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Village Voice

Gram Parsons Dies in Desert

Report by Bill Wasserzieher, Village Voice, September 1973

PARK RANGERS found the half-charred body of country-rock musician Gram Parsons in a burned casket at Joshua Tree National Monument in California last Friday. ...

Lou Reed: Felt Theater, New York

Live Review by Wayne Robins, Village Voice, October 1974

LOU REED stepped out on the Felt Forum stage Friday night looking like something out of a Casey Donovan movie. ...

Patti Smith: Horses: Patti Smith Exposes Herself

Review by Greil Marcus, Village Voice, November 1975

The first question about Horses, Patti Smith's debut album, might be called the Janis question – it comes up whenever a particularly exciting performer has ...

Neil Young Paints It Black: Zuma

Review by Paul Nelson, Village Voice, November 1975

NOTE: ON APRIL 14, 1983, Elliot Roberts, Neil Young's manager, wrote a letter to Paul: "This is to advise you that we will co-operate with ...

The Specials in Hit City

Profile by Van Gosse, Village Voice, January 1980

DADUHDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA.... Triplets in two-four, the sound of the Specials: call it ska, call it punky reggae, it's a jumping groove, the group going up and ...

The Cure Play It Pure

Live Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, April 1980

MOTHER OF GOD, another good English band. It's getting so people are scared to go near record shops, for fear of parting with their fillings, ...

Captain Beefheart's Far Cry

Profile and Interview by Lester Bangs, Village Voice, October 1980

He's Alive, But So Is Paint. Are You? ...

Joe Jackson: I'm The Man

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, Spring 1980

FOR YEARS JOE Jackson made his money playing covers in English Playboy Clubs, ignored amid the bedroom eyes. His own music was rejected by every ...

The Clash: Sandinista!

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, January 1981

CONFRONTING THE Clash's epic monstrosity Sandinista! is like being a teacher (which I once was) and having one of your favorite little buggers show up ...

The Shaggs: Better Than the Beatles (and DNA, Too)

Retrospective by Lester Bangs, Village Voice, January 1981

I HAVE BEEN getting whiny letters from a lot of you lately complaining about the general state of the art. "What is all this shit?" ...

Pylon Draws the Line

Profile by Van Gosse, Village Voice, February 1981

MY PAL Danny voices the common hipster sentiment when he says, "Pylon, they're like the 52's, but they mean it." Quite so, but then again ...

Sly & Robbie: Reggae Titles: Footlong Skanking

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, April 1981

IN RECENT MONTHS Riffsters have written paeans to the gritty nudisco and rapperound 12-inch song-and-dances now heard blasting from the shiny boxes on the street ...

Gang of Four: Gang Of Four: Solid Gold

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, April 1981

GANG OF FOUR called their first album Entertainment!, as if shouting from the rooftops that it wasn't. ...

Wayne Kramer: Trax, New York NY

Live Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, July 1981

He Walks the Line ...

The Pretenders: Pretenders II

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, August 1981

THIS IS NO FUN. Raves for faves are love letters in the sand. Shoveling poseurs onto the garbage heap is heartwarming. But soaking up and ...

John Cale: Music for a New Society

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, January 1982

ON THE BASIS of his new LP, it would be too easy to discover that John Cale is a Big Fake, maybe The Big Fake, ...

Soft Cell: Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, February 1982

TO CHAMPION AN English electropop duo right now is a poor business; on all sides are heard the virile snickers of those who abominate synthesizers ...

The Human League: In League With The Human League: Dare

Essay by Van Gosse, Village Voice, April 1982

By the charts, the Human League are the most popular band in the U.K., as well as the most successful of the electropoppers: Depeche Mode, ...

The Bongos' Postboybeat

Profile by Van Gosse, Village Voice, April 1982

MAKING SENSE in words of the Bongos' strange, translucent hardpop dreaminess is like trying to tell a stranger about rock'n'roll, or maybe like trying to ...

Talking Heads: The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, June 1982

TALKING HEADS: TV shorthand, video argot for the small-screen dance. The words themselves give up little ghosts, conceptual bombs – media as alienation, the medium ...

Kid Creole & The Coconuts: August Darnell And The Creole Perplex

Essay by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, July 1982

"The dominant feeling of the black poet is one of malaise, better still of intolerance. Intolerance of reality because it is sordid, of the world ...

The Stray Cats: Stray Cats: Cooneybilly

Live Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, August 1982

Stray Cats: Roseland Ballroom, NYC ...

The Blasters: Blast From The Present

Profile by Van Gosse, Village Voice, May 1983

I'VE BEEN reveling in the Blasters ever since their first Slash album in late '81, but for no good reason, or so it seemed to ...

