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  • 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
  • Post-Rappers' Delight


    Post-Rappers' Delight

    For every action, a reaction. Chicago has its generation of knob twiddlersthe guys who strip rock down to its baser elements and beyond, whose mellow mood music swaps swagger for solemnity, cock for contemplation. They're allowed to, though. White b...

    by Jon Caramanica on December 18, 2001
  • Like a Motown Cowboy


    Like a Motown Cowboy

    Two guys march into the Victor Recording Company office one summer day in 1922, mad flossing all the way: one dressed like a cowboy, the other like a Confederate soldier. Either the music they're selling or their unforgettable getups pique the recor...

    by R.J. Smith on December 18, 2001
  • Article

    Bangers and Mosh

    After watching Kid Rock debut "Forever" from Cocky on MTV, I became convinced that the only things separating him from Brit bangers-and-mash hard rock of the early '80s is a (conspicuously diminished) hip-hop influence, a video producer, one monster...

    by George Smith on December 18, 2001
  • Music



    Clown College Body language tells us Mark Stewart is a guy who wants to rock out, reeling and scrunching his face with each riff; the guitarist sometimes looks bored playing serious composition in Bang on a Can's house band. Polygraph Lounge, whi...

    on December 18, 2001
  • Got Your Money Shot


    Got Your Money Shot

    Editor's note: According to a personality test the two writers took at Emode.com, Britney Spears is the inner rock star of both 18-year-old Harvard freshman Irin Carmon and 20-year-old Columbia junior Amy Phillips. September 6. From: Amy OK...

    by Irin Carmon & Amy Phillips on December 11, 2001
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