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  • 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



    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


    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


    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



    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



    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


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


    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


    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


    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


    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
  • So Stank, So Clean


    So Stank, So Clean

    OutKast is the first hip-hop act to notice that the old-school epithet "funky fresh" is an oxymoronthe shock of the new bearing a whiff of the old. That was the idea behind Stankonia, a de facto tribute album that was every bit as original as the Ge...

    by Kelefa Sanneh on January 1, 2002
  • Article

    The Bridge Is Still Over

    Every once in a while I tune in to the Zulu Nation station in my mind and hear my version of hip-hop. It's kinda old school, louder then a bomb, and tougher then leather. But instead of Big Bank Hank's yes-yes-y'all's, someone's dropping Rakim's scie...

    by Chris Ryan on January 1, 2002
  • Brutality and Revival - The Best Jazz Records of 2001


    Brutality and Revival - The Best Jazz Records of 2001

    Last year at this time I sermonized about the lack of consensus reflected in best-of-year record lists, and tried to pep myself up for the long haul of a jazz post-history in which no one had the stomach forlet alone expectations ofgenius or innova...

    by Gary Giddins on January 1, 2002
  • Music



    Mess Hall Charity doesn't last. The crowd was already booing by the time Kool G Rap took the B.B. King's stage on the night after Christmas. Four underwhelming openers (even the noble Cannibal Ox couldn't spark a flame) had come and gone two hours...

    on January 1, 2002
  • Article

    River Deep, Freckle High

    Several things that Shakira and Pink have in common, beyond their each having released an album in the last few weeks: (1) They each fought their record companies to gain control of their musical direction. (2) They are each ex non blondes, in that S...

    by Frank Kogan on December 25, 2001
  • Composer, Interrupted - Sarah Cahill Unleashes an Angry Stream of Ruth Crawford Homages


    Composer, Interrupted - Sarah Cahill Unleashes an Angry Stream of Ruth Crawford Homages

    Fifty years later, everyone's agreed on one thing: She never should have quit composing. And people are angry about it. For Ruth Crawford (1901-53) was the first great modernist woman composer, the first woman to tread, as an equal, the same thorny ...

    by Kyle Gann on December 25, 2001
  • Music



    W or the Memory of Childhood 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Consult Wu-Name Generator online, receive new moniker for evening: Sheepish Lord of Chaos. Plug in various friends' names: Erratic Assassin, Big Gay Mule. Favorite: Ol' Sweaty, Filthy Bastard. ...

    on December 25, 2001
  • Article

    Livin' on a Prayer

    Creed is so gay. Technically speaking, they're Christians, but then so is Aretha Franklin, so at least hypothetically, if Creed wants to Christrock the fuck out of me, OK. I will endeavor not to be taken aback by how their first chorus basically we...

    by Jane Dark on December 25, 2001
  • Article

    A Ken Burns Xmas

    As the frugal know, this annual gift guide disdains boxes for one- and two-CD best-ofs, which got hard to come by as rock history was plumbed. So along comes the devil inscribing a definitive series of jazz best-ofs with his infernal name. Some are ...

    by Robert Christgau on December 18, 2001
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