Kurtis Blow: A B-Boy's Progress

Profile by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, September 1983

WHEN RAP WAS first struggling out of the youth-center playgrounds and into big-time notoriety, Kurtis Blow was there. ...

Def Leppard: What's 'New'?

Comment by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, November 1983

DEF LEPPARD is a band that's been greeted with total indifference by everyone except the four million and counting people who bought their third album. ...

The Rolling Stones: Undercover

Review by Van Gosse, Village Voice, November 1983

The Stones Try Harder ...

Pablo Moses’s Acid Reign

Profile by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, January 1984

RASTA IDEOLOGY has always been profoundly Spenglerian. The German philosopher’s contention that our parasitic, capital-based machine age will be defeated by "another power, not by ...

Mötley Crüe: White Noise: How Heavy Metal Rules

Essay by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, June 1985

It's Friday night at L'Amour, Rock Capital of Brooklyn (well, that's what it says on the awning). The smell is smoke and damp, black lipstick ...

John Mellencamp: John Cougar Mellencamp: Scarecrow (PolyGram)

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, September 1985

NOW IS PROBABLY not the time for all good men to sing about their country. That's because most good men are bound to come up ...

Eugene Chadbourne: The President He Is Insane and other albums

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, April 1986

URBAN ANTHROPOLOGISTS are well aware of the phenomenon of mystico-hysteric telephone-pole manifestoes tacked up by paranoid complusive types who deem it necessary to disseminate their ...

Butthole Surfers: Irving Plaza, NY

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, May 1986

SORRY, THRILL SEEKERS, unlike the Butthole Surfers’ recent Danceteria appearance, there were no Live Sex Acts Onstage this time around. At Irving Plaza April 26, ...

Pato Banton, Smiley Culture: Motormouth Dub: Smiley Culture/Pato Banton

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, September 1986

Some warp-speed world we live in, eh? It’s lucky we’ve got fast-forward buttons on our VCRs, quick-check lines at the A&P, automatic banking, speed-racer drugs, ...

Camper Van Beethoven: Camper Van Beethoven (Rough Trade)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, January 1987

CAMPER VAN Beethoven's first LP, last year's Telephone Free Landslide Victory, contained ‘Take the Skinheads Bowling’, an absurdist manifesto and immediate college-radio hit whose popularity ...

Salt 'N' Pepa: Salt 'n' Pepa: Cool, Hot & Vicious (Next Plateau)

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, January 1987

I DON'T KNOW about you but I've been waiting quite a while for a girl rap group to duplicate the success of platinum playboys like ...

Firehose: fIREHOSE: Ragin’, Full-On (SST)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, February 1987

LIFETIMES AGO, in 1982, the Minutemen titled their debut album What Makes a Man Start Fires? The Political power trio proceeded to answer their musical ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead: Meadowlands, New Jersey

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, April 1987

‘S FUNNY. Today the Grateful Dead can’t capture the attention of the so-called alternative audience, just as they couldn’t the so-called straight audience in the ...

Lee 'Scratch' Perry: Lee "Scratch" Perry: Time Boom or De Devil Dead (On-U)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1987

History. It started as a stripping-down process concocted to provide Jamaican reggae with skanky instrumentals over which crooners might croon and toasters might toast. ...

Girlschool: Nightmare at Maple Cross (GWR)

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, November 1987

MOST ALL-GIRL BANDS are pretty stupid And not always for the same reasons most all-guy bands are – too much attitude, too little attitude, too ...

Negativland: Escape From Noise

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, December 1987

IF I RAN THE marketing department at SST Records, I’d do burritos with someone over at the University of Minnesota Press and make sure Negativland’s ...

Frank Zappa: Frank Generation

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, February 1988

If I may be so crass as to adjudge a rock icon by his fans, I'd say Frank Zappa might have a demographics problem. Admittedly, ...

Ofra Haza: Sacred Samples

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, March 1988

Ofra Haza: S.O.B.’s, New York ...

Bongwater: Double Bummer

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1988

MARK KRAMER doesn't simply produce records, he saturates them. Even the quieter moments of such swell yet dissimilar albums as Half Japanese's Music To Strip ...

Van Halen: OU812

Comment by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, June 1988

VAN HALEN'S resident virtuoso launched a zillion whammy bars and charted heavy guitar's course for the '80s. The band's high-concept ex-vocalist sent a nation out ...

Souled American: Flubber

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1989

BECAUSE DAD SOLD toys for a living (a mixed blessing, believe me), I was the first kid on our block to own a glob of ...

