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  • 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

    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

    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

    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
  • 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
  • The Gatsby of Gats


    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


    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


    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?


    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
  • Article

    Children of the Rose

    It only takes 3:49 for Sheryl Crow to plow through her cover of "Sweet Child O' Mine," a song I swear used to last a good half hour when it came on the radio in '88. She recorded it for the soundtrack to Big Daddy, the not-quite-as-funny-as?Billy Mad...

    by Matt Ashare on August 24, 1999
  • Me Jane! Me Ride Elephant!


    Me Jane! Me Ride Elephant!

    Toy-Box is a swell new hit Danish bubble-pop act, already drawing endless comparisons to global-megahitster neighbors Aqua. Anila does the squeaky femme lead vocals, just like Aqua's Lene, and Amir does the entire repertoire of goofy male vocals, jus...

    by Metal Mike Saunders on August 24, 1999
  • Scrambling On Eggshells


    Scrambling On Eggshells

    The Wu Tang genus of the species paranoid-conspiratorial pomo-negritudus is broad enough to encompass everything that Sun Ra, George Clinton, the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers, and the Black Arts movement stood for while redressing Amiri Baraka...

    by Greg Tate on August 24, 1999
  • Jugs and Jive


    Jugs and Jive

    Jug-band music with its roots in itinerant southern folk culture, quirky homemade instruments, and turn-of-the-century minstrel shows is a peculiar pursuit in the 1990s. Its well-known connection to blackface performances makes it particularly prob...

    on August 24, 1999
  • Music For Theremin


    Music For Theremin

    By all rights, that whacky, eerie-sounding box called the theremin should be as dead as the brachylosaurus and as quaint as the bustle. Instead, it's undergoing a renaissance that threatens to legitimize its status as a standard instrument. One lesso...

    by Kyle Gann on August 24, 1999
  • Article

    Multi-Personalities on the mic, all shook up - The missing link between Sun Ra and Zapp?

    Kool Keith Black Elvis/Lost in Space Ruffhouse/Columbia Drive south on Highland Avenue, past Sunset, and into the heart of Hollywood these days, and an odd billboard demands your attention. Two figures vibrate on a color field of Kool-Aid green, c...

    by Alec Bemis on August 17, 1999
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