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  • Article

    Mild Salsa

    In junior high, that truncated Red Hot Chili Peppers star patch sewn on the small pocket of a Jansport backpack was a sign to stir silent nods and glimpses of recognition in hallways during recess and lunch. They were the authors of the "Special Secr...

    by Jaime Lowe on August 20, 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
  • 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
  • Article

    Open Arms

    Lately, while the thriving New York band and international subculture known as the Strokes have redesigned garage scruff into the audio emblem of exclusive cosmopolitan chic, five guitar/bass/drums guys from Kentucky seem to have taken it into their ...

    by James Hunter 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
  • Alt Is Long

    Article

    Alt Is Long

    Alanis Morissette had a bunch of hits, Jgermeister shots made me sick, and the fly summer girls in Sea Bright, NJ, macarena'd in lime green dresses and sparkly silver shoes and tiny backpacks all 1996 long, or at least well past Labor Day. Slinking...

    by Keith Harris on August 13, 2002
  • Continuing Education - Marian McPartland Accrues Style Bit by Bit

    Article

    Continuing Education - Marian McPartland Accrues Style Bit by Bit

    Marian McPartland's learning curve is apparently infinite, an Escher-like, Velcro-covered loop that keeps picking up incremental details as it winds its way through jazz for six decades, turning what began as a generic approach into something persona...

    by Gary Giddins on August 13, 2002
  • Article

    Their Time - Imperial Teen Motorvate the Bowery

    Forget talent, which is cheap no matter how many bands don't have it. Imperial Teen always projected like a party because they were excited. Gay guys weren't supposed to master Velvets strum-drone-noize, and back when they started, just as the alt bu...

    by Robert Christgau on August 13, 2002
  • Family Men

    Article

    Family Men

    There's a story floating around about how Noreaga got his namethe type of tale that doesn't require reality to bolster it, because it's the myth that matters. At Collins Correctional Facility, where Queens-born Victor Santiago met collaborator Capon...

    by Irin Carmon on August 13, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Andmoreagain Jim Morrison and Robert Plant worshiped him, he used Hendrix as a sideman, and he was recently honored by the British Parliament. But unless you're a '60s cult freak, you might not know who the self-proclaimed "original nigger hipp...

    on August 13, 2002
  • Kaleidoscope Kingdom

    Article

    Kaleidoscope Kingdom

    Robert Plant's got the believe-I'm-fixin'-to-die, one-more-cup-of-"Hey-Joe," waiting-on-the-last-train-to-Elysium blues. He taps his foot on the station platform, the past spread across his face like a smile. In his mind, everything swirls together, ...

    by Howard Hampton on August 6, 2002
  • Lift Every Voice

    Article

    Lift Every Voice

    September 11 affected us all in different ways, and the way it affected Bruce Springsteen was thisas the second tower toppled from the sky, he was plunged into a world of eternal vagueness. You can wander through The Rising for countless stanzas wit...

    by Keith Harris on August 6, 2002
  • Foyer Mansion

    Article

    Foyer Mansion

    The minor miracle of the last Queens of the Stone Age record was the way it opened up dramatic new possibilities for metal and so-called "stoner-rock" without exactly belonging to either genre: It was too sonically varied to qualify as a zone-out rec...

    by Christian Hoard on August 6, 2002
  • Article

    Slim Swanee

    Anti-downloading advocacy be damned: Put an a cappella mix of your single out there and the digital wolves are bound to descend. Want proof? Go to www.base58.com/booms/, and you'll discover dozens of available bootleg remixes of Eminem's "Without Me....

    by Michaelangelo Matos on August 6, 2002
  • Let's Retroactive!

    Article

    Let's Retroactive!

    When a record's irony has more layers than an onion, it almost makes you want to cry. There is a lot to peel away before reaching the essence of the shagadelic soundtrack to the recent film CQ, though its core will more likely elicit a smile (or a sh...

    by Eric Demby on August 6, 2002
  • Article

    Can We Sell It? Er, I Think So

    An occupational hazard of reviewing records is the deadline need to squeeze perceptions out of three or four listens. Not so this time. Bob the Builder and I know each other very well. After a visit to England in the summer of 2001, my family came ho...

    by Sasha Frere-Jones on August 6, 2002
  • Music

    Article

    Music

    Tough Cookie Me'shell Ndegeocello's head is a barometer. She plays music in time signatures even Stephen Hawking couldn't count, and when her unstable soul-jazz fusion fizzes and frays, she sets her brow into a pair of parentheses, as though conc...

    on August 6, 2002
  • Article

    Almost Peas in a Pod - Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett Fight for the Right

    Tony Bennett is a pop singer who records extensively with jazz musicians but always comes off as a pop singer with a keen appreciation of jazz. Sarah Vaughan was a jazz singer who made dozens of pop records but always came off as a jazz singer who co...

    by Gary Giddins on August 6, 2002
  • Article

    Agitated Again

    Now that recent reissues have adequately cemented the semi-legends of Cleveland proto-punk groups like Rocket From the Tombs and the Electric Eels, the logical next step is to bring the story up-to-date. Amoeba (Raft Boy) was the most recent (1996) m...

    by Daniel Dimaggio on July 30, 2002
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