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  • Keeping Scores - Good old-fashioned movie music is as healthy as it ever was

    Article

    Keeping Scores - Good old-fashioned movie music is as healthy as it ever was

    A decade ago, bestselling multiartist compilations and their smash singles redefined how millions of people use movie soundtracks. Flashdance! Beverly Hills Cop! Vision Quest! Reacting against the incursion of Bombay procedures into the American ente...

    by James Hunter on November 10, 1998
  • Article

    They Luv Mekons

    Dennis Anderson and Lois Kahlert stand alone in the feckless cult of Mekons fans. Not because they claim to have seen the band "around 1000 times," but because they cling to a vision of superstardom even the Mekons have surrendered. "They have great ...

    by Josh Goldfein on November 10, 1998
  • Article

    Consumer Guide

    Hip hop is rich and unexpected enough these days to shore up a curmudgeon's faith in musical youth. Not that he sees any percentage in following the lead of a "hip hop community" that, insofar as it exists, makes no allowances for curmudgeons. Queen ...

    by Robert Christgau on November 3, 1998
  • Pure Presentation

    Article

    Pure Presentation

    Judy the artist, Judy the icon, Judy the obsession: Trying to tell them apart can seem an uphill struggle. The eternal little girl who was born Frances Ethel Gumm in 1922 would have been 76 this year, and the obsession is in fuller bloom than ever. A...

    by Michael Feingold on November 3, 1998
  • Article

    A Diva's Desires

    The day after Deborah Grace Winer pounded a nail into cabaret's coffin with a gloomy Times report, Audra McDonald turned the hammer's head around to the claw end and extracted that nail with a swift, elegant gesture. Unleashing a warm soprano that c...

    by David Finkle on November 3, 1998
  • 38 Special

    Article

    38 Special

    I can hear you/Can you hear me?" Michael Stipe sang on the first R.E.M. album, and he's probably spent a chunk of the past 15 years wishing he'd kept his pretty mouth shut. Few rock stars have been mind-read and decoded over the years like Stipe, the...

    by Rob Sheffield on November 3, 1998
  • Stormin' Norman

    Article

    Stormin' Norman

    Start with a chunky funky beat. Layer in a mind-bendingly catchy sample that screams, "This is fun! This is fun! This is fun! This is fun!" Add a few rap'n'diva bits to increase memorability. A recipe for Puff pop pastry? Nah, it's the basic formula ...

    by Barry Walters on November 3, 1998
  • The Iceman Cometh Back

    Article

    The Iceman Cometh Back

    Yo V.I.P., let's kick it: Vanilla Ice has this amazing bucktoothy rube smile he flashes when he's really proud of himself. He looks like his own mascot--a pumped-up plastic Aryan action figure, biceps covered with Celtic tattoos, blond goatee, Caesar...

    on November 3, 1998
  • Article

    Drip, Drip, Drip

    To be an opera composer, Aaron Copland wrote, "The urge has to be so strong that because of some inner drive, little else in music attracts you--and then you are an honest-to-God opera composer. I am not such." My generation doesn't believe it. Opera...

    by Kyle Gann on October 27, 1998
  • F(reakiness) M

    Article

    F(reakiness) M

    In hip-hop terminology, though it dates back much further, "country" means unsophisticated, backward, i.e. Not From New York. Chris Rock once slagged the Atlanta bassfest "MyBabyDaddy" as the most "ignorant, country shit" he'd ever heard. And he was ...

    by Sia Michel on October 27, 1998
  • Article

    Still Standing

    Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" first seared the country charts 30 years ago this month, Elton John sings it on the current Tammy Wynette Remembered (Asylum), and there would seem to be no more relevant song in America today. In 1992, of course,...

    by Daniel Cooper on October 27, 1998
  • Heavy Cream

    Article

    Heavy Cream

    In the current view, Burt Bacharach is a kind of silver-haired lava lamp, a symbol for a glorious era, unspecified and unblemished, that Americans love to see as their past. Filmmakers have exploited these associations, knowing that in its language, ...

    by Rob Tannenbaum on October 27, 1998
  • Article

    The Other Lode

    Thrown in two large spaces--one located "under the tressell" [sic], the other "around the box"--joined solely by a single small doorway (remember Maxwell's Demon?), Other Music's densely packed Web-launch party at the Chelsea Arts Building last Satur...

    on October 27, 1998
  • R.O.C.K. in the USA

    Article

    R.O.C.K. in the USA

    The history of pop music goes marching by in 18-month segments, generations that last two years, epochs that barely fill half a decade of teenage time, in other words. So it is that this collection manages a double refraction of the past: the era of ...

    by Luc Sante on October 20, 1998
  • Article

    Yeah, Yeah, NO!

    Governor Pataki has been exploiting the Beatles in a campaign commercial lately. It opens with a grainy black-and-white photo of a crowd of teens, as a "Love Me Do"-type backbeat (with a harmonica blowing different notes than the original) plays i...

    by David Shaftel & Frank Ruscitti on October 20, 1998
  • Article

    The Long Distance Soulster

    For as long as Luther has sufficed to separate Mr. Vandross from all others bearing his name he has been the modern male soul singer, possibly the last of a disappearing breed in a profession already rife with high risk and high mortality. The histor...

    by Greg Tate on October 20, 1998
  • Article

    Boo!

    That Subliminal Kid," yeah right: you can't sneeze in New York without getting DJ Spooky wet. Paul D. Miller is pretty overt about being every where, writing, remixing, recording, accompanying, collaborating, and tagging along in every possible setti...

    by Douglas Wolk on October 20, 1998
  • Article

    Meet the Counselors

    A rock 'n' roll show, for us, is a celebratory experience," said the unbearably revivalistic drummer-singer of the opening band Cowboy Mouth last Wednesday. In other words, cheer me and you'll have a good time. Dude, how about coming up with somethin...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 20, 1998
  • Hard Bop

    Article

    Hard Bop

    Dwayne Burno had an awed look on his face for most of the second set Thursday night at the Vanguard. He was stationed right behind his boss, Roy Haynes, and the drummer's every flam and fillip made the bassist wince: "Ooh, that shit's nasty." The 72-...

    on October 20, 1998
  • Weill Style

    Article

    Weill Style

    It's more and more obvious how necessary the American Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Leon Bot stein, are to New York's art-music life. While the New York Philharmonic launches its seasons with all the Brahms or Beethoven symphonies, and four-f...

    by Leighton Kerner on October 20, 1998
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