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Marginal Utility
Image: Marginal Utility
When shopping nirvana shrivels away like the mega mall growing incrementally smaller behind you at the end of a long day, and buyer's remorse begins gnawing at your nerves, and you begin to fret the futility of it all, Rob Horning's blog, "Marginal Utility", steps in to stimulate your woefully neglected neocortex. Read, laugh, weep, but above all: realize. You'll feel smarter again in no time.

Thursday, August 16 2001

Radiohead: 17 August 2001 - New Jersey

The real change in Radiohead, however, is in their demeanor. They no longer exude the air of whiny, depressed, petulant art-rockers.

Tuesday, August 14 2001

50 Ways to Love Your Livres

In the third of our summer reading lists, John G. Nettles suggests that you pick up a few books that carry the highest recommendation of all -- certain people don't want you or your kids to read them.

Andrew Clyne: Plugged IN

Saturday, August 11 2001

Squarepusher / Plaid / Mira Calix

Thursday, August 9 2001

Film Revolutionary: Films By and About Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Perhaps the saddest thing about Monroe's death is the culture of pervasive necrophilia that has risen since. Elton John brings the house down and rakes in millions singing, without a trace of irony, about how heinously those 'other' people so exploited her.

Wednesday, August 8 2001

Literary Snake Oil

The promise of Internet publishing, that of a level playing field for the scions and the Grandmasters of intellectual property, has yet to consummate the relationship between creative idealism and the community of the modern world.

Ashcroft at the Lion’s Den

Monday, August 6 2001

    Various Artists: The Real Jamaica Ska

    Uberzone: Faith in the Future

Never one to shy away from experimentation, Q shows the world how harmoniously breaks, hip-hop, techno, and house work together. Only a human being could use computers to such emotional affect.

John Hiatt: Anthology

DJ Onionz: Future Acoustics

Thursday, August 2 2001

Eudora Welty—A Life in Words

'My wish, indeed my continuing passion, would be not to point the finger in judgment but to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other's presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight.'

A king, a queen and two knaves?: An Interview with David Hadju

'Positively 4th Street', New York-based writer David Hajdu's account of the folk era, focuses on two couples whose lives became entangled in the complex history of early 1960s America -- Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Richard and Mimi Farina. Here he tells 'PopMatters' about its genesis.

Monday, July 30 2001

    Various Artists: Head Jazz

    Sam Phillips: Fan Dance

After a five-year hiatus, Sam Phillips returns to form with the very intimate 'Fan Dance', a quality collection of adult pop that allows her sexy voice to deliver cryptically introspective musings in a finely focused, mostly acoustic scheme..

    pete: self-titled

    Owls: self-titled

Friday, July 27 2001

    Oval: Commers

    ‘N Sync: Celebrity

Cake: Comfort Eagle

Monday, July 16 2001

    Various Artists: I Want My 80’s Box!

    Rx Bandits: Progress

Is There a Gangsta Double Standard?

-- I personally have no problem saying that 'The Sopranos' and 'The Marshall Mathers LP' are masterpieces. I am simply waiting (maybe in vain) for media critics to acknowledge the creative genius of Black rap 'gangstas.'

Prefuse 73: Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives

Here is what Scott Herren, aka Prefuse 73, says about rappers: “I like to use MCs as another layer of music. You don’t have to get the heavy load of what an MC’s saying that might piss you off, some sort of bullshit you don’t wanna hear about.”

Monday, July 9 2001

    Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Americana

Not only is the question of 'What 'is' Americana?' open to debate, but so is the very 'Americana' label itself. After all, the genre has a variety of colorful monikers: 'Insurgent Country', 'No Depression', 'Cowpunk', and 'Alternative Country' -- probably the most well known -- to name a few.

    Spacer: The Beamer

Ivy: Long Distance

David Gray: A Century Ends / The EPs 92-94 / Flesh

I can't imagine what made David Gray change his style. Perhaps there was some personal tragedy or triumph. Maybe it was the frustration of trying to break through, or maybe it was an electrical life-changing charge that went through him on hearing some new piece of music. Whatever it was, Gray stands poised to make some quality, affecting pop in the years to come.

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