Van Dyke Parks: A Yen for Japan

Interview by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, October 1989

Studiously blasé vibes radiate from within the overlit television studio on West 25th Street. Van Dyke Parks, our downwardly mobile country’s greatest unstaged musical-theater composer, ...

The Residents: Taking Care of Business

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, January 1990

The Residents used to be such irritating misfits, what with their art school disguises and grating resentful satires of '60s pop music. Nerds and outsiders ...

Jack Bruce: Basscapades

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, February 1990

If you were born November 26, 1968, the day Cream gave its farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall, let me stand you a legal ...

The House that Rap Built

Overview by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, May 1990

ON FRIDAY night at the Tunnel, Bronx, Jersey, and Brooklyn posses with high-top fades, or one patch of hair dyed psychedelic orange, bob and weave ...

Poison, Warrant, Winger: Poison: Flesh and Blood (Enigma)/Winger: In the Heart of the Young (Atlantic)/Warrant: Cherry Pie (Columbia)

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, September 1990

KIP WINGER is a hunk. And what a perfect hunk he is. With his Harlequin hero name, decepticon logo, and carefully exposed nipple, he's engineered ...

Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Maxi Priest: Lee Perry: From the Secret Laboratory (Mango)/Maxi Priest: Bonafide (Charisma)

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, November 1990

THIS YEAR'S New Music Seminar featured a panel called ‘Reggae in the ‘90s: Does Dancehall Rule?’ Both Jamaican and New York’s regional enthusiasm for dancehall ...

Judas Priest: Touch the Hem of His Garment

Comment by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, January 1991

I TOUCHED Rob Halford's hem. It happened, if you must know, on a gray afternoon in a Marina Del Rey condo owned by the man ...

Cop Shoot Cop: Consumer Revolt

Review by Simon Reynolds, Village Voice, February 1991

'BURN YOUR BRIDGES' is where Cop Shoot Cop proclaim their oblique intentions most plainly – their "anthem," if you will. "Know what you like/Like what ...

Morrissey: Kill Uncle (Sire)

Review by Simon Reynolds, Village Voice, April 1991

"OH MANCHESTER, so much to answer for..." Contradiction has always been at the heart of Morrissey's mythologization of his hometown: this was nostalgia for a ...

Guns N' Roses: Guns N’ Roses: Wimps ‘R’ Us

Essay by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, October 1991

SMART BOYS DON'T talk about anarchy; stupid boys don't know about it. It's hard to imagine, say, Emma Goldman (who, true, was not really a ...

Teenage Fanclub: Teenage Fan Club: Bandwagonesque (DGC)

Review by Simon Reynolds, Village Voice, December 1991

AS A BRIT who spends a lot of time in the U.S., I could hardly fail to notice the scathing scepticism of American hipsters when ...

Michael Jackson: Sound of Breaking Glass: Michael Jackson's Dangerous

Review by Chuck Eddy, Village Voice, December 1991

HEY, SO HOW COME nobody's compared the fucker to There's a Riot Goin' On? Well, maybe Riot without the cocaine. Or okay, okay, Fresh then, ...

Hole: Pretty On The Inside

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, February 1992

COURTNEY LOVE is scary. Much scarier than the witches old (Macbeth's, say) and new (Lydia Lunch, say) whom she occasionally sounds like and whom she ...

House Of Pain: House of Pain: House of Pain (Tommy Boy)

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, July 1992

SPUN OFF from the inspired lunacy of Cypress Hill rapper B-Real's 'Gee, Officer Krupke' whine, the semi-Celtic cartoon called House of Pain is a concept ...

PJ Harvey: Dry (Indigo)

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, July 1992

"SHOW US YER TITS!" is still the rule of thumb for yobbos throughout the global village whenever a woman dares open her mouth a little ...

Mick Jagger: Wandering Spirit

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, March 1993

HE MAY BE a wandering spirit, but Mick Jagger sure doesn't travel light. This simple fact of life informs both the major tragedies and minor ...

The Breeders: The Breeders' Last Splash (Elektra)

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, August 1993

ANALYZING THE BREEDERS may be as useful as deconstructing a good fuck, or for those less carnally inclined, a strawberry shortcake. When it works, you ...

Aphex Twin: Machine Soul: A History Of Techno

Overview by Jon Savage, Village Voice, Summer 1993

Oooh oooh Techno cityHope you enjoy your stayWelcome to Techno cityYou will never want to go away– Cybotron, 'Techno City' (1984) ...

