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  • 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
  • Article

    Double Shot

    For the past month, two of the top five tracks pissing their night away on Billboard's Main stream Rock chart have been celebrations of alcohol consumption, both sung by clods who usually sound too bloated and full-of-themselves to mix concoctions so...

    by Chuck Eddy on May 11, 1999
  • Article

    Take This

    Robbie Williams is, the considerable hype goes, as complicated as any pop persona worth your time should be. The back story, which you could trace from Brit-tab headlines alone, is compelling teenybopper escapes boy band (Take That), hangs out with ...

    on May 11, 1999
  • Eat Their Poussière - Zydeco’s Louisiana Purchases Inch Toward Raunch


    Eat Their Poussire - Zydecos Louisiana Purchases Inch Toward Raunch

    By the time his 1985 "My Toot Toot" had won a Grammy, become a multiformat hit covered by dozens of artists, generated big revenue for the bumper sticker industry, and inspired my eight-year-old cousin to spend her summer vacation giving 50-cent back...

    by Arsenio Orteza on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Butta-Knife Love

    One need look no further than the title of OutKast's 1994 debut to see the influence of Isaac Hayes on Atlanta's Dungeon Family (OutKast, Goodie Mob, Witchdoctor, et al.). 'Kast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was an obvious nod to spreading Hayes'...

    by Kris Ex on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    The Go-Betweens

    This is us as a Seventies band," Robert Forster writes in the liner notes for the Go-Betweens' 78 'til 79 The Lost Album, a collection of early studio and home recordings. What he means, to be exact, is an ingenuous, bare-bones '70s pop banda surpri...

    by Dennis Lim on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Every Bit Counts

    The notorious thing about the "college rock" I grew up on, over a decade ago, the same time Ben Folds was gestating in the university nexus of Chapel Hill, was that college kids by and large hated it. Too willfully marginal: too drop-out. Ben Folds F...

    by Eric Weisbard on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    Conjure Woman

    I have always found it slightly unsettling that so many of my parents' generation christened my male peers Miles. It is no easy invocation. Some may even call it a curse. Or at least a weight. Miles is beyond complicated, beyond icon, beyond genius...

    by Dream Hampton on May 4, 1999
  • Border Crossings


    Border Crossings

    A significant pleasure of wallowing in Sunday's sold-out Bang on a Can marathon at the Henry Street Settlement lay in mapping out the resonances that linked the 23 works (chosen from 400 submissions) performed over eight hours (you do the math). The ...

    on May 4, 1999
  • Article

    The Right Crowd

    It wasn't my most memorable Merle Haggard concert. That honor goes to the one in the late '60s where I heard him debut "Okie From Muskogee" to a crowd of 2000 well-groomed white people, and, having the only shoulder-length hair in view, felt it prude...

    on April 27, 1999
  • Article

    Jazzmen Bloweth

    Resembling one of those Blue Note collections Starbucks sells as a side dish to cappuccino and biscotti, Side Man: Jazz Classics From the Broadway Play epitomizes everything spurious about a show that epitomizes everything spurious about contemporary...

    by Francis Davis on April 27, 1999
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