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  • For Your Ears Only - Mikel Rouse's Rhythmic Complexity Eludes Uptown Critics


    For Your Ears Only - Mikel Rouse's Rhythmic Complexity Eludes Uptown Critics

    To take one of many examples from Mikel Rouse's talk-show opera Dennis Cleveland: There is a passage in the final "Madison Square" scene in which Rouse, as Dennis, is rapping, "I've been waiting for this, a potential arcade," and so on, and the choru...

    by Kyle Gann on May 14, 2002
  • Article

    Two Steps From the Blues

    "Nowadays, you can copyright music, the song, the words, the lyrics, but you can't and never could copyright the feeling, the meaning, the blues." That's Brit radio host and music crit Steve Barker, in the notes to The Wolf That House Built, Little A...

    by Jon Caramanica on May 14, 2002
  • Music



    In Between Days So far, Belle and Sebastian's most indelible songs have lingered in the privileged liminal spaces between childhood and the grown-up beyond: whispers in a choir stall, stolen kisses behind a stairwell, lonesome epiphanies gleaned t...

    on May 14, 2002
  • Planet Rock - The World's Most Local Pop Music Goes International


    Planet Rock - The World's Most Local Pop Music Goes International

    Paradoxically, or maybe not, hip-hop is at once the fastest spreading and most local pop music in the world. The media-saturated, electronically hooked up world, anyway. Ethnomusicologists mourn the indigenous idioms that mutate or fall into disuse o...

    by Robert Christgau on May 7, 2002
  • Born in Flames


    Born in Flames

    History is unmade at night: In 1975, Rocket From the Tombs had all the ingredients, from the coolest name (shades of Edgar Allan Poe fronting the Shadows of Knight or 13th Floor Elevators) to the darkest, most desperately unforgiving sound ("All the ...

    by Howard Hampton on May 7, 2002
  • October Symphonies


    October Symphonies

    The defining moment in the Pet Shop Boys canon is a poignant backward glance; the corresponding one in Pulp's a stricken vision from the future. On the Pets' 1990 "Being Boring," asChris Lowe orchestrates a temps perdu swirl of mixed emotions, Neil T...

    by Dennis Lim on May 7, 2002
  • Music



    Gentler Giant Just about everywhere Spanish is spoken, Charly Garca is a mythical rock hero, known as much for his crazed lifestyle as his influence on three generations of rock en espaol. On Argentinean national TV last month, Garca received h...

    on May 7, 2002
  • Walk on Gilded Splinters


    Walk on Gilded Splinters

    Marie Laveau the First, celebrated Nawlinze voodoo queen, returns to Gotham after a 113-year sleep in deepest, darkest Africa. Her earliest stop is at a Harlem soul kitchen recommended by the Spirits. The Last Great American Witch needs to revive her...

    by Kandia Crazy Horse on April 30, 2002
  • Article

    Sugar Daddy

    I heard somebody on the street call Cee-Lo "the fat motherfucker from OutKast" a few weeks ago. Cee-Lo is actually the fat motherfucker from Goodie Mob but that misrecognition sums up the Goodie situation. In the public's mind and in Soundscan's data...

    by Sasha Frere-Jones on April 30, 2002
  • Article

    Motherland Connection

    The main thing wrong with Kwaito: South African Hip Hop, an Earthworks compilation from 2000, was its subtitle. If anything, the style on display was more like South African hip-housedeep four-four beats, vocals heavier on chant than flow, hooks ram...

    by Michaelangelo Matos on April 30, 2002
  • Music for Unwinding - Music Boxes and Photocells in a Land Beyond Time


    Music for Unwinding - Music Boxes and Photocells in a Land Beyond Time

    Given Conlon Nancarrow's exploration of the player piano and John Cage's appropriation of the record player, the arrival of the music box to serious music was inevitablebut why did it take so long? Outlier, the recent CD of new music-box works by Ne...

    on April 30, 2002
  • Music



    Freedom Songs Whatever you think happened in Jeninthere is no consensus at press time, nor will there ever beyou can't argue that "occupation" is now an understatement. So a benefit to end the West Bank occupation, planned last fall and finally...

    on April 30, 2002
  • Article

    Sneer and Loathing

    Elvis Costello is such an asshole. Every record he makes is a genre exercise, and an implication that he's more culturally enlightened than his mortal admirers. When I Was Cruel is an exercise in the "old Elvis Costello and the Attractions" genre, wh...

    by Douglas Wolk on April 30, 2002
  • Slow Ride - Houston Screws Off the Cough-Syrup Cap


    Slow Ride - Houston Screws Off the Cough-Syrup Cap

    Funny that the only strain of hip-hop that truly qualifies as Da Next Big Thing would make Russell Simmons wanna join Creed as the management flunky who shaves Scott Whatshisname's concave chest. It's called screwed music, or just plain "screw," afte...

    by Anthony Mariani on April 23, 2002
  • Apostle of LS&N - Bill Charlap's Trio Play the Melody and Listen to Each Other


    Apostle of LS&N - Bill Charlap's Trio Play the Melody and Listen to Each Other

    In making his brief for Kipling, Randall Jarrell wrote of those oppressively mighty figures in politics and art upon whose leave-taking the world"tired of being their pedestal"gives "a great oof of relief," only to elevate its own personage of equa...

    by Gary Giddins on April 23, 2002
  • Article

    Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)

    Rock and roll history is dominated by eccentrics, assholes, weirdos, pimps, players, con men, junkies, beautiful losers, geniuses, poseurs. Sometimes, though, the pantheon makes room for folks like Jeff Tweedy, who reminds me of dozens of lost souls ...

    by Christian Hoard on April 23, 2002
  • Article

    Replacement Party Tonight!

    First time I popped A Tribute to Nashville (Robert Altman's movie, not the city) into the player, I did what I'm guessing most people will dowent straight to track 12, Kelly Hogan's cover of "Dues," the original of which by Ronee Blakley accounts fo...

    by Phil Dellio on April 23, 2002
  • Music



    You Buggin' What You Buggin' Who One of Harry Partch's greatest innovations was to compose songs around the tones, timbres, and rhythms of human speech. The Locust, a hardcore quartet from San Diego, follow much the same idea, but they compose aro...

    on April 23, 2002
  • Demolition Men


    Demolition Men

    On the Internet, no one knows you're a lanky, bespectacled laptop nerd with too much software and not enough time (or inclination) to leave the house. But they assume it anyway. Why else would you be sifting through hip-hop tumbleweed, grabbing snipp...

    by Jon Caramanica on April 16, 2002
  • Skipping on Air


    Skipping on Air

    When I lived in London in the post-swinging '60s, the Indian-run cornershop that would inspire an indie band's ironic name was far from a fixture. My own neighborhood didn't have one, for example. In those years, the stereotypical immigrant from the ...

    by Carola Dibbell on April 16, 2002
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