Alice In Chains: Alice in Chains: Jar of Flies (Columbia)

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, March 1994

THE NEAT TRICK Alice in Chains pulled off a coupla weeks ago when their third EP Jar of Flies (Columbia) zipped to the No. 1 ...

Sonic Youth: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (DGC)

Review by Deborah Frost, Village Voice, May 1994

EXPERIMENTAL JET Set, Trash and No Star (DGC) is not the most experimental, jettiest, or trashiest record Sonic Youth or anyone else, for that matter, ...

Prince: Come (Warner Bros.)/1-800-New-Funk (NPG/Bellmark)

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, August 1994

IF YOU HEAR the sound of a gauntlet slapping the floor, it’s only the echo of Come (Warner Bros.) and 1-800-New-Funk (NPG/Bellmark) hitting the racks ...

Robert Earl Keen: Gringo Honeymoon

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, October 1994

ONCE OR TWICE a year I can count on a new country album to sidle up and tear apart my cement-encrusted heart. More often than ...

Bill Frisell: America Lost and Found

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, December 1994

Guitarist Bill Frisell is the cowlick on the towhead of American music. In his most signature mode, he favors a languorous, spacious sound that combines ...

Isaac Hayes: We Like Ike

Profile by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, July 1995

As an opinionated teen in the early ‘70s, I hated Barry White for stealing Isaac Hayes’s sound – even though by 1973 Hayes had evolved ...

Chic: Bernard Edwards, 1952-1996

Obituary by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, May 1996

Bernard Edwards, Tony Thompson, and Nile Rodgers were in Tokyo for the latest in a recent series of reunion concerts when Rodgers discovered his friend ...

DJ Spooky: Spooky After Dark: The DJ as Dead Dreamer

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1996

DJ SPOOKY'S Songs of a Dead Dreamer (Asphodel) magically distills the mysterioso live performances the artist (and occasional Voice contributor) otherwise known as Paul D. ...

Surf Pop: The New Wave

Retrospective by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, September 1996

WAS ANY underground music more quickly and thoroughly mediated by outside forces than surf music? On the cusp of the ‘60s, California’s coastal teen subculture ...

Silver Apples

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, January 1997

AN AKIMBO version of hippie-band staple 'In the Midnight Hour' was the only thing about the Silver Apples' recent appearance suggesting they were anything other ...

The Prodigy: Prodigy: The Fat of the Land

Review by Simon Reynolds, Village Voice, July 1997

SOME SAY the Prodigy have betrayed the bright promise of the "electronica revolution", resulting in a techno-rock hybrid that's not so much kick-ass as half-assed. ...

The Verve: Urban Hymns

Review by Simon Reynolds, Village Voice, November 1997

Damn and blast the Verve. I'd sworn never to fall again for that classic-rock godstar-savior-shaman shtick, that it was gonna be dance music's desiring-machines and ...

Tori Amos: Irving Plaza, NYC

Live Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, April 1998

TORI AMOS believes in the rhythm method. ...

Tom Ze: Tom Zé: Fabrication Defect (Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, May 1998

TOM ZÉ'S peculiar contribution to the Tropicalistas' highly influential 1968 collaborative album Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circencis was the satiric antidevelopment anthem ‘Parque Industrial’, which ...

Smashing Pumpkins: Adore (Virgin)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, May 1998

TRUE, BILLY Corgan has removed most of the guitars, the pounding, the rat-in-a-cage rage from Smashing Pumpkins' new album. But don't worry: he remains stupendously ...

Hole: Celebrity Skin (DGC)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, September 1998

COULDN'T SAY which color most becomes her, but Courtney Love's best vowel is u. She throws herself into them all, of course, like a stage ...

Fix It in the Mix

Book Review by Simon Frith, Village Voice, September 1998

Simon Reynolds: Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (Little, Brown) ...

Barenaked Ladies: Theatre at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Live Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, October 1998

"A ROCK 'N' ROLL show, for us, is a celebratory experience," said the unbearably revivalistic drummer-singer of the opening band Cowboy Mouth last Wednesday. In ...

Vic Chesnutt: Gravity's Rainbow: Vic Chesnutt

Profile by Will Hermes, Village Voice, November 1998

LIKE PLENTY of other folks in wheelchairs, Vic Chesnutt doesn't want your sympathy. In fact, he can challenge the compassion of even those closest to ...

The Black Crowes, Gov't Mule, Widespread Panic: Freebirds All: Southern Rock's Undying Appeal

Overview by Kandia Crazy Horse, Village Voice, December 1998

SOUTHERN ROCK'S masterworks show this century a viable southern heroism: the quest to overcome the dread of Jim Crow and the pall of ruined empire. ...

