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  • 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
  • How to Be Good - Sensitive-Guy MC Consults Navel, God, Erykah

    Article

    How to Be Good - Sensitive-Guy MC Consults Navel, God, Erykah

    At the beginning of "Heaven Somewhere," an extremely long song about death that closes his new album, Electric Circus, Common describes a phone conversation with a friend who's about to turn himself in for an unspecified crime. Common says, "I knew h...

    by Sasha Frere-Jones on January 28, 2003
  • Wherefore Art Thou? - The Thug You Save May Be Your Own

    Article

    Wherefore Art Thou? - The Thug You Save May Be Your Own

    On the best song off the Jackson 5's excellent 1970 Christmas album, Marlon asks for new shoes; Jackie, a basketball hoop seven feet high; and horn dog Jermaine, some mistletoe; while Michael, sweet Michael, only wants "love and peace for everyone." ...

    by Christian Hoard on January 28, 2003
  • Folk the Pain Away - Friends of Kimya and Adam Call Antifolk What They Want

    Article

    Folk the Pain Away - Friends of Kimya and Adam Call Antifolk What They Want

    If "folk music" in its most traditional sense is the music of the folkthe lower classes, the salt of the earththen "antifolk" would logically be the music of the aristocracy, right? The New York Philharmonic or opera or Merzbow or whatever's playin...

    by Amy Phillips on January 28, 2003
  • Article

    Where's LaBeef? - Insects and the City

    Calla singer-guitarist Aurelio Valle's weapon of choice, a maple-finish, Gibson hollow body, was once owned by Sun Records' biggest recording artist. The six-foot-seven, droopy-eyed Sleepy LaBeef, a husky Razorback by birth, and Calla (Valle, bassist...

    by Yancey Strickler on January 28, 2003
  • Article

    Yoko Motion - Nobody Sees Her Like You Do

    Yoko Ono is now as old as your grandmother. So why is she still so controversial within the famously tolerant dance community? DJ Danny Tenaglia caught shit for her "Open Your Box" freak-out at his annual Miami Winter Music Conference bash last year....

    by Carla Spartos on January 28, 2003
  • Article

    You Gotta 'Believe' - Thank You for Pitch-Correcting Me, Africa

    The Autotunerthe digital pitch-corrector most easily recognized as the creator of Cher's "Believe" vocal effectis fast becoming the wah-wah pedal of our era, dolloped on everything in earshot, sure to sound hopelessly dated in five years and like a...

    by Michaelangelo Matos on January 28, 2003
  • Article

    Music

    Quiet, Please! On an eyeball-freezingly cold January 17, between dates opening for the Stones at MSG, prolific comb-free princeling savior of trad rockways Ryan Adams took the time to inaugurate a new monthly music series at Housing Works Used ...

    on January 28, 2003
  • Article

    Can't Help but CRI - Composers Recordings Incorporated, 19542003

    I started collecting records when I was 12, in 1968 in Dallas. My dad would take me to work with him at Mobil Oil, and I'd run down the street to the downtown record store, whatever its name was. Records were six dollars, frequently on sale for four,...

    on January 21, 2003
  • Big With the Kids - Corporate Rock-Hack Bands Nobody Over 20 Ever Heard of Rule America

    Article

    Big With the Kids - Corporate Rock-Hack Bands Nobody Over 20 Ever Heard of Rule America

    Is it just me, or has the median age for post-postmodern rock stars been getting younger? How else to justify all those fawning profiles of suburban scofflaws Sum 41 making out like they invented disorderly conduct? Sure, it all comes down to what th...

    by Marc Weisblott on January 21, 2003
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