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  • Article

    Who's Beautiful Now?

    My Marilyn Manson connection began with a T-shirt. As I was standing in line for a Tricky concert, kids fresh from Manson's Antichrist extravaganza the night before arrived wearing his Satanic Army togs--a spoof of the Salvation Army. I knew I'd gone...

    by Barry Walters on September 22, 1998
  • Article

    MTV Goes Gray

    Rumors of a Lewinsky appearance melt into air. So instead, the Slut in Recovery role is taken up by Ex Spice, who claims the MTV Best Video winner "was my idol growing up." Sylvester? Tina Louise? Madonna! Duh! Lookanyone who doesn't love her is ...

    by Jane Dark on September 22, 1998
  • Article

    Blemishes Be Damned

    Why do certain people--quite often brainy, scruffy, and with a collection of mulled-over heartaches to match their accumulations of scratched vinyl and Fiestaware--love Amy Rigby with a nearly irrational devotion? Could it be the way she transformed ...

    by Katherine Dieckmann on September 22, 1998
  • Article

    Fix It in the Mix

    Simon Reynolds's new book on dance culture comes in two versions. The American, Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture, is simpler and more linear. The British, Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Club Culture, loops...

    by Simon Frith on September 22, 1998
  • Article

    Words Worth

    I'll make you question any and everything you've ever believed in--Lost Boyz f / Canibus, "Beast From the East" Words. It's all about the words with Canibus. We could fill the page top to bottom with quotes from Germaine Williams, a/k/a The Guy...

    by Sasha Frere-Jones on September 15, 1998
  • Article

    Winter of Their Youth

    In a certain light (the hazy glow of late-summer afternoons, for instance), obsession seems like the only reasonable response to Belle and Sebastian. Introspective and introverted, deeply artful and fiercely protective of their art, these young Scots...

    by Dennis Lim on September 15, 1998
  • Article

    Rock & Roll - Blues, In Progress and Motion

    Although Taj Mahal is not an artist who shows up on anybody's honor roll of '60s originators, maybe he oughta. That sure was how it looked when he visited Tramps with his young heirs Corey Harris and Alvin Youngblood Hart August 28. For decades he'd ...

    by Robert Christgau on September 15, 1998
  • Article


    In The Weatherbox, a peculiarly likable though rough-around-the-edges meditation on the American family from Rattlestick, playwright Travis Baker hits so many uncomfortably true-to-life notes that his play frequently makes you feel like you forgot to...

    by James Oseland on September 15, 1998
  • Article

    Swing, Kids! - A Revival Tries To Make History of Its Own

    Khakis swing. So do Chips Ahoy! cookies and Toni Tennille. So do legions far too young to have experienced it first-hand, people whose parents didn't listen to swing. Tattooed punks are swapping leather jackets, mohawks, and Doc Martens for double-br...

    by Jesse Berrett on September 8, 1998
  • Article

    A Terrible Beauty

    Couldn't say which color most becomes her, but Courtney Love's best vowel is u. She throws herself into them all, of course, like a stage diver--wrings everything out of a tonality, then leaps on to the next. "Celebrity Skin," her liposuctioned new s...

    by Eric Weisbard on September 8, 1998
  • Article

    Educating Lauryn

    A Critical Confab on the Year's Most Ambitious and Multifaceted Debut Sound, Style, and Steel Lauryn Hill has given birth once more. This new child may be more lament and redemption song than soft skin and baby chuckles, but it is a child of Laur...

    on September 1, 1998
  • Article

    Consumer Guide

    An awful lot of gnarled, dissonant music is dear to me, but if music has to be ugly to be authentically 20th-century, then I for one will wave goodbye to the 1900s with unmixed relief. So I am unapologetic about giving "Pick Hit" to the prettiest maj...

    by Kyle Gann on September 1, 1998
  • Article

    SYM Seeks Audience

    Why are gloomy guys with guitars so groovy again? Pop has been on such a female empowerment trip--radiating feminism and marketing in the same dance step, pumping out chest-thumping divas as if MTV were one never-ending Star Search episode, go-on-gir...

    by Barry Walters on August 25, 1998
  • Article

    Hell Is Other Bands

    My first thought, entering CBGB for the first of "two nights of crust, grind, and doom at the birthplace of underground rock," was, How fucking refreshing. A club in the East Village where no one is wearing Prada. And now that cute eclecticism is the...

    by Ann Marlowe on August 25, 1998
  • Article

    Consumer Guide

    Though I'm pleased to finally figure out Memphis Minnie (skip Columbia's Hoodoo Lady), you'll find no new canon candidates in the pre-Christmas list below. Just subpantheon rockers and prerockers as individual as (and subtler than) the soundtrack sch...

    by Robert Christgau on August 25, 1998
  • Article

    Confess Nothing

    Although five years have passed since Liz Phair blew in from nowhere, it's still a little embarrassing to remember how bowled over we all were. Not that Exile in Guyville wasn't very nearly as superb as was believed--just that we had no way of unders...

    by Robert Christgau on August 18, 1998
  • Article

    Dual Channels

    All songs composed, arranged, written, and produced by James Beattie," reads the note on Adventures in Stereo's Alternative Stereo Sounds (Bobsled). It doesn't mention Beattie's former Spirea-X partner Judith Boyle, who actually sings the damn things...

    by Douglas Wolk on August 18, 1998
  • Article

    Raising Cain

    There ought to be a genre name for the other kind of art-rockmusic that includes all the ridiculously extreme stuff, all the stuff that is no good for you, all the stuff that painters listen to. There's no kinder-sounding, more unassuming performer ...

    by R.J. Smith on August 11, 1998
  • Article

    One Day. Ten T-Shirts.

    1. NOFX Are for Kids* "This is the coolest concert ever," a bleached-blond kid in a Trix-bunny NOFX T-shirt exclaims, as we're herded into a wire mesh passageway leading toward the big punk rock show on Randalls Island. The crowd is very, very young....

    by Douglas Wolk on August 11, 1998
  • Article

    The Boy Is Whose?

    Cain vs. Abel. Foreman vs. Ali. And now, Brandy vs. Monica. Well, "The Boy Is Mine" is the most successful single of the year--indeed, the most successful female duet of what chart geeks like to call "the rock era." And if the matchup doesn't quite q...

    by Craig Seymour on August 4, 1998
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