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24 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Strapped for cash? Day two of our CMJ coverage is a lesson in doing the festival on the cheap.

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Seal: Seal IV

Sealhenry Samuel has always been a little bit out of his time. He writes folk songs, belts them out like a penniless soul singer, and

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	The Strokes: Room on Fire

You can’t blame The Strokes for getting just a bit sick of all the pressure. Two years ago, critics and music geeks saw these

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	Robert Earl Keen: Farm Fresh Onions

Don’t get me wrong: I love this record. I understand this record. I feel like Robert Earl Keen and I could sit down and

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	Kaskade: San Francisco Sessions: Soundtrack to the Soul

Hey, kids! Do you like deep, groovy, San Francisco house with lots of soulful vocals? The kind of stuff they play in those really hip “

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Ima Robot: self-titled

Los Angeles noise-synth-pop-etc quintet Ima Robot demonstrate an important lesson on the art of being a willfully bizarre band: You can’t be only half-assedly

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	The Gourds: Growin’ a Beard

Growin’ a Beard is an unassuming little documentary that visits the small town of Shamrock, Texas during its annual beard-growing competition, following the efforts of

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Distillers: Coral Fang

Without accusing her of selling out, Brody Dalle (not Armstrong!) is the latest in a line of avatars selected by their respective record companies to

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jimmy Cliff: Anthology

The general perception of Jimmy Cliff is that he is one of the great also-rans in reggae history; that even though he was one of

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23 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Art Ensemble of Chicago: Tribute to Lester

For the past 35 years or so, Art Ensemble of Chicago has been making some of the most interesting jazz records around. Like most free-jazzers, the

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Day One of our coverage of the New York-based new music festival, including pit stops with Travis, the Killers, Menlo Park, and the Prosaics.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Just when you thought the Scary Movie franchise had run out of ideas, here it comes again -- looking like it's run out of ideas.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Radio (2003)

The white father-black son relationship is initiated by the white man's need for redemption.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Pieces of April (2003)

And April sits in the window frame, hair damp, contemplating the disaster she expects her day to become.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Carnages (2002)

Carnages' denizens spin into each other's orbits and offer the prospect of communion and regeneration.

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23 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Beyond Borders (2003)

The scene inspires Sarah to do a right thing, that is, leave her comfy urban environs for the deserts of Ethiopia.

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Neil Young (with Crazy Horse): Tonight’s the Night

It has been said that a drunken man is an honest man. Neil Young personifies this claim in his 1975 album Tonight’s the Night, notable,

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	The Soundtrack of Our Lives: Behind the Music

>Behind the Music definitely qualifies as a slow-burner of an album. Swedish pop-rockers the Soundtrack of Our Lives originally recorded and released the disc in 2001,

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Lee Ritenour: The Best of Lee Ritenour

In the early ‘90s, music critics created the label “acid jazz” to define the fusion of jazz, funk, and hip-hop. British guitarist Ronny Jordan was

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Pennywise: From the Ashes

Thank god for political musicians. I’m serious. If it weren’t for musicians who planted their feet firmly, gripped the bullhorn tightly, and spoke

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Omid: Monolith

On his third full-length album, producer Omid offers up a mix of moody instrumentals and contemplative vocal cuts, showcasing a yen for smoky Middle-Eastern sounds

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	MC5: Back in the USA

Man, they were ugly. It was almost like their calling card, plastering their ugly mugs all over their record covers. But I knew I would

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Modern Lovers: self-titled

Last Halloween, I made a mini-pilgrimage from Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin to a small and strange theater. The room hosting the event I was attending

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	Kraftwerk: Tour De France Soundtracks

Like the preponderance of bouncing booty in a hip-hop video, there is a sad inevitability about the cyclic nature observed in music trends. Most recently,

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22 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jawbreaker: Unfun

I feel like I’m betraying an old friend by writing this review. Before he condemns me for my transgression, however, let me begin to

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Steve Earle: Just an American Boy: The Audio Documentary

Just an American Boy cements Earle’s status as one of the most vital, brave singer-songwriters of the past couple of decades, and also one of the most prolific, as this album is his seventh stalwart effort in the past eight years.

