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  • Collapsing New Waves

    Article

    Collapsing New Waves

    1978, London: Tough to get any of those punks to shut up and listen, busy as they are screaming and being gobbed at. A nonplussed Daniel Miller, billing himself as the Normal, pens two mono-intoned, electrodrone un-ballads in response: "Warm Leathere...

    by Nick Catucci & Nick Rutigliano on January 29, 2002
  • Easy-Chair Rap

    Article

    Easy-Chair Rap

    It was inevitable. At a certain age, every pop genre begins to decelerate. In turn, its audience harkens for past glories and achievements, celebrating artists who uphold tradition rather than subvert or destroy it. How else to explain the emergence ...

    by Mosi Reeves on January 29, 2002
  • Waking Life of a Prophecy Girl

    Article

    Waking Life of a Prophecy Girl

    Sarah Dougher kicks off The Bluff, her spellbinding third album, with a beautiful nightmare. In it, she's hostage to her feelings, an explosion waiting to happen: "33 bombs with 33 wicks/Strapped all over me." In spite of the angelic background harmo...

    by Howard Hampton on January 29, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Back to the Future Eighties revivalism is afoot, and much of its allure stems from self-awarenessfor all its glam pretensions, the decade was kind of dorky. "I'm a nerd singing disco," cooed Miss Kittin Thursday night at Fun, except the French-Sw...

    on January 29, 2002
  • Leaving Well Enough Alone - Stuart Isacoff Argues an End-of-History Approach to Tuning

    Article

    Leaving Well Enough Alone - Stuart Isacoff Argues an End-of-History Approach to Tuning

    Champions of the status quo find a particularly warm welcome in today's America. The very title of Stuart Isacoff's book Temperament: The Idea That Solved Music's Greatest Riddle (Knopf) signals that the status quo is OK by him. Temperament means fud...

    by Kyle Gann on January 29, 2002
  • Work for Hire - Sonny Stitt and Bobby Hackett Survive the Marketplace

    Article

    Work for Hire - Sonny Stitt and Bobby Hackett Survive the Marketplace

    All artists who have to work for a living are coaxed into adjusting the aspirations of their talent to the fashions of the marketplace. Recent compilations on Mosaic (35 Melrose Place, Stamford, CT 06902, mosaicrecords.com) suggest how two freelancer...

    by Gary Giddins on January 22, 2002
  • Blood on the Plow

    Article

    Blood on the Plow

    Be forewarned: After a No. 1 debut and respectable five-week dalliance at No. 3, Garth Brooks's latest album recently plummeted out of the Billboard top 20. We Garth fans have learned to watch such chart movement with warranted trepidationthe sight...

    by Keith Harris on January 22, 2002
  • Article

    New Belsen

    No doubt blissfully ignorant of the clueless snarky few who would deem their rise to billionaire-hood yet another example of the cultural vapidity that litters a child's weedy garden of verseless, Wind in the Willows-less Americrud, they exist solely...

    by Scott Seward on January 22, 2002
  • Clichés for a Reason - Not Knowing What Else to Do, Singers Sing 9-11 Songs

    Article

    Clichs for a Reason - Not Knowing What Else to Do, Singers Sing 9-11 Songs

    After sending out an open call in late September, The Village Voice received roughly 800 submissions for our benefit compilation of new love songs to New York City. (It'll be out in March.) They came from all over the countryfrom famous musicians an...

    by Douglas Wolk on January 22, 2002
  • Article

    Ragged Glory

    It took him a few months, but Neil Young, curveball artist, is pitching for peace, freedom, and all that good stuff in the wake of the attacks on America. Per his tradition, he's also shaking off the signs and offering his own brand of remembrance. A...

    by Christopher O'Connor on January 22, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Afrobeatpusherman Tony Allen does more with a hi-hat than most drummers do with an entire kit. On January 15 at the Knitting Factory, the first of his Afrobeat 2000 quartet's four U.S. shows, he guided the group through a plethora of tempos and gro...

    on January 22, 2002
  • Spelunking and Crooning in 2001 - Reissues by the Boxful, Singers by the Cut

    Article

    Spelunking and Crooning in 2001 - Reissues by the Boxful, Singers by the Cut

    Reissues and reclamation projects are the oxygen in which jazz, as a living art, breathes. They are the classics, benchmarks, standards, soul, and history of the music. They are proof that an improvised art can defy time; an excuse or demand for re-e...

    by Gary Giddins on January 15, 2002
  • Kings of New York

    Article

    Kings of New York

    By all rights they should not be so confident. Not now. Just one week after the tragic events of September 11, in this city where uncertainty has been the daily manna of a shaken citizenry. But in the skyscraper home of Roc-A-Fella records, cocky ass...

    by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds on January 15, 2002
  • Alien

    Article

    Alien

    If there was a Black goth planet in some parallel universe, Busta Rhymes would be its evil emperor: the person who, in an MTV remake of The Defiant Ones (The Real Defiant Ones?), you'd handcuff to Marilyn Manson. In a recent Q&A, Busta hails M&M as a...

    by Harry Allen on January 15, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Sure of Everything They Do The last time Mission of Burma played New York was their final show, in 1983, and by all accounts a miserable experience. At the time, they were a cult item, barely known outside of Boston; since then, they've become Ame...

    on January 15, 2002
  • Come on Back Eileen

    Article

    Come on Back Eileen

    Where did all the happy rock and roll go? When did mainstream rock stop being clever and sexy and open? In a world where every musical style is a mouse click away, why must it close off so many possible sound colors and expression shades? Even the be...

    by Barry Walters on January 8, 2002
  • He’s Always a Pop Star to Me - At 52, Billy Joel Writes His Opus 1

    Article

    Hes Always a Pop Star to Me - At 52, Billy Joel Writes His Opus 1

    In his first foray into classical composition, songster Billy Joel has proved himself a master of second-year college harmony. His aptly titled CD Fantasies and Delusions (Sony), its cover tricked out to resemble the standard G. Schirmer cover for cl...

    by Kyle Gann on January 8, 2002
  • Article

    Popstakes

    Insofar as popular music improves when something is "at stake," to cite the existentialist clich, it was structurally foreordained that in the Age of Britney, Pink and Shakira can make albums that feel riskier than, say, the Unknown Prophets' or the...

    by Robert Christgau on January 8, 2002
  • Born Under a Bad Sign - Blues You Can Use Before History Uses You

    Article

    Born Under a Bad Sign - Blues You Can Use Before History Uses You

    Blues is a music for troubled times, and as a year that started with little promise for the form descended into turmoil, the blues themselves were energized by a clutch of top-flight releases, mostly by veterans in snappy new suits. Blues is drapery ...

    by Milo Miles on January 8, 2002
  • Oracle Testimony

    Article

    Oracle Testimony

    Charley Patton is a star, specifically one of those stars that are more distinct in your peripheral vision than when you look directly at them in the night sky. Among the first recorded generation of country blues practitioners he was the king. There...

    by Luc Sante on January 8, 2002
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