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  • Bum Rap - Gangsta rap isn't just back. It's back on top.

    Article

    Bum Rap - Gangsta rap isn't just back. It's back on top.

    Four years ago, in the thick of the last presidential campaign, MTV broadcast one of its "Rock the Vote" specials, during which one of the station's vee-jays stuck a mic in Snoop Doggy Dogg's face and asked for his views on the impending election. I ...

    by Steve Almond on February 3, 2000
  • Article

    Ken Vandermark's Sound in Action Trio - Design in Time

    Ken Vandermark's Sound in Action Trio Design in Time (Delmark) From concept to execution, Design in Time is a visionary marvel, an album that pays homage to jazz innovators as it steps boldly into the genre's future. The maiden release by Sou...

    by John Floyd on February 3, 2000
  • Article

    Chuck Prophet - The Hurting Business

    Chuck Prophet The Hurting Business (HighTone) Rapping and scratching on an album released by HighTone? HighTone? The torchbearer for all roots music? What's going on here? No, it's not a hip-hop album, but it is something remarkable. Call it ...

    by Sabrina Kaleta on February 3, 2000
  • Article

    Various Artists - Fire & Skill: The Songs of the Jam

    Various Artists Fire & Skill: The Songs of the Jam (Ignition/Epic Records) This probably seemed like a good idea back in the old days, when the world gave a steaming crap about Oasis: Bros Noel and Liam Gallagher would assemble and bookend a ...

    by Robert Wilonsky on February 3, 2000
  • Article

    DJing For Dummies - Turn the tables with your own style

    Dance-club DJs ply their craft obscured by clouds of billowing fog and flashing lights, hidden behind banks of equipment. It's no surprise, then, that the rest of us have no clue what all the mysterious knob-twiddling is about. Truth is, DJs do a lot...

    by John Ferri on January 27, 2000
  • Jay-Z - Life & Times of S. Carter, Vol. 3

    Article

    Jay-Z - Life & Times of S. Carter, Vol. 3

    Jay-Z Life & Times of S. Carter, Vol. 3 (Roc-a-fella/Def Jam) Essential listening for anyone curious about the evolution of rap, Jay-Z's 1998 hit, "Hard Knock Life," was the last great hip-hop single of the '90s. With its kids-choir choruses ...

    by Bruce Britt on January 27, 2000
  • Article

    Guns N' Roses - Live Era '87-'93

    Guns N' Roses Live Era '87-'93 (Geffen) Ten years ago, Guns N' Roses was the biggest rock band on earth, a can-do-no-wrong quintet that made mincemeat out of every tressed and spandex-clad nightmare act on the Sunset Strip. And they didn't ev...

    by Johnny Angel on January 27, 2000
  • Article

    Tommy Womack - Stubborn

    Tommy Womack Stubborn (Sideburn Records) Tommy Womack is Steve Earle with a sense of humor. To those (like me) who regard Earle with the awe generally accorded religious martyrs, this is no small claim. But after listening to his breathtaking...

    by Steve Almond on January 27, 2000
  • Summa Cum Louder - Local band the New Graduates has found its sound

    Article

    Summa Cum Louder - Local band the New Graduates has found its sound

    It's a humid Thursday night in Miami, and half the members of the alternative pop project the New Graduates are lounging at the patio bar of Tobacco Road. Singer Todd Oenbrink, age 25, looking like a stick drawing personified (round head perched atop...

    by Hans Morgenstern on January 20, 2000
  • DMX - … And Then There Was X

    Article

    DMX - And Then There Was X

    DMX And Then There Was X (Def Jam) You'd be hard-pressed to find a hip-hop artist as formidable as DMX. Blessed with a raspy pit bull voice, he delivers his rapid-fire rhymes, which ricochet from the car speakers like a hail of errant bulle...

