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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

In 'Unstable Molecules', the group that started it all back in the early 1960s, 'The Fantastic Four', is reinvented for a new century. The question is if that's necessarily a good thing.

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It is much more difficult for black men to own up to their backward-ass gender politics, particularly in public, but this is the stance that longtime writer and journalist Kevin Powell took in his brilliantly brave essay 'The Sexist in Me.'

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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Come Into My House House concerts are apparently a bona fide phenomenon. Everyone from National Public Radio to the New York Times has yammered on

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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Criticizing David Gray is easy. It’s simple to make the argument that his songs are ubiquitous. Or that he doesn’t look like a

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Flin Flon Plus/Minus It was no surprise that the music of the ‘80s would come back. The only question was what form the return

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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Dismemberment Plan Les Savy Fav S E T    L I S T The Face of the EarthTime BombBraSecret CurseThe CityGirl O’ClockCome HomeChange

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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Sam Coomes is a man possessed. He’s a sorcerer, a conduit for ancient haunted spirits. He’s chased by the same devil that hunted

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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

As commander of an ever-militarizing state with energy-grabbing schemes, George W. Bush seems like our own real-life version of Megatron.

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Fela's emergence fits the profile of what has come to be known as the Gramscian or organic intellectual.

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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Photograph by Penelope Lively

This desire to know and to accept that knowing is the only possible way forward is the theme tackled by Penelope Lively in her latest novel.

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26 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

On This Day by Nathaniel Bellows

A beautifully written but ultimately unsatisfying novel about the trappings of life and the artifice of friendship.

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The Long Silence of Mario Salviati by Etienne van Heerden

Carefully and meticulously, van Heerden chronicles the notion of apartheid and its effect the inhabitants of Yearsonend.

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The Honey Gatherers: A Book of Love Poems by Maura Dooley

The best love poetry (and there's a lot of it in this book) achieves this mingling of the solid and the intellectual.

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	Shipping News: Three-Four

It’s easy to be ambivalent toward Shipping News. The Louisville, Kentucky threesome (plus friends) have a decidedly math- (or post-, or noodle-, or wank-,

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25 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Raccoon: Strange Terrain

Schizophrenic pop. That’s how Philadelphia, PA’s Raccoon bills itself, and it’s a label that fits. Strange Terrain is the second album-length disc

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25 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Arvo Pärt: Orient Occident

In the world of new music, Arvo Pärt is a puritan’s feast. On the threshold of being a globally resonating composer, Pärt

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25 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Leisure McCorkle: Jet Set Baby

If you’ve been missing the sounds of early Joe Jackson and are too impatient to wait for his upcoming reunion tour and subsequent release,

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25 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jana McCall: Slumber

Jana McCall doesn’t like to be pigeonholed. Don’t compare her to Mazzy Star, or else she’ll really be unhappy. “That irritates me

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	The Legendary Pink Dots: All the King’s Men

The Legendary Pink Dots’ first album, Brighter Now, released in 1980, remains a remarkable piece of work. It’s a smart record filled with quietly disturbing

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	Honeyrider: Sunshine Skyway

Gary Strickland loves himself some Beach Boys. There is no doubt about it. But, just as surely, he’s also got a love of, and

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25 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jad Fair and R. Stevie Moore: FairMoore

Critics are by nature proselytizers. In moments of Lester Bangsian fervor we preach to the benighted hoping they too will experience a similar ecstatic conversion.

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	Flickerstick: Causing a Catastrophe - Live

You’ve really gotta hand it to Flickerstick. After beating out over 5,000 bands to take part in VH1’s star-making 2001 series, Bands on the Run,

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25 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash at Madison Garden

When Johnny Cash brought his hillbilly troupe to Madison Square Garden on 5 December 1969, it was less than six months after Woodstock. The Vietnam War was

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	Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Nocturama

Nearly 25 years of virtually scoring musical accompaniment to the Old Testament can take a lot out of anyone, even someone with as gothic a pedigree

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24 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

The more Augusta National Golf Club hangs on to outdated principles, the more it lets go of its future.

