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Hard-Core Fun

Sex-o-Rama 2: Classic Adult Film Music (Oglio) Porn to Rock (Callner Music) By Joshua Green Even before Hollywood bestowed upon Burt Reynolds an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a good-hearted pornographer in Boogie Nights, porn was well on its way to mainstream acceptance. The movie–and the movie’s success–merely confirmed its status as a staple […]

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Stop the Madness

Lee “Scratch” Perry at House of Blues, February 23 By Joshua Green There’s a tacit understanding among hard-core reggae fans that when a critic refers to a performer as “the next Bob Marley” he’s either ignorant, lazy, or both. Lately a similar disdain has developed for writers who deify Lee “Scratch” Perry without regard to […]

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Jah Junk

Don Carlos 7 Days a Week (RAS) Itals Modern Age (RAS) By Joshua Green The specter of Ziggy Marley pimping for Cover Girl this summer pretty well summed up the sorry state of roots reggae today. Certainly the son of the world’s most famous Rastafarian doesn’t need to sell nail polish. But nothing–not even the […]

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Hair Today

Slaughter Revolution (CMC International) Warrant Belly to Belly (CMC International) Dokken Shadowlife (CMC International) By Joshua Green For the better part of the Alternative Decade, being a heavy-metal fan has been no picnic–and even today, with Ozzfest lumbering toward us for the second year in a row, those who consider themselves more musically enlightened still […]

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Shallow Roots

Buju Banton Inna Heights (VP Records/Germain Music) By Joshua Green It’s not too tough these days for a fallen star to clamber back into the public’s good graces. Marv Albert hit the talk show circuit before the ink was dry on his plea bargain; a newly penitent Mike Tyson landed a gig with the World […]

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Rhythm Nation

Skatalites Foundation Ska (Heartbeat) By Joshua Green Nowadays musicians tend to take for granted their ability to raise political awareness; for some it’s all in a day’s work. But popular music hasn’t always reflected the politics of the populace, and in the heady atmosphere of postcolonial Jamaica, the practice was still practically unheard of. Though […]

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Fall of a Legend

Toots and the Maytals Recoup (Alla Son) When elders of the Central Eskimos of northern Canada grow too frail to contribute to the community, younger folk put them on an ice floe, give it a shove, and wave good-bye as grandma or grandpa drifts off to a cold, isolated death. Though he hails from warmer […]