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  • Perfect Beats


    Perfect Beats

    In his liner notes to The Mountain, Steve Earle explains his goal in making a bluegrass album: "I wanted to write just one song that would be performed by at least one band at every bluegrass festival in the world long after I have followed Mr. Bill ...

    by Rob Sheffield on March 16, 1999
  • Jaki Byard, 19221999


    Jaki Byard, 19221999

    Lea was two months old the first time we took her to a concert Jaki Byard's 1989 recital at Weill Hall. He sat at the piano and played a 10-note discord. She whimpered, looked distressed. But he followed instantly with a lambent stride passage. She...

    by Gary Giddins on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    Hard-Knock He-Men

    The local heroes of Def Jam's Hard Knock Life tour (Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man, and Redman, from Brooklyn, Yonkers, Staten Island, and Newark, respectively) currently have the Hot 97 chart locked up tighter than, well, Puffy. Wednesday night at the Meado...

    on March 9, 1999
  • Dusty in Heaven - Dusty Springfield, 19391999


    Dusty in Heaven - Dusty Springfield, 19391999

    Dusty Springfield was a pop singer. She liked rich orchestrations, grand melodies, lost-love lyrics. She did not aim to be radical, but her artistic sensitivities and temperament were undeniable. She insisted on picking her own songs and involving he...

    by Barry Walters on March 9, 1999
  • Eunuch Hauteur


    Eunuch Hauteur

    Leonard Cohen stepped into an avalanche; it covered up his soul. Now, when he is not this hunchback that you see, he sleeps beneath the golden hill. OK, not Lenny per se, just some character I'm paraphrasing from Songs of Love and Hate. Who cares, ...

    by Eric Weisbard on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    Ronnie Spector

    As glue-sniffin' surfin' birds from the nonaffluent boroughs, the Ramones should've been the bastard sons of the badboy hitters the Ronettes and Shangri-Las pined over. Maybe they were: She Talks to Rainbows (c/o 109X Regents Park Road, London, NW1 ...

    by Donna Gaines on March 9, 1999
  • Article

    Love Jones

    Used to be, a hiphop love song was something like Rakim's "Mahogany" or Shallah Raekwon's "Ice Cream" tunes celebrating shorties from around the way; hardrocks need love too. These days, hiphop love songs are more like Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R...

    by Miles Marshall Lewis on March 2, 1999
  • Article

    Chick Dance

    I spent most of last Wednesday in court due to the restraining order Lil' Kim slapped on me, so I missed most of the Grammy pregame action. As for the show itself, I still can't decide whether my favorite moment was when O.D.B. rushed the stage and...

    by Scott Seward on March 2, 1999
  • Article

    The Director's Cut

    Nobody in the genre today sees more possibility in hip-hop than Prince Paul. I say that in the face of his tour de force A Prince Among Thieves, a record nay, a hiphopera! telling the story of a young man's terminal initiation into the world of rap...

    by R.J. Smith on March 2, 1999
  • The Goths Must Be Crazy - Dark Metal's Windowless World


    The Goths Must Be Crazy - Dark Metal's Windowless World

    Rock'n'roll has always been public music. It shouts out loud, demanding to be played outdoors, or in steel-framed and cinder-blocked arenas seating multi- thousands. What else do you expect of Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin, Metallica or Aerosmith, Gun...

    by Michael Freedberg on March 2, 1999
  • Article

    Too Sweet To Die

    Introducing a "Richland Woman Blues" that began crude and ended up delivering the lyric at least as strong as Mississippi John Hurt, David Johansen told us the New York Dolls used to rehearse the song. He didn't recall why they'd canned it, but hey, ...

    on March 2, 1999
  • Two Realists


    Two Realists

    My middle name must be Fuck You/'Cause every time I walk niggas be like, 'Fuck you,' " goes the chorus. "My first name must be He Ain't Shit/'Cause every time I'm in my car bitches be like, 'He ain't shit.' " The song is "I'll Bee Dat!" It's the lead...

    by Robert Christgau on March 2, 1999
  • Hearts of Glass


    Hearts of Glass

    It's fine when it's all mine, it's on my wall, it's in my head: The poster on my apartment door came from Sleater-Kinney's Dig Me Out tour. It's got Corin, Carrie, and Janet lined up in Brady Bunchstyle squares, alongside a slightly disturbing pictu...

    by Sara Sherr on February 23, 1999
  • Article

    Basement Jaxx

    Nobody exemplifies the promiscuous impurism of late-'90s house music better than Basement Jaxx, the South London duo of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe. On their two recent singles (four A sides + dub versions = an album's worth of stuff), virtually...

    by Simon Reynolds on February 23, 1999
  • Article

    Conjunction Junction - The All-Music Guide Wants To Make Scrabble out of Babel

    The All-Music Guide bills itself as "an ongoing project to review and rate all music" emphasis on the all. Statistics posted at its Web site, www.allmusic.com, claim the AMG has catalogued over 350,000 albums and 2 million tracks, reviewed 120,000 r...

    by Eric Weisbard on February 23, 1999
  • Uprostred - Czechoslovakian Rock After Plastic People and Pulnoc


    Uprostred - Czechoslovakian Rock After Plastic People and Pulnoc

    Even though (or because) it's their (and also Czech rock's) main selling point over here, I wonder if the Plastic People of the Universe don't get tired of hauling around their Legend. You know: how they wouldn't back down from unasked-for political ...

    by Don Allred on February 23, 1999
  • Article

    Renaissance Man

    Milton Nascimento once described to me something he'd witnessed while performing in a soccer stadium in his native Brazil. He'd started singing "Corao Estudante," about the precious capacity of youth for change and self-liberation. Gazing up into t...

    by Carol Cooper on February 23, 1999
  • Here Be Dragons


    Here Be Dragons

    Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas first decided they were Chicano in 1995. It happened on their third album, Chaco, two full years before Mexican rapero crews like Control Machete and Molotov would start donning khakis, throwing mock gang signs, and ...

    by Josh Kun on February 23, 1999
  • God Is in the Details


    God Is in the Details

    There were nine of them on the Knitting Factory stage. Each wore a purple tunic emblazoned with a shield bearing his or her first name; each tunic had a long hood adorned with small bells and a silver heart stitched on the sleeve. Chain-mail shirts a...

    on February 23, 1999
  • Mo' Better Moses


    Mo' Better Moses

    George Perle, one of America's best living composers and a hard-nosed analyst of the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg, Webern, Berg), used to contend that Schoenberg actually finished Moses und Aron when penning the last page of act two of that int...

    by Leighton Kerner on February 23, 1999
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