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  • I Want My B-E-T - Let Us Now Praise Famous Gangstas (and Their Videos)

    Article

    I Want My B-E-T - Let Us Now Praise Famous Gangstas (and Their Videos)

    Puff Daddy is winking at me. He is slowly disrobing and his teeth glisten in the moonlight. My heart starts to beat a little faster as he points to his drawers and sez, "I call my pee-pee p-diddy, cuz it's so pwecious!" He sounds like Tweety Bird. Th...

    by Scott Seward on September 28, 1999
  • Article

    Fresh Horses and Vegemite

    Chris Gaines was born in Brisbane, and got his big break in the mid-'80s trio Crush, who looked like Pseudo Echo but sounded like Badfinger, with a frontman who died before his time. Back then, Gaines most resembled Keanu "Dogstar" Reeves, the bass p...

    by Marc Weisblott on September 28, 1999
  • Article

    They're Only Sleeping

    When Gomez sings the line from "Here Comes the Breeze" that goes, "There's no shame in going out of style," you have to admire the band's wishful thinking; they obviously haven't met many music editors or MTV programmers lately. But bless their react...

    on September 28, 1999
  • Article

    Really Glad To Be Here - John Prine Gets Well on an Apple Pie Diet

    John Prine and Iris DeMent were seated across from each other at a table for eight in Michael's on West 55th Street. Here BMI had convened a small party to celebrate George Strait's conversion of the obscure Prine copyright "I Just Want To Dance With...

    by Robert Christgau on September 28, 1999
  • Soul's Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)

    Article

    Soul's Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)

    For the past seven years or so, the news in r&b has been hip-hop, how the slightly stale '80s music of Luther Vandross and Patti LaBelle and hundreds of trios and quartets refreshed itself creatively and commercially with the street rhythms and jerky...

    by James Hunter on September 21, 1999
  • 'Alternative ' Soul: Progress in Design?

    Article

    'Alternative ' Soul: Progress in Design?

    Let's face it. Contemporary r&b has a design problem. Yes Virginia, a mere century or so of incessant use has exhausted core r&b design elements codified at the turn of the century by traveling minstrel shows and the sheet-music hustlers of Tin Pan ...

    by Carol Cooper on September 21, 1999
  • Article

    Not Selling Any Alibis

    "Bills, Bills, Bills" by Destiny's Child starts out with a credibly troubling description of this man who's begun to take advantage of the singer's regard and trust at this point, it's not that he's not hefting the gifties, but that he's messing up ...

    by Don Allred on September 21, 1999
  • Modern Life Is Rubbish

    Article

    Modern Life Is Rubbish

    A choice poisoned-fortune-cookie aphorism from the Black Box Recorder album: "Life is unfair/Kill yourself or get over it." A wiseass rejoinder, from, of all places, the penultimate song on the new Quasi record: "Who said life was fair?/But smile it...

    by Dennis Lim on September 21, 1999
  • Wanna Love It, But I'm Getting Blown Away

    Article

    Wanna Love It, But I'm Getting Blown Away

    Sometimes when I come to New York City, I feel very Marlo Thomas (or maybe Mary Tyler Moore, but she's in a different city, so never mind). That girl, you're gonna make it after all even if you don't understand the subway map or which side to be on ...

    by Sara Sherr on September 21, 1999
  • To Groove Or Not To Groove

    Article

    To Groove Or Not To Groove

    Ten is the number of monumentality: at least over at Nonesuch Records, which has released a 10-disc set of Steve Reich, one of the Kronos Quartet, and is now releasing one of John Adams in coming weeks. The Kronos had a lot of unknown repertoire chom...

    by Kyle Gann on September 21, 1999
  • Formula Racing

    Article

    Formula Racing

    Everyone in Nashville understands that the New Country formula-slick production with a seamless touch of roots and updated suburban family values-isn't enough anymore. But where Garth Brooks went from Billy Joel covers to a Babyface cloning now high ...

    by Eric Weisbard on September 14, 1999
  • Article

    Pop Mommies Breed Sharp - First Love, Then Marriage, Then Comes Diva with a Baby Carriage

    "You from New York: you are soooo relevant." So's yr mother. Anyway I'm from California so when Alanis adds "You reduce me to cosmic tears" I'm all like What the fuck at which point the poetry slam part yields to the band and suddenly the song is ene...

    by Jane Dark on September 14, 1999
  • Article

    Tangible As An Ice-Cold Longneck

    During my first trip to Memphis this past August, I thought I'd soak up a little culture, so my wife and I made our way down to Wild Bill's, the kind of sticky-floored juke joint I had read about in numerous Peter Guralnick books but never experience...

    by Marc Weingarten on September 14, 1999
  • Article

    Taking Jungle Out of Its Jungle

    With the success of 1997's New Forms, Roni Size and Reprazent seemed poised to take drum and bass from Bristol to the rest of the world. But even after New Forms collected pounds of praise and dominated dance floors, drum and bass never really left i...

    by Tricia Romano on September 14, 1999
  • Article

    Naked, Famous, Increasingly Fond of Murder Songs

    No pop star is as aptly nicknamed as Trickynot Ol' Dirty Bastard, not Flea, not even p. When a pop star like Will Smith or Mary J. Blige drops a sample, their purposes are transparent. They filch riffs from old-school tunes to give you that nostalgi...

    by James Hannaham on September 14, 1999
  • Article

    White Lines (Do It)

    All we wanted was the cocaine . . . (get your nose off the mirror, buddy) . . . the song "I love the cocaine/I love the cocaine," Buckcherry's "Lit Up." Lay down the snowy rails and let the party train begin. Or just lay down that Angus Young riff an...

    on September 14, 1999
  • Wrigley's in the Trashcan - James Miller Tries to Control What He No Longer Loves

    Article

    Wrigley's in the Trashcan - James Miller Tries to Control What He No Longer Loves

    There's a rare unguarded moment in the impressive discography-bibliography to James Miller's Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll 19471977, when he comes upon "a really esoteric item featuring Jimi Hendrix playing with a U.K. group call...

    by Robert Christgau on September 14, 1999
  • Article

    Summer of 69

    Do you believe in life after "Believe"? It's easy to have affairs with pop songs, since mass culture pimps them so effectively. The demand for a top 40 song is often itself manufactured, or at least helped along by repetition, as with the omnipresent...

    by James Hannaham on September 7, 1999
  • As Not Seen on TV!

    Article

    As Not Seen on TV!

    In the liner notes for a new compilation called Nowcore! The Punk Rock Evolution, some guy named Josh Hooten dredges up memories of air-guitar afternoons at his childhood home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, circa 1984. His prepunk soundtrack of cho...

    by Matt Ashare on September 7, 1999
  • Grape of Wrath

    Article

    Grape of Wrath

    If every Sgt. Pepper's begets its Satanic Majesties Request,and every Woodstock its Woodstock '99, Alexander "Skip" Spence's post-Bellevue Oar, first released in 1969, resembles a dark, delayed reaction to Brian Wilson's fuzzy-wuzzy 1966 nervous brea...

    by Richard Gehr on September 7, 1999
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