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Friday, August 24 2001

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)

In his latest film, Woody Allen moves in slow motion. Actually, the whole of The Curse of the Jade Scorpion appears to be creaking and shuffling, like it's been made by zombies.

Tuesday, August 21 2001

    The Mockers: Living in the Holland Tunnel

Fans of pure pop often act like they’re a tiny breed of specialist music lovers, obscured by mainstream commercial acts and forced to justify

Monday, August 20 2001

    Various Artists: Space Jazz

Labeling something jazz or rock or rap or blues or anything else is a tad arbitrary. It’s been a long time since genres of

    Shannon Wright: Dyed in the Wool

As a singer, songwriter and musician, Shannon Wright has an extreme intensity about her at all times, whether she’s playing a rock song with

    Velvet Crush: In the Presence of Greatness / A Single Odessey

Sometimes, when I close my eyes and wish real hard, I enter another world. There, things are pretty much the same as here, but everything

    Uriah Heep: The Best Of - The Millennium Collection

In rock’s long and illustrious history, there has never been a band greeted with more critical hostility than the UK progressive rock act, Uriah

    Seven Channels: self-titled

While popular music may be an important cultural force, no rock band has saved the world. Even groups who incorporate socially conscious messages into their

    Surface: The First Time / The Best of Surface

One of the mysteries, among many, about the Reagan-Thatcher years is why anyone thought that a certain cheap synth sound was a good idea. You

    The Shams: Take Off

The Shams have a lot going for them on the surface—namely, a sense of style that cannot be denied. The cover of the group’

    Quasi: Early Recordings

I often imagine Quasi to be the best sort of side project, one that allows a certain freedom that the more self-conscious main gig may

Quasi: The Sword of God

The liner notes of Quasi’s fifth album begin with a lengthy screed about an unspecified primate named Omar. Sam Coomes, who writes the duo’

    Pram: Somniloquy

I was dreading writing this review, dreading it. Like many other people, I’ve been at a loss for words since the World Trade Center

    Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes: Ultimate Blue Notes

The Blue Notes got their start in 1954 as a Philadelphia-based doo-wop act fronted by vocalist Harold Melvin. Two years later the group signed their first

    Maxwell: Now

He is without question the crown-prince of the Neo-Soul movement. Blessed with bohemian good-looks, with the requisite wild hair and an enigmatic and self deprecating

    Moviola: Rumors of the Faithful

Defining a band’s sound is a tricky, complicated area. My usual first instinct, when the subject comes up, is to dismiss the idea entirely,

Mink Lungs: The Better Button

When a band’s record label touts a band as “cohesive”, you can be pretty sure they’re covering something up. In the case of

    Lupine Howl: The Carnivorous Lunar Activities of Lupine Howl

In a sense, Lupine Howl are in something of a no-win situation since they have the albatross of Spiritualized around their necks.

Nathan Larson: Jealous God

There are plenty of artists out there with spiritual leanings, but very few willing to deal with God—with a capital ‘G’.

    Charles Lloyd: Hyperion with Higgins

I wonder how many of the one million people who bought Forest Flower back in the hippy era will check this release out. Probably precious

The Isley Brothers: Harvest for the World / The Heat is On

Eternal, the most recent release by the famed Isley Brothers, is easily one of their strongest since their classic “3+3” era. Almost four decades before “Mr.

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