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Wednesday, December 17 2003

Best Music of 2003 | #16-20

That favorite rite of passage for all music critics is here again . . . the annual top 10 lists, or in this case top 50. As in years past, we have top 10s from the whole crew of regular PopMatters music writers, but this year we're adding a twist. What you have before you is our mammoth list of the 50 best records of the year as voted on by our entire music staff.


Best Music of 2003 | #11-15

That favorite rite of passage for all music critics is here again . . . the annual top 10 lists, or in this case top 50. As in years past, we have top 10s from the whole crew of regular PopMatters music writers, but this year we're adding a twist. What you have before you is our mammoth list of the 50 best records of the year as voted on by our entire music staff.


Best Music of 2003 | #1-5

That favorite rite of passage for all music critics is here again . . . the annual top 10 lists, or in this case top 50. As in years past, we have top 10s from the whole crew of regular PopMatters music writers, but this year we're adding a twist. What you have before you is our mammoth list of the 50 best records of the year as voted on by our entire music staff.


Best Music of 2003 | Adrien Begrand

1. Manitoba, Up in Flames (Leaf/Domino)2003 has been a very fruitful year for great music, as many excellent albums have come out, but in my


Best Music of 2003 | Michael Beaumont

1. Blur Think Tank (Parlophone/Food)Being that Think Tank was an album that I was fully prepared to despise, I am as dumbfounded as anyone


Best Music of 2003 | David Antrobus

1. The White Stripes, Elephant (V2)Inexplicably endearing as ever, if a little more dark-bruise-smudged and wary, the White Stripes have still emerged victorious against the


Friday, December 12 2003

Can You Remember?

For weeks I have tried to ignore the current unfolding drama of yet another charge of child molestation against Michael Jackson, but it was after reading Farai Chideya's touching piece 'A Open Letter to Michael Jackson' that I remembered the song and began to ask, as Chideya did and so many others have privately, '' when a still not teen-age Michael Jackson was one of the most important figures of our lives.


Thursday, December 11 2003

Better Times: Remembering Jonathan Brandis

It's unclear how comfortable Brandis was with the 'former teen idol' label, and to what degree that label affected his choice to take his own life.


Tuesday, December 9 2003

Let Us Get Together Right Down Here

The only introduction to the blues could be anthology. For while Charley Patton's drunken thumping is the heart of it all for some, Robert Johnson's sweet devil music is the only embodiment others will accept. But what are either of these greats without the religious bass of a commanding Son House, a life-loving Willie Dixon, the innovating tradition personified in the bear of a man named McKinley Morganfield but baptized Muddy Waters?


Thursday, December 4 2003

Systems and Stereotypes

Any game that has players choosing among a malt liquor bottle, a basketball, or an Uzi for playing pieces is certainly harmful.


Monday, November 24 2003

Why Hypocrisy Matters

Where Goldberg and Coulter see failed idealists, I can't help but see people wielding beliefs like bludgeons that they'll gladly drop once the bloodwork is done.


Reconsidering Let It Be

One of the things that strikes me about this album 33 years after its release and nearly 35 after its recording is that despite it being one of the weaker Beatle efforts, it stands above so much else recorded by so many other lesser bands across the years.


Getting Back

The convoluted events of January 1969 continue to echo as some of the most dramatic and least understood moments in the Beatles' mind-bogglingly successful career. And no album is more associated with the group's breakup than Let It Be.


Thursday, November 20 2003

Behind the Velvet Curtain

If the films shown at the New Czech Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music are any indication, to this day Czechoslovakia is a country of dueling emotions and opposite impulses.


Wednesday, November 19 2003

. . . And Bless the Mic for the Gods: Rakim Allah

When Greg Tate published his groundbreaking essay 'Diary of a Bug' the first 'text' he took up was none other than Rakim Allah, the Poet Laureate of the Hip-Hop Nation. Indeed there's never been a hip-hop artist who deserved top-shelf scholarly love from the camp of the Blackademe Niggeratti more than Rakim.


Thursday, November 13 2003

Farewell, Norton: Art Carney (1918-2003)

May he greet his maker with the kind of epigrammatic simplicity with which Norton once addressed a golf ball, 'Hello ball.'


Wednesday, November 12 2003

Using Language Against Itself: An Interview with Robbie Conal, ArtBurn

You’ve seen them. Garish black and white caricatures of Real Important white guys (OK, sometimes a couple black ones) in their suits, smart-ass wordplay


CMJ Music Marathon: Do It Yourself (And With the Help of Your Licensing, Marketing and Publicity Tea

Associate Concert Editor Christine Di Bella takes a look back at what CMJ really had to offer its participants -- and the answer might be a redefinition of the DIY ethos.


Wednesday, November 5 2003

Burying Lester Bangs

Dead at 33, Bangs has risen, Christ-like, from the pens and keyboards of hundreds or maybe thousands (what feels like millions) of rock scribes from sea to shining sea, all spewing their paltry imitations of Bangs's 'speedflight wordsperm bullshit.'


Monday, November 3 2003

The Tortured Soul of Marvin Gaye and R. Kelly

R. Kelly is no Marvin Gaye, nor should he be. But R. Kelly is a Soul Man, who seemingly for lack of any other recourse, has chosen to share his demons with us through his music as so many tortured Soul Men of the past have.


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