The NY Times Discovers Rap and Hip-Hop

My goal was to unearth the earliest writing about rap music in the daily paper of record serving the metropolis that gave birth to said form. Like the term “punk rock,” prehistoric New York Times appearances of which I catalogued last week, It’s fairly simple to archivally search “rap music” or “hip-hop.” But not so… Continue reading The NY Times Discovers Rap and Hip-Hop

Collage Licks, 2004

18 years later, Department of Eagles is still easily the dullest of these three records (I checked, last week), though 18:51 of Mr. Dibbs’s “Porntablist” is quite the unbearable endurance test. (In immortal words of my friend Michael Hall when he was in Wild Seeds, “I’m Sorry, I Can’t Rock You All Night Long.”) As… Continue reading Collage Licks, 2004

Francophone Lands Licks, 2003

Post-script: Bertrand Cantant was eventually convicted of “murder with indirect intent,” and spent less than four years in prison. Three years after his 2007 release, his ex-wife committed suicide with him in the house. In 2012, he appeared on an Amadou and Miriam album. A solo set he released in 2017 charted at #13 in… Continue reading Francophone Lands Licks, 2003

Science Experiment Licks, 2003

Times change: I’d now take Tom Hamilton and pals over Themselves. Art fades: I see no trace of the middle one anywhere on the Internet. TOM HAMILTON/MIKE SILVERTON/AL MARGOLIS Analogue Smoque For an hour and 40 minutes randomly divided into 15 tracks over two discs, keyboardist Hamilton and multi-instrumentalist “sound fingerpainter” Margolis seemingly leave power… Continue reading Science Experiment Licks, 2003

Teenpop Licks, 2003

Last two times I tried to play the Becky Baeling CD (still in my house somewhere, though maybe not forever) I wasn’t hearing it at all — maybe I’ve gone deaf; more likely I was conned by her cover photo. Cooler Kids are about what I say they are; Kumbia Kings are better. COOLER KIDS… Continue reading Teenpop Licks, 2003

Country Lady Licks, 2004

Fun Fact: The next Elizabeth McQueen and the FireBrands album was an all-pub-rock-covers record, partially inspired by this review! ELIZABETH MCQUEEN & THE FIREBRANDS The Fresh Up Club No confirmation that the two songs addressed to a former love interest no longer in the band concern Asleep at the Wheeler David Sanger, who produced the… Continue reading Country Lady Licks, 2004

Latin Licks, 2003

Zemog El Gallo Beuno’s vocals don’t bother me so much anymore. The El Gran Silencio and Jenni Rivera albums (the latter of which turns out to be a tribute record, which I apparently didn’t know at the time) aren’t quite as great as I suggest here, but they’re not bad. Rivera, it saddens me to… Continue reading Latin Licks, 2003

Eccentric Electronica and Backpack Rap Licks, 2003

Now think I underrated both rap albums. Still love the techno album. PIMP DADDY NASH The New Jazz Science Orlando oddball whose seventh-grade fave rave was “Pop Muzik” by M breaks New Year’s resolutions, bites “Tom Sawyer,” pays blatant homage three times to early-’80s Prince, quotes Götterdämmerung in a film-noir cadence recalling fellow Florida Wagner buff Bob… Continue reading Eccentric Electronica and Backpack Rap Licks, 2003

1-girl:2-boy Amerindie Trio Licks, 2003

CORDELIA’S DAD “Jane”/”Promise”/“Closing Year” Last year, in “Camile’s Not Afraid of the Barn,” these indie-rock-moonlighting Massachusetts folk festival standbys set mysterious words about beached sharks, pellet guns, Chinatown firecrackers, and the smell of dirtbikes to a riff from “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction. Their new three-inch CD EP leads, coincidentally, with a traditional upstate-NY ballad… Continue reading 1-girl:2-boy Amerindie Trio Licks, 2003

Confusingly Named Background Gloom Licks, 2003

RAPTURE, Songs for the Withering The Rapture that Williamsburgers don’t know are a heavy-hearted quintet of Helsinki codeine-metal fops who quote Emily Brontë and Sophocles on their lyric sheet and gorgeously balance light croons with heavy grumbles about cold years and hangings and maggots (“our only friends”) and “bad dreams, hollow sleep of dark rooms,… Continue reading Confusingly Named Background Gloom Licks, 2003