Ronnie Spector: Life Club, New York City

Live Review by Evelyn McDonnell, Village Voice, December 1998

"BRIAN WILSON wrote this song for me," Ronnie Spector said on Wednesday at her annual holiday party at Life, "but because of publishing and contracts ...

DMX: Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (Def Jam )

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, January 1999

It's like, we all got two sides to us, and it depends on what side of the bed you wake up on. That will depend ...

Death of a Disco Dancer

Report by Frank Owen, Village Voice, February 1999

New details about Tunnel drug overdose allegation ...

Conjunction Junction: The All-Music Guide Wants To Make Scrabble out of Babel

Report by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, February 1999

THE ALL-MUSIC Guide bills itself as "an ongoing project to review and rate all music" – emphasis on the all. ...

The Roots: Things Fall Apart

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, March 1999

USED TO BE, a hiphop love song was something like Rakim's 'Mahogany' or Shallah Raekwon's 'Ice Cream'- tunes celebrating shorties from around the way; hardrocks ...

The Graying of Indie Rock: What do you do for an encore after the spark is gone?

Essay by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, March 1999

WHEN THE guy in Fuck announced his 37th birthday, people thought he was joking. The occasion was too cruddy: the rumpus-room attic of a gross ...

B*Witched: Punkest Band Around

Comment by Metal Mike Saunders, Village Voice, April 1999

ALL RIGHT! You can turn in my Top Ten List thing already: my favorite music of the whole darn year is B*Witched's 'C'est la Vie' ...

Ben Folds Five: The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (550/Epic)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, May 1999

THE NOTORIOUS thing about the "college rock" I grew up on, over a decade ago, the same time Ben Folds was gestating in the university ...

Captain Beefheart: Grow Fins

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, July 1999

SINCE THE 1969 release of Trout Mask Replica, the artist dubbed Captain Beefheart has incarnated the gold standard by which "weirdness" in rock music has ...

Generation Ex: Some Get A Decade; We Get A Moment

Essay by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, July 1999

THIS TIME IT'S personal. High school student Reese Witherspoon leaves teacher Matthew Broderick cursing his so-called life in Election. No shocker; couldn't be a teen ...

Limp Bizkit: Significant Other (Flip/Interscope)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, July 1999

WHEN MTV and BET air the new Eminem video 'Guilty Conscience', they run into the small problem of the song's conclusion, where bad-angel Slim Shady ...

The Ramones: Anthology: Hey Ho Let’s Go! (Warner Archives/Rhino)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, July 1999

FROM THE punk oral history Please Kill Me to Joey and Johnny Ramone on Howard Stern, the mythology around the Ramones lately seems to emphasize ...

Skip Spence : Alexander Spence: Oar; Various Artists: More Oar

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, August 1999

IF EVERY Sgt. Pepper's begets its Satanic Majesties Request, and every Woodstock its Woodstock '99, Alexander "Skip" Spence's post-Bellevue Oar, first released in 1969, resembles ...

Puff Daddy: Forever (Bad Boy)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, September 1999

The first thing I asked him to do was get me a tape from the studio. He came back with it in five minutes. The ...

Gomez: Irving Plaza, NYC

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, September 1999

WHEN GOMEZ SINGS the line from 'Here Comes the Breeze' that goes, "There's no shame in going out of style," you have to admire the ...

Laurie Anderson: Outside the Whale: Laurie Anderson plays Moby

Live Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, October 1999

Songs and Stories From Moby Dick, BAM Opera House, Through October 16 ...

A Golden Age: MTV Names The Only 10 Songs That Matter

Comment by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, October 1999

A COUPLE OF weekends back, MTV presented a late-night Hard Rock A-Z special: wide-ranging sets of several videos in a row, with minimal VJ banter. ...

Tom Verlaine: The Sound of Silents: Tom Verlaine

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, October 1999

IF THE MODEST obligation of a silent-film accompanist is to serve the movie, Tom Verlaine succeeded admirably during his Arts at St. Ann's appearance on ...

A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip: Q-Tip: Amplified (Arista)/A Tribe Called Quest: The Anthology (Jive)

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, December 1999

THE GREATEST AESTHETIC lesson to learn from past masters like David Bowie and Madonna is the value of reinvention. ...

Drive-By Truckers: Pizza Deliverance (Soul Dump/Ghostmeat)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, December 1999

WE DROVE TO Pittsburgh the weekend before Halloween, to watch the leaves change and attend a three-day fest called the Haunted Hillbilly Hoedown. ...

