Alongside the expected Built To Spills, Stereolabs, and Sleater-Kinneys, there were two surprises atop the college radio charts this year: a Japanese lady singing about clouds and an Athens, Georgia, band transformed by Indonesia. Neither is exceptionally groundbreaking, I'm interested to note, just further evidence of an increasing thirst for global sounds with a bohemian pedigree. It was romance enough, in the 1980s, for college DJs to see that underground sensibilities had spread to Kansas or Arizona. New Zealand noise-pop, goth tribal sounds, and a few Camper Van Beethoven instrumentals were about as exotic as things got. But in the 1990s, punk's legacy has come to seem provincial, in need of cultural transfusions from far corners—proof for weirdos that we are the world, or at... More >>>