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  • Article

    What Gaul?

    Hyped as the herald of a post-punk "neo-realist" movement to revive the pre-WW II chanson, Luaka Bop's latest compilation instead offers a fascinating glimpse at an unplugged alternative scene that barely nods to the soap-operatic "realist" tradition...

    by Larry Birnbaum on September 10, 2002
  • Article

    Cold Turkeys

    Being too low for high praise, too brown for fair praise, and too little for great praise, Adam Bomb Brenner and New York Times nevertheless deserve something to mark their arrivalperhaps a pack of onion gum or a hotfoot followed by a night of unlim...

    by George Smith on September 10, 2002
  • Race Against Time

    Article

    Race Against Time

    Noir writing gets an unexpected literal twist in Charles Willeford's brilliant and cynical 1955 novel Pick-Up. A relationship involving a couple characters out of an Edward Hopper painting flames up and sputters out with a friction whose cause is onl...

    by Richard Gehr on September 10, 2002
  • Article

    Keeping Up With the Jones

    Remember the early verdict on scratching'n'rappingnot real musicians, can't play instruments, blah blah blah? Amazingly, this actually shamed some folks, and hip-hop got a series of abominations like Cool J Unplugged, session bassists, and acid jazz...

    by Jane Dark on September 10, 2002
  • On the Prowl

    Article

    On the Prowl

    Oh, Grandma, what big make-believe teeth you have: the better to corrupt Little Red Riding Hood with, give her furry lessons in going down on tadpoles, then devour Mum and Daddy for brunch. "In proper homes throughout the land/Fathers try to understa...

    by Howard Hampton on September 10, 2002
  • Article

    Music

    Ten Years Gone When Bettina Richards started Thrill Jockey Records in 1992, after a&r stints with Atlantic (where she signed the Lemonheads) and London (where she guided the Meat Puppets toward post-SST riches), she already had a clear picture of...

    on September 10, 2002
  • Ghetto Fabulous

    Article

    Ghetto Fabulous

    In the made-for-TV movie version of the life of Brazilian mad-genius avant-pop weirdo Tom Z (starring John Leguizamo as Tom Z and slated to begin production soon after hell freezes over or Wal-Mart starts stocking excellent 2000 import Jogos de Arm...

    by Julian Dibbell on September 3, 2002
  • Pinned Down by the Piano - La Monte Young's 'The Well-Tuned Piano' Hits DVD

    Article

    Pinned Down by the Piano - La Monte Young's 'The Well-Tuned Piano' Hits DVD

    La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano is available again, and about damn time. Not on compact disc, thoughthe Gramavision recording of a 1981 performance that was released in 1987 has been out of print for years. But Young, or rather the MELA Founda...

    on September 3, 2002
  • A Bit of a Dag

    Article

    A Bit of a Dag

    Beth Orton will make a good mother. In her own stomping ground, England, she's known as the Comedown Queen. She wears floppy hats in the sun and has freckles on her nose. From the first day, her music has said just about enough. She's the lightly per...

    by Emma Pearse on September 3, 2002
  • Article

    No Slack, Motherfucker

    The indie near-lifers of Spoon have come to reside on the disillusioned cloud of oncoming middle age. Kill The Moonlight, their fourth full-length, contemplates its darkest lining. Spoon didn't inherit this surly stance from former Matador label-mate...

    by Piotr Orlov on September 3, 2002
  • Article

    Music

    Kiddie in the Middle Last Wednesday's triple bill at Jones Beach was rife with potential significance: With Aerosmith and Kid Rock co-headlining and Run-D.M.C. giving support (which may have meant carrying guitar cases, given what little they act...

    on September 3, 2002
  • Article

    A Very Good Year

    Want to know why I do this, over and above it's a living? Because as of August 14 or so I thought it was a lousy yearuntil the grading discipline made me come to terms with just how good the new Sleater-Kinney, Mekons, and Spoon albums are. THE ...

    by Robert Christgau on September 3, 2002
  • Black Arthur's Return - Arthur Blythe's Western Wind, Part II

    Article

    Black Arthur's Return - Arthur Blythe's Western Wind, Part II

    Arthur Blythe's story may not make a movie, but it certainly works as jazz allegory. He came to New York from San Diego in the magical mid '70s, and on his second night out sat in with Elvin Jones. Although he was critically neglected at home, at 34 ...

    by Gary Giddins on August 27, 2002
  • Steadfast in Style

    Article

    Steadfast in Style

    "Nobody cares like I do/What can I do?" Bryan Ferry warbles on "Goddess of Love," from the British singer's new album, Frantic. A bewitched plaint about Marilyn Monroe, the song first depicts her in familiar terms as glamorous but lonely, then addres...

    by Rob Tannenbaum on August 27, 2002
  • Article

    On-Ramp to Style

    At first glance, the cover of the Gentlemen of Leisure CD seemed like a boring attempt at "style," but now it strikes me as a charmingly austere attempt to pretend to evoke opulencethe two gentlemen, each wearing an expensive dress-up suit, are stan...

    by Frank Kogan on August 27, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Amen to the E-man Jimmy Castor is no has-been. Harlem's own Everything Man, who birthed subwoofing novelties like "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" and "Bertha Butt Boogie," has been sampled over 3000 times, lending raw funk boom to cuts by bands from the ...

    on August 27, 2002
  • O Fiction, My Love - Jacqueline Humbert, Smoothest Chanteuse on the West Coast

    Article

    O Fiction, My Love - Jacqueline Humbert, Smoothest Chanteuse on the West Coast

    I've got a crush on someone, but it can never work out. She's fictional. It's Linda, the abandoned heroine of Robert Ashley's opera Improvement: Don Leaves Linda. Linda is imperturbable in crisis, endlessly vulnerable and endlessly unafraid, distrust...

    on August 20, 2002
  • Striving for Ease - Randy Travis Stays With Us

    Article

    Striving for Ease - Randy Travis Stays With Us

    Randy Travis is so much not an original that even his new traditionalism was a copy. Although many claim he saved country music from Urban Cowboy, that flick blighted 1980 and his chart blitz began in 1986, well after bluegrass boy Ricky Skaggs, chic...

    by Robert Christgau on August 20, 2002
  • Take the Long Way Home

    Article

    Take the Long Way Home

    "They're all so happy to hear that I've done wrong," Neko Case once sang about nosy neighbors titillated by rumors of scandalous extracurriculars, "I'm surprised they don't come over and thank me." The title of her third solo album might portend more...

    by Jessica Winter on August 20, 2002
  • Article

    Show Me the Way

    Peter Frampton never asked Shuggie Otis and Brian Eno to mess with Frampton Comes Alive, but supremely zealous rap-metal flagbearers Linkin Park essentially do just that with Reanimation. The new album sells itself as remixes of songs from this era's...

    by Christopher O'Connor on August 20, 2002
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