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Monday, July 16 2001

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

Tuesday, July 10 2001

    The Del McCoury Band: Del and the Boys

I caught The Del McCoury Band live a little while back, and it was a real eye-opener. I’d been to several mannered bluegrass festivals

Monday, July 9 2001

Prefuse 73: Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives

Here is what Scott Herren, aka Prefuse 73, says about rappers: “I like to use MCs as another layer of music. You don’t have to get the heavy load of what an MC’s saying that might piss you off, some sort of bullshit you don’t wanna hear about.”

    Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Americana

Not only is the question of 'What 'is' Americana?' open to debate, but so is the very 'Americana' label itself. After all, the genre has a variety of colorful monikers: 'Insurgent Country', 'No Depression', 'Cowpunk', and 'Alternative Country' -- probably the most well known -- to name a few.

    Walker Kong: There Goes the Sun

This poor disc has so far been referred to as everything except its correct name. I first saw it listed as There Goes The Sun

    Thunderball: Scorpio Rising

Can somebody say, “Awwww yeah”? Washington DC’s Thunderball open up their second album, Scorpio Rising, with a slab of superfly pimp-funk that would do

    Spacer: The Beamer

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of good-natured eclecticism. Take Howie B, for instance, former flame of music’s favorite woman-child, Björk

    Squarepusher: Go Plastic

Tom Jenkinson is hard. Don’t be fooled by the fluffy beard, the cute Essex boy accent. He’s difficult, frustrating, out of control. Better

    The Rondelles: Shined Nickels and Loose Change

The Rondelles’ story reads like a rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale. The group was formed by Juliet Swango (vocals, guitar), Oakley Munson (drums, organ), and

    Kelly Joe Phelps: Sky Like a Broken Clock

Kelly Joe Phelps’ Sky Like a Broken Clock is undoubtedly a fine effort. His rich gravelly voice is expressive and easy to listen to. His

    Anna Lauvergnac: self-titled

Female jazz vocalists are once again in the limelight, thanks largely to the popularity of the accomplished and very marketable Diana Krall. I can’t

Ivy: Long Distance

By taking smoothness to shocking new heights in just three records, New York rock trio Ivy has evolved from an indie rock group into something

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