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  • Article

    Recovering Mrs. Jones (and How Mr. Jones Helped)

    I spent the winter of 1994 through the summer of 1995 soaking myself in August and Everything After. I did lots of variations on the theme of playing it through, playing some part of it, and playing some part of a part of it over and over. Up to a fe...

    by Martina Kominiarek on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    Master of the Slow Surprise

    In the history books, Phill Niblock is the forgotten minimalist. K. Robert Schwarz's Minimalism doesn't mention him, while Edward Strickland's Minimalism: Origins alludes to him only in lists of Downtown composers. Shame on both books, for Niblock ha...

    by Kyle Gann on November 2, 1999
  • Music



    Screen Tests Sometimes it seems as if everyone in L.A. rock is working on the sonic equivalent of a screen play, cranking out ersatz Tarantino or gussied-up John Hughes. Mark Stewart, the formidable frontman of the Negro Problem, isn't entirely fr...

    on November 2, 1999
  • Article

    Hit It, Now Hold It

    Bearing down on hip hop, with plenty left undone, some of it fairly terrific, I believe or hope. FYI, I'm holding the Tribe Called Quest best-of over till Christmas, which is pretty much what it feels like to me. Cape Verde (Putumayo World Music) ...

    by Robert Christgau on November 2, 1999
  • Roto-Roots Rock Flushes Your Troubles Down the Drain


    Roto-Roots Rock Flushes Your Troubles Down the Drain

    It had me on the shitter for days back in 1996, that Supersuckers record, Must've Been High (though my coffee-grind-and-Ramen diet probably didn't help gastrointestinal matters), where they replaced their signature guitar machismo with intimate hillb...

    by Lorne Behrman on October 26, 1999
  • Article

    It Takes Two

    The way for small, chic labels to thrive in the '90s has apparently been to operate on two people's taste. Sub Pop was at its peak when it was all about what Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt liked; K, until recently, was Calvin Johnson and Candice P...

    by Douglas Wolk on October 26, 1999
  • Article

    A to the B

    After a soliloquy whose family shtick might be parodying a Wu-Tang kung fu sample, the opening track's bodacious soul-funk groove kicks under a jump-cut montage of further kickoffs: genial host warming up a catcalling crowd; DJ IDing himself ("Automa...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 26, 1999
  • Music



    All About His Mother The nave dims, a powerful beam illuminates the ascension of Christ in stained glass, and then there's a pop group onstage. This cleared the City's Code for Possible Religious Disrespect? The Episcopalians of St. Ann's Church ar...

    on October 26, 1999
  • Article

    Booger High - Five Hit Singles Linked by No Concept Whatsoever!

    The Sheila Divine's "Hum" wins for Best Song With Worst Title. Starts out like some humbly hummable descendant of Nilsson, or some forgotten single (or twelve) on Stiff, or Third Eye Blind. Then the singer's third eye appears, buggin on a rhino horn,...

    by Don Allred on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    E-Mail at the End of Time - Mambos in Bottles, Pit Bulls in Skirts, Smurfs in Stretch Hummers

    Dear Chelsey, October 9: I'm not sure "Mambo No. 5" is a GREAT pop song; it doesn't have enough moves to get in the ring with "Freedom '90" or "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover." But it's for sure a POP QUIZ. Anyone who fails to fall for playskool playb...

    by Jane Dark on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    That Next Bitch

    It was like the changing of the guardthat moment this summer when Missy's "She's A Bitch" flopped spectacularly while Eve's "What Ya Want" established its long thrall over BET and Hot 97. This wasn't just Eve Jeffers displacing Missy Elliott as "tha...

    by Simon Reynolds on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    To Noodle or Not to Noodle?

    When I started listening to Everything But the Girl in high school they were more pop lite than breakbeat, and I was more theater geek than writer geek. I sensed a pour-it-all-out approach to emotion in their music, and Tracey Thorn's vocal range was...

    by Carrie Havranek on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    A Golden Age - MTV Names the Only 10 Songs That Matter

    A couple of weekends back, MTV presented a late-night Hard Rock A-Z special: wide-ranging sets of several videos in a row, with mini mal VJ banter. It was just the sort of music-heavy programming that fans frustrated with Road Rules and Real World ma...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 19, 1999
  • God Is Not in the Details


    God Is Not in the Details

    Carbon Copy Building was a bold bid for a new music-theater paradigm at a time when we need bold new bids. First of all, it was visual artdriven, rather than text-driven or music-driven; second, it was a collaboration by three different composers wi...

    by Kyle Gann on October 19, 1999
  • The Noise of Art


    The Noise of Art

    In 1983, the Art of Noise were an arch abstraction, the consummate studio project, the band without musicians: Their only photo showed a hand holding a wrench. The Art of Noise at Irving Plaza last Tuesday night included the Oscar-winning composer of...

    on October 19, 1999
  • Article

    Easy Money

    Inevitably, a few fools will argue that the youth marketers' project of excising all meaning from their product is long overdue. But it can't be done. In a pop of easy money and disposable delight, there will always be wise guys sticking some ideas i...

    by Robert Christgau on October 19, 1999
  • Expose Yourself


    Expose Yourself

    Dear Trent, How's it going, dude? Long time no see. (Ha Ha Ha) But seriously, as much as I loved your excellent soundtrack work, I thought I'd never get my hands on the follow-up to the holiest of relics, The Downward Spiral. I worried that the pres...

    by Scott Seward on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    Meeks Inherits the Earth

    The annals of gospel-disco celebrate classically righteous cuts by the Mighty Clouds of Joy and the Clark Sisters; they applaud "D" Train's "Keep On," the O'Jays' "Love Train," the entire oeuvre of Sylvester. But query whether gospel-disco is ready t...

    by Michael Freedberg on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    Show-Offs on the Rise - Multitalented Local Leads Resurgence in Cabaret

    A long and angular clown who, were the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera remade, could play all the parts, he bounced onstage in white tie and spats. He bugged his eyes at the audience, made a few silly throwaway remarks, and plopped at the Baldwin...

    by David Finkle on October 12, 1999
  • Article

    Outside the Whale

    Here's a small detail. In her musical rereading of Moby Dick, Laurie Anderson has a cast member quote from an obscure sermon delivered early in the novel: "So what is a man if he outlives the lifetime of his God?" The program notes that she's written...

    by Eric Weisbard on October 12, 1999
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