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Tiga: DJ Kicks

How good is DJ Tiga? So good that he can spin an entire disc’s worth of electro and even I, who once described it

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Minus 5 and Wilco: Down With Wilco

Well, this is interesting. Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 (and previously the Young Fresh Fellows) likes working with other people, particularly people from bands that

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	Lovejoy: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

The initial shock listening to the title track on Lovejoy’s new full length release, Who Want to be a Millionaire? is how utterly moving

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	Bill Frisell: Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones

Bill Frisell is a jazz guitarist primarily by virtue of the influence of jazz guitar virtuoso Jim Hall; otherwise, Frisell is an amazing amalgam of

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Fognode: Beat Hollow

Ambient electronica has always seemed hit or miss. On one end, ambient is the mixing of sounds, creating music outside of meter but holding a

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Mike Doughty: Smofe + Smang: Live in Minneapolis

The fans of Soul Coughing are a devoted cult, and understandably so. The clever music of Mike Doughty and cohorts was witty and often insightful,

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	D+: Mistake

It’s tempting to imagine late ‘80s and early ‘90s indie/alternative rock as being one big old happy family. Let’s take two of

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Björk: Greatest Hits

Completion of a great work-of-art cannot be easily matured by instinct alone. This is especially when many hands are involved in fashioning the project. Is

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	Doyle Bramhall: Fitchburg Street

Doyle Bramhall shouldn’t be confused with Doyle Bramhall II, the former lead singer of Arc Angels and successful blues solo artist. Yes, both have

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	All Night: self-titled

After a tumultuous period in the late ‘60s, when the American record industry had to chase trends that emerged organically from artistically and politically engaged

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23 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	A*Teens: Pop ‘Til You Drop

If nothing else, you have to at least give the A*Teens credit for one smart move: if you’re going to commit commercial suicide

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

XTC: Skylarking

So, as an album, Skylarking is beautiful and whole and just shy of perfection enough that it doesn’t come off as too clean.

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	Various Artists: Nothing Left to Lose: A Tribute to Kris Kristofferson

It’s easy to remember single pieces of Kris Kristofferson’s career: his role in the Highwaymen, his work as a grizzled character actor, “Me

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Young Gods: Second Nature

Ever since Throbbing Gristle first chrome-plated their eerie, mechanical rock in the mid-‘70s, there have been countless imitators. However, at present, the electro-meets-metal guise

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Gil Scott-Heron: Free Will

Gil Scott-Heron reinforces his position as Godfather of Rap on Free Will, an introspective and soulful album roughly the length of a demo tape. Police

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	Soft Cell: The Very Best of Soft Cell

I’m so tired of bitching about sloppy, incomplete compilations that it’s a thrill to find myself non-stop ecstatic dancing to The Very Best

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	Paper Moon: One Thousand Reasons to Stay . . . One to Leave

Though maybe not a thousand, there are certainly a great many reasons to like Paper Moon’s debut full-length release, One Thousand Reasons To Stay . . .

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Doug Powell: The Lost Chord

If Doug Powell is the new Todd Rundgren, then The Lost Chord is his A Wizard, a True Star, the album where he takes his

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Owl & the Pussycat: self-titled

Sometimes stillness and quiet can be more attention getting than noise and movement. The hush that falls over an audience just before a performance starts,

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Lil’ Kim: Hardcore

Finding a favorite CD for an emotionally extreme ADD music junky like myself is only slightly better than asking me which one of my friends

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Donny Hathaway: A Donny Hathaway Collection

Maybe it’s part of being a woman and a girl, this admiration for love that I have. It could be the elements—the gravity

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

In its “50 Most Essential Punk Records”, Spin magazine praised Devo’s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! for being “laced with acrid

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	DJ Smash: Phonography: Volume 2

Acid jazz was never really a completely coherent genre. Instead it presented a grab bag of funky grooves from ‘60s and ‘70s soul jazz artists,

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20 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Ani Difranco: Evolve

Ani Difranco is a sort of modern-day Holden Caulfield. That is, if the subject of Catcher in the Rye would have been a bisexual female

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	Eric Andersen: Beat Avenue

Eric Andersen was in the same clique as Robert Zimmerman in the early ‘60s. Performing around the Greenwich Village coffeehouses and folk “cities”, the duo

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	ANTiSEEN: Drastic / E.P. Royalty

 ANTiSEEN Eat More Possum(TKO)Original US release dates: March 1993US reissue release date: 1 October 2002 by Mark DesrosiersPopMatters Features Editor and Columnist antiseen-drastic.jpg :.

