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8 Jan 2003 // 12:00 AM

For those of you who are familiar with Counting Crows’ morose recordings, let me assure you that lead singer Adam Duritz did not walk out

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. . .when you personally pass Jimi's age or John's, or Buddy's or Elvis', you realise just how fleetingly they basked in the limelight, and how briefly the candle of your own existence flairs then flickers.

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7 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	Stereo Total: Oh Ah

If you’ve heard that schticky polyglot pan-European lounge-act Stereo Total were a must to catch live (which is something I’ve been told over

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7 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	Donna Summer: Bad Girls (Deluxe Edition)

Originally released as a double-LP in 1979, Bad Girls fully established Donna Summer as pop icon. Replete with the epic production work of Giorgio Moroder and

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7 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	G-Unit: Beg For Mercy

If you want to be a full-fledged star in today’s rap world, there are a few prerequisites. First, you should have a compelling story:

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The Green Pajamas: Through Glass Colored Roses: The Best of the Green Pajamas

The soft and breathy approach quickly starts to feel bland over the long haul, and there are times when you find yourself wanting to tweak the knobs in the studio and spice the songs up a bit.

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	Ester Drang: Infinite Keys

Ester Drang‘s latest album might be one of the sleepers of 2003. The quartet, who toured most of this year behind this record, was recently

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	Erase Errata: At Crystal Palace

There’s a moment in “CA Viewing”—the second song off the second record from the first band to give women a meaningful place in

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	The Buttless Chaps: Love This Time

Band names can be a tricky thing. It’s difficult to find a band name that’s good as well as one that belies the

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	Various Artists: Going Driftless: An Artist’s Tribute to Greg Brown

Some Comp. Lit graduate student at N.Y.U. is hard at work on a dissertation entitled, “Tribute Albums: The Un/masking of Minstrels(y)

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5 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	Bill Withers: Menagerie

Menagerie, the 1977 album by soul star Bill Withers, sounds a bit similar to the excellent ‘70s Reprise albums of ace New Orleans producer and arranger

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	Maritime Jazz Orchestra: Now and Now Again

The Maritime Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of saxophonist Greg Carter, have steadily been acquiring a reputation for large group playing that is “advanced” but

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	Bill Hicks: Love Laughter and Truth / Flying Saucer Tour Vol. 1 - Pittsburgh, PA. 6/20/91

Over the past 20 years or so, the number of stand-up comedians who are eager to do anything to make it big has skyrocketed, yet so

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5 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	Tom Hooper: The Unexplored Cosmos

The Grapes of Wrath’s four albums between 1986 and 1991 delivered some of the finest introspective folk/rock music ever. Some songs offered up quiet guitar

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	David Hurn: He Was a Woman

Like a plethora of British folk pop singers like David Gray and more recently James Yorkston, David Hurn finds himself in a dilemma many are

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5 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	Fat Joe: Loyalty

As I think back to this past year’s MTV Spring Break broadcasts, one single, solitary, haunting image keeps coming to mind. Come on people,

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5 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	Fuzzbubble: Demos, Out-takes and Rarities

In a season of pleasant musical finds, one that has taken me unawares has been the discovery of this incredibly rich collection of Demos, Out-takes

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5 Jan 2003 // 10:00 PM

	Kimya Dawson: I’m Sorry That Sometimes I’m Mean

Kimya Dawson’s new solo release, I’m Sorry That Sometimes I’m Mean, is no Moldy Peaches record, but that’s not necessarily a

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Leonard Cohen: The Essential Leonard Cohen

Poet. Novelist. Buddhist monk. Renowned ladies’ man. One of the greatest Canadian songwriters who has ever lived. Who else can I be talking about, other than one Leonard Cohen?

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	Cowboy Nation: Cowgirl A-Go-Go

There’s a distinct difference between country music and cowboy music. The former can evoke images of sweeping plains, dusty roads and dry paddocks, yet

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Roman doesn't even like using a stand-in.

