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  • 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
  • Article

    Snowplow You Bad Elephant!

    I quit smoking cigarettes recently and I've been making do with Gummi Bears, the patch, and tons of righteous weed. So between Kid A, Madonna, and that new Doves album, I've been enjoying a summer of love in my mind. The Doves' mantras of desolation ...

    by Scott Seward on December 26, 2000
  • Everything for Everyone


    Everything for Everyone

    The packaging of Sing When You're Winning, the second North American release from British superhero Robbie Williams, presents a series of stills that look like scenes from a British football (er, soccer) fantasy, in which every character is Robbie: h...

    by Scott Woods on December 26, 2000
  • Article

    Da Da Da

    In the early 1970s, while the domestic rock landscape was a smoldering ruin, certain adventurous and/or elitist listeners turned to Germany. The music of Can, Amon Dl II, and Kraftwerk, among others, fascinated with its reliance on electronics and ...

    by Scott Isler on December 26, 2000
  • Article

    Mean Man's Dream

    The newest and greatest tradition in Pasadena arrives every January 1 at precisely 9 a.m. For the last two years, rivaling even the Rose Bowl as blood-pumping spectacle, a B-2 out of the heavy bomb wing at Whiteman (that's an air force base, folks, h...

    by George Smith on December 26, 2000
  • Sobs, Static, and Sweat


    Sobs, Static, and Sweat

    Everyone knows how the Wu-Tang Clan fucked up. After the dense, heady rush of their brilliant 1993 debut, the group went their separate ways, releasing a series of mostly excellent solo projects. When it came time to regroup for their sophomore album...

    by Kelefa Sanneh on December 19, 2000
  • Electoral College Rock: Tilden Defeats Hayes?


    Electoral College Rock: Tilden Defeats Hayes?

    Fat Bobbywho is not, in matter of fact, fatof Brooklyn hard rockers Oneida writes that "Power Animals," from his band's latest, Come On Everybody Let's Rock, is "a disillusioned commentary on the electoral hornswogglin' of the 1876 Hayes/Tilden fia...

    by George Smith on December 19, 2000
  • Article

    Big Pimpin in the Red Sea

    Usually when drummers swap the stool for the spotlight, the results are frighteningIggy Pop, Dave Grohl, and Tommy Lee are exceptions. Fu Manchu's Brant Bjork (no umlaut!) might be another one. He debuted in 1999 with Jalamanta, a quiet and buttery ...

    by Lorne Behrman on December 19, 2000
  • Article

    Give the Gift of UniMoth

    So UniMoth MegaCorp flooded the market with "millennium collection" cheapos that drove richer product off the racks. There were confusing-at-best best-ofs on album artists Laurie Anderson, the Band, PM Dawn, Richard & Linda Thompson (reinstate their ...

    by Robert Christgau on December 19, 2000
  • Music



    OK Computer For the creative person on your shopping list, Oval has the perfect gift. Skotodesk, "an interactive authoring environment for personal desktop audio," could be licensed to Mattel as My First Electronic Music System. Its "object-orient...

    on December 19, 2000
  • Higher Ground


    Higher Ground

    When it comes to commercial black music, "high concept" makes the record industry very nervous. Motown initially told Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye that people wouldn't like their political songs. Stax told Isaac "Black Moses" Hayes that radio wouldn...

    by Carol Cooper on December 12, 2000
  • Will You Scrub Me Tomorrow


    Will You Scrub Me Tomorrow

    Unless you're regularly tuned in to an urban radio station, it's possible you've never heard of Kandi, the r&b singer. But you're undoubtedly familiar with Kandi the r&b songwriterin particular her two most famous creations, TLC's "No Scrubs" and De...

    by Scott Woods on December 12, 2000
  • Tri-Century Man - Oldest Living Composer Makes a Late Case for Rediscovery


    Tri-Century Man - Oldest Living Composer Makes a Late Case for Rediscovery

    How many composers can you name who lived in three centuries? Leo Ornstein, whose 90th birthday was celebrated here in 1982, has now entered his third. Born in 1892, he turned 108 this week, surpassing the conductor-musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky, wh...

    by Kyle Gann on December 12, 2000
  • Erykah in Stanklove


    Erykah in Stanklove

    Like Erykah Badu, like Mary, like Faith, like Sade, like Kim, like Lauryn, like me twice (sigh), Alice had not a moment to think about stopping before finding herself falling down a very deep well. Yet the trip to Wonderland was so abysmal she had pl...

    by Raquel Cepeda on December 12, 2000
  • So This Guy Walks Into a Bar . . .


    So This Guy Walks Into a Bar . . .

    Lifter Puller's Fiestas + Fiascos probably designates as "emo" for sounding simultaneously bulky and flouncy. ("Emo" is short for "emology": "The study of music that's simultaneously bulky and flouncy.") The vocals come across as spiels overheard in ...

    by Frank Kogan on December 12, 2000
  • Article

    Pumpin for Michelle

    The first thing you notice about the Spinatras' @midnight.com is how Ross the Boss has packed all his old Dictator gee-tar licks into the first two songs. That's OK, though, because hardly anyone outside o' zealots and eccentrics has heard them. And ...

    by George Smith on December 12, 2000
  • Article

    Heart-Shaped Box

    The combatants are practically identical. They are characterless products of focus groups; their fight is fiercely contested. Despite being in a supposed competition, they represent the interests of the same small group of big-money concerns. And the...

    by Jane Dark on December 5, 2000
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