D'Angelo: Voodoo

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, January 2000

I WAS FOREWARNED, and chose not to take heed. You know, how prophecy can get mofos all wound up like Chicken Little with the sky ...

Jay Z, Rakim: Jay-Z: Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter (Roc-A-Fella)/Rakim: The Master (Universal)

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, January 2000

THIS ISN'T A generation-gap piece, really. I ain't even 30. But a lot of folks ain't authentically feeling Rakim Allah; they just takin' the "experts' ...

Wu-Tang Clan: Wuclear Fission: A Nutcase and a Point Guard Rise Above Wu-Tang’s Solo Overkill

Overview by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, February 2000

THE STUPIDEST, greatest, lovingest, most problematic-yet-simple moment in pop last year was a guy not content to be called Ol' Dirty Bastard letting it all ...

Shelby Lynne: I am Shelby Lynne (Island)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, April 2000

HERE'S WHAT intrigues me about Shelby Lynne, the country singer whose new album has been enjoying the sort of blanket media salivation only Dave Eggers ...

Keeping Up With the Napsters

Report by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, May 2000

At Pho, a Thousand E-mails a Month Track the Great Digital Debate ...

Wu-Tang Clan is Sumthing ta Fuck Wit

Report by Frank Owen, Village Voice, May 2000

The world-famous Staten Island hip-hop collective has a government informer working within its ranks; at the same time, the group is being investigated by the ...

Britney Spears: Dear Diary: Britney Spears

Comment by Metal Mike Saunders, Village Voice, June 2000

NOVEMBER 3, 1998, was the release date of the '... Baby One More Time' CD single and 12-inch (w/ 'Autumn Goodbye' on the B side). ...

Jurassic 5: Quality Control (Interscope)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, July 2000

"IN THE sixties we believed in a myth – that music had the power to change people's lives," Stanley Booth writes in the afterword to ...

Napsternomics: The Pop Solution to Downloading

Comment by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, August 2000

HERE'S THE smallest of Napster's ironies: the service shut down last week by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, then granted a stay of execution by the ...

Wyclef Jean: The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (Columbia)

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, September 2000

EVER HAVE A bright idea, a 1000-watt bulb so blazin that it inevitably slides into the collective consciousness of pop culture? Even if the brainstorm ...

Sun Ra: Wooze and Spazz

Overview by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, October 2000

IN HIS FAMOUS essay "Kafka and his Precursors," Jorge Luis Borges argues that Zeno, Han Yu, and Kierkegaard, though nothing alike, all now seem Kafkaesque. ...

Proxy Music: Electing the Pop Star in Chief

Essay by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, October 2000

IN 1822, NOAH Ludlow dressed himself in a buckskin hunting shirt and leggings, donned moccasins and an old slouch hat, put a rifle on his ...

Fatboy Slim: Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

Review by Simon Reynolds, Village Voice, November 2000

FEATURING SAMPLES from a bootleg album of the Lizard King's poetry, Fatboy Slim's new single 'Sunset (Bird of Prey)' isn't the first time Jim Morrison's ...

Paul Simon: You're the One (Warner Bros.)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, November 2000

PAUL SIMON has an image you wouldn't wish on a real estate developer. ...

Black Flag, The Dils, The Germs, The Weirdos: Marc Spitz with Brendan Mullen: We Got the Neutron Bomb - The Untold Story of L.A. Punk

Book Review by Barney Hoskyns, Village Voice, 2001

IT'S KINDA IRONIC that the untold story of the Los Angeles punk scene should be officially told (tolled?) at a time when New York City ...

Remembering Alan Betrock

Obituary by Andy Schwartz, Village Voice, April 2001

Alan Betrock was the passionate fanatic who founded the groundbreaking New York Rocker. Andy Schwartz, who succeeded him as the magazine’s publisher and editor, here ...

Love: Forever Changes(Elektra/Rhino)

Review by Richard Riegel, Village Voice, April 2001

LOVE'S THIRD ALBUM mystified both the band's ardent fans and the scene's founding rockwriters almost from the day it appeared in November 1967. ...

Aaliyah: The Highest, Most Exalted One: Aaliyah, 1979-2001

Obituary by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, August 2001

THREE WEEKS BACK, I lay in a sea-salted bathtub with candles, bubbles, and headphones, listening to Aaliyah. Lamenting the state of my love life during ...

John Mellencamp: Cuttin' Heads (Columbia)

Review by Richard Riegel, Village Voice, December 2001

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN wanted to emulate Woody Guthrie, while John Mellencamp aspired to be the next-to-last David Bowie, and here they are at fateful birthdays 60 ...

