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  • Hey Dreaming Cowboy with a Big Ole Texas Grin


    Hey Dreaming Cowboy with a Big Ole Texas Grin

    The Dreaming Cowboy has been away from his home and his woman for 20 years, riding in rodeos. After his body breaks down he stays where he is, far from San Antone, riding a barstool each night until the lights come up. Amazed at how the years have fl...

    by Eric Weisbard on November 16, 1999
  • If White Folks Had Invented Jazz, Would Anyone Care?


    If White Folks Had Invented Jazz, Would Anyone Care?

    Back when jazz was young, say from 1915 to 1932, it came in two flavors: hot and sweet. Chocolate and vanilla, roughly speaking. The hot stuff took the weary old ache of the blues and stuck afterburners on it, blasting it into orbit. The men that mad...

    by David Wondrich on November 16, 1999
  • Laptop Beats, Digital Birds, and Ricci Fiends


    Laptop Beats, Digital Birds, and Ricci Fiends

    Pretty much all electronica, really, is DIY bed room electronicait's in dance music's family tree, only created by motionless, isolated people sitting at computers. But by playing up digital music's potential for expressive messiness, a fairly recen...

    by Douglas Wolk on November 16, 1999
  • Article

    Online With the Divine

    "The world is a piece of shit." That observation, courtesy of Fiona Apple on the occasion of her first MTV Award, suggests how Apple and Tori Amos, the moment's prime purveyors of particularly female pop aesthetics, inspire fits of both devotion an...

    by Barry Walters on November 9, 1999
  • Article

    African Connection II

    Apologies to those who regularly skip my African selections, which have been getting me through rock's bad times (see Honorable Mention, especially toward the bottom) since the middle '80s. And thanks to an old riot grrrl for doing her latest thing. ...

    by Robert Christgau on November 9, 1999
  • Article

    Shtick Figures - Wielding Ass to the Monks' Neanderthal Thump

    You know man, after every time I whack off, I put on some rock 'n' rollZep, Sabbath, the Stonesanything with feel-it-in-your-'nads guitars and a pumping thud. During those few minutes of afterglow, I feel like William Munny in Unforgiven. I feel li...

    by Lorne Behrman on November 9, 1999
  • Mos Testifies, Monch Eats - More Than One Way to Rawk a Funky Joint


    Mos Testifies, Monch Eats - More Than One Way to Rawk a Funky Joint

    Rawkus Records, which built a niche nurturing rap acts with small, loyal followings like Company Flow and Sir Menelik, is supposed to be a bulwark against the materially obsessed, dumbed-down styles that rule radio. But who wants to stay underground ...

    by Kem Poston on November 9, 1999
  • Good Vibrations - Blue Note Promotes Rookie to Majors


    Good Vibrations - Blue Note Promotes Rookie to Majors

    Before this year, jazz lovers often noted the odd statistic that all eminent players of the vibraphone (and its acoustic forebears, the xylophone and marimba) were alive, defying the normal mortality rate while encompassing most of the music's histor...

    by Gary Giddins on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    We Love the Nightlife, Baby

    John Petkovic sings in multiple voices on Cobra Verde's Nightlife: punk-metal howler, psychedelic flake, Nick Cavelike Goth, wired-for-sound new waver, limp-lipped glamour boy, indie wimp. Except for the punk-metal howler, which veers way too close ...

    by Scott Woods on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    Master of the Slow Surprise

    In the history books, Phill Niblock is the forgotten minimalist. K. Robert Schwarz's Minimalism doesn't mention him, while Edward Strickland's Minimalism: Origins alludes to him only in lists of Downtown composers. Shame on both books, for Niblock ha...

    by Kyle Gann on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    Infectious Disease

    Howard Stern's guest a few weeks back was Candy Apples, who recently tried to break the world gang-bang record (footage available at gangbang.com). During a commercial break, Candy was pumping her online treat, and playing subtly in the background wa...

    by Robin Rothman on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    Recovering Mrs. Jones (and How Mr. Jones Helped)

    I spent the winter of 1994 through the summer of 1995 soaking myself in August and Everything After. I did lots of variations on the theme of playing it through, playing some part of it, and playing some part of a part of it over and over. Up to a fe...

    by Martina Kominiarek on November 2, 1999
  • Music



    Screen Tests Sometimes it seems as if everyone in L.A. rock is working on the sonic equivalent of a screen play, cranking out ersatz Tarantino or gussied-up John Hughes. Mark Stewart, the formidable frontman of the Negro Problem, isn't entirely fr...

    on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    Hit It, Now Hold It

    Bearing down on hip hop, with plenty left undone, some of it fairly terrific, I believe or hope. FYI, I'm holding the Tribe Called Quest best-of over till Christmas, which is pretty much what it feels like to me. Cape Verde (Putumayo World Music) ...

    by Robert Christgau on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    It Takes Two

    The way for small, chic labels to thrive in the '90s has apparently been to operate on two people's taste. Sub Pop was at its peak when it was all about what Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt liked; K, until recently, was Calvin Johnson and Candice P...

    by Douglas Wolk on October 26, 1999
  • Music



    All About His Mother The nave dims, a powerful beam illuminates the ascension of Christ in stained glass, and then there's a pop group onstage. This cleared the City's Code for Possible Religious Disrespect? The Episcopalians of St. Ann's Church ar...

    on October 26, 1999
  • Roto-Roots Rock Flushes Your Troubles Down the Drain


    Roto-Roots Rock Flushes Your Troubles Down the Drain

    It had me on the shitter for days back in 1996, that Supersuckers record, Must've Been High (though my coffee-grind-and-Ramen diet probably didn't help gastrointestinal matters), where they replaced their signature guitar machismo with intimate hillb...

    by Lorne Behrman on October 26, 1999
  • Article

    A to the B

    After a soliloquy whose family shtick might be parodying a Wu-Tang kung fu sample, the opening track's bodacious soul-funk groove kicks under a jump-cut montage of further kickoffs: genial host warming up a catcalling crowd; DJ IDing himself ("Automa...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 26, 1999
  • The Noise of Art


    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

    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
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