| Oct 17, 2002

Doug Martsch: "Now You Know"

When rock musicians “rediscover” the blues, it usually means one of two things: They feel a need to step back from their careers and look at one origin of their craft, or they’ve run out of ideas and need to give writer’s block a ...

Manu Chao: 'Radio Bemba Sound System'

| Oct 9, 2002

Manu Chao: "Radio Bemba Sound System"

Ask anyone who saw Manu Chao at Fuji Rock this year, and they’ll tell you it was the best show of the festival. Volunteering to perform a pre-event set on the day they arrived, Chao and his band, Radio Bemba Sound System, blew the ...

| Oct 2, 2002

Cowtown: "Ghost Train"

The fusion of jazz and country music may seem new, but what is now called western swing first took root more than 60 years ago. It was then that Bob Wills and his band, The Texas Playboys, fused cowboy twang with the big band ...

Cruise: 'The Art of Being a Girl'

| Sep 18, 2002

Cruise: "The Art of Being a Girl"

It’s hard to think of Julee Cruise without conjuring up images of cursing madmen or midgets in red-curtained rooms. Ever since her ghostly lullabies hovered eerily over the movie “Blue Velvet” and the ’80s bizarro hit TV series “Twin Peaks,” people assumed that she ...

Interpol: 'Turn on the Bright Lights'

| Sep 4, 2002

Interpol: "Turn on the Bright Lights"

Back in high school, my art and drama classes were spent hanging out with the goth-rockers and burnouts who slouched over the corner table. As we gushed over bands like Bauhaus, Joy Division and Wire, we etched their names on our jeans with crappy, ...

Guided by Voices: 'Universal Truths and Cycles'

| Aug 28, 2002

Guided by Voices: "Universal Truths and Cycles"

Hype moves in mysterious ways. Take the band Guided by Voices, for example. Although frothy fanatics such as myself have been touting GBV as the best rock ‘n’ roll band on the planet for years, our claims were often met with little more than ...

Janet Klein: past perfect

Aug 14, 2002

Janet Klein: past perfect

Janet Klein’s ukulele is no gimmick. Nor are her “obscure, lovely and naughty songs from the ’10s, ’20s and ’30s.” Klein and her L.A.-based band, The Parlor Boys, are about as real a deal as it gets. More than just fans of phonographs and ...

| Aug 14, 2002

The Flaming Lips': "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots"

Meet Yoshimi. She’s a black belt in karate. She keeps in shape and takes her vitamins, because, well, it gets tough fighting giant androids bent on world domination. The relativity of time, the finality of death and the drama of this Japanese lass going ...

Sonic Youth: Murray Street

| Aug 7, 2002

Sonic Youth: Murray Street

Jim O’Rourke is on a roll. First, post-rock’s poster child released his best solo effort, “Insignificance,” late last year, and now he’s on two of the best albums of 2002. As well as having produced Wilco’s breakthrough album, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” O’Rourke has become ...

It takes a village . . .

Jul 17, 2002

It takes a village . . .

The feat of building a community takes vision, commitment and lots of time. But once every year, a massive village materializes on a mountainside in Niigata Prefecture in late July, only to vanish into thin air less than a week later. This temporary township ...