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  • Article

    Nicebreaker

    "Something in the Way of Things (In Town)," besides bad memory block, is the last song on the Roots' best album yet. For seven minutes, Amiri Baraka sees ice picks, a blackbird with its ass on fire, andlike anybody with three eyestoo much of door-d...

    by Dave Tompkins on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Inkblot Integer-Hop

    Regan Farquhar, a/k/a Busdriver, rhymes like a syncopated giggle, sine-curve-scrambling words jockeying for position even as the foundation they springboard from disintegrates into nothingness. On most of the songs on the knowingly titled Temporary F...

    by Jon Caramanica on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    How Music Survives Capitalism - Adorno's Essays Map Out the Tortured World We Perform In

    Every artist in this age of commerce lives with a divided consciousness. On the one hand, you sense the truth embodied in your own artistic work. On the other, you're aware of the falsification inevitable in the process through which corporations pac...

    on December 31, 2002
  • L Is for Children

    Article

    L Is for Children

    These goddamn bands these days. They ain't got shit to say. Sometimes, they don't even say anything at all. And who needs 'em to? Had little, lyric-less Out Hud arrived in 1993, their recombinant shoogity-oogity would have eliminated the need for a T...

    by Jon Dolan on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Branca Busting - Youre Soaking in It

    When a woman's gonna hammer on her guitar, she has to use the right nailseven if they're French manicured. No self-respecting riot grrrl-gone-wild ever stopped shredding her Elixir strings for fear of chipping her lacquer. Still, sometimes even the ...

    by Melissa Maerz on December 31, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    My Def Jux Baby Tee "We're putting all these old routines to bed tonight," announced El-P when he took the stage at around 11 p.m. Anyone expecting the Definitive Jux post-Christmas party at Bowery last Friday to be a victory lap, a communal high f...

    on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Don't Call It a Comeback

    As several e-mailers have noted, I did indeed spend three months listening a lot more than I wrote. Here's where I start catching up. RYAN ADAMS Demolition (Lost Highway) Hayseeds manqu who think he's betrayed his alt-country heritage sh...

    by Robert Christgau on December 24, 2002
  • The Onslaught - Recombinant Rock in the Valley of Dub

    Article

    The Onslaught - Recombinant Rock in the Valley of Dub

    Within music are two contrary impulses, both worth nurturing: the impulse to focus on a main story, such as a lead melody or lead singer or soloist, maybe with a charismatic show-off taking center stage and acting as if all the music were his doing; ...

    by Frank Kogan on December 24, 2002
  • Article

    Joe Strummer, 19522002 - Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)

    Joe Strummer died quietly in his sleep on December 22, surprising to the last. As the leader of the primal punk outfit the Clash, he knew what the perfect rock band should be and lived when he could make it happen. The beat should be fast and ferocio...

    by Milo Miles on December 24, 2002
  • Jazzman of the Year: Clark Terry - Many Happy Returns

    Article

    Jazzman of the Year: Clark Terry - Many Happy Returns

    Dear CT, It's that time of year againholidays, wrap-ups, and your birthday, number 82 on December 14, which undoubtedly seems more incredible to observers like me than to you, living with courage and style, and still playing with a gleaming ingenu...

    by Gary Giddins on December 17, 2002
  • The Moving Pencil Writes - Meredith Monk Sinks Her Music Into Human Archetypes of Sadness and Comfort

    Article

    The Moving Pencil Writes - Meredith Monk Sinks Her Music Into Human Archetypes of Sadness and Comfort

    A pencil wandering across a page is an irresistible analogy for a human life: leaving its irrevocable, wavering mark as it goes, expending itself in an inherently finite process. At the beginning of Mercy, by Meredith Monk and Ann Hamilton, recently ...

    on December 17, 2002
  • Article

    Re-make/Re-model

    In this heyday of the re-repackage, if you don't own Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' 1995 two-CD Anthology, skip everything in this annual Xmas-gift roundup except the Holiday and purchase that singing group's 2002 two-CD Ooo Baby Baby: The Anthology...

    by Robert Christgau on December 17, 2002
  • Crazy/Dutiful

    Article

    Crazy/Dutiful

    In the world of country and western, fresh new dudes are allowed to become good ol' boys, George Strait turning out the same record every couple years, Garth keeping pace, and Alan Jackson maintaining a freakin' concept career about the ethical virtu...

    by Jane Dark on December 17, 2002
  • Article

    Dollywood Bollywood

    It doesn't get any more weirdly cynical than this: A trio of albums containing the same 19 songsone red, one green, and one blueall differently recorded and catering to three target audiences. Up! is an album tailor-made for a format-driven Clear C...

    by Kembrew McLeod on December 17, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Someone Else's Train Not a bridge, but a chasm: New York's post-punk stepchildren split two generations of rock fans like a nightclub Vietnam. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, who's 44, recently said he was "bumming out" while listening to the Rap...

    on December 17, 2002
  • Article

    Stick to You Like Glue

    At times, it seems like the once glorious possibilities in reggae's red-hot cry of ghetto outrage against all downpressors have shrunk to dictates about hairstyle, clothing, diet, and even fucking, from guys who get off on telling the rest of us what...

    by Elena Oumano on December 10, 2002
  • Article

    The Last Hypocrite

    The Last DJ is Tom Petty's latest stab at exposing the less savory aspects of the recording industry and trying to force it to mend its ways. With every other musician in the business stepping up to take a crack at the topic, Tom's complaints are, by...

    by Sean Carruthers on December 10, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Joined at the Heart "Wow, that is one slippery stage," Jason Trachtenburg camps, kicking off the December residency of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players "on Ice" at Fez. The smoke machine creates the illusion of ice, or so we're told, and...

    on December 10, 2002
  • Wearing the Melancholy - This Dungeon's for Hire, Even If We're Just Dancing in the Darkwave

    Article

    Wearing the Melancholy - This Dungeon's for Hire, Even If We're Just Dancing in the Darkwave

    If you live in Salem, you either embrace Halloween full-force or endure a silent October. In the capital of witchcraft, as Salem has been since 1692, there's no other choice. Salem people wear a lot of black a lot of the timea large Wiccan contingen...

    by Michael Freedberg on December 10, 2002
  • Shock My Monkey

    Article

    Shock My Monkey

    High concept, or maybe just high, posi-fatalist goth-trance "darkwave" outfit VNV Nation's mooning would probably seem cheesy even to the preppie meatheads who frequent Webster Hall. Formed in London, temporarily relocated to Toronto, and most popula...

    by Nick Catucci on December 10, 2002
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