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	Joan Baez: Dark Chords on a Big Guitar

Joan Baez was an icon of the early folk-revival movement, a popular concert attraction back in the early 1960s and the patron of Bob Dylan

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True to form, Rush Limbaugh had managed to rile up the nation and draw attention to himself while boosting Sunday NFL Countdown viewership to the tune of a 10 point ratings increase.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

When we're in Japan, we feel we've somehow become more worldly and debonair than we really are.

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The Tree of Life: A Book Depicting the Life of Charles Darwin by Peter Sís

Children need heroes. Science has many. Unfortunately, few of them have lived lives as adventuresome as Robin Hood.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

My Cold War by Tom Piazza

As a phenomenologist, Delano recounts his childhood and family life in the same way he explores public history: by plundering the surfaces and small events for meaning.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Lizard Dreaming of Birds by John Gist

John Gist's second novel isn't concerned with forensics and sleuthing; it simply surveys the ever-increasing carnage that Gist implies is symptomatic of our world gone wrong.

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22 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Eagles and Angels by Juli Zeh

The real states here, though, are states of mind, and in particular those freaked-out mental states that characterise the tradition of drug-trade books and films from Burroughs to Welsh.

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	Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players: Vintage Slide Collections from Seattle, Vol. 1

Jason Trachtenburg plied his singer-songwriter trade for several years with little success, but when he and his wife Tina found some old movie slides, a

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Strangelight: Lux

Far be it from me to say that music from Texas is dull. Time and again, I have championed many a fine band from the

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Quasi: Hot Shit

On Quasi‘s previous albums, there’s always been a clash between the despairing melancholy they seemed determined to project and Sam Coomes wholesome, high-school-musical

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Mercury Program & Maserati: Confines of Heat

Confines of Heat is a split-EP by Mercury Program and Maserati, featuring three tracks by each group. The two bands have teamed-up on this record

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21 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu: Call It What You Like

Throughout the world, indigenous music has undergone many changes in recent years as musicians steeped in tradition have moved into a more commercial or mainstream

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	The Fire Theft: self-titled

Jeremy Enigk has had a tumultuous existence as the founding father of emo. Sunny Day Real Estate found their way into the hearts of every

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	Brigitte DeMeyer: Nothing Comes Free

On her latest release, Nothing Comes Easy, singer/songwriter Brigitte DeMeyer, delivers the kind of elegant, uncomplicated Southern backwater blues that makes the heart thump

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21 Oct 2003 // 10:00 PM

While the city of Chandigarh -- modular man -- marched visibly, unabashedly into scientific modernity, Nek Chand -- the trash man -- began secretly transforming his odd collection of junk into art.

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When I reviewed Goldfrapp's first U.S. tour two years ago, I fell short of giving them a rave because I felt they needed to loosen up a little.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

The headline on the flier emphasized Orlando-based progressive house DJ Jimmy Van M’s name. Those going to the weekly “Spundae” at Circus Disco in

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

S E T    L I S T Begin the BeginSo Fast So NumbThe Wake Up BombDriveAnimalSitting StillExhuming McCarthyBad DayThe One I LoveStrange CurrenciesMaps

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Photo credit: Danielle St. Laurent Rainer Maria has been touring for what seems to be close to three years straight, non-stop, traversing the country and

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

One would have to do some serious, pilates-enhanced stretching to make a case for any kind of similarity between Pretty Girls Make Graves and the

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

It’s easy to forget the boundless potential of the pop song until you’ve seen the King of France perform their smartly skewed take

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

You never would have guessed it from the quiet way she took the stage on the first night of a two-night stand in Brooklyn, but

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

28 Days Later (2002)

In time for Halloween, Fox has released the DVD of 28 Days Later, a frankly brilliant and scary scary movie.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Rudy (Deluxe Edition) (1993)

The racialized ideology that informs Rudy is made more pronounced by the racial discourses of today's sports.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Respiro (2002)

Respiro, as its title suggests, is about breathing, in a spiritual, vivacious sense.

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The extras in this two-disc set are ample and appropriately Python-y.