John Medeski, John Scofield, Medeski, Martin & Wood : Jam On It: Hippies, Jazzbos, and Beat Junkies Build One Nation Under a Mutant Groove

Report and Interview by Will Hermes, Village Voice, April 2002

LET US NOW praise great Americans: Louis Armstrong, Jerry Garcia, and Grandmaster Flash made their history with equal parts pioneer cojones and improvisatory derring-do. They ...

Joi, Kelis, Me'Shell Ndegeocello: Joi/Ndégeocello/Kelis: Walk on Gilded Splinters

Review by Kandia Crazy Horse, Village Voice, May 2002

Joi: Star Kitty's Revenge; Me'Shell Ndégeocello: Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape; Kelis: Wanderland ...

Lauryn Hill: MTV Unplugged 2.0

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, July 2002

I can faithfully, honestly say that hiphop is dead. – Q-Tip Hiphop being counterculture, underground culture, that's sorta dead. It's all mainstream. It's just ...

Caetano Veloso: Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil (Knopf)

Book Review by Will Hermes, Village Voice, September 2002

IT'S TOUGH TO imagine an American pop star penning a memoir like Tropical Truth. That's not just because our musical celebs are rarely imprisoned for ...

Scissor Sisters

Profile by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, June 2003

NO ONE-SENTENCE summation (no matter how correct or clever) really does justice to the Scissor Sisters. As a girdle-tight, piss-elegant rock unit unafraid to play ...

Drive-By Truckers: Decoration Day (New West)

Review by Kandia Crazy Horse, Village Voice, June 2003

COME HEAR ME real well, boogie chillun, for I'ze 'bout to spin this chronicle of a death foretold. The death of truth, justice, and the ...

Brooks & Dunn: The Long Road Home: Brooks & Dunn Risk Backlash With a Great Rock Album

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, August 2003

IN THE RURAL east Texas graveyard where my father and his parents are buried, just a stone's throw from a black church built on land ...

The Swimming Pool Q's: Royal Academy of Reality

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, August 2003

"HER LIGHT HAS been delayed" are the first words sung by Jeff Calder on a record a decade or more in the making, by a band that's ...

Beyoncé: Pop the Question, Jigga – Miss Fat Booty Gets Some, Gives Some Up Without Shame

Comment by Amy Linden, Village Voice, August 2003

UNLIKE THE B.Lo affair (so ubiquitous it practically has its own action figures), whatever is going on between Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z is under the ...

Bubba Sparxx, Kentucky Headhunters: Bubba Sparxxx: Deliverance (Interscope); Kentucky Headhunters: Soul (Audium/Koch)

Review by Kandia Crazy Horse, Village Voice, September 2003

SO THE GRAPEVINE has Hollyweird pondering a film based on late-1970s TV Dixiana The Dukes of Hazzard. The Grandfather Clause prevents me from voting for ...

Macy Gray, Mya: Macy Gray: The Trouble With Being Myself/Mya
: Moodring


Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, October 2003

BOTH WOMEN crouch nearly nude on their album covers, gazing with feral yet somehow fetal reproach at potential consumers, like naughty fairy changelings who've had ...

Nelly Furtado: Folklore (DreamWorks)

Review by Amy Linden, Village Voice, December 2003

SOME CRITIC I was reading recently (Jayson Blair alert: The following is not this writer's original thought!) observed that the fiddle had emerged as the ...

Johnny Pacheco: Latin Swing's Last Lion: 
Johnny Pacheco Returns to the New York His Salsa Once Changed

Profile and Interview by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, January 2004

DAPPER, CHARISMATIC, and 68 years young, Johnny Pacheco is one of New York's cultural lions, a Juilliard alumnus who revolutionized the way Afro-Latin swing, a/k/a ...

Jet (Australia): Drunks from Down Under take over the garage: Jet's Get Born

Review by Metal Mike Saunders, Village Voice, April 2004

WELL! MY MY MY. Let's take a head count of the biggest names in the way overhyped "garage band" revival: the Hives, the Strokes, the ...

Van Hunt: Van Hunt

Review by Kandia Crazy Horse, Village Voice, April 2004

PREENING, CONFESSING, aloof Atlanta R&B phenom falls short ...

Hanson: Underneath

Review by Kandia Crazy Horse, Village Voice, June 2004

HAVING PASSED out during Hanson's historical 1999 Bob Weir summit at the late Wetlands, this critic can attest to the inexorable power of the towhead ...

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Film/DVD Review by Chuck Eddy, Village Voice, July 2004

LAST FALL, a hilarious 3,000-word review of Metallica's unlistenable St. Anger by some guy named Colin Tappe circulated over the Internet. ...

