Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Herb salad

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Full of quirky narratives, mellow semijagged riffs and an overall bucolic vibe, Olu Dara’s Neighborhoods seems like a slice of life from his Natchez, Miss., roots filtered through New York’s East Village — sort of Taj Mahal meets Blood Ulmer. At times it’s a little African, especially in the...

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Making the bland

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

The only thing that’s really surprising when you connect the Monkees to their banal offspring, O-Town (see also “Making the Band”) is that it took 35 years for ABC/Disney to perfect the marketing synergy that NBC (which aired the original Monkees episode) began. After all, the Monkees presaged the...

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Something borrowed, something blue

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Long before crossing over into the world of Jon Spencer hipsters via 1996’s A Ass Pocket of Whiskey collaboration, R.L. Burnside was a bluesman plain and simple, not a Blues Explosion man. Except for such experiments as Ass Pocket, and the “dance album” Come On In, simple Delta and...

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Cuddle punk

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Spoon is almost as well known for its record label troubles as it is for its music. Since 1996, the Austin, Texas-based rockers have bounced from indie giant Matador Records to Elektra to Merge to the tiny Saddle Creek label. Just after 1998’s A Series of Sneaks hit the...

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Double dose

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

The Dave Brubeck Quartet has always exemplified the class and vivacity of jazz. Formal yet innovative, nice yet sassy, Brubeck’s brand of jazz is a sensuous contradiction. Brubeck has been a dog chasing his own tail in recent years; he is so prolific, his output is so constant, he...

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A piece in the puzzle

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

We are witnessing the evolution of the click and the cut. Many watched in horror as be-decked and be-laptopped entities such as Oval, Autechre and Pan Sonic stripped away any peripheral attractions that so characterized the ’80s and early ’90s, but perhaps at this point they can rest assured...

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Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Being

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

In a career that’s spanned almost 40 years, Rod Stewart has roamed all over the stylistic map, from British-invasion R&B to blues-rock to cheeky disco. But for the past decade or so, he’s been content to serve up big whiffs of adult-contemporary cheese, sounding a helluva lot more like...

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Not funny

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Try putting your ear up to a black-velvet painting of a hobo clown. You¹ll notice a lot of ... silence. The same thing goes for America’s Funnyman, yet another endeavor by comedian (?) Neil Hamburger: a phenomenon of irony and the most painful parts of the stand-up shtick. He...

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Social-science school

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Most famous for its nostalgic 1998 indie hit “Return,” Los Angeles duo Self-Scientific has dropped a steady, but tantalizingly slow string of amazing singles. Finally, they release a full-length album, and it proves worth the wait. Resurrecting the tried and true formula of one DJ/producer and one MC, DJ...

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Down-tempo and dirty

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Arab Strap whisks bare the bedroom whispers usually softened by metaphor when in song form. The only things softened in The Red Thread are Aidan Moffatt’s tone of voice and the guitar plucks and strums of Malcolm Middleton. Even more sparse and breathy than previous works, the exaggerated subtlety...

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