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Monday, July 23 2001

Neil Diamond: Three Chord Opera

Say what you will about Neil Diamond—he knows how to work the media. The release of Three Chord Opera was aided by a marketing


DJ Assault: Jefferson Avenue

Sex and Techno, in the UK at least, are hardly two words that share much in common. Ever since Derrick May went all intellectual on


Jimmy Cozier: self-titled

After hearing the opening lines of Jimmy Cozier’s debut single “She’s All I Got” it is clear that the singer/songwriter is singing


Cake: Comfort Eagle

There is a school of thought that thinks predictability is the same as creative impotence, that if you can’t renew your sound every few


Butterfly Jones: Napalm Springs

Some say if you wait long enough, then everything old is new again. I say, when something as good as Napalm Springs updates several decades’


Monday, July 16 2001

    Various Artists: I Want My 80’s Box!

Preamble: I love ‘80s pop. Not because I’m being clever or ironic, but because I really love it and think the early-to-mid-‘80s is


    The Workin’ Stiffs: Dog Tired . . . And Then Some

Firstly, I have some notes about this album that I wrote on a bubblegum wrapper. Hold on a sec. OK, here we go. Now let


    Three 4 Tens: Change Is on Its Way

With an album title like Change Is on Its Way, Three 4 Tens take a surprisingly retro approach to their music. Reflecting and reveling in the


    The Starting Line: With Hopes of Starting Over . . .

Perhaps I should preface this review by thanking those of you who take the time to read the pieces here and then write in with


    Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Supernova

I’m trying to find a way to talk about this album. I didn’t think it would be necessarily difficult, but then I started


    Rx Bandits: Progress

Seal Beach California’s Rx Bandits are back with their second album! What? You don’t know who these guys are? But they’ve played


I Am the World Trade Center: Out of the Loop

It’s remarkable how much the concept of D.I.Y. in music has changed over the last 25 years. Around 1978, things were very different for


Hundred Hands: Little Eyes

I’ve often complained to anyone who will listen that the current obsession with memoir and Oprah-style confession is the result of the misguided conviction


Mark Grant: Sound Design Vol. 2

In Chicago, the birthplace of house music, to establish your joint as one of the city’s best house clubs is no small feat. But


Groovenics: self-titled

Groovenics are a band with an identity problem. First of all, they’re a nu-metal act with a band name that is more reminiscent of


Edith Frost: Wonder Wonder

When Edith Frost sent her demo to Chicago’s infamous indie outlet Drag City she impulsively included a fanatical letter describing her affection for one


The Actual Tigers: Gravelled and Green

Smooth, picked electric guitars, a gentle, simple bass drum pattern, a warm wash of subtle synthesizers, catchy, well-crafted vocals—“Yardwork in November” epitomizes all that


Wednesday, July 11 2001

    Milagro Saints: Midnight America

The Milagro Saints are that relatively rare thing, an earnest old-fashioned folk rock band. Vocalists SD Ineson and Joyce Bowden met in New York and


Shinju Gumi: Mixing a Ghost

Shinju Gumi is a thirtysomething French composer and producer (a.k.a. Frédéric Paul) whose recent forays into the world of


Ashley Park: The American Scene

Funny what happens when you spend too much time reading press about an artist and record and not enough time listening. The “that wasn’t


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