apartment one of them lived in belonged to me and not ...

    by Mikael Wood on February 25, 2003
  • Article

    Twelve Unbelchy Men - A Trombone World Reborn

    Aren't trombonists just deeper-voiced saxophonists? Not always. Slide Hampton's new Spirit of the Horn nearly blows my plunger. His sweet tones, round notes, and mumbling slurs send shocks through my martini and chills down my 40. Hampton's "Pop Go...

    by Daniel King on February 25, 2003
  • Article

    Music

    Hot in Wherre? Though the response in Madison Square Garden to Fred Durst's appeal for disappearing the war pretty much consisted of me saying "woo," the Grammy Awards crowd was in "agreeance" about one thing. Well, maybe two: When Nelly's flas...

    on February 25, 2003
  • It's the Tune, Stupid - Lou Harrison, 1917–2003

    Article

    It's the Tune, Stupid - Lou Harrison, 19172003

    He was the Santa Claus of new music, an oversized elf whom you could only picture with a broad grin on his face and a belly shaking with laughter. He was the supreme hedonist of us all. "Accompanied by courtesy, lust and greed are the two great virtu...

    by Kyle Gann on February 18, 2003
  • Aquí Se Habla Español - David Murray Makes a Cuban Connection

    Article

    Aqu Se Habla Espaol - David Murray Makes a Cuban Connection

    No career in jazz during the past 30 years has proven more consistently unpredictable and rewarding than that of David Murray. When he first showed up in New Yorka 20-year-old student on furlough from Pomona College, playing "Flowers for Albert" in ...

    by Gary Giddins on February 18, 2003
  • I'm In Love With My Walls - More Trip-Hop (Or Not) About Buildings and Atmosphere

    Article

    I'm In Love With My Walls - More Trip-Hop (Or Not) About Buildings and Atmosphere

    "Claustrophobic": Somewhere in the disheveled histories of Massive Attack, Tricky, and Portishead, this became the critical buzzword of trip-hop. Don't believe me? Log on to Google, type in "Massive + Attack + claustrophobic," and watch what pours ou...

    by Scott Woods on February 18, 2003
  • Article

    Rocket '88 - Top-Billin' Not Half-Steppin'

    In '88 I was not pushing weight. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, was I getting chased to my building. Nor, in case you were wondering, was I a ballerina. Oh no. What I do remember about those good ol' days are snippets of sound and vision. Raiders ...

    by Chris Ryan on February 18, 2003
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Life of Possibilities Sure, the drummer wears batting gloves. The bassist grooves like a wacko Jaco Pastorious. And the lead singer dances (and smirks) like Andrew McCarthy. But dammit if the Dismemberment Plan don't make it work. The cerebral an...

    on February 18, 2003
  • Original Pirate Material - Queens Upstart Skips the Middleman, Takes on Hip-Hop's Kings of New York

    Article

    Original Pirate Material - Queens Upstart Skips the Middleman, Takes on Hip-Hop's Kings of New York

    There were many, many funny things said by hip-hop's numba one Whiteboy, Eminem, as he lyrically manhandled the would-be leader of hip-hop's Flat Earth Society, Benzino, during their war of words this winter. In one particularly tickling moment, Emb...

    by Kris Ex on February 11, 2003
  • Article

    Party Party Tonight - Where the Wild Blings Are

    Mike Ladd's dribble of cream-of-Beat poetry flows better than the majority of hip-hop's savant garde, having jacked Bollywood long before DJ Quik and beaten Can Ox and "Grindin'" to that toxic, ill Saddam-type shit. He's even got his own personal myt...

    by Jess Harvell on February 11, 2003
  • Article

    Made in Manhattan - Flip Off the Ol' Block

    Session 8: 103 days until album release: When I showed up to the studio today, my engineers Bruce and Peter were huddled over some computer. Ben and I started making out on the couch. Ben Affleckhe's my new husband! I mean, boyfriend! Whoops! After ...

    by Jon Caramanica on February 4, 2003
  • Beyond the Streets - Rap in the Garage With My Bullfrog Detector

    Article

    Beyond the Streets - Rap in the Garage With My Bullfrog Detector

    So everybody knows about the Streets now, but only as an isolated case: that unprecedented phenomenon, the U.K. rapper who's both excellent and authentically English-sounding. Skinner actually comes from a context, though. It's not that perennial lam...

    by Simon Reynolds on February 4, 2003
  • Article

    Rhythm & Blighty - Melisma Manchester? Not Bloody Likely.

    In the car. Me: "Leave it on that station, it's 'Bootylicious.' " Deborah: "Please, no." Me: "What do you have against r&b?" Deborah: "That's not r&b, all that ululating." The neosoul movement thinks American r&b is suffering from a dangerous lack ...

    by Sasha Frere-Jones on February 4, 2003
  • Not Gift Wrapped - New Frederic Rzewski Discs Reveal a Thinking Person's Postmodern Music

    Article

    Not Gift Wrapped - New Frederic Rzewski Discs Reveal a Thinking Person's Postmodern Music

    When Nonesuch released their 10-disc sets of Steve Reich and John Adams, I put 'em on the shelf and thought, "Well, those'll be nice to have around." By this point, after all, I think I could write my own Reich or Adams piece if I had to, their artis...

    on February 4, 2003
  • Article

    The Prelude

    This column is the prelude to the 29th or 30th Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll. Unfortunately, and that's putting it mildly, it's also the prelude to an American war on Islam. What does it mean that Islam gave me more albums than the poll? HAKIM Ta...

    by Robert Christgau on February 4, 2003
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Cuz She's Cleva I regret to inform you that you're not Erykah Badu. Got it? You don't have the chops to pull off this sort of conceit. You can't start your show an hour and a half late, then draw out your intro for three minutes while your backup ...

    on February 4, 2003
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