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Download the RealPlayer FREE! 3. James Blood Ulmer, Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions (Label M). Ulmer drags his dirty guitar back to his blues basement and, with Vernon Reid along as a foil, blasts out the truest possible tribute to the late John Lee Hooker. They pull a sound from the new Sun Studio that packs enough meat to feed Howlin’ Wolf (who recorded for Chess at the old one). Gnarly.Listen to Drunk Horse: Real Audio Format AM/FM Shoes
Download the RealPlayer FREE! 4. Drunk Horse, Tanning Salon/Biblical Proportions (Man’s Ruin) and at Spaceland 4/19. It seemed unlikely that the twin guitars of the Bay Area’s Drunk Horse would bust as much sod and raise as much hair live as they do on record. But they did.5. Motley Crue, Lewd, Crued & Tattooed (Beyond/Motley Records/House of Blues DVD) and The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band (ReganBooks/HarperCollins). The Crue seemed shipwrecked last year in the wake of drummer Tommy Lee’s departure and the weak New Tattoo, but their live DVD (featuring Hole’s slammin’ Samantha Maloney on skins) proves they’re still high and not yet dry. Their autobiography may also be the most disgusting and heartbreaking in a highly competitive field. Sur-Prizes: Listen to Destroy All Nels Cline: Real Audio Format Friends of Snowman Download the RealPlayer FREE! 1. Destroy All Nels Cline(Atavistic). Nels Cline and his guitar army swarm through a hive of layered electricity, with the last five songs standing as one of the heaviest sequences you’ll ever hear. Play it loud. Listen to Cuong Vu: Real Audio Format Dreams, Come Play With Me
Download the RealPlayer FREE! 2. Cuong Vu, Come Play With Me (Knitting Factory). With kilowatters like Cline, Vu and Nils Petter Molvær in the vanguard, electronic texture-jazz may soon conquer the world. Come Play With Me, a worthy follow-up to last year’s extraordinary Pure, will drag your fibers through the cosmic comb. Beautiful and surreal.3. David S. Ware Quartet, Corridors & Parallels (Aum Fidelity). Matthew Shipp, who usually plays acoustic piano, brings his synthesizer to make sure the ever-exploratory tenor man Ware isn’t left outside the electronic circus. Along with William Parker (bass) and Guillermo E. Brown (drums), they drone and freak in a sci-fi playground where no man has gone before. And if you think C&P is a trip, wait’ll you hear Shipp plugged in and grooving with Parker and Brown on his own Nu Bopnext month. Listen to Leon Parker: Real Audio Format Caravan
Download the RealPlayer FREE! 4. Leon Parker, The Simple Life (Label M). Drummer Parker (no relation, except spiritually) offers 15 ways to spell perfection. Genius often coincides with simplicity: Parker makes jazz for all mankind.5. Charles Lloyd, Hyperion With Higgins (ECM). Lloyd grabbed as many opportunities as he could to record with his old friend Billy Higgins when the drummer’s days on terra firma were growing short, and Higgins always transcended. Hyperion is full of gentle twists, the cast (including John Abercrombie, Brad Mehldau and Larry Grenadier) is stellar, and Lloyd’s tenor breathes through the universal lung. Dan Epstein’s Year in Music 2001
Best Soul Record: The Isley Brothers, Eternal (DreamWorks).
Best Rock Record: The Tyde, Once (Orange Sky).
Best Punk Record: The Excessories, Pure Pop for Punk People(Sympathy for the Record Industry).
Best Punk Record, Aussie Division: The Living End, Roll On(Reprise).
Best Hard Rock Record: P.O.D., Satellite(Atlantic).
Best Old-School Hard Rock Record (tie): Electric Wizard, Dopethrone(The Music Cartel); Fireball Ministry, FMEP (Small Stone).
Retro-Futurists of the Year: Mellow, Another Mellow Spring(CyberOctave); Zero 7, Simple Things (Palm).
Best Reason To Still Have Faith in Guitar Pop: The Orange Peels, So Far (SpinART).
Best Chicago Blues Record of the Last Quarter Century: Buddy Guy, Sweet Tea (Silvertone).
Classiest Comeback: Ian Hunter, Rant (Fuel 2000).
Classiest Farewell: Baby Lemonade, The High Life Suite (Sympathy for the Record Industry).
Great Bands, Disappointing Records: Monster Magnet, God Says No(A&M); Spiritualized, Let It Come Down(Arista); Air, 10,000Hz Legend (Source).
Bands That Still Haven’t Cured Cancer or Achieved World Peace, Despite Copious Critical Hype to the Contrary: The White Stripes, The Strokes, Radiohead (again).