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21 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Man Who Laughs (1928)

Director Paul Leni integrates German Expressionist techniques with the demands of the Hollywood system without compromising their effectiveness.

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Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Illustrates the many complexities found in the relations between colonized and colonizer.

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Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Whatever the writers' ambitious intentions for 'plot,' the movie is essentially a series of first, fabulous dance and stunts scenes, and second, zany costume changes.

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Ween: Quebec

So once again Dean and Gene Ween have returned after a few years to grace us with their newest disc Quebec. To some fans, the

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	The Stills: Logic Will Break Your Heart

It’s been about a year or so since Turn On the Bright Lights hit CD shelves and the first wave of Interpol-apers have struck

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

Iron and Wine: The Sea & the Rhythm

Beam is actually a film professor in Miami Beach, Florida, but his songs resonate with so much artistry, loneliness, and authenticity that it seems that he could easily make a living with his music should he so choose to in the future.

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	Melissa Gibson: Welcome to Stay

I’m a firm believer in the concept of country music as therapy. Whatever the complaint, from financial issues and problems within the family construct

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Yo Gotti: Life

Yo Gotti? Yo Gaudy is more like it. One could be forgiven if, after examining the cover art for Yo Gotti’s new album, Life,

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20 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Ray Brown: Walk On

“We all miss Ray Brown”, says his admiring fellow bassist John Clayton on a sleevenote to this splendid twofer. I’ve said the same here

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20 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

It's October. The dying days of 2003 loom on the horizon, heralding chilly fronts, wind-stripped trees and lashings of rain. Thankfully it's not all bad news, however, because October also ushers in this year's London Film Festival.

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	Various Artists: For Jumpers Only

It’s no put-down to say that this cut-price CD can’t ever be supposed one of the musically major issues by the outstanding Delmark

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19 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Luke Vibert: YosepH

Luke Vibert doesn’t like to stay bored for very long. As one of the many English compatriots (like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin) who rewrote

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	The Vanishing: Songs For Psychotic Children

The Vanishing are about as kitsch as they come. The band’s official web site tout them as a “sci-fi horror disco group”, which seems

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	The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow

The Shins dare to take some chances on this CD, and their boldness winds up elevating this album over their first one by a considerable margin.

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	Andy Smith: The Document II

Strange as it may seem, less than 20 years ago a generation of ardent young men had to play music rather than merely spin vinyl in

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19 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Suntan: Send You Home

Walls of thick, feedback-laden guitars. Lazy, meandering rhythms that sometimes build, other times simply ebb and flow. Distant, half-buried vocals that drift along on a

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19 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Bent: The Everlasting Blink

Nobody was entirely happy with The Virgin Suicides soundtrack. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a

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OutKast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Reinventing hip-hop is hard work. And yet it must be done, if for no other reason than to repromote the idea that it’s been reinvented. Again.

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Various Artists: Shake Your Popboomerang

If you’re listening to the Stoneage Hearts’ “Shake Your Popboomerang”, the first song on the identically-titled Shake Yer Popboomerang, you may find yourself thinking, “

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	Various Artists: The Story of Tone-Cool, Vol. 1

This 50th release from Tone-Cool, a two-CD sampler derived from the previous 49, indicates a very strong contemporary blues catalogue. The one complaint concerns how long

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Wakefield: American Made

“Made in the USA” is a point of pride stateside (and maybe a punchline in the rest of the world, but I’m ‘Merkan, so

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	Alasdair Roberts: Farewell Sorrow

Upon hearing this quavery-voiced Scottish singer-songwriter with a penchant for inherited melodies and ballad forms, and recognizing that this, his most recent release, has been

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Matmos: The Civil War

Midway through the first two tracks on Matmos’ The Civil War, the follow-up to 2001’s well-received A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure,

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Forms: Icarus

I’m just going to cut right to the chase—the Forms, with their stunning debut effort, Icarus, are one of the most exciting, if

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

Gary Allan: See If I Care

Gary Allan’s always been searching for how to be both Californian and country, and here he’s found it.

