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  • Gangsta Polkas


    Gangsta Polkas

    The Wu-Tang Clan has just given $500,000 to NYU to digitize a collection of some 40,000 blues 78s and 45s from the '20s through the '50s. No, that doesn't sound right. Madonna has just given $500,000 to Miami-Dade Community College to digitize 40,000...

    by David Wondrich on January 23, 2001
  • Drug Ballads


    Drug Ballads

    Along the Tex-Mex border, storytelling ballads called corridos have documented the exploits of frontier heroes and villains for more than a century. Smuggling has always been a favorite subject, with tequila, marijuana, and cocaine runners typically ...

    by Larry Birnbaum on January 23, 2001
  • Article

    Songs of the Open Road - Richard Kassel Opens an Avenue to Harry Partch's Brain

    I attended "Musical Intersections: Toronto 2000," the millennial mega-musicology conference in that city a few weeks ago. Less exciting than skinny-dipping, I'll readily admit, but a big high point came when I glanced at a publisher's display copies ...

    by Kyle Gann on January 23, 2001
  • This Year’s Remodel


    This Years Remodel

    The word on Renegades is that it happened by accident when rap-rock agitators Rage Against the Machine got together with rap-rock eminence Rick Rubin to wham out a couple oldie B sides. They kept thinking of additional goodies until the project blew ...

    by Milo Miles on January 16, 2001
  • Article

    Brand New Record

    Brand new Cadillacs, brand new keys, brand new bags, brand new me's: Brand New's had an enviable three-decade run in pop music. Dead or Alive figured that "what I really need to do/Is find myself a brand new lover," and everything would be fine. From...

    by Phil Dellio on January 16, 2001
  • Article

    Dub for Dummies

    It started with Music Club's Augustus Pablo, and though I wasn't quite enlightened enough to go all the way with the King Tubby, Select Cuts From Blood & Fire clinched it. Twenty years after my first try, I just spent a few weeks actively enjoying du...

    by Robert Christgau on January 16, 2001
  • Music



    Worker's Playtime Lavishing their chops and charm on the unpublished lyrics of Woody Guthrie in two volumes of Mermaid Avenue, collaborators Billy Bragg and Wilco make a piece of history our own. Whether playing an irate hotel janitor who quits in...

    on January 16, 2001
  • Article

    Celluloid Hero

    Raised on the Sex Pistols and gleaning from early-'90s acid house, Northern Ireland's David Holmes is a post-punk trapped in a DJ's bodyone who still drops My Bloody Valentine cuts into his sets, as he did at Centro-fly last October. Like Kid Rock a...

    by Hobey Echlin on January 16, 2001
  • Article

    Bedside Jazz - Sometimes You Want It AllBut Usually You Dont

    The joy of anthologies is giving yourself up to someone else's taste. It was precisely that joy that chaperoned many of us through the historic realm of jazz during the LP era. If you bought the Columbia Golden Era Series or RCA Vintage compilations ...

    by Gary Giddins on January 16, 2001
  • Serenading the Boys


    Serenading the Boys

    R. Kelly don't see nothing wrongbut then again, it's pretty much all his fault in the first place. Him and those Jodeci boys, decked out in matching flame-retardant overalls. At the turn of the last decade, they were the ones thrusting hips into hip...

    by Jon Caramanica on January 9, 2001
  • Dog Lick 2000


    Dog Lick 2000

    I haven't figured out yet whether 2000 was the Year of the Dog or the Year of the Pussy. The Lick Song of the Year is Trina's "I Need" ("I want a nigga who'll lick the clit"though she's clearly someone who will accept a variety of licks: "I'm a firs...

    by Frank Kogan on January 9, 2001
  • Music



    Subway Series Three-year old Pocahontas Cagle knows she is a star. When asked to name her favorite part of her band's Christmas show, she replies, without hesitation, "My song!" and begins to belt it out in a voice at least four times her age: "If...

    on January 9, 2001
  • Article

    Death Wish - Creative Musics DemiseSuicide or Homicide? And Does It Matter?

    During the election campaign, George W. Bushdarling of the NRA and oil companiesreferred time and time again to Al Gore as "the special-interest candidate" (who? unions? women?). During the post-election party, as Bush was proclaiming himself presi...

    by Kyle Gann on January 9, 2001
  • Signposts of Posthistory - The Best New Jazz CDs of the Year of Louis and Miles


    Signposts of Posthistory - The Best New Jazz CDs of the Year of Louis and Miles

    So the year 2000 in jazz, which was supposed to be the year of Louis Armstrong, turned out to be the year of Kind of Blue. True, Pops has a year to gohe gets a double centennial, one for his presumed birth in 1900 and one for the actual one in 1901....

    by Gary Giddins on January 2, 2001
  • And It's Twisty Too


    And It's Twisty Too

    Andy Kaufman frequently bragged that he was a stand-up comedian who never told a joke. In his late career, Richard Pryor stopped telling jokes tooand now MS has limited his other activities as well. He liked to exaggerate, stretching the logic of hi...

    by James Hannaham on January 2, 2001
  • See Me, Feel Me


    See Me, Feel Me

    Most soundtrack albums exist completely separate from the movies they're attached to because the songs selected already have a vital popular character that the movie has borrowed to enhance itself, and this rarely works the other way around. The exce...

    by Mary Gaitskill on December 26, 2000
  • The Energy Box


    The Energy Box

    Lots of people think Ricky Martin is a phony. Last year the local Denver alternative-press sourpuss called Ricky's music "watered-down," not Latin enough. The guy had trouble with the fact that "Livin' La Vida Loca" was written and produced by glam-m...

    by Frank Kogan on December 26, 2000
  • Article


    The People's Choice The Situationist promptly situated us: "There's no product to sell, there's no point in being here." Typically sarcastic, Jon Langford disproved the second part of his opening line with a whiplash set at Mercury Lounge on Decem...

    on December 26, 2000
  • Déja Vu Again - The Bang on a Can Festival Charms but No Longer Thrills


    Dja Vu Again - The Bang on a Can Festival Charms but No Longer Thrills

    The Bang on a Can Festival still puts on a good show, but the thrill of continuous discovery is gone. The causes appear to be less ideological than economic. Forming the Bang on a Can All-Stars years ago as a house ensemble was a great idea, but the ...

    by Kyle Gann on December 26, 2000
  • Urban Organics


    Urban Organics

    "Irresistible: class with an edge," Matthew Cooke of Amazon.com writes in a Best of 2000 Editor's Pick for St. Germain's Tourist, and if that makes him a yuppie, at least he's honest. Class with an edge: alive and off-center but nary a foul breath. T...

    by Eric Weisbard on December 26, 2000
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