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  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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
  • 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

    Reverse Assimilation

    When I first met Caf Tacuba in early 1993, they were hunched in a typical suburban garage on the outskirts of Mexico City, working the kinks out of "24 horas," a Beatles-esque teen-pop love anthem that would appear on their '94 masterpiece, Re. But ...

    by Ed Morales on August 3, 1999
  • Article

    In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lion?

    Elvis didn't invent horniness and hormones. Before jazz was "Jazz," it was rock and roll. At least, it activated the same antibodies. Here's Variety, after hearing the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in early 1917: "This 'jaz' thing sounds like a trio o...

    by David Wondrich on August 3, 1999
  • Article

    A (Re-)United Front

    Here's a fitting koan: How many times can the Flatlanders not reunite? Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock, the core of that west Texas band, recorded a 1972 album that was shelved, then released in '90 as More a Legend Than a Band. Tex a...

    on August 3, 1999
  • Article

    Spirits in the Sky

    My first encounter with Ghost occurred on the subtle plane. I was wasting my time in a hipster indie rock CD store in early 1992 when I came across a rack of expensive Japanese imports. Knowing even less about the intense, mega-noodling world of unde...

    by Eric Davis on July 27, 1999
  • Article

    Electric Dinner Party

    Electronica used to shake people up in the early '90s, when every body called it techno. English publications covered electronic dance music as if it were an exciting new field, teeming with records as wonderful and relevant as punk. But Americans mo...

    by James Hunter on July 27, 1999
  • That Olde Collage Try


    That Olde Collage Try

    The bursting of Britpop's bubble has left the UK's rock scene in the doldrums. A&R's and hacks alike twiddle thumbs, wondering why nothing's happening. For one thing, Britpop's make-it-big triumphalism has virtually obliterated the independent ideal....

    by Simon Reynolds on July 27, 1999
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