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A fan of making lists, movies, and making lists of movies, I’ve published best-of lists consistently for about ten years. That such lists usually

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It’s been about 8,760 hours since the last time that I wrote a year-end best list. Considering that I receive 68 channels on my television, if

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It appears that that the past year’s economic downturn motivated filmmakers to work harder. Or, at least they worked more. The year’s U

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All the exciting movies come out at the end of the year in the U.S., which means we over here in Australia don’t

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A strong start, a humdrum middle, a stirring finish: 2002 defied all reasonable expectations, offering the first annus mirabilis of the new century. Out from under

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2 Jan 2003 // 12:03 AM

For me, this year’s best cinema came from outside the U.S., and really, I couldn’t be happier. It’s a joy to

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Top Ten Television Shows Here’s the gist of all the Best of TV lists that are available in Time, People, and TV Guide: 24, Alias,

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2 Jan 2003 // 12:00 AM

What the cinema will really miss, though, is his charisma, his voice.

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2 Jan 2003 // 12:00 AM

The Pianist (2002)

Confronted by one horror after another, Szpilman (Adrien Brody) is a startlingly original film protagonist.

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The 10 Most Startling Speculations and 'Conspiracy Theories' About September 11 and America's New War by Mike Ward -- Following are the 10 most alarming theories about September 11, the 'war on terror,' and the future of the world.

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27 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Joe Strummer's musical legacy is astounding. He, along with Mick Jones, wrote the soundtrack of an era -- late '70s Thatcherite Britain with all its decaying industry and racial strife and the cynical and selfish early Reagan '80s. Strummer had a compassionate political voice and only this past November he played a show on behalf of the striking firefighters in the UK.

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Although I saw Joe Strummer in action many times, I only met him once and, embarrassingly, confused him with someone else. In early autumn 1976, as term at Sheffield University unfolded, news of the arrival of the most talked about gig of the year filtered through the underground grapevine. The Anarchy in the UK tour, bringing the nascent fury of British punk to the nation, wended its uncertain way through the country, uncertain, because where-ever the entourage set up camp, there was imminent danger of the local council denying the potential hell-raisers a performing licence.

READ more

27 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

As famous as he got, Joe Strummer never forgot what it was like to be on the other side of the stage. He never forgot what it was like to love a band with all your heart and soul. He never forgot about the transcendent power that all the best bands are capable of, and of the tremendous responsibility that comes with that kind of power.

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27 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Not all that useful, ultimately, to talk about the importance of Joe Strummer in my life, because that only applies to me and my junior high and high school friends.

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27 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Not all that useful, ultimately, to talk about the importance of Joe Strummer in my life, because that only applies to me and my junior high and high school friends.

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The music of Joe Strummer and the Clash were an integral part of the soundtrack of my high school and college years. Strummer's death represents the disappearance of an important and substantial part of my musical past as well as the loss of one of rock music's truly poetic voices.

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	Various Artists: A Cellarful of Motown!

Every Motown fan who hears this collection is nearly guaranteed shared reactions. The first one, common astonishment, with the realization that Motown had that much

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26 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	SR-71: Tomorrow

While SR-71’s 2000 debut was pedestrian punk-pop at best, the band hinted that they had a greater pop pedigree than their peers. Their admitted love

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26 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Sígur Ros: (  )

With ( ), Sígur Ros has set a trap for everyone who writes about contemporary music: discuss an album with no interpretive reference points. The title

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26 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Na Leo Pilimehana: Hawaiian Memories

Na Leo Pilimehana first formed in 1982 when Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima Heine, and Angela Morales met and began singing together as juniors at the Kamehameha

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26 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Missy Elliott: Under Construction

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Sista, the group Missy Elliott was in as a teenager, had made it past their one song, “

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26 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

Talib Kweli: Quality

Quality is filled with songs that are ripe for the radio, at least in an ideal world where radio paid any attention to songs.

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26 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Noam Chomsky: The New War on Terrorism: Fact and Fiction

EXTRA chomskynoam-newwar.jpg Note: Out of curiosity, I wrote Chomsky an email asking if any events of the past 13 months have surprised him or changed

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	The Church: Parallel Universe

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never really understood the point of remix LPs. Presumably, when a band records a song in the first place,

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Tori Amos: Scarlet’s Walk

Scarlet’s Walk cements Amos’s reputation, but it also seems like a homecoming from the more contrived work of her recent past. Complex, weighty, often brilliant, Scarlet’s Walk is the album that many a fan has been waiting for.

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26 Dec 2002 // 8:00 PM

Filled with life, Joe Strummer and the Clash showed us just how much vitality and hope rock could convey.

