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  • Article

    Booger High - Five Hit Singles Linked by No Concept Whatsoever!

    The Sheila Divine's "Hum" wins for Best Song With Worst Title. Starts out like some humbly hummable descendant of Nilsson, or some forgotten single (or twelve) on Stiff, or Third Eye Blind. Then the singer's third eye appears, buggin on a rhino horn,...

    by Don Allred on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    E-Mail at the End of Time - Mambos in Bottles, Pit Bulls in Skirts, Smurfs in Stretch Hummers

    Dear Chelsey, October 9: I'm not sure "Mambo No. 5" is a GREAT pop song; it doesn't have enough moves to get in the ring with "Freedom '90" or "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover." But it's for sure a POP QUIZ. Anyone who fails to fall for playskool playb...

    by Jane Dark on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    That Next Bitch

    It was like the changing of the guardthat moment this summer when Missy's "She's A Bitch" flopped spectacularly while Eve's "What Ya Want" established its long thrall over BET and Hot 97. This wasn't just Eve Jeffers displacing Missy Elliott as "tha...

    by Simon Reynolds on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    To Noodle or Not to Noodle?

    When I started listening to Everything But the Girl in high school they were more pop lite than breakbeat, and I was more theater geek than writer geek. I sensed a pour-it-all-out approach to emotion in their music, and Tracey Thorn's vocal range was...

    by Carrie Havranek on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    A Golden Age - MTV Names the Only 10 Songs That Matter

    A couple of weekends back, MTV presented a late-night Hard Rock A-Z special: wide-ranging sets of several videos in a row, with mini mal VJ banter. It was just the sort of music-heavy programming that fans frustrated with Road Rules and Real World ma...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 19, 1999
  • God Is Not in the Details

    Article

    God Is Not in the Details

    Carbon Copy Building was a bold bid for a new music-theater paradigm at a time when we need bold new bids. First of all, it was visual artdriven, rather than text-driven or music-driven; second, it was a collaboration by three different composers wi...

    by Kyle Gann on October 19, 1999
  • The Noise of Art

    Article

    The Noise of Art

    In 1983, the Art of Noise were an arch abstraction, the consummate studio project, the band without musicians: Their only photo showed a hand holding a wrench. The Art of Noise at Irving Plaza last Tuesday night included the Oscar-winning composer of...

    on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    Easy Money

    Inevitably, a few fools will argue that the youth marketers' project of excising all meaning from their product is long overdue. But it can't be done. In a pop of easy money and disposable delight, there will always be wise guys sticking some ideas i...

    by Robert Christgau on October 19, 1999
  • Expose Yourself

    Article

    Expose Yourself

    Dear Trent, How's it going, dude? Long time no see. (Ha Ha Ha) But seriously, as much as I loved your excellent soundtrack work, I thought I'd never get my hands on the follow-up to the holiest of relics, The Downward Spiral. I worried that the pres...

    by Scott Seward on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    Meeks Inherits the Earth

    The annals of gospel-disco celebrate classically righteous cuts by the Mighty Clouds of Joy and the Clark Sisters; they applaud "D" Train's "Keep On," the O'Jays' "Love Train," the entire oeuvre of Sylvester. But query whether gospel-disco is ready t...

    by Michael Freedberg on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    Show-Offs on the Rise - Multitalented Local Leads Resurgence in Cabaret

    A long and angular clown who, were the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera remade, could play all the parts, he bounced onstage in white tie and spats. He bugged his eyes at the audience, made a few silly throwaway remarks, and plopped at the Baldwin...

    by David Finkle on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    Outside the Whale

    Here's a small detail. In her musical rereading of Moby Dick, Laurie Anderson has a cast member quote from an obscure sermon delivered early in the novel: "So what is a man if he outlives the lifetime of his God?" The program notes that she's written...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 12, 1999
  • Music Turned Inside Out

    Article

    Music Turned Inside Out

    If it's true, as I've heard, that there are too many masochists in the world and not enough sadists to go around, that might explain the enthusiastic crowd Borbetomagus drew at Tonic a couple of weeks ago. Not to say that I don't like Borbetomagus, j...

    by Kyle Gann on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    Mix Masters

    It used to be said that Argentina had no "race problem" because she eliminated her blacks and Indians as soon as economically possible. Such mean-spirited banter can't help but contain a grain of truth which renders ironic how much the biggest hits ...

    on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    21st-Century History - Three Classic Avant-Garde Schools Come Together Not a Moment Too Soon

    'Momentum Space' (Verve) by Dewey Redman, Cecil Taylor, and Elvin Jones yes, the billing order is strangewas recorded last year and released several months ago with no fanfare and little serious response, pro or con. I have heard it denounced as d...

    by Gary Giddins on October 5, 1999
  • Article

    Underground Disco? - Low-pass filters from the land of frogs and Ninja Turtles

    A couple years back, French disco duo Daft Punk opened their Homework CD with a muted,indecipherable voice that sounded like it came from the bottom of a sewer. This was fitting, because house music had pretty much fallen into a creative sewer, usurp...

    by Scott Woods on October 5, 1999
  • Article

    Air

    In the past, I've apologized for boring, "nuanced" strains of electronica by acknowledging the music's faults, then inverting them by celebrating the music's aural - wallpaper value. What I really meant is that I could play it while writing without g...

    by Kembrew McLeod on October 5, 1999
  • Everybody Wang Chung Again - Synthpop flocks like seagulls to indie labels you never heard of

    Article

    Everybody Wang Chung Again - Synthpop flocks like seagulls to indie labels you never heard of

    I forget who might've said it, but I remember the occasion well: it was the summer of 1983, with postpunk a receding memory and Euro-synthpop sprawling out all over the college radio playlists. A bunch of us spiker kids were sitting around at the des...

    by Gavin McNett on October 5, 1999
  • Article

    Hat Tricks

    It was coincidence that I caught the Bill Monroe biopic High Lonesome the night before Freakwater came to Bowery Ballroom, and I have to ask, What is it about a country band in hats? Those Kentucky boys in sombreros. If the green hills of Appalachia ...

    on October 5, 1999
  • Hums and Hisses

    Article

    Hums and Hisses

    So I got this CD in the mail three days ago forget its name, from some record company or publicist in Philadelphia it's sitting in the other room; I'm using the ignorance-as-insight approach to this review, so I won't go and get it with no expla...

    by Frank Kogan on October 5, 1999
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