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  • 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
  • Article

    More Than a Vegan - Tom Scholz Keeps on Chasing His Dream

    Don't go for Boston's Corporate America thinking Tom Scholz has gone Chomsky-metal and decided to indulge in rock social criticism. The title's a red herring, the recording mostly about loves lost, unrequited or indulged in briefly. Corporate America...

    by George Smith on January 21, 2003
  • Article

    Murder, My Sweet - Thug Love Is All Around

    Hegemony, as described by in-vogue Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci, relies on a combination of force and consent. The Security Council approval of the U.S. resolution on Iraq, for example, is force couched as consent. On the other hand, Ja Rule and ...

    by Sterling Clover on January 21, 2003
  • Article

    All the Clich to Heaven - Who's Your Daddy?

    Say this much for Nas: He knows how to draw a parallel. Ever since "Hate Me Now," he has been calling himself Christ to all within earshot. His comparison makes sense, but for the wrong reason. There hasn't been much divine about a Nas album for almo...

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates on January 21, 2003
  • Out of the Territories - Steven Bernstein's Old-Timey Jazz Comes in From the Cold

    Article

    Out of the Territories - Steven Bernstein's Old-Timey Jazz Comes in From the Cold

    Steven Bernstein has been so much a part of the downtown cultural exchange, through which the usual suspects are transmitted from one band to another in an endless game of musical chairs where the last man standing has to get a real job, it was surpr...

    by Gary Giddins on January 21, 2003
  • Article

    Man of Substance - Might Even Be Said to Possess a Mind

    It's charming to think Stanley Crouch grew Wynton Marsalis in a petri dish. But fact is, Marsalis is an independent thinker whose boyish charm gets confused for loud arrogance simply because he's prideful, powerful, and pretty. And he's no false prop...

    by Daniel King on January 21, 2003
  • Article

    Music

    World on a String The last time I saw Randy Weston, he concluded a conversation about a holy trinity of pianists with a proclamation of solidarity. "I'm like you," he told me. "I'm a fan. I'm doing this for Mr. Ellington, Mr. Tatum, and Mr. Monk....

    on January 21, 2003
  • Probably Not

    Article

    Probably Not

    At the end of the day Audioslave are simply a bore. Predictable, pedestrian, pro forma. Less than the sum of their parts, the album and the band don't even amount to an interesting failure, because the known quantities do what they have always done o...

    by Greg Tate on January 14, 2003
  • Article

    Escape Claus

    Given hip hop's belief in Santa Claus, a/k/a the Christmas market, figure the many rap records below (don't stop till you get to Duds, now) constitute a first installment. Haven't even gotten some yet. People who believe in Santa Claus often think it...

    by Robert Christgau on January 14, 2003
  • Fuckin' Wit Da Best - Face From the Block

    Article

    Fuckin' Wit Da Best - Face From the Block

    Lording over the Dirty South like it was still the Wild West, Brad Jordan, a/k/a Scarface, plays the drums, gets numb, rocks Carolina-blue sweatsuits, and makes you look. Geto Boy, Def Jam South CEO, and crypt keeper for countless souls snuffed out o...

    by Chris Ryan on January 14, 2003
  • Whiskers in the Dark - Mama's Got a Litterbox, Daddy Never Sleeps at Night

    Article

    Whiskers in the Dark - Mama's Got a Litterbox, Daddy Never Sleeps at Night

    Women are uniquely qualified to make angry music. The rage of a girl seeing all the baggage she's going to have to lug around has no equal. But girls tend to internalize anger, because that's what's expected. Break bottles in the street, and Mom frea...

    by Lalena Fissure on January 14, 2003
  • Ride Hard, Die Hard - Under-the-Table-Again Rock

    Article

    Ride Hard, Die Hard - Under-the-Table-Again Rock

    Raw wrath and metal roll always win out. No matter how retro or staid, the best hard rock in 2002, by far, came from those who instinctively grasped that respect must be paid to ground broken in the mid '70s, not only by the big guns but also by the ...

    by George Smith on January 14, 2003
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