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Sunday, February 16 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 13 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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