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Not all that useful, ultimately, to talk about the importance of Joe Strummer in my life, because that only applies to me and my junior high and high school friends. I've actually done this before, written about how the Clash politicized us, made us care about US foreign intervention and issues of culture and class (funny how close "class" and "clash" always were), introduced us to dub and re-framed rockabilly so it sounded cool instead of corny -- but somehow none of that means much of anything right now.

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Although I saw Joe Strummer in action many times, I only met him once and, embarrassingly, confused him with someone else. In early autumn 1976, as term at Sheffield University unfolded, news of the arrival of the most talked about gig of the year filtered through the underground grapevine. The Anarchy in the UK tour, bringing the nascent fury of British punk to the nation, wended its uncertain way through the country, uncertain, because where-ever the entourage set up camp, there was imminent danger of the local council denying the potential hell-raisers a performing licence.

READ more

26 Dec 2002 // 8:00 PM

As famous as he got, Joe Strummer never forgot what it was like to be on the other side of the stage. He never forgot what it was like to love a band with all your heart and soul. He never forgot about the transcendent power that all the best bands are capable of, and of the tremendous responsibility that comes with that kind of power.

READ more

The music of Joe Strummer and the Clash were an integral part of the soundtrack of my high school and college years. Strummer's death represents the disappearance of an important and substantial part of my musical past as well as the loss of one of rock music's truly poetic voices.

READ more

26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

You name it, Kevin Murphy saw it in 2001. And lived to tell the tale.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Axl must realize that he no longer comes off as the dangerous and volatile bad boy of rock, but rather the immature and irresponsible poster boy for middle age ego and disillusionment.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Now, six years later, things are quite different: George W. is our president, Laura Bush is the First Lady, and the Texas Book Festival has morphed into one of the premier literary events in the country.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Pop is finally eating itself.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

I see it as the globalization of the Southern experience.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

In my high school a constant 'battle' went on between the Kennedy emulators and the Elvis crowd. Our hair told the story: the bushy tousled look with a smart part vs. the wild, unruly pompadour.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

Molly, Gracie, and Daisy's journey is mythic as much as it is historical.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Chicago (2002)

Watching Chicago is rather like watching a shot-for-TV music video by a neophyte director projected without thought or re-cutting straight to a movie screen.

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26 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Steven Spielberg's zippy new film is about the kind of 'truth' that might only be apprehended in its telling.

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Here's 20 watershed moments of the past year whose impact will most likely be felt long after Dick Clark's balls drop on New York City and Los Angeles.

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Here's 20 watershed moments of the past year whose impact will most likely be felt long after Dick Clark's balls drop on New York City and Los Angeles.

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	‘Til Tuesday: Welcome Home

Before I say a word about my choice for “Favorite Album of All Time”, I feel I should add that my selection comes with an

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23 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Buddy Holly: Reminiscing

It’s 1963, England is slowly wrenching itself from the slumber of the ‘never-had-it-so-good’ post-war era, and youth is finding its feet not as little replicas

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Blonde Redhead: Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

In the end, I was a damaged lemon in need of healing, and Blonde Redhead’s album offered me an empathetic treatment for my sadness. What a release.

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23 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

The truth, as Ennis sees it, is that these superheroes, and the escapist mentality they represent, are obsolete.

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That's what this latest arc is all about: the ever-changing landscape of teenage relationships and instant celebrity status.

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23 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Takes a rather simple, and not entirely new, post-apocalyptic idea, and brings it into fresh territory.

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23 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers

I have mixed feelings about Dave Eggers. I stay up at night thinking about it.

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The Spirit of Family by Al and Tipper Gore

Many of the photos are reminiscent of the Work Projects Administration (WPA) Federal Arts Project from 1936-1942.

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Quiver by Stephanie Spinner

Stephanie Spinner's 'Quiver' is not just a good book for young readers, it's a stepping stone to Greek mythology.

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23 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

The Ice Cream Headache by James Jones

The works of James Jones should be required reading in time of impending war.

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23 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Bombay-London-New York by Amitava Kumar

Indian fiction, long confined to the coffee tables of Indian expatriates, has now entered mainstream publishing in an understated, but determined manner.

