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  • Diphthong Songs


    Diphthong Songs

    Stephin Merritt's grand project involves nothing less than the mass production of pop. Those 69 love songs reveal new facets every time you hold them up to the light, but for their workhorse architect, the notion of sheer quantity provides its own ch...

    by Dennis Lim on October 24, 2000
  • The Unbands


    The Unbands

    Which world is scarier? The one so angsty and dysfunctional that its kids grow up to be Eminem and let us know what a nation of Jerry Springer guests is really thinking and its crystal-meth-addled metal youth put on masks and jumpsuits to channel the...

    by Hobey Echlin on October 24, 2000
  • Article


    Outsider Providence "This song is from a woman's point of view," MC Paul Barman nasally intoned Friday at the Westbeth (referencing so-serious hip-hoppers the Lox, he proclaimed himself the "bagel"). That lady had little more to say than "I can't ...

    on October 24, 2000
  • A-OK



    I've played the Radiohead album about a dozen times, pushed my way in to see them live, and yes, there is a certain pleasure to be had from Kid A. What seems at first like rote, enfeebled antirockism reveals a jittery, cohesive undercurrent. Unlike m...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 24, 2000
  • I Still Want a Hula Hoop


    I Still Want a Hula Hoop

    OK, here's the hamster scoop: Last fall a U.K. indie-artsy outfit named the Cuban Boys took note of the wacky hamster sample (manipulated from the old Roger Miller country-novelty track "Whistle Stop") on the popular (and now defunct) hamsterdance.co...

    by Metal Mike Saunders on October 17, 2000
  • Double Dutch Busk


    Double Dutch Busk

    Bettie Serveert's new Private Suit insinuated its way into the crevices of my background; it's moldy and crusty, and grows seemingly unnoticed. I didn't like it at first. It smelled moist, stale in its complacency. You see, Bettie Serveert used to pa...

    by Jaime Lowe on October 17, 2000
  • Iíll Take Paradise - Philip Glassís New Symphony Eases Us Into the Millennium


    Ill Take Paradise - Philip Glasss New Symphony Eases Us Into the Millennium

    The pressure to sanctify a monumental occasion rarely brings out the best in a composer, at least in recent centuries. Bach and Handel dealt with it well, but we moderns seem to approach the attempt with guilty consciences. It may be due to the lack ...

    by Kyle Gann on October 17, 2000
  • His Own Kind of Guilt


    His Own Kind of Guilt

    When Merle Haggard and the Strangers kicked into "Mama Tried" in the middle of their set last Sunday night at Irving Plaza, it took me back to the time and place I first heard that song so long ago. And when they followed it with "Time Changes Everyt...

    by Tom Smucker on October 17, 2000
  • Article

    Salmon, String Cheese, and Jam - Bluegrass Pizza: Like Those Hippies Out in Colorado Do

    No offense, but "jamband" isn't really a legitimate label. It's not even a stylemore like an adjective that indicates a group's propensity to stretch out and explore within the structure of a song. It won't describe what a band sounds like so much a...

    by Robin Rothman on October 17, 2000
  • Music



    Factory Wages Is New York's most vital music venue suddenly gasping for breath? For many employees at the Knitting Factory, payroll has been late in every pay period since the beginning of September, and the September 15 checks bounced; some emplo...

    on October 17, 2000
  • Article

    Ina Dancehall GrooveFinally

    For years I've been blocking on Jamaican dancehall, which I knew couldn't be as indistinguishable as it always sounded. Three compilations below showcase the genre as an accessible singles music, which is what dance styles are, at least for part-time...

    by Robert Christgau on October 17, 2000
  • The Imaginary City


    The Imaginary City

    William Parker's upright bass walks the way Forest Whitaker does in Ghost Doga watchful, coiled amble that appears to be moving in two or three directions at once. You can find that touch-of-Zen implacability running through his cunningly adroit rec...

    by Howard Hampton on October 10, 2000
  • Article

    Sun Ras Saturnal Sorcery - Long Live Serendipity

    Early one morning, listening to Sun Ra's recently restored Pathways to Unknown Worlds, I was taken with the grainy glissandi that bassist Ronnie Boykins was bowing, rifflike, against a cluttered rhythm and pointillistic wind-playing. Then the phone ...

    by Gary Giddins on October 10, 2000
  • Article

    Wooze and Spazz - Twenty-One Reissues Prove Space Is Still Sun Ra's Place

    In his famous essay "Kafka and his Precursors," Jorge Luis Borges argues that Zeno, Han Yu, and Kierkegaard, though nothing alike, all now seem Kafkaesque. "Every writer creates his own precursors," Borges concludes. "His work modifies our conception...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 10, 2000
  • A Long Short Story - The Go-Betweens in Love


    A Long Short Story - The Go-Betweens in Love

    Eleven years after they finally attained major-label status with their sixth and formerly final album, 16 Lovers Lane, the Go-Betweens' The Friends of Rachel Worth arrives bearing Robert Vickers's arty, economically self-sufficient Jetset brand. Yet ...

    by Robert Christgau on October 10, 2000
  • Music



    Oracle and Roll Hearing the b'gockingly reanimated Who ("Actually," Pete Townshend clarified, "we call ourselves THE FUCKING 'OO!") shred Madison Square Garden last Wednesday was like revisiting the Delphic oracle via Ray Harryhausen. The very fra...

    on October 10, 2000
  • Article

    Like Our New Direction?

    Maybe Radiohead had to destroy rock in order to save it, or maybe they had to destroy themselves in order to save themselves. In any case, with Kid A, they've given their core constituency the biggest, warmest recorded go-fuck-yourself in recent memo...

    by Douglas Wolk on October 3, 2000
  • Article

    La La Means Let's Die

    Twenty-one-year-old Jon Crosby, the creator of VAST, is just too damn good at what he does. Once upon a time, when there was rock 'n' roll, bad notes happened all the time; they actually enhanced the music. Crosby makes no "bad" notes. Every part of ...

    by Michael Freedberg on October 3, 2000
  • Article

    Sylvias Mothers Grandkids

    When they struck the Hot 100 bell with "One Week," Barenaked Ladies secured their position as genuinely subversive participants in the mass media, right alongside Marshall McLuhan and SCTV. Like their fellow members of that Toronto-based trinity, BNL...

    by Marc Weisblott on October 3, 2000
  • Article

    Rubbers Full of Soul

    As catchy as they are nonstop from song #1 (39/Smooth's "At the Library," still the best song ever written by a 17-year-old) through song #68 (Nimrod's "Prosthetic Head"), Green Day's first five albums were not easy listens (i.e., stuff you could hum...

    by Metal Mike Saunders on October 3, 2000
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