    by Bruce Britt on January 20, 2000
  • Article

    Robbie Fulks - The Very Best of Robbie Fulks

    Robbie Fulks The Very Best of Robbie Fulks (Bloodshot) Robbie Fulks is that rarest of pop commodities: a wiseass singer-songwriter who's actually funny. Over the course of four longplayers, Fulks has brought some much-needed comedic vibrancy ...

    by John Floyd on January 20, 2000
  • Article

    Chappaquiddick Skyline - Chappaquiddick Skyline

    Chappaquiddick Skyline Chappaquiddick Skyline (Sub Pop) As Joe Pernice moves in time and style further away from the body of work he helped create as a member of the Scud Mountain Boys, he moves closer to a brilliant evocation of his pop infl...

    by Brian Baker on January 20, 2000
  • Article

    Heart and Soul - A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield

    He waxed rhapsodic about the joys and mysteries of romance. He essayed with passion on the despair of heartbreak and loss. His songs surveyed the devastation of inner-city poverty and called for social change and racial equality, providing the sonic ...

    by John Floyd on January 13, 2000
  • Short Cuts - The Busy Signals, Sekou Sundiata, Methods of Mayhem

    Article

    Short Cuts - The Busy Signals, Sekou Sundiata, Methods of Mayhem

    The Busy Signals Baby's First Beats (Sugar Free) Analog keyboard, guitar, and drum machine: $400. Bedroom recording gear: $2000. Recording your debut album all by yourself: not quite as priceless as you think. Onetime Babes in Toy...

    by Adam Bergman on January 13, 2000
  • Better Red Than Dead - Goth rockers Deep Red are in the black

    Article

    Better Red Than Dead - Goth rockers Deep Red are in the black

    Inside his small, two-story Hialeah townhouse, DC Astro sits in his gray-walled recording studio with bandmate Martha Arce. The duo, two thirds of the goth rock band Deep Red, are dressed in all black. Astro dons a T-shirt, jeans, and thick-soled sho...

    by Hans Morgenstern on January 6, 2000
  • Short Cuts - Magnolia Soundtrack, Central Avenue Sounds, Sheila Nicholls

    Article

    Short Cuts - Magnolia Soundtrack, Central Avenue Sounds, Sheila Nicholls

    Various Artists Magnolia (Reprise) Down through the ages, one art form has always had the potential to inspire another, and rock 'n' roll is no exception. Patti Smith's obsession with Rimbaud, Bill Nelson's fascination for Cocteau, Tom Waits'...

    by Steve Almond on January 6, 2000
  • Ten For the Ages - Presto listo

    Article

    Ten For the Ages - Presto listo

    Everyone save for the most tolerant readers has probably had his or her fill of millennium lists. There isn't anyone who hasn't been assaulted by them: most influential figures in history, best books, best American movies, most important historical e...

    by Ben Greenman on December 30, 1999
  • Short Cuts - Kelis, Ani DiFranco, Beck

    Article

    Short Cuts - Kelis, Ani DiFranco, Beck

    Kelis Kaleidoscope (Virgin) In a genre that relies on sonic and visual conformity, blond-and-pink-haired singer Kelis sticks out like Dennis Rodman -- brash, independent, and alien but too talented to ignore. Her debut album opens, as so ...

    by Ben Greenman on December 30, 1999
  • A Christmas Carol - Matt Sabatella's Do Something

    Article

    A Christmas Carol - Matt Sabatella's Do Something

    Christmas is always crunch time at the North Pole: a season of harried elves, rushed production schedules, and last-minute route changes. In other words, one big nightmare for the big man. But Santa isn't the only one pulling off a miraculous deliver...

    by Lee Anderson on December 23, 1999
  • Article

    Short Cuts - Eighteenth Street Lounge Music Presents, Monty Alexander, DJ Icey

    Monty Alexander Stir It Up -- The Music of Bob Marley (Telarc Jazz) For those jazz fans familiar with Monty Alexander but vague on just who Bob Marley is and for those reggae fans who worship Marley but have no idea who Monty Alexander is, ...

    by David Simutis on December 23, 1999
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