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16 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Alien Ant Farm: truANT

One of the great rock ‘n’ roll stories: Band makes hit record. Gets real famous. Struck by tragedy, nearly killed. Creates a stellar comeback album

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Stalking the Divine: Contemplating Faith with the Poor Clares by Kristin Ohlson

Imagine a small group of cloistered nuns, right in the middle of Cleveland, who pray for the City, all day, all night. This is their calling. In 2003. Gives you chills, doesn't it? The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, cloistered in a monastery, they're praying for you.

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16 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Leaving You: The Cultural History of Suicide by Lisa Lieberman

The work is also a reminder of how the taking of one's own life can be representative of more than just depression, that rather, it can become, for better or worse, a deliberate act of independence.

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16 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Charlie Big Potatoes by Phil Robinson

The novel appears to fear we might miss the message: You don't need chemicals to have a good time. In that way, despite Robinson's deftness of touch and sharpness of wit, the novel sometimes resembles M.A.D.D. filmstrip day or a Very Special edition of Maxim.

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16 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Bodies by Jed Mercurio

Mercurio's main objective is to blow a big, fat hole in the E.R.-inspired non-reality that hospitals are dens of comfort and that all doctors are hunky heroes.

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16 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Wonderland (2003)

There's no truth in this true crime, only the fictions that sustain 'Hollywood'.

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16 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Veronica Guerin (2003)

Such moments illustrate Veronica's earnest incentive while undermining her hard work with crazily implausible coincidences.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

One by one, the kids wander inside the Terrible Place, and all but one can't escape.

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16 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

Runaway Jury (2003)

Besieged by John Grishamish plot twisties, the actors in Runaway Jury do their best to fashion an emotional coherence.

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15 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Überzone: The Digital Mix

OK, I have come to the conclusion that I’ve just become too old to enjoy these types of albums. Not dance music as a

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15 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	702: Star

702, a trio of mid-tempo R&B queens who started out in 1995 creating a bit of a stir with the Missy Elliott-produced “Steelo” and before

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15 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Rebecca Pearcy: Constellation

Don’t let us critics fool you. While it is true that the perks of this gig are sometimes seemingly sparse, the rewards that do

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	The Fiery Furnaces: Gallowbird’s Bark

It’s a high-falutin’ seaside carnival from another time, where maidens don pinstripe stockings and pantaloons, click buckled shoes as they jitterbug with spry sailor

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	Erykah Badu: Worldwide Underground

She was queen of the head-wrap set. A generation of young black folks trying to navigate the pitfalls of cultural negation in an era when

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15 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Big Star: Big Star Story

Big Star might have only put out three measly albums that were all commercial flops three decades ago, but that band’s influence was so

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	Monty Alexander Trio: Impressions in Blue

Jamaican-born pianist Monty Alexander should be a more revered figure on the jazz scene than his current standing tends to suggest. Although his technical merits

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15 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

I predicted that 10 years down the line, not only would this audience not be with us any longer, but neither would the music that they hear: not in Africa, at least.

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15 Oct 2003 // 1:00 AM

In this music, technology enabled these musicians, DJs, and producers, to take what was human and create the posthuman.

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	Seksu Roba: Pleasure Vibrations

My first encounter with Seksu Roba came here in my (and its) hometown, Los Angeles, at one of those smugly untalented, underground performance art/rock ‘

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	Salsa Celtica: El Agua de la Vida

Salsa Celtica is definitely a hybrid, to say the least. Although there are some bands, such as Afro-Celt Sound System, that have fused two very

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	6 Minute Mile: The Race for Second

So here we are, 11 years after grunge kicked in the doors to the party, and Seattle bands have fully exorcised the ghost of Kurt. But

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14 Oct 2003 // 11:00 PM

Beth Orton: The Other Side of Daybreak

The Other Side of Daybreak is a nearly new album. It comes as the sequel to Beth Orton‘s third studio album, Daybreaker (2002), in the

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	Van Morrison: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Van Morrison is a deeply strange performer—just check out the footage of him in The Last Waltz, where, in his unitard and cape, he

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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
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Pilot X Puts a Crimp on the Business in 'The Mysterious Airman'

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"Mystery writer Arthur B. Reeve's influence in this film doesn't follow convention -- it follows his invention.

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