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  • Total Eclipse of Art


    Total Eclipse of Art

    Does anyone remember laughter?" When human codpiece and supposed former infatuation junkie Robert Plant posed this rhetorical question to a roomful of drug-addled, glue-sniffing, Gremlin-driving, white-bread, chickenshit motherfuckers, what he really...

    by Scott Seward on June 1, 1999
  • Article

    Lester Bowie

    The most radical conflagration that Free Jazz Pioneer Lester Bowie has ever perpetrated: his Brass Fantasy of the Spice Girls' "Two Become One." The Spicies' own softcore brass is peeled away to reveal a literally lame melody, reducing even tuba hero...

    by Don Allred on June 1, 1999
  • Article

    Total Death of Loud

    When I was growing up in Cincinnati in the '70s, there used to always be arguments about who the loudest band in the world was, "loudness" being equal to a certain form of "greatness." At one point there were news reports that the Who was the "loudes...

    by Matt Ashare on June 1, 1999
  • Wayne Check


    Wayne Check

    What if the Beach Boys had been raised on Coney Island in the 1980s? Summer would make them think only of the lengthening days, friends going away, and sunburn. They'd have to reconcile their desire to be the Ramones with their resemblance to the Eve...

    on June 1, 1999
  • Consumer Guide


    Consumer Guide

    The high Honorable Mention ratio means what you'd figure I've been having a hell of a time finding new records to love, even a little. Especially records that sneak around and kiss me on the back of the neck, which is always the most fun. You're cut...

    by Robert Christgau on May 25, 1999
  • Bummer Romps


    Bummer Romps

    These poor guys. They lost the girl, and are they blue! Their new songs are all gloom, doom, and gloom again, start to finish, soup to nuts. But not to worry. They tossed their twang, too, not an unusual tactic these days, what with alt.country trans...

    by Patrick Carr on May 25, 1999
  • Article

    The GrooveGrass Boyz

    A natural blend, really: Blue grass and other high-travelin' styli get their obsessive beats tunefully trounced and bounced on a new-cut road, courtesy 'Grassmaster Scott Rouse, confessed student of Zapp II (Roger Troutman R.I.P.) and the new Kid Ro...

    by Don Allred on May 25, 1999
  • Article

    Love and Industry

    Country music Nashville is a town of handlers, of purportedly insightful managers and publicists and producers and record company presidents. In 1993, when Tim McGraw was selling millions of copies of a garish down-home dance curiosity entitled "Indi...

    by James Hunter on May 25, 1999
  • CMT Is Where It’s At! - Country Cuts the Crap


    CMT Is Where Its At! - Country Cuts the Crap

    The thing about channel flipping is, you have to be persistent. For years now I've included CMT in my cable-flipping sequence, never expecting hit country music to be anything but the lame, useless crap it's been during the pre-Garth, all-Garth, and ...

    on May 25, 1999
  • Article

    Louder Than Bombs

    New York's underground hip-hop label Rawkus Records put various prop missiles and rocket launchers up on the stage of the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday to celebrate the release of their new compilation, Soundbombing II. Hokey, but the five-minute expl...

    on May 25, 1999
  • Uno Step Beyond


    Uno Step Beyond

    For a Spanglish-speaking guy like me, one of the most shocking developments in pop music this year has been seeing the mainstream media celebrate Ricky Martin as the second com ing of George Michael. But even though the video for "Livin' la Vida Loca...

    by Ed Morales on May 18, 1999
  • Sells Like Teen Spirit


    Sells Like Teen Spirit

    Can I begin by stating a truth the sophisticates who read this section probably consider an absurdity? The Backstreet Boys are something new under the sun. They are not merely "cyclical," the latest in a long series of girl-directed concoctions that ...

    by Robert Christgau on May 18, 1999
  • Article

    My High Guy

    I Heard It Through the Grapevine"'s high note is a definitive test for pop singers. Just three lines in, you have to leap up an octave in the middle of a phrase and nail a crucial word of the lyric "some other guy." Interestingly, the melody as Norm...

    by Douglas Wolk on May 18, 1999
  • Article

    Swingle White Males

    There probably hasn't been a worse time in the history of rock'n'roll for guys like Mike Ness and Tom Petty aging white men with guitars just asingin' and astrummin' about the meat and potatoes of life: love, shame, disappointment, cars, having a dr...

    by Matt Ashare on May 18, 1999
  • Wide World Webs - Three Ways To Purée a Planet


    Wide World Webs - Three Ways To Pure a Planet

    Vengaboys' "We Like To Party!" is as simple as it says: groaning foghorns, skipping keyboard lilt, house thump, totally treated female vocalist chanting slogans: "Hey now . . . Happiness is just around the corner . . . Get down and move your body." A...

    by Eric Weisbard on May 18, 1999
  • Article

    Still on His Own Page

    A hundred years into its history, and the definition of jazz remains a matter for contention. Traditions are invented, rules delineated, absolutes postulated, and no one agrees on anything except that it must be an improvised, intuitive music. But ev...

    by John Szwed on May 18, 1999
  • Defending Her Turf


    Defending Her Turf

    Loretta Lynn shamelessly stoked the embers of her own celebrity when she told enthusiastic fans at Town Hall last week that before she returned to performing recently, she'd spent five years at home with her ailing husband. That surprised me not beca...

    on May 18, 1999
  • Wail Like an Egyptian


    Wail Like an Egyptian

    Natacha Atlas has a whale (and a wail) of a voice and an instinct for drama and emotion and sensuousness. She's also able to make her music visualmy friend John calls it "cinematic" and finds himself, while listening, straining his inner eye to see ...

    by Frank Kogan on May 11, 1999
  • Article

    Sugar High - Have It Your Way

    In the tail of the Littleton media com et, the Fresno city council voted unanimously to "condemn Marilyn Manson or any other negative entertainer who encourages anger and hate upon the community as an offensive threat to the children." Watching the w...

    by Jane Dark on May 11, 1999
  • Sewers of Budapest


    Sewers of Budapest

    It seems like a long time since old Pop Waits last came around here with his swaybacked horse and his peddler's wagon, brightly colored gewgaws hanging off the sides, pots and pans clanging away, baskets crammed with novelty items, labor-saving devi...

    by Luc Sante on May 11, 1999
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