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20 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

With his conceptual experiments, collaborative projects and performed artworks, Kentridge has succeeded in awaking everyone to the notion of classical narrative, fabulous music, the South African gesammtkunstwerk . . .

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The Life of David Gale (2003)

Only Clint Eastwood could have cooked up a more dramatic climax to an innocent-man-on-death-row plot, which he did, in True Crime.

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20 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Gerry (2002)

By turns daunting and absorbing, the film is about movement that seems hopeless, that takes you nowhere, that's increasingly slowed but also increasingly urgent.

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20 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Divine Intervention (2001)

Suleiman proves himself an essential voice in world cinema because his formalism is inextricable from the political moment it documents.

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20 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Daredevil (2003)

It's unlikely that this gloominess accounts for Daredevil's big success. There are any number of plausible explanations -- the 'Sexiest Man Alive' and his J. Lo glow, the promotional blitz, the Marvel machine. No matter. Bring the pain.

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20 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Dark Blue (2003)

This is a scary city, where scary figures hang out on scary corners and slouch with scary insouciance. No wonder the cops are tense.

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19 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Unknown Quantity by Paul Virilio

A work of mourning -- mourning for a humanity, an earth which has lost control through globalisation, through the irresponsibility of power-crazy politicians and businessmen.

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19 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

She’s Not There by Mary-Anne Tirone Smith

It is sparkling, sophisticated and heady -- and more than a little addictive.

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Our Votes, Our Guns: Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe by Martin Meredith

An intense extrapolation of the crises that have sullied Zimbabwe over the last three decades.

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Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones by Stephen Davis

Deserves a spot on every bookshelf (Stones fan, or no Stones fan). And to the gentlemen of the Rolling Stones we have this to say: Thanks, and for our sake, please keep rockin'.

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19 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Fall by Simon Mawer

Has little to do with mountain climbing and a lot to do with the general situation of humankind.

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Paul van Dyk: Global

The kind of techno music called trance, in the hands of Paul Oakenfold and other similar artists, is incredibly unpopular right now with a lot

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	The Violents: Rebecca’s Morning Voice

Anni Poppen, Aimee Rickman, and Sally Mundy of the Violents know you don’t need to trash a mall or wear a snarl to be

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Sigur Rós: (  )

Rarely has the controversial (to reviewers and critics, at least) and variously-attributed adage—“writing about music is like dancing about architecture”—seemed more appropriate than

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Lou Reed: The Raven

“The angels haggard and wanUnveiling and uprising affirmThat the play is the tragedy ‘Man’And its hero the Conqueror Worm.” > As I write this review,

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Tom McRae: Just like Blood

Northern poet Simon Armitage’s “Say Say Say” is addressed “to those in the dark, at the back”. Tom McRae evidently views himself as one

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	El Guapo: Super/System

There’s a buzz fuzzing throughout El Guapo’s debut release on Dischord Records. Equal parts klezmer jazz, experimental dance-rock, fractured synth-pop, and cocktail noir,

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	The John Entwistle Band: Left For Live Deluxe - The Complete Live Performance

In the days following the tragic and untimely passing of the Who’s John Entwistle, classic rock radio stations aired numerous tributes to the legendary

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	The Donnas: Spend the Night

They’re cool, they’re photogenic, they get a ton of video air time, and their single “Take It Off” is immensely catchy. They are

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Jesse Davis: The Setup

Whatever happened to the archetype of the “cool” jazz musician? Y’know, the black-tie-and-sunglasses-clad hepcat who could charm your date away from you in the

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Dons: Dawn of The Dons

Don Mogill has a rare natural ability to craft finely melodic guitar-driven pop songs with sweet harmonies that are easy on the ears. These songs

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Capital City: Am I Invisible

In music writing we give a lot of credence to the idea that a geographic area can be identified with a particular musical style. The

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18 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The Bees (aka A Band of Bees): Sunshine Hit Me

When one thinks of pop music infused with jazz, dub, funk, and South American rhythms, a shed on a tiny island on the south coast

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	Styx: The Best of Styx (20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection)

A&M’s Millennium Collections continue to confuse. Documented on the apparent hundreds of silver-sleeved CDs lulling about in record stores are such folks

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16 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Kicking Harold: Space Age Breakdown

If you can remember back to the dim and distant days of 1996, you may well recall a band called Kicking Harold. Bursting out of the

