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Thursday, April 25 2002

Goodbye, Layne

I remember the feeling of sadness when I read that Staley had taken to wearing fingerless gloves, presumably to hide the puncture wounds on the backs on his hands, from injecting heroin when his other veins refused to cooperate.


Friday, April 19 2002

South by Southwest on a Shoestring: A Diary

Schwartz writes about her odyssey at this year's South By Southwest Festival in the 'Home of Live Music' [Austin, Texas]; the place where 'Music Still Matters.'


South by Southwest on a Shoestring: A Diary

Schwartz writes about her odyssey at this year's South By Southwest Festival in the 'Home of Live Music' [Austin, Texas]; the place where 'Music Still Matters.'


South by Southwest on a Shoestring: A Diary

Schwartz writes about her odyssey at this year's South By Southwest Festival in the 'Home of Live Music' [Austin, Texas]; the place where 'Music Still Matters.'


South by Southwest on a Shoestring: A Diary

Schwartz writes about her odyssey at this year's South By Southwest Festival in the 'Home of Live Music' [Austin, Texas]; the place where 'Music Still Matters.'


South by Southwest on a Shoestring: A Diary

Schwartz writes about her odyssey at this year's South By Southwest Festival in the 'Home of Live Music' [Austin, Texas]; the place where 'Music Still Matters.'


South by Southwest on a Shoestring: A Diary

Schwartz writes about her odyssey at this year's South By Southwest Festival in the 'Home of Live Music' [Austin, Texas]; the place where 'Music Still Matters.'


Wednesday, April 10 2002

Freedy in the Aftermath

Something of this clumsy love can get us through a season of war. By way of the benefit concert, pop has seemed like a parade of virtue; by way of everything else, it has sounded like knee-jerk nationalism.


Thursday, April 4 2002

Eight Years After: A Remembrance of Kurt Cobain’s Troubles and the Music They Inspired

At the start of the '90s, Kurt Cobain appeared to be the savior of rock 'n' roll. He was a beacon of hope to the black and flannel set, who saw him emerge from the fog of macho groups like Guns N' Roses as the only guy who could wear liberalism on his sleeve, begging sexist, racist, and homophobic rednecks not to buy his records, while still gaining their admiration by rocking fucking hard.


Tuesday, April 2 2002

Dueling Banjos: Scruggs-style vs. the Clawhammer

What Earl Scruggs brought to banjo was a 'little something extra', that being his middle finger . . . In fact, it can be said with a straight face that Scruggs is the father of industrial music, because his home environment had everything to do with his sound.


Friday, March 15 2002

Irish Music, Roots and Branches

Irish traditional song reflects the cultural cross currents and historical conflicts that long have linked Ireland and the British Isles. So what makes Irish traditional music 'Irish', and for that matter, what might distinguish it as 'Celtic'?


Oisin’s Arguments with St. Patrick

Taken together, the St. Patrick and Oisin tales constitute a dialogue that is also a theological battle between Christianity and Celtic paganism.


Cadence to Arms: the Dropkick Murphys

[The Dropkick Murphys are] quite possibly the most brilliant and exciting live band around today, really. And if they don't make you start thinking patriotically about Irish-American heroes like Mother Jones, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Michael J. Quill, and George Meany, then they haven't done their job.


Bono Re-finds His Inner Yeats

We knew, just 'knew', that U2 was so political and fiery and impassioned because they were Irish.


Wednesday, March 13 2002

Smooth Jazz Not Jazz Shock!

The fact is that this saccharine child of our times [smooth jazz] bears no more relation to modern jazz than Glenn Miller's sound did to Count Basie's or George Shearing's to Bud Powell's.


Wednesday, March 6 2002

Brits Take Pride in Their Pop

Pop music has long had a strong hold on British airwaves. But the national obsession seems to have reached new heights this year with the success of star making series like 'Popstars' and the even bigger 'Pop Idol'.


Friday, March 1 2002

The 2002 Indies

If they were not just noisemakers in funny clothes with funny voices, then what exactly did the Velvet Underground do that was so important?


Monday, February 18 2002

Mainstream Variations

If a blues artist stays 'true' to the blues, it viewed as a plus. Jazz with its emphasis on innovation is less easily pleased. Hence the recent rows. The musician has to be both radically innovative and belong to an unproblematised lineage that stretches back to New Orleans.


Tuesday, February 12 2002

An Interview with Clinic

Clinic is nothing if not unconventional. They specialize in three-minute pop songs, but what other so-called pop songwriters would look to the grimy textures of The Velvet Underground and obscure jazz artists for inspiration?


Thursday, February 7 2002

The Velvet Underground in New York, New York in the Velvet Underground

If they were not just noisemakers in funny clothes with funny voices, then what exactly did the Velvet Underground do that was so important?


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