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  • Article

    Songs in the Key of Z

    But after Q? What comes next? After Q there are a number of letters the last of which is scarcely visible to mortal eyes, but glimmers red in the distance. Z is only reached once by one man in a generation. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse ...

    by Nick Catucci on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Cutter's Way

    The Hammond organ comes from the church, where unity matters and rugged individualism doesn't. So why praise one organist at the expense of others? Well, because even in a jazz world that values difference and welcomes diversity, there's room for com...

    by Daniel King on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Shiva Shiva, Y'All

    I didn't find out about George Harrison's death until the morning after, just as I set out on my drive into work. Stories a few weeks earlier had said he was gravely ill, but the news still came as a surprise. I turned the car around and hurried back...

    by Phil Dellio on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    10 Million Emotions

    If Los Angeles is pop music's Rome, then film director Paul Thomas Anderson is its hippest senator. And in these terms, he's on a streak: In Boogie Nights' famous scene where a drug dealer freaks out as Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" repeats, Ande...

    by James Hunter on December 31, 2002
  • Article


    "Something in the Way of Things (In Town)," besides bad memory block, is the last song on the Roots' best album yet. For seven minutes, Amiri Baraka sees ice picks, a blackbird with its ass on fire, andlike anybody with three eyestoo much of door-d...

    by Dave Tompkins on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Inkblot Integer-Hop

    Regan Farquhar, a/k/a Busdriver, rhymes like a syncopated giggle, sine-curve-scrambling words jockeying for position even as the foundation they springboard from disintegrates into nothingness. On most of the songs on the knowingly titled Temporary F...

    by Jon Caramanica on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    How Music Survives Capitalism - Adorno's Essays Map Out the Tortured World We Perform In

    Every artist in this age of commerce lives with a divided consciousness. On the one hand, you sense the truth embodied in your own artistic work. On the other, you're aware of the falsification inevitable in the process through which corporations pac...

    on December 31, 2002
  • L Is for Children


    L Is for Children

    These goddamn bands these days. They ain't got shit to say. Sometimes, they don't even say anything at all. And who needs 'em to? Had little, lyric-less Out Hud arrived in 1993, their recombinant shoogity-oogity would have eliminated the need for a T...

    by Jon Dolan on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Branca Busting - Youre Soaking in It

    When a woman's gonna hammer on her guitar, she has to use the right nailseven if they're French manicured. No self-respecting riot grrrl-gone-wild ever stopped shredding her Elixir strings for fear of chipping her lacquer. Still, sometimes even the ...

    by Melissa Maerz on December 31, 2002
  • Music



    My Def Jux Baby Tee "We're putting all these old routines to bed tonight," announced El-P when he took the stage at around 11 p.m. Anyone expecting the Definitive Jux post-Christmas party at Bowery last Friday to be a victory lap, a communal high f...

    on December 31, 2002
  • Article

    Don't Call It a Comeback

    As several e-mailers have noted, I did indeed spend three months listening a lot more than I wrote. Here's where I start catching up. RYAN ADAMS Demolition (Lost Highway) Hayseeds manqu who think he's betrayed his alt-country heritage sh...

    by Robert Christgau on December 24, 2002
  • The Onslaught - Recombinant Rock in the Valley of Dub


    The Onslaught - Recombinant Rock in the Valley of Dub

    Within music are two contrary impulses, both worth nurturing: the impulse to focus on a main story, such as a lead melody or lead singer or soloist, maybe with a charismatic show-off taking center stage and acting as if all the music were his doing; ...

    by Frank Kogan on December 24, 2002
  • Article

    Joe Strummer, 19522002 - Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)

    Joe Strummer died quietly in his sleep on December 22, surprising to the last. As the leader of the primal punk outfit the Clash, he knew what the perfect rock band should be and lived when he could make it happen. The beat should be fast and ferocio...

    by Milo Miles on December 24, 2002
  • Jazzman of the Year: Clark Terry - Many Happy Returns


    Jazzman of the Year: Clark Terry - Many Happy Returns

    Dear CT, It's that time of year againholidays, wrap-ups, and your birthday, number 82 on December 14, which undoubtedly seems more incredible to observers like me than to you, living with courage and style, and still playing with a gleaming ingenu...

    by Gary Giddins on December 17, 2002
  • The Moving Pencil Writes - Meredith Monk Sinks Her Music Into Human Archetypes of Sadness and Comfort


    The Moving Pencil Writes - Meredith Monk Sinks Her Music Into Human Archetypes of Sadness and Comfort

    A pencil wandering across a page is an irresistible analogy for a human life: leaving its irrevocable, wavering mark as it goes, expending itself in an inherently finite process. At the beginning of Mercy, by Meredith Monk and Ann Hamilton, recently ...

    on December 17, 2002
  • Article


    In this heyday of the re-repackage, if you don't own Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' 1995 two-CD Anthology, skip everything in this annual Xmas-gift roundup except the Holiday and purchase that singing group's 2002 two-CD Ooo Baby Baby: The Anthology...

    by Robert Christgau on December 17, 2002
  • Crazy/Dutiful



    In the world of country and western, fresh new dudes are allowed to become good ol' boys, George Strait turning out the same record every couple years, Garth keeping pace, and Alan Jackson maintaining a freakin' concept career about the ethical virtu...

    by Jane Dark on December 17, 2002
  • Article

    Dollywood Bollywood

    It doesn't get any more weirdly cynical than this: A trio of albums containing the same 19 songsone red, one green, and one blueall differently recorded and catering to three target audiences. Up! is an album tailor-made for a format-driven Clear C...

    by Kembrew McLeod on December 17, 2002
  • Music



    Someone Else's Train Not a bridge, but a chasm: New York's post-punk stepchildren split two generations of rock fans like a nightclub Vietnam. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, who's 44, recently said he was "bumming out" while listening to the Rap...

    on December 17, 2002
  • Article

    Stick to You Like Glue

    At times, it seems like the once glorious possibilities in reggae's red-hot cry of ghetto outrage against all downpressors have shrunk to dictates about hairstyle, clothing, diet, and even fucking, from guys who get off on telling the rest of us what...

    by Elena Oumano on December 10, 2002
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