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  • Sewers of Budapest

    Article

    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

    Article

    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

    Article

    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
  • Article

    The Long-Playing Duke

    Always when writing about Duke Ellington there is the temptation to become a listmaker. Because once you get past the generalities and charge joyfully into the specifics, you find yourself in a Borgesian labyrinth no less alluring to an Ellingtonian ...

    by Gary Giddins on April 27, 1999
  • Article

    Keely Smith

    For a few months now, Keely Smith's new CD, Keely Sings Sinatra, has been showing up at collector shows such as the ones in Amityville and White Plains, and fans of classic pop vocals have been snapping it up. The hitch is that it hasn't been officia...

    by Will Friedwald on April 27, 1999
  • Article

    Respect Due

    "This is not another 'Fuck Tha Police' here," declared Rico Wade of Organized Noize at the outset of Friday's Hip Hop for Respect recording session. "I know how to make a pop single, and I want this song to move people." Brought together by Black Sta...

    on April 27, 1999
  • Punkest Band Around

    Article

    Punkest Band Around

    Dear Suh: I really do not want this band on my tour no more. They cannot jam worth a damn on "Free Bird" at the end of the night, and the fiddle thing is scaring the hell out of my drunk bass player Yours, Ronnie All right! You can turn in my To...

    by Metal Mike Saunders on April 20, 1999
  • Article

    Prodigy Present the Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One

    I'd bet the keys to my Lincoln Navigator that if I gave any schmo off the street a crate of records, a mixer, and two turntables, he could come up with a funky feast for the senses. Which is what I love about mix tapes, hip-hop or otherwise, in the f...

    by Scott Seward on April 20, 1999
  • Article

    Half and Half

    Hip hop has busted pop music open so wide in the past year or two that for everyone but a diminishing minority of aging and/or oddball fans, finding extraordinary casual pleasure in it has become almost a routine. Maybe that's why it took me a few mo...

    by Franklin Soults on April 20, 1999
  • Gettin’ Slippy Wit It

    Article

    Gettin Slippy Wit It

    Underworld's got a massive cult following in the rave world, but with everyone I know, I have to go through the whole "Well, you know that movie Trainspotting?" (Sometimes they do.) "You remember there's music playing when he takes the drug-deal mone...

    by John Wojtowicz on April 20, 1999
  • Article

    Woman's Work

    In 1998, The New York Times ran a series of articles about women in Muslim countries, including Islamic Africa, showing how devout Muslim women were struggling for social parity in traditionally restrictive cultures. Coincidentally, 1998 was also the...

    on April 20, 1999
  • Sounds of Known Origin

    Article

    Sounds of Known Origin

    Long before the Latin Playboys were imaginable, Los Lobos rode into the rock mainstream on a myth. They were "just another band from East L.A.," the title of their self- released debut LP proclaimed in 1978, and five years later their coming-out EP o...

    by Robert Christgau on April 20, 1999
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