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Wednesday, November 6 2002

First French Kiss (and other traumas) by Adam Bagdasarian

Cartoonish, exaggerated slices of life.

e2ink-1:  The Best of the Online Journals 2002 by Guest Editor: Pam Houston, Series Editor: Melvin S

Are electronic magazines the salvation of the literary arts.

Aftershocks - The End of Style Culture by Steve Beard

The great strength of this book is its taut, crystal-clear style.

Tuesday, November 5 2002

Various Artists: In the Pocket: A Taste of Blues Harmonica

The harmonica is to blues what the guitar is to rock and roll, namely the essential instrument of the genre. Old photographs of Sonny Boy

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Raï

Raï, a music that simmered up and boiled over in Algeria despite two different governments’ attempts to force the lid back down on the roiling

Vinyl Kings: A Little Trip

Musical grazing is never so dangerous as when one treads the pastures of the sacred cows. You’ll never encounter more resistance and grumbling than

The Velvet Crush: Soft Sounds

The Velvet Crush have released many albums since signing to the Action Musik label, including early demos, rarities, and a singles collection. But the Sweet

Stereo Total: Musique Automatique

For the uninitiated, Berlin duo Stereo Total (that’s pronounced “toe-TAHL”, as opposed to the North American “toadle”) is comprised of a French female singer

Sting & The Police: The Very Best Of . . . Sting & The Police

When the Police broke up in the mid-‘80s, many thought that Sting would be successful, but not even come close to the heights of

Jimmy Cliff: We Are All One: The Best of Jimmy Cliff

The fact that teenaged Jimmy Cliff introduced teenaged Bob Marley to legendary Chinese-Jamaican producer Leslie Kong in 1961—hence, helping Marley get his first record made—

CKY: Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild

“It’s the start of a revolutionary band and revolutionary music lovers; people that are interested in entertainment. As miserable as we may seem, fans

Blue States: Man Mountain

“In the dark, distant and shimmering, is the place for us that no one knows.”—from “What We’ve Won” There’s no better way

Monday, November 4 2002

Spring Heel Jack: Amassed

John Coxon and Ashley Wales, the talents behind Spring Heel Jack, have certainly thrown many of their listeners for a loop with their recent outings.

Norfolk & Western: Winter Farewell

This is one of those albums that defies explanation. Why was it made? Who would want to listen to it regularly? What, in God’s

Quincy Jones: Ultimate Collection

It’s rare for a producer by trade to release a best-of collection, but when you have some 27 Grammy Awards with your name on them,

Ron House: Obsessed

There’s something about heartbreak, but when musicians get their hearts broken, they tend to pour out album-length expressions of their pain. Beck’s Sea

MC Paul Barman: Paullelujah!

It’s safe to say there’s never been an album like this one. MC Paul Barman is, first of all, a rapper who can’

BT: 10 Years in the Life

I’m going to try to write about this two-disc compilation without being mean or snarky about it. Believe me, there’s plenty to be

Bon Jovi: Bounce

As a self-proclaimed Bon Jovi obsessive, admitting that the band’s latest album, Bounce, is anything less than a complete thrill is monumentally difficult. Especially

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