Posted inNews & Politics

Unfair Sentence

Headline To the editor: Number One Cup bandleader Seth Cohen critiques Liz Phair from behind the pseudonym Warren Sentence (Rock, Etc., October 30), but I’m the Cowardly Lion? Couldn’t I at least have been a munchkin, or better yet, one of them flying monkeys? Jim DeRogatis Chicago Sun-Times

Posted inMusic

Lost Voices

Brian Eno The Drop (Thirsty Ear) Colin Newman Bastard (Swim) By Jim DeRogatis Brian Eno and Colin Newman are two of my favorite singers. Though neither is very good in the classical sense, both have in spades what it takes in the rock ‘n’ roll realm: character, chutzpah, and an endearing uniqueness. But you won’t […]

Posted inMusic

Trojan Horses

Spice Girls Spice (Virgin) Prodigy The Fat of the Land (Maverick/Warner Brothers) By Jim DeRogatis On the books, England just took a giant step to the left. In May the conservative Tories suffered their worst defeat since 1832, as former rocker Tony Blair became prime minister, the Labour Party took power by the largest margin […]

Posted inMusic

Mercenary Visionary

Lee “Scratch” Perry Arkology (Island Jamaica/Chronicles) By Jim DeRogatis In our zeal to make sense of new and ever-evolving musical genres, we’re always quick to hold up a sound from the past as (Lord, I hate this word) “seminal.” But in honor of Arkology, the new collection of reggae rarities produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry […]

Posted inMusic

Quantity Over Quality

Guided by Voices Mag Earwhig! (Matador) By Jim DeRogatis Earwhig is British slang for that blabbermouth at the end of the bar who fancies himself the world’s greatest storyteller. There’s a metaphor here for Guided by Voices’ way-beyond-prolific leader, Robert Pollard. Sure, he labored admirably over his four-track down in that now-famous Dayton, Ohio, basement […]

Posted inMusic

Living Large

Candye Kane Diva la Grande (Antone’s/Discovery) By Jim DeRogatis Turn on MTV or modern-rock radio these days and you can’t escape an emaciated waif named Meredith Brooks crooning, “I’m a bitch / I’m a lover / I’m a child / I’m a mother / I’m a sinner / I’m a saint / I do not […]

Posted inMusic

Tripped Out

Terrastock: The Ptolemaic Providence Perambulation Rogue Lounge, Providence, Rhode Island April 25-27 By Jim DeRogatis By the time they got to Terrastock, they were about 600 strong. I mention this up top because the small but dedicated crowd that gathered for three days of peace, love, and modern psychedelic rock in a 200-year-old red-brick mill […]

Posted inFilm

Fool for Love

Private Parts Rating — Worthless Directed by Betty Thomas Written by Len Blum and Michael Kalesniko With Howard Stern, Robin Quivers, Mary McCormack, Fred Norris, Jackie Martling, Gary Dell’Abate, Richard Portnow, and Kelly Bishop. By Jim DeRogatis Sometime during the orgy of promotion for the empty propaganda film that is Private Parts, Howard Stern taped […]

Posted inMusic

False Alarmist

Fred Goodman The Mansion on the Hill (Times Books) By Jim DeRogatis With the rarest of exceptions, the music industry is a festering slime pit populated by rabid weasels, a soulless corporate machine devoid of morals and compassion and dedicated to the pursuit of the almighty dollar, artistic integrity be damned. This isn’t news to […]

Posted inMusic

Curiouser and Curiouser

Julian Cope Interpreter (Kak/Echo) By Jim DeRogatis In theory, at least, rock ‘n’ roll is the music of freedom and individuality and antiauthoritarianism, so it follows that we make heroes (if not millionaires) of those who forge their own distinctive paths, from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to George Clinton to that guy who used to be […]

Posted inMusic

Amateur Hour

The Rough Guide to Rock (Rough Guides/Penguin) By Jim DeRogatis As a high school senior and aspiring rock writer, I had the opportunity to interview one of my heroes, rock critic Lester Bangs, two weeks before he died in his sleep from an overdose of Darvon in the spring of 1982. “What makes your opinion […]

Posted inMusic

Loud and Proud

Screeching Weasel Bark Like a Dog (Fat Wreck Chords) Manowar Louder Than Hell (Geffen) By Jim DeRogatis Classy perfumeries usually make available small glass canisters of coffee beans so that you can take a whiff between sniffs, cleansing your olfactory palate before moving on to the next delicate mixture of fancy aromatics. In this age […]