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1/29/2008 at 4:19 p.m.
Shelby Lynne Meets Dusty and Does Right by Her
Recorded in just five days, with only one original track, and based on a concept hatched by Barry Manilow, this Nashville refugee’s latest sounds like a stopgap at best — until you actually listen to it.
1/29/2008 at 3:00 p.m.
Columbia Professor Gathers Data at Gunpoint
In his penetrating book
Gang Leader for a Day, the Columbia prof recounts his time infiltrating and, yes, overseeing, for one day, Chicago's gangbangers.
1/28/2008 at 5:30 p.m.
D.J. Conjures Beats From Genres You Should Know
When Jay-Z told us “you ain't got enough stamps in your passport to fuck with young H-O,” we shrugged; if the scrappy Montreal D.J. Ghislain Poirier were to make the same boast, we’d nod vigorously in agreement.
1/28/2008 at 2:00 p.m.
‘Odelay,’ the Best Album of 1996, Goes ‘Deluxe’
Before reinventing himself as a melancholy Scientologist, Beck Hansen proudly rap-sung about rocking the plastic like a man from the Catskills, passing the dutchie from coast to coast, and doing the hot-dog dance.
1/14/2008 at 12:00 p.m.
Magnetic Fields Redeem Bitter Plight of Human Existence
Stephen Merritt is almost a music academic: cold, detached, mathematical, studying pop form in order to bend it to his will.
1/11/2008 at 2:00 p.m.
Medeski, Martin & Wood Devote Their Jazz Talent to Kids
Moments of mayhem mix with the sweet sounds of children in this first family CD by New York’s (arguably) premier alt-jazz trio.
12/31/2007 at 10:00 a.m.
‘Golden Opportunities Mixtape’ is gloomy, great—and free.
Now free on the band’s site is
Golden Opportunities Mixtape, a collection of covers and one original track, all recorded at various radio stations, gigs, and "empty hotel stairwells."
12/10/2007 at 11:45 a.m.
Kids play Steve Reich better than he can.
When a 1976 work became the obsession of a group at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, it was clear that New York had lost its exclusive on Steve Reich.
12/3/2007 at 5:10 p.m.
Once again, Ghostface Killah makes year’s best rap disc.
Big Doe Rehab’s coke-slingin’ dramas do not miss—it's hard to imagine that any of the thousand rap records coming out next month will best this one.
12/3/2007 at 2:00 p.m.
Barbez front man’s latest inspired by Paul Celan’s poetry.
Dan Kaufman, of the band Barbez, has recorded a quiet, haunting album of rock songs after the astringent poetry of Paul Celan that is admirable in its unpretentious literariness.
11/20/2007 at 3:38 p.m.
A throwback comeback album from Roc-a-Fella's Freeway.
Free At Last's tracks are classic throwbacks, full of seventies-soul samples backing the bearded one’s gruff vocals.
11/14/2007 at 3:18 p.m.
‘Phineas McBoof’ is a story album for lil’ scat-humor fans.
This enormously silly CD is perfect for little ones just discovering scatological humor (that is to say, poop jokes).
11/13/2007 at 4:35 p.m.
Sérgio and Odair Assad multiply two guitars by 40 years.
The Brazilian guitar duo Sérgio and Odair Assad have been collaborating for over 40 years, and this recent album is a blissful testament to the richness of their pairing.
11/9/2007 at 3:59 p.m.
Alicia Keys's ‘As I Am’: Just the way we like her.
Alicia Keys is
smooth. And smart, and controlled — put unromantically, a sort of R&B player piano with songs you want to hear again and again.
11/6/2007 at 3:01 p.m.
Jay-Z's ‘American Gangster’: Everything the movie is not.
Jay-Z’s Frank Lucas–inspired glance back at the crack-as-opposed-to-salad days, wherein the resurgent master artfully skirts tearful regret and unchecked braggadocio.
10/24/2007 at 6:16 p.m.
Coheed and Cambria advance a mind-blowing tetralogy.
Geekery sublimates into full-throttle catharsis on
No World For Tomorrow, a combination of fleet tempos, ultra-sticky choruses, and unreconstructed heavy-metal wanking.