'el Christmas: The World in Winter'

| Dec 18, 2002

"el Christmas: The World in Winter"

Before British label el records went belly up, they were considered one of the hippest dispensers of candy-coated twee-pop and lounge music from the ’70s and ’80s. A holiday compilation album pulled from el’s catalog of aural confectionary makes perfect sense as so much ...

The Roots: 'Phrenology'

| Dec 11, 2002

The Roots: "Phrenology"

‘They have reached the level of their dreams: a major-label record deal and some international notoriety. But for all that, their concept has not yet blown up, and it is possible it won’t.” These words end “Illadelph Halflife,” the third album by jazz-rap hybrid, ...

| Dec 4, 2002

Aphex Twin: "Out From Out Where"

Techno music is never short on energy, but with artists now letting their laptop algorithms call the shots, electronica often comes up dreadfully short on actual human emotion. Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) best displays this embrace of the cold, clinical side of ...

Sigur Ros: 'Kid-A'

| Nov 27, 2002

Sigur Ros: "Kid-A"

When listening to Icelandic postrock outfit Sigur Ros, it’s easy to conjure up romantic images of their homeland: frosted clouds framing a cobalt sky, ice monoliths frozen stoically over ancient lava plains, muffled blasts of the geothermal powerhouse deep below. These postcard shots may ...

Mr. Lif: 'I Phantom'

| Oct 23, 2002

Mr. Lif: "I Phantom"

In recent years, no other music has suffered more identity crises than hip-hop. Chat rooms and studios are constantly boiling over with debate over what direction urban poetry should take, while the airwaves are smattered with mixed messages on how it can achieve artistic ...

| 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 ...