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Tuesday, January 21 2003

Kristian Hoffman: &

In the glory years of Broadway, the “great white way” was the only game in town. Big-time musicals once attracted the very best in songwriting

Stella Chiweshe: Talking Mbira

Talking Mbira will very likely end up as one of my top five records this year. It is gutsy and tuneful and smart, and beauty

Black Sabbath: Past Lives

Together, the two discs compliment each other well in an odd and circular way. Both are representative of what Sabbath was in the ‘70s; if they weren’t on, they were off and on the verge of destruction.

ABBA: The Definitive Collection [DVD]

Yes, I am an unabashed ABBA fan for the simple reason that the time and effort put into the composition, arrangement, and recording of these

Sunday, January 19 2003

Various Muppets: The Muppet Show: Music Mayhem & More (The 25th Anniversary Collection)

Yes, that’s right. In addition to playing the music and lighting the lights, it’s also time to put on make-up and dress up

Stevie Wonder: Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

It’s a long-overdue retrospective of one of the most influential artists in pop music history.

Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez: Let’s Leave This Town

Chip Taylor (born John Wesley Voight) will of course never be as famous as his Midnight Cowboy-starring older sibling Jon Voight. However, Taylor’s artistry

3 Doors Down: Away From the Sun

A little story: Once upon a time, you’re a struggling rock act in some weary old town where no one listens to anything not

Starclock: self-titled

So here’s my pick for under-the-radar album of the year: the fantastically strange, way out-there-yet-incessantly-catchy-and-accessible self-titled debut from Nashville’s Starclock. Starclock is the

Siouxsie and the Banshees: The Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees

If any band is worthy of the “best of” or “greatest hits” packages that have become so prevalent in the past few years it has

Emitt Rhodes: self-titled

I owe this to Wes Anderson. After the final credits rolled on the director’s The Royal Tenenbaums, I rushed from the theatre to the

Joe Pernice: Big Tobacco

In my bleakest hours, there are some records I’ll always turn to. Quietly wretched and tuneful, they don’t bother me with quick tempos

Lord Sterling: Weapon of Truth

What do you get when you mix “traditional blues progressions” and “Black Flag-esque dissonance”? Apparently you get some rather standard hard rock. The latest entry

David Bowie: Best of Bowie

Is there anyone who would begrudge the Thin White Duke a two-disc greatest hits collection? I think not. Love him or hate him, it’s

Friday, January 17 2003

Sous Les Toits de Paris (1930)

René Clair combined music and sound effects in addition to minimal dialogue, with a moving camera in order to involve the eye as well as the ear.

Street of No Return (1989)

Fuller never gave a bad interview, remaining throughout his career grandiose, garrulous, and gung-ho about moviemaking.

Invaders From Mars (1953)

We don't know what's out there, but we're pretty sure it isn't up to any good.

Thursday, January 16 2003

Various Artists: Freedom: Songs from the Heart of America

For a small yet impassioned group of audiophiles, Harry Smith’s Anthology of Folk Music represents the Rosetta Stone of any music claiming the title “

Tinariwen: The Radio Tisdas Sessions

This debut album by Tinariwen, also known as the Tuareg Rebel Blues Band, can seem the antithesis of Western pop music, even that generated by the engines currently driving the world music markets.

Sixpence None the Richer: Divine Discontent

Sixpence None the Richer’s new album, Divine Discontent is 13 songs of pure pop genius. A big call, I know, but every song on the

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