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Thursday, May 29 2003

Tony James and the ArgonautSSS

[Tony James] suffered a great number of years being a pariah of the music industry while his vision withered away before him. However, in [Sigue Sigue] Sputnik's Internet rebirth, we have one of the great stories of rock and roll made even greater . . .


Tuesday, May 13 2003

It Was a Good Gangsta Career

In the spring of 1992, while white America blinked fearfully at the images of anarchy in the streets of South Central Los Angeles on their television screens, fans of Ice Cube's incendiary raps and rants simply nodded knowingly to themselves. No one could deny that Ice Cube not only had his pulse on the state of L.A.'s civic affairs long before they erupted into violence, but that he also concretized a vocal resistance to entrenched racism and oppression more capably than anyone in hip-hop at the time, including Public Enemy.


Monday, May 5 2003

Interview with Assassins

The Chicago band offers a sophisticated mix that takes the '80s Manchester template as a starting point, the dark dance pop perfected by the likes of Joy Division and New Order, and fleshes it out with elements of trip-hop and a post-punk guitar fuzz.


Thursday, May 1 2003

She Put a Spell on Us (for Nina Simone)

She was the voice of a movement. Deep blues, even darker hues, from the Delta to Dakar. This woman, Black woman, was the voice of a people.


Friday, April 18 2003

Buzzcocks: The Buzz Continues

Buzzcocks fans might be surprised to find that the group's new self-titled effort, its first of the new millennium, is a return to its hard-rocking roots. Fresh from some live dates in Australia, Shelley recently spoke to PopMatters about his recent projects and the Buzzcocks' plans for the future.


Tuesday, April 15 2003

Oneida Interview

Forget math rock -- let's hear it for 'one step?' Cori Taratoot scours American history and musical genres to interpret all the noise about Brooklyn's irreverent noisemakers.


Tuesday, April 8 2003

Criminal (Critical) Accomplice: Writing About R. Kelly

What if Kelly had been Justin Timberlake or Eminem? Would the conversation fall back so easily into one where a white man mistreated and exploited (raped?) a young black girl because of his racist views of black women?


Friday, March 28 2003

“Real, Compared to What”: Anti-War Soul

The original version of 'Compared to What' is a powerful example of black pop that wasn't afraid, echoing Audre Lorde, to speak truth to power.


Wednesday, February 5 2003

The Weird Trilogy: Iggy Pop’s Arista Recordings

The chance to revisit these albums is not likely to result in any critical reevaluation, but at least it's a chance to enjoy a boldly experimental phase in the career of one of rock's most intriguing artists.


Wednesday, January 29 2003

“We’re Going to Make a Painting For You”: An Interview with Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins

Pall Jenkins talks about the band's new record, Amore Del Tropico, a sunnier but equally subversive look at love gone awry.


Meet Stew, the Best Songwriter in America, and His Negro Problem

I'm not really sure if the critical neglect of Stew has anything to do with his being black . . . it's pretty clear that he's just not doing fashionable music.


Thursday, January 23 2003

Reflections: A Tribute to Maurice Gibb

Maurice Gibb, as a part of the Bee Gees, had a significant hand in writing some of the most popular and well-known songs of all time.


Friday, December 27 2002

Joe Strummer 1952-2002

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.


Less Rotten than reasonable: Joe Strummer and my punk Damascus

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.


Why The Clash Still Matter

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.


“Stay Free”: R.I.P. Joe Strummer

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.


The Most Effective Weapon

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.


Stay Free: A Tribute to Joe Strummer

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.


Thursday, December 26 2002

“Stay Free”: R.I.P. Joe Strummer

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


The Most Effective Weapon

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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