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  • Article


    It's not a comeback, just an album, called Karma. "It's always something," coos Rick Springfield, recovering teen idol turned Zen philosopher. Springfield made his first break from heartthrobdom with his late-'80s album Tao. Could he have known t...

    by Judith Basya on August 17, 1999
  • Gag Reflex, 35 Cents Off


    Gag Reflex, 35 Cents Off

    "Weird Al" Yankovic just might be the world's most receptive celebrity, so long as he's not having to fend off suggestions about what new song he should skewer. I once demanded he remake the Offspring's "Come Out and Play (Keep 'em Separated)" as "Cl...

    by Marc Weisblott on August 17, 1999
  • Article

    Zooted, Blooted, Sclamslooted

    It was 1988 when my life turned Strictly Business, when both EPMD and I made our debuts on the scene, and that shit was dope. I smoked weed with Felicia in the stairwells of the mall's parking lot. I got really drunk on Cisco with Paco and Riley, w...

    by Nwaanda Full Force on August 17, 1999
  • Sex and the Singles Girl - Pubescent Genie Tops Pop Chart; No New Zapp Remixes This Month


    Sex and the Singles Girl - Pubescent Genie Tops Pop Chart; No New Zapp Remixes This Month

    America, you're at a sexual impasse. This business of being really into it, and having to pretend you're not because fucking is somehow really serious voodoo, just gets weirder every year. By this point, dragging the line between fictional erotic pro...

    by Jane Dark on August 17, 1999
  • Ladies Marmalade


    Ladies Marmalade

    In my hometown, Philadelphia, the best radio station to listen to in a car is Jammin' Gold (that's Jammin' Oldies for you New Yorkers). Which means about 10 tons of disco, with little bits of Motown, Philly Sound, and all the early-'80s r&b hits that...

    by Sara Sherr on August 17, 1999
  • Article

    Long Time Coming - Africa Fete Welcomes a Zimbabwean Star

    Since 1993, minus a 199697 hiatus, the annual summer Africa Fete has provided a dependable if formulaic showcase for the unfor- tunately dwindling number of African artists with tour-justifying American releases. Sponsored by afrosario Chris Blac...

    on August 17, 1999
  • Article

    Consumer Guide

    MARYANNE AMACHER: Sound Characters (Tzadik) Since she's famous for building-sized three-dimensional sound sculptures, I was re signed to never hearing Amacher on disc, but this sampling of installations and mind-altering textures captures her better ...

    by Kyle Gann on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Unholy Regional Hit, Batman!

    How is it possible for someone to sell over a quarter of a million records and remain all but unknown outside his home state? The Detroit rapper Esham has moved 195,000 CDs and tapes on his own and another 64,000 with his group Natas, according to So...

    by Douglas Wolk on August 10, 1999
  • Article


    Odds are your mama doesn't know who Todd "Too $hort" Shaw is and neither does your daddy, but the Oak land-born rapper has made a viable career out of proffering street science to those who don't mind laughing at his subjects, the dregs of societywa...

    by Asondra Hunter on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Baby Gets Back

    Get Back didn't work as a career strategy when the Beatles invented it. But Get Back has become such a widespread pop-veterans' gambit that it powers the three most stimulating recent African pop releases, all with ties to Mali: Ali Farka Toure's Nia...

    by Milo Miles on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Make the Music

    Because human beatboxes are anomalies in the same genus as spoon-and-wineglass players, I guess it's not surprising that the first solo album by a "vocal percussionist" arrived 16 years after Doug E. got fresh on the beatbox and the Fat Boys dumbfoun...

    by Kembrew McLeod on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Jazz Fission

    In 1992, Brooklyn's Gang Starr paired with the Dream Warriors, a promising young rap duo from Toronto, to record "I've Lost My Ignorance (And Don't Know Where To Find It)." Obscurely released on the U.K. compilation Re birth of Cool, the song was a s...

    by Joseph Patel on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Beat and Variation

    Autechre, the English duo of Sean Booth and Rob Brown, don't so much write songs as program ecosystems. Within electronica, where everyone says Autechre have spawned a genre unto themselves, their clopped rhythm strings and clipped melody shards epit...

    by Eric Weisbard on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Girls Interrupted

    The success of Lilith Fair, now in its third and final year, reads well on paper. Big-voiced gals with guitars have gained thousands of new female fans who leave clutching free CD samplers, NOW stickers, and Biore strips. The largesse to LIFEbeat and...

    on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Tear the Roof off Jungleland

    Where are all my Negroes at? Why aren't there more Black people out here screaming Bruuuuce like Dolly Earshatterer to the rear of my right lobe? Could it possibly be because The Boss's ascendancy roughly coincided with the landing of The Mothership ...

    by Greg Tate on August 10, 1999
  • Article

    Fumin' Emotions

    Some people seem most at home in crowds. Not necessarily happiest, but that's not necessarily what home is for. It's about having your own sloton my crowded record shelf, for instance. "Can't you see?" David Allan Coe asks the crowd at Billy Bob's i...

    by Don Allred on August 3, 1999
  • Article

    New Turf

    How should a successful playwright approach his first opera libretto, especially when the music will be provided by a younger, less famous composer? To judge by comments from the three novice librettists of the one-act pieces that make up Central Par...

    by Leighton Kerner on August 3, 1999
  • Article

    Armageddon It

    On the eve of the new millennium, you will find me at the gates of Neverland Ranch, praying for the mortal souls of all humanity. I just read on the Web that the Antichrist is, in fact, the boy-child of Michael Jackson, one Prince Jackson (so named b...

    by Scott Seward on August 3, 1999
  • Article

    Pretty Fly as You Feel

    Neurotic types troubled about the millennial Y2K (youth-to-kids) takeover of pop would do well to check out Len and Ugly Duckling, not your father's oldsmofos, but hardly your little sis's B*witched-and-bothersome antibiotic-teen software, either. I'...

    by Richard Riegel on August 3, 1999
  • Article

    Sugar Ray

    Top 40 playlists would seem the perfect home for people lamenting a future day when life will have passed them by. Turn on your car radio at any given moment, and you're going to encounter some names you'll never hear from again. Imagine if instead o...

    by Phil Dellio on August 3, 1999
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