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  • 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
  • Article

    Leeds Icons Sell Out Garden; Get Out of This World Alive - The Headline Above Is a Lie

    The Mekons Hen's Teeth and Other Lost Fragments of Unpopular Culture, Vol. 1: I Have Been to Heaven and Back; Vol. 2: Where Were You? Quarterstick Twenty years or so ago everybody I knew was in a band, everybody ineligible for Social Security who...

    by Luc Sante on September 7, 1999
  • Article

    Paint Their Backstreet Black

    The Mooney Suzuki (named after Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki from Can) sound so authentically '60s garage that their wee-ness is surprising: two sullen members have yet to turn 20! In an environment where the '60s thing is usually faked through exor...

    by Hillary 'Wicked' Chute on September 7, 1999
  • Article

    Making an Old Bag New Again - Desco Records and Breakestra Put Funk Back on the Good Foot

    As it seems to have done every decade since its birth in the '60s, funk is making another resurgence into the American soundscape. However, unlike the sound strip-mined by rap and r&b producers, this is funk whose legacies are found only on forgotten...

    by Oliver Wang on September 7, 1999
  • Article

    Balancing the Audio and Visual

    To write music for a play or narrative film is a relatively clear-cut kind of composing: You have certain cracks to fill in and moods to set, and when it doesn't work the director says so and you do it over. What the composers and film makers at the ...

    by Kyle Gann on September 7, 1999
  • Article

    The Mountain Men

    From the attention of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs in the '50s, to that of Brian Jones in '68 and latecomer Mick Jagger in '89, the Master Musicians of Jajouka possess a celebrity cachet disproportionate to the three albums they've released duri...

    on September 7, 1999
  • The Gatsby of Gats

    Article

    The Gatsby of Gats

    The first thing I asked him to do was get me a tape from the studio. He came back with it in five minutes. The studio was ten blocks away. -Andre Harrell on Sean "Puffy" Combs as his intern It's a tale straight out of fiction: specifically, Budd ...

    by Eric Weisbard on August 31, 1999
  • Article

    Big Poppa, Little Willies

    When Biggie Smalls--n Christopher Wallace--was murdered two and a half years ago in Los Angeles, he didn't leave behind the sort of convoluted mythology that made Tupac's legacy extend well beyond musical influence. A counterpoint to Pac's gregariou...

    by Jon Caramanica on August 31, 1999
  • Article

    Boys and Girls of Summer

    Everybody acts like prettyboy bubble-rap trio LFO's "Summer Girls," biggest-selling single in the land last week, is all non sequiturs. But to me, it's clearly nostalgia for the '80s, where almost all of LFO's cultural references come from. Two tyke...

    by Chuck Eddy on August 31, 1999
  • The Write Stuff

    Article

    The Write Stuff

    The 1950s brought forth a contradiction as far as jazz composition was concerned: on one hand, more great writers of more great tunes than at any other time and few composers are more highly regarded by musicians than trumpeter and occasional bandle...

    on August 31, 1999
  • Little Punk Houses For You and Me

    Article

    Little Punk Houses For You and Me

    Thee former Mr. Cougrat's latest offering, Rough Harvest, is a compatible collection of big hits and personal chestnuts, re-recorded with his fave-ravin' fiddle-and-drum band, during rehearsals, gigs, and other moments gracefully gleaned from the gli...

    by Don Allred on August 31, 1999
  • Article

    Consumer Guide - African Connection

    Two techno comps, a country-rock best-of, some lounge authenticity, and what? The African connection, that's what. West Africa and Cuba, to be more specific. Slim pickings in rock proper these days, rap included. This figures to change. But one never...

    by Robert Christgau on August 31, 1999
  • Lo-Fi Dead in O-hi-o?

    Article

    Lo-Fi Dead in O-hi-o?

    Guided By Voices have the keys to the alt-rock kingdom. They are adored by thousands of critic types (and even some people who don't live in their mom's basement) for adhering to the Indie Music Purity Act signed in Geneva in 1986 by Bob Mould, Paul...

    by Scott Seward on August 31, 1999
  • Article

    Over that Hill

    With its busy drum programming, ecstatic background choir, girl-group vocalese, old-school scratching, and intricate rhymes, wrapped up in a swing so loose-limbed its knuckles sweep the ground, the single "All That I Can Say" is the most technically ...

    by Arion Berger on August 24, 1999
  • Article

    76 Trombones in the Big Paradise

    Just when it seems like there's nothing new under the sun in American vernacular music, along comes living proof that there is. A couple years ago, Arhoolie Records introduced the sacred steel guitar players of the black, Pentecostal, House of God, w...

    by John Morthland on August 24, 1999
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