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Issue #10, Winter 2001
This issue went into production before the tragedy of Septemeber 11 and was shipped to the printer several weeks afterwards. Like everyone else, we were totally devastated by the disaster. Our first response was to think that the Music Issue now seemed unimportant in the scheme of things. But as we sat around listening to a mix of Leonard Cohen, Chemical Brothers, Bob Dylan, and Beethoven quartets, we quickly realized that now more than ever we need music—and good writing about great music. When the going gets tough, the tough break out their bongos. We were aided considerably by contributing editor Rick Moody, who sat in as consulting editor for this issue. We are extremely grateful for his knowledge, vision, and patience. IWe hold our lighters high in appreciation and celebration.
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Jonathan Lethem, Madison Smartt Bell, Frederick Turner, David Ryan
LINER NOTE • Never knowing the name of the singers whose song stirs us is knowing too little; tracing their lives to the last chapter, it seems possible to know too much.
ANYTHING GOES • An excerpt from the upcoming novel Anything Goes. 'There's this singer,' my father said.
THE COTTON CLUB • An excerpt from 1929: A Novel of the Jazz Age. 'Inside the door Johnson holds open for you, you get the same heady mixture of color, crime, and high style.'
NEEDLE PARK • At our feet, the used needles, thousands, applauded as we walked over them.
LOW DOWN • A daughter's bittersweet account of life with jazz great Joe Albany.
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Julio Marzán, C.K. Williams, Judith Hall, Adam Zagajewski, Zoë Anglesey, Sean Singer
UNDRESSING MR. WIGGLES
LETTER TO IVIE
LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND CONSEQUENCES
Rick Moody, Lawrence Joseph, Andrew Hultkrans, Geoffrey O'Brien, Nina Bernstein Simmons, David Grubbs, Darcey Steinke, Eliot Weinberger, Robert Polito, Shusha Guppy, Quincy Troupe
On Meredith Monk • If you could do a dual interview with any artist on earth, who would it be?
THE MUSIC IS • Diggin' the deep roots of Detroit R&B.
Brian Wilson: Not the Little Boy I Once Knew • When good vibrations go bad.
SILENCE IN THE AGE OF NOISE • Cutting through sonic overload.
FAR EAST SIDE STORY • The Beijing Orchestra's Crash Course in Leonard Bernstein.
BONG BONG BONG (SILENCE) • Finding the space between the notes with Tokyo's avant-garde.
MY GUITAR • The author, in her late thirties, puts down her pen and picks up a guitar.
WHERE THE KALULI LIVE • The click clack sing-song of the South Pacific.
SHADOW PLAY: B-C-D AND BACK • Are Dylan's bootlegs the true text?
LA CHANSON FRANÇAISE • For the love of the thousand-year-old song.
THE CONTEMPORARY POP MUSIC OF AFRICA: AN APPRECIATION • The poet on the Americanization of ooga booga.
Francine Prose interviews Leon Michels. • Talking sax with mom.
Lost & Found:
Ken Tucker, Bill Wadsworth, Nuar Alsadir, Edward Hill, Richard Edson
FIGHTING THE BOTTLE: WEBB PIERCE'S COUNTRY CLASSIC, 'THERE STANDS THE GLASS.'
NO MORE BULL: SANDY BULL AND THE DEEP SONG OF THE SIXTIES.
SISYPHUS RISING: NICK DRAKE'S HOUR OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
MIXED UP CONFUSION: DECIPHERING BOB DYLAN'S ONLY BOOK, TARANTULA.
JAZZ HEAVEN: '!!!!!IMPULSE!!!!!ART BLAKEY!!!!!JAZZ MESSENGERS!!!!!'
The Last Word:
REFLECTIONS IN THE MIRROR • The complete song titles of the 'Poet of the Common Man.'