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  • Fetishizing the LP - Verve Miniaturizes 20 Old Albums


    Fetishizing the LP - Verve Miniaturizes 20 Old Albums

    Old recording artifacts die hard, their value increasing in ratio to the ethereality of their replacements. Last year boxes of Billie Holiday and Charley Patton mimicked 78 rpm albums. Many CDs replicate original LPs, in cardboard or paper-modified j...

    by Gary Giddins on May 14, 2002
  • Article

    Nothing Major

    I leave it to Consumer Guide scholars more diligent than I to ascertain whether any previous edition has been totally devoid of major-label records before Honorable Mention. I can't find one. Only Artemis even has big-five distribution. AFRICA...

    by Robert Christgau on May 14, 2002
  • Sunday Corny Sunday


    Sunday Corny Sunday

    You might not be able to tell if a song is by Moby just from the voice or musical style, but it's pretty difficult not to notice that four-chord arrangement he uses all the goddamn time for ambient tinkle and career-killing thrash alike. Those four c...

    by Michaelangelo Matos on May 14, 2002
  • 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
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