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	Ahmad Jamal: Olympia 2000

Back in the 1950s, Miles Davis told the world “I live until Jamal makes another record,” and during the mid-‘50s he insisted that his

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	The Go-Betweens: Bright Yellow Bright Orange

I first learned about the Go-Betweens from an article by Jonathan Lehman that ended up in Da Capo’s Best Music Writing 2001 called “Not a

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	Carissa’s Wierd: Songs About Leaving

If you live in Seattle, like I do, chances are you’re fairly sick of hearing about Carissa’s Wierd. There was a time about

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	Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán: Mambo Sinuendo

The success of the Buena Vista Social Club project headed up by US guitarist Ry Cooder has become rather a cottage industry now, with everyone

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16 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Christmas Decorations: Model 91

Christmas Decorations are a duo comprised of Steve Silverstein (a.k.a. Madame Estrella—his improvised rock nom de stage—and writer for Tape Op

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16 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Canyon: Empty Rooms

I hope Brendan Butler and the Canyon boys were trying to be funny on the press release for their latest dark and dreary album, Empty

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	Burnside Project: The Networks, The Circuits, The Streams, The Harmonies

When you’re an indie-rock musician and start becoming so interested in non-rock styles like drum ‘n’ bass and hip-hop that you yearn to include

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16 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Arkestra One: self-titled

I guess I can understand what compels the creators of electronic and sample-based music to add vocals to their sound. Instrumentals are all well and

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	Gary Wilson: Forgotten Lovers

Music is a little something like autobiography. No other art form has kept such a stranglehold on the notion of “artist”, or championed that the

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13 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Pipas: A Cat Escaped

A Cat Escaped, the new CD from London-based international pop duo, Pipas, is 10 tracks of blissful, summery dance-pop. Theirs is the kind of sound that

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13 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Kelly Osbourne: Shut Up

If only I had picked up Kelly Osbourne’s debut album Shut Up when it was released this past November, I am certain it would

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13 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	The O’Jays: Love Songs

Coming straight out of the Philadelphia sound in the early ‘70s, the O’Jays scored a series of hits records and songs. The core trio

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13 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Nas: God’s Son

Imagine, if you will, you are Jay-Z. It’s early December (2001) and you are getting’ ready to celebrate your birthday with a large group of

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	Machito & His Afro-Cuban Orchestra: Mambo Mucho Mambo: The Complete Columbia Masters

The influence of Cuban music on jazz is now generally recognized, and any number of names comes readily to the mind of jazz aficionados when

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	Melochrome: This Is Motion

One of the problems with a music genre like dreampop is that to the average consumer with an untrained ear, most of it sounds more

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13 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Little Wings: Light Green Leaves

The attempt to convey intimacy through recorded music is a fraught, paradoxical affair. The moment of intimacy, the time in which the musician and the

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13 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Janis Joplin: The Essential Janis Joplin

Nowadays, major labels regularly and repeatedly reissue the same music, hoping to ring up additional sales of the same recordings. Often, they accomplish this by

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13 Feb 2003 // 11:00 PM

	Boy George: A Night Out With Boy George

In the spirit of lazy music journalism, two things need to be mentioned immediately. The first has to do with the artist behind this release:

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13 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Not since shaggy haired, indie rockers stormed their local thrift shops for ironic ringer tees and mesh hats has a retro fashion hit the streets with such a force.

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13 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

The Quiet American (2002)

That the U.S. imagines itself in the position to take unilateral decisions that affect the rest of the world is as much a function of the nation's founding myths (all that 'city on a hill' business, represented in Pyle's notion that he can save Phuong) as it is its economic might (Pyle's knowledge that he can support Phuong).

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The Other Network - PopMatters Film Review
)

Driven by instant gratification and a bottom line ethos, the networks have all but abandoned the cause of great TV comedy.

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13 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Lockdown (2000)

Takes its political and ethical subjects seriously.

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13 Feb 2003 // 1:00 AM

Lost in La Mancha (2002)

Even in the midst of chaos and catastrophe, Gilliam's drive to create fantastic worlds can be as damning, and as appealing, as Quixote's.

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The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm (2000/2002)

Radioactive poison is a legacy of laissez-faire capitalism's most guilty indulgence.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

I Just Murdered My Sister, and It Was Kind of Fun

// Moving Pixels

"The Deed makes murder a game, a pretty fun game.

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