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	Various Artists: Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music, Volumes 1 and 2

When you consider the various talent levels in the world of popular music, it might look something like this, in descending order: the legends, the

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19 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Various Artists: Urban Renewal Program

The city—in my case New York City—is not a passive setting. One doesn’t simply move through it on the way to work.

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	Various Artists: Pure Slow Jams

The late Melvin Lindsey was an intern at Howard University’s WHUR in 1976, when the station’s programming director gave him the go ahead to

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	Yohimbe Brothers: Front End Lifter

I gather that many people felt Living Colour was groundbreaking simply by virtue of having African-Americans fronting a metal band. All I remember about them

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19 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Stickfigure: Ape of the Kings

Does fame and reputation in one field help or hinder a burgeoning career elsewhere? This is the nagging question behind the music with this recent

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19 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

Röyksopp: Melody A.M.

Aside from the obvious comparisons to Air, or any other European down-tempo impresario, they wear their affection for pure pop sound producing on their parkas.

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19 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	L.L. Cool J: 10

L.L. is at his best when the chips are down. That’s always been the pattern. He grew up poor and scared and ambitious

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19 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Khia: Thug Misses

There’s a long list of women in music who have appropriated “bitch” like it’s some claim to liberation and aggression that all women

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	Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Live at the Quick

You take a lot of things away from Bela Fleck’s music: awe at the skill on display, a sneaking suspicion that maybe the music

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19 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

People keep wanting Sandy Bullock to be sweet and feisty like she was in Speed.

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19 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

The 25th Hour (2002)

The 25th Hour opens with huge, hard-hitting shots of the March 2002 tribute to the Twin Towers, the towers of light.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

It's useful to remember that, offscreen, both good and bad tend to be tricksy.

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19 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Gangs of New York (2002)

Daniel Day-Lewis wears a tall stovepipe hat in Martin Scorsese's long-awaited Gangs of New York.

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19 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Don’s Plum (1995)

And so the clichés begin.

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19 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

Antwone Fisher (2002)

This single-mindedness can feel limited; there's obviously more to Antwone's story than the scenes in which he appears.

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	Various Artists: The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas / A Peaceful Christmas

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the red, white, and green. Never mind that I’m a lifelong agnostic raised by Zen

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	Why Make Clocks: Fifteen Feet and Twenty Degrees

The outstanding feature of Why Make Clocks’ debut full-length release, Fifteen Feet and Twenty Degrees is its honesty. With steady and low guitars, deliberately unhurried,

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	Townes Van Zandt: A Gentle Evening with Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt rightfully enjoys near-sainthood status as a legendary songwriter. For clear, concise songs that address every facet of the human condition, you can’

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	Ride: OX4_ The Best of Ride

We know the exact year (1989) when Ride rushed out of the North Oxford Art College hoping to dose us all with some noisy and joyous

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17 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Liars: Fins to Make Us More Fish-Like

Admitting you’re a liar is the most honest thing a person can do,” spits the looming 6’6” frontman of New York’s heirs of glorious

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17 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	GusGus: Attention

The first time I heard the band GusGus was in a commercial for the 1998 movie Out of Sight. The loud, distorted crunch of an organ,

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17 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	The Cranberries: Stars:  The Best of 1992-2002

Despite the title of their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, when the Cranberries first made the scene in

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	Carl Cox: Mixed Live: 2nd Session, Area2 Detroit

My mix tapes are amazing. So are yours, I bet—all that time spent in trying to figure out the crucial answer to “What should

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17 Dec 2002 // 10:00 PM

	Cribabi: Volume

Okay, this one’s new: singer Yukari Fujiu, an established J-pop star in the Japanese girl band The Groopies, buys a learn-to-speak-English book and tape,

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17 Dec 2002 // 12:03 AM

Who stole the show in 2002 - and who should have had the mic stolen from them? PopMatters concert critics give their choices for the good, the bad, and the ugly of the 2002 live season.

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17 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

. . . in their quest for knowledge of and acquisition of the products of the Japanese animation industry, they have surpassed the daily concerns and cares of ordinary human beings.

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17 Dec 2002 // 12:00 AM

A Norwegian film critic pointed out that film is the first form of art that is entirely capitalistic; invented in order to make money.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Exposition Dumps Don't Need Dialogue in 'Virginia'

// Moving Pixels

"Virginia manages to have an exposition dump without wordy exposition.

READ the article