Putumayo: The Little Label That Could

Report by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, July 2004

WHILE THE REST of the music industry downsizes like mad, an 11-year-old independent label the majors used to snicker at has scored a 15 percent ...

Derek Bailey: Ben Watson: Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation

Book Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, August 2004

FREE IMPROVISATION is the automatic writing, the abstract expressionism, or as British critic Ben Watson most aptly describes it, the "stand-up comedy" of musical performance.  ...

Tom Waits: Real Gone (Anti-)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, November 2004

The eternal hustler works his gloomy-gus shtick and leaves the hipsters wanting more ...

Gwen Stefani: Love. Angel. Music. Baby (Interscope)

Review by Amy Linden, Village Voice, December 2004

LIKE THAT OF her spiritual mommies Madonna and Debbie Harry, Gwen Stefani's appeal knows few boundaries. ...

Lil' Kim: Big Verdict: Lil' Kim Is Seriously Fucked

Comment by Amy Linden, Village Voice, March 2005

ON MARCH 3, in the midst of her highly publicized trial in Manhattan Federal court, a clearly beleaguered Lil' Kim issued a statement through the ...

Letch Patrol, Missing Foundation: Message in a Bottle: Homesteaders Rock the Lower East Side — The Tompkins Square Riots

Retrospective by R.J. Smith, Village Voice, October 2005

August 23, 1988 ...

Prince: 3121

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, May 2006

IN HIS LONG-AGO heyday Prince complimented Kid Creole's backup girls by admiring how Adriana Kaegi "used every beat of the music in her choreography." Evidence ...

Outward Is Heavenward: Modern Gospel

Report by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, July 2006

THERE'S SO MUCH going on in gospel music today that you may have missed when Kirk Franklin paused from promoting Hero, his latest chart-topping CD, ...

Kenny Gonzalez, L'il Louie Vega, Masters at Work: Pure Percussive Pleasure: Kenny Gonzalez and Louie Vega

Report by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, October 2006

GOTHAM'S HIPPEST and happiest underground nightlife owes its origins to the ever-streetwise and affable duo of Brooklyn's Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez and Bronx-bred "Little" Louie Vega, ...

Amy Winehouse: Joe's Pub, NYC

Live Review by Amy Linden, Village Voice, January 2007

WITH HYPE justified by her soon come (and already #1 in the UK) sophomore CD Back To Black), and a Ghostface remix of the slurred, ...

Ozomatli: Don't Mess With the Dragon

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, April 2007

IF YOU'RE A giddy optimist like me, you hope to one day hear Ozomatli's cheerfully rebellious politi-pop wafting from every car radio in New York ...

Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: 1977 New York gets the VH1 treatment and, oh my, wasn't it fun back then!

Retrospective by Will Hermes, Village Voice, July 2007

OH YES, it was wicked cool: getting jacked at machete-point on the subway after a night of clubbing, and at bayonet-point outside of high school. ...

Janet Jackson: Discipline

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, February 2008

SURE, MADONNA repeatedly toyed with BDSM in her videos, but she never publicly admitted to breast and genital piercings like Miss Jackson did. So, in ...

Def Jam at 25: The Yankees of Hip-Hop Labels, Reconsidered

Comment by Amy Linden, Village Voice, October 2009

WHAT IS IT about hip-hop that, inevitably, almost any conversation revolves around dates – around how far back in the day you can claim to ...

CeeLo Green: Cee Lo Green: The Fearless Cee Lo Green

Interview by Amy Linden, Village Voice, November 2010

Will The Lady Killer and 'Fuck You' finally turn him into a solo superstar? ...

David Guetta: Nothing But the Beat

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, August 2011

David Guetta's Dance Music Melting Pot ...

A Look At Pop Around The Globe — From Operatic Creole Harmonies to Riot-Grrl-Inspired French Rappers

Overview by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, October 2011

THE END of the year brings a flurry of world music albums with commercial intentions ranging from the archival to the optimistically opportunistic. ...

Me'Shell Ndegeocello: Meshell Ndegeocello: Weather

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, November 2011

'WEATHER' ISN'T the first Meshell Ndegeocello single to fall into the category of "freak folk," but the album of the same name is her first ...

Etta James, R.I.P.

Retrospective by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, January 2012

ETTA JAMES used to tell a story about meeting Billie Holiday in which Holiday told her — fatherless wild child to fatherless wild child — ...

Gonjasufi: Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn

Live Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, September 2012

Gonjasufi Presses On in the Midst of Technical Chaos ...

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