'Saddle Creek 50'

| Apr 23, 2003

"Saddle Creek 50"

To the surprise of many, the American underground’s most fertile soil is now found on the parched plains of Omaha, Neb. Despite the scarcity of clubs, record shops and other hipster-habitat markers, this remote Midwestern town has cultivated a bumper crop of interesting bands. ...

Cody ChestnuTT's 'The Headphone Masterpiece'

| Mar 12, 2003

Cody ChestnuTT's "The Headphone Masterpiece"

Staring smugly off the cover of his debut double album, “The Headphone Masterpiece,” DIY-soul upstart Cody ChesnuTT looks more than a little full of himself. High-fives from both critics and bands like The Roots and The Strokes could be to blame, but ChesnuTT’s condition ...

Q & Not U

| Mar 5, 2003

Q & Not U

Few words in the English language contain the letter q without the letter u (Iraq and Qi Gong being two exceptions). And in Washington D.C.’s thriving underground scene, very few bands lack some resemblance to hometown heroes Fugazi or any other post-hardcore project from ...

The real deal of high fidelity

Mar 2, 2003

The real deal of high fidelity

Twin sisters Kim and Kelley Deal pass the phone back and forth like siblings accustomed to dividing everything. Today they’re sharing an interview, and only the tone of their near-identical voices indicates who is on the line. Kelley’s measured, Midwestern accent remains at a ...

Mary Lorson and Billy Cote: 'Piano Creeps'

| Feb 19, 2003

Mary Lorson and Billy Cote: "Piano Creeps"

Aside from a newborn and an overlooked body of work, Mary Lorson and Billy Cote share a passion for film. After their band, Madder Rose, died from a bad case of under-appreciation in 1999, they began to compose music for motion pictures whenever they ...

Massive Attack

| Feb 12, 2003

Massive Attack

No one would call the trip-hop architects of Massive Attack hopeless romantics, but I suspect that their music has been enjoyed in just as many bedrooms as clubs. Their collages of seductive vocals and slow, fleshy beats appears to activate all the appropriate hormones ...

Baka Beyond: 'Heart of the Forest'

| Feb 5, 2003

Baka Beyond: "Heart of the Forest"

Before we get into the new album by the world-beat collective, Baka Beyond, let’s get something straight about the name. In Japan, “baka” may be what you call your boss behind his back, but this four-letter word also denotes the pygmy tribe indigenous to ...

'Synkretizm: A Mountain Thinking the River Fire.'

| Jan 29, 2003

"Synkretizm: A Mountain Thinking the River Fire."

Voodoo, with its mix of West African mysticism and French Catholicism, plays a vital role in the lives of Haiti’s rural poor, but it gets a bad rap elsewhere. For the faithful, the communion of saints and shamans offers even the most piteous peasant ...