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  • Shock My Monkey


    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
  • Article

    Sophisticate's Choice

    Electric Wizard, Grand Magus, Bad Wizardso many metal magicians, you almost can't tell which is which. Bad Wizard's the one with the strangest press, a blurb from The New Yorker linking them fondly to Molly Hatchet. It's hard to know what's more unb...

    by George Smith on December 10, 2002
  • Today's Mathematics


    Today's Mathematics

    Quality Control, Jurassic 5's 2000 debut album, refined a sound forged in the heat of battle: on the unforgiving stage of Los Angeles's Good Life Caf, during the early 1990s. There, originally working as two separate and unrelated unitsRebels of Rh...

    by Harry Allen on December 3, 2002
  • Beef Not Bacon


    Beef Not Bacon

    You don't need to be a Five-Percenter to suss that pork has no place in hip-hop. How pleased, to give one example, was Ice Cube when "mama cooked a breakfast with no hog" in "Today Was a Good Day"? DJ Quik's contribution to hip-hop's nostalgic, fleet...

    by Nick Catucci on December 3, 2002
  • Article

    Christmas Gilt - A Bounty of Chestnuts and Gift Boxes

    The annual profusion of Christmas albums suggests a bottomless appetite for the same dozen or 15 songs done in every conceivable fashion, and a hapless record industry is eager to oblige. When in doubt, shake up the backlist, develop a seasonal pun, ...

    by Gary Giddins on December 3, 2002
  • Article

    2Gether 4Never

    A friend inherited several dozen copies of the Sugababes' first album. She just called the distributor one day, and found out they were going to be landfilled. The fate of yet another pop record in 2002 is hardly a damning indictment of our times, I ...

    by Jess Harvell on December 3, 2002
  • Article

    Two Boots - Stiff Old Bands Get Down Like That

    One of the most uncanny effects of so-called mash-up bootlegs is the way already existing rhythm tracks by bands who've never seemed particularly swinging (XTC, Metallica) can be suddenly loosened up, utterly transformed by adding even marginally fun...

    by Dale Lawrence on December 3, 2002
  • Like Reich On Vodka - A Generation of Russians Embraces Post-Minimalism


    Like Reich On Vodka - A Generation of Russians Embraces Post-Minimalism

    By coincidence I arrived in Moscow the day the Nord-Ost theater siege began. I found a population distracted and depressed, but not too traumatized to share musical enthusiasms. I hadn't heard a peep of Russian music in decadesonly the occasional Es...

    on December 3, 2002
  • Music



    Join Our Cell "I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come," a clipped BBC voice intones between tracks on Saint Etienne's new Finisterre. On Soft Cell's comeback single, "Monoculture," Marc Almond offers a blunter take on pop chronology, beating n...

    on December 3, 2002
  • Bad Babysitters


    Bad Babysitters

    Obviously using a beta version of the Ciccone Careermaster, the Prodigy released their best song ever last summer and attached it to no promotional carriage beyond a few live shows. Album? Oops, forgot to make oneunless "Always Outnumbered, Never Ou...

    by Sasha Frere-Jones on November 26, 2002
  • Article

    Guess What, America, We Love You

    Having already chart-ruled 21 countries and gone pan-European No. 1, "Aserej" will be compared relentlessly to the macarena as it's angled for the Anglo market. But the real musical forebears of Las Ketchup, three daughters of Spanish flamenco star ...

    by Jane Dark on November 26, 2002
  • Article

    From Safety to Where

    There are those among us, and you know who you are, with black capes and PVC corsets moldering in the back of your closets, a single tube of Revlon's Blackberry lipstick melting in your bathroom cabinet, and a stack of Sisters of Mercy 12-inches in s...

    by Kat Long on November 26, 2002
  • Shades of Gray


    Shades of Gray

    Sigur Rs are a quiet Icelandic quartet who with their new, untitled, major-label third album [already referred to by semi-pop folklorists as ( )] are currently making a bold U.S. move. Apart from some legally mandated boilerplate printed in tiny gra...

    by James Hunter on November 26, 2002
  • Article

    Heaven, Hell, and Jersey

    Every once in a while some lazyass future NPR-fodder Bob Costas wannabe idgit nostalgic for a past he barely remembers comes up to me and says, "Yo, Scott, so like, um, uh, have I missed anything this year, cuz like it don't seem like anything's any ...

    by Scott Seward on November 26, 2002
  • Article

    They've Gotta Have It

    Altie title for the Donnas' latest: She's Got to Be a Macho Girl, after a piece in The New York Times about high school girls said to be ravening fuck monsters bent on raiding the panties of boys nationwide. Lyrically, about half of Spend the Night...

    by George Smith on November 26, 2002
  • Hear My Body Talk


    Hear My Body Talk

    Olivia Newton-John's prospects began to unravel as soon as she imagined Grease as a psychic road map for her own career. So good thing LeAnn Rimes had a surrogate actress playing out her reverse-Sweet Home Alabama fantasies, lest she figure Coyote Ug...

    by Marc Weisblott on November 26, 2002
  • Article

    Good Old Boys

    As the kiddies hit adolescence and the warm fuzzies of the late '90s dissipate, days of five hunky men busting out mean dance spins and belting lyrics about immortality are numbered. The emphasis now is on the individualit usually is when times cry ...

    by Christopher O'Connor on November 26, 2002
  • Music



    Mongeese for Peace After unknowingly helping to spread the "Shakira" computer virus this summer and getting taunted by colleagues as the singer's "number one fan," I kept my plans to check out Wednesday's "Tour of the Mongoose" concert at Madison...

    on November 26, 2002
  • Nice Girls Finish Fast


    Nice Girls Finish Fast

    The $64 million question? Why, in a post-Spice Girl world, are black girl groups still forming (and falling apart) as if the Spice Girls never happened? You have to admit that the successful game plan of five self-motivated British vixens who simply ...

    by Carol Cooper on November 19, 2002
  • Article

    18 and a Rep

    3LW are at that awkward stage. Young enough to initiate their split with a food fight (the trio's now touring as a duo); old enough to follow through with accusations of sexual manipulation and race-baiting. "To say that [Naturi] was kicked out of th...

    by Sterling Clover on November 19, 2002
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