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  • Look Who's Ticking

    Article

    Look Who's Ticking

    From the beginning, Whitney Houston has been the most resistable of pop divas. This has very little to do with what her longtime mentor and molder, Clive Davis, persists in calling "her instrument": a voice so rich, malleable, and highly polished it ...

    by Vince Aletti on December 8, 1998
  • Dancing Up the Charts

    Article

    Dancing Up the Charts

    If you want to be an R&B or rap star, appear on someone else's hit record. Disco divas did it back in the day: Luther Vandross sang on a zillion dancefloor classics before he busted out with his own. But it's not so easy for today's aspiring dance mu...

    by Barry Walters on December 8, 1998
  • Article

    Rousing Rabble - At JATP swing, bebop, and R&B found common ground on the solid rock of 4/4, the aggression offering a raucous alternative to dance as a way of participating

    As Illinois Jacquet chomps down on his reed and squeals for the fifth or sixth time, you may feel a tad self-conscious about listening to The Complete Jazz at the Philharmonic on Verve 1944-1949 (Verve) at home alone. No, the way you want to experien...

    by Gary Giddins on December 8, 1998
  • Love and Marriage

    Article

    Love and Marriage

    This half-century's most revelatory stagings of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro by Giorgio Strehler (from Paris), Luchino Visconti (Rome), Herbert Graf (the old Met), Peter Hall (Chicago), John Copley (New York City Opera), and Peter Sellars (Purchase, ...

    by Leighton Kerner on December 8, 1998
  • Article

    Holy Squat, Jazzman!

    With a century behind it, jazz has had ample time to develop its own hagiography, with stories of its saints too numerous for even the most devout to keep track of. So along comes the Lost Jazz Shrines project a national, multiyear series of concert...

    by John Szwed on December 8, 1998
  • Cole Comfort

    Article

    Cole Comfort

    For someone so intent on seduction, Holly Cole attracts an awfully chaste audience. Almost filling every folding chair in a temporarily sedentary Irving Plaza last Friday night, the crowd was practically all settled-looking couples and families. Cole...

    on December 8, 1998
  • Consumer Guide

    Article

    Consumer Guide

    The records worth hating located by this annual Thanksgiving anticelebration are generally turkeys on the run, not fish in a barrel. Cynicism saps criticism, and only by going in with my hopes up can I muster enough hurt feelings to get mean when the...

    by Robert Christgau on December 1, 1998
  • Puffinstuff - Bad Boy’s New Fall Lineup

    Article

    Puffinstuff - Bad Boys New Fall Lineup

    Bad Boy Greatest Hits Volume 1 takes you back to when the label's records were more than something radio forced you to endure. I mean, who can forget Puffy's sublime '93 remix of Caron Wheeler's "Soul Street?" O.K., but trust me, it's fierce. People ...

    by Craig Seymour on December 1, 1998
  • Give It Up!

    Article

    Give It Up!

    R. Kelly's letting you know straight off the bat that he wants a lot for your money. The opening flap of his new double CD reads partially like mandate, partially like prayer. See this man, he implores. Know this man. Touch this man. Embrace this man...

    by Joan Morgan on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Different Times

    Nobody's going to kill me for this," Amha Esht thought when he started his Ethiopian record label. "At most I might land in jail for a while." He founded Amha Records in 1969, despite an imperial edict that gave the national theater the exclusive r...

    by Douglas Wolk on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Shit Happens

    Says the 31-year-old man whose stage name means "shit" in his native Finland, "I never thought I would do Paska after I was 30." Yeah yeah yeah, Mick Jagger said the same fucking thing too, once. But Mick's m.o. never matched that of Paskagoing shir...

    on December 1, 1998
  • Article

    Me and Julio

    I began to change my mind about Julio Iglesias when, as a huge fan of Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso's 1994 Fina Estampa, it occurred to me that Veloso's resuscitation of Latin American ballads was a blatant borrowing of Julio's core strategy. Even...

    by Ed Morales on December 1, 1998
  • Hell's Angel

    Article

    Hell's Angel

    Somewhere along the line, brothers and sisters, we all had the same thought. Maybe we muttered it to ourselves after hearing the suspiciously open-ended question, "Who Will Save Your Soul?" Maybe we panicked after the $2 million book deal struck for ...

    by James Hannaham on November 24, 1998
  • Pathétique Chic

    Article

    Pathtique Chic

    Arnold Schoenberg was the gayest composer in the world. This makes perfect sense if you go by the rhetoric of cultural stereotypes. After all, Schoenberg turned his back on what is considered "natural" tonality and supplanted it with an "unnatural" ...

    by Robert Hilferty on November 24, 1998
  • Beck to the Base

    Article

    Beck to the Base

    In just over a minute the Becklash begins. That's about how long one minute it takes Beck to get to the secret track at the end of his new Mutations, and if we look at the curve of time passing before secret track- appearances over his last few rec...

    by R.J. Smith on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    The New Euro

    Concocted in a French lab, er, studio, by Alan Qume, Benjamin Cohen, and Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter, Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You" (Roul/Virgin) has already conquered half of Europe, and soon it will be everywhere. You'll hear it ...

    by Elisabeth Vincentelli on November 24, 1998
  • Gravity's Rainbow

    Article

    Gravity's Rainbow

    Like plenty of other folks in wheelchairs, Vic Chesnutt doesn't want your sympathy. In fact, he can challenge the compassion of even those closest to him. Like the time a couple years ago when he left his wife and bandmates stranded in Milwaukee afte...

    by Will Hermes on November 24, 1998
  • Creature Double Feature

    Article

    Creature Double Feature

    Frankenstein meets the Wizard of Oz in an abandoned shoe store who wins? Jad Fair and Yo La Tengo took their grudge match to a sold-out crowd at the Bowery Ballroom Friday night to settle the score. Jad is the mad scientist. Half Japanese, the ban...

    on November 24, 1998
  • Night Work

    Article

    Night Work

    Singers have a rough row. Other musicians project their imaginations through instruments that double as prophylactics for their egos, but a singer is an instrument, with a lot more on the line. You can't hide behind shades and a mouthpiece; you've go...

    by Gary Giddins on November 17, 1998
  • The Unflashiest

    Article

    The Unflashiest

    At 65, Willie Nelson is an icon. His headband-and-pigtails could be trademarked if it was in him to bother, and neither his IRS run-in nor his adventures in the marijuana trade will stop the man who toked up on the roof of Carter's White House from r...

    by Robert Christgau on November 17, 1998
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