By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Most Compelling Musical Argument for Forced Buggery: Rammstein, Mutter (Republic).
Best Box Sets: Nuggets II — Original Artyfacts From the British Empire and Beyond, 1964–1969(Rhino); Buffalo Springfield, Box Set(Rhino); The Velvet Underground, Bootleg Series, Volume 1: The Quine Tapes (Polydor).
Most Welcome Reissues: The first four Ramones albums (Rhino); the first four Blondie albums (Chrysalis); The Soft Boys, Underwater Moonlight (Matador); Judas Priest, Unleashed in the East(Legacy); The Rutles — All You Need Is Cash on DVD (Rhino).
Most Unforgettable In-Concert Moment: Gary Puckett & the Union Gap’s "Tribute to Jimi Hendrix" medley at the Greek Theater on June 24, complete with Puckett pulling a two-handed "tapping" solo on a white Stratocaster.
Sleep Well, Sweet Friends: George Harrison, Joey Ramone.Ernest Hardy’s Music 2001
Hype is the backbone of the modern music industry, and this year saw that spine contorted into ridiculous shapes, propping up the banal and cracking beneath the weight of true creativity. Somewhere Phyllis Hyman is screaming, "Alicia Fucking Keys?!?!" Sometimes, though, the backfire was a godsend: Craig David’s insipid teeny-bopper lyrics, monotonous two-step grooves and pretty-boy looks failed to make him the stateside sensation he’s been around the world. All praise to Allah. Talented but overrated were Bilal, Res and Wigga Costa. Pure hype with no payoff: Mystic, Sunshine Anderson, Lina and Musiq Soulchild. Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun (Motown) (officially a late-2000 release) not only held up throughout the year, but with each spin proved itself a too-deep hip-hop classic; it’ll be "got" at some later date. Hands in the air for Angie Stone, Blaze, Jill Scott, Kings of Tomorrow, Ursula Rucker and the still-underrated Ultra Nate. Keep them there for OutKast, De La Soul, Tricky, India.Arie, Sophie B. Hawkins, and the illest diva, Missy Elliott. Irrelevant, cockroach-resilient divas Janet Jackson and Madonna gave tours that were yawningly formulaic and numbingly pretentious, respectively; both were shown up by the transcendent musicality of Sade — the woman and the group — with the Lover’s Rock tour. And her "King of Sorrow" was the best music video of 2001. The year’s soundtrack was found in the past: Earth, Wind & Fire ("Happy Feeling," "Be Ever Wonderful," "Keep Your Head to the Sky," "That’s the Way of the World"), Teddy Pendergrass ("Do Me," "Somebody Told Me," "Cold, Cold, World," "It Don’t Hurt Now") and the collected works of Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Eva Cassidy and embattled hero Gil Scott-Heron. Aaliyah’s "Rock the Boat" was the sexiest radio track of the year, but it’s painful to watch the accompanying video. The "gay rapper" crouched out of hip-hop’s shadows but was upstaged by "straight" rappers with names like Nelly, Fabolous and Mr. Cheeks. Negroes across America should file a class-action suit versus BET and MTV for perpetuation of crimes against the race under the guise of multiculturalism. The suit should be expanded to include the movie studios that released hip-hop-cinema dreck: Bones, The Wash and How High. Hope for 2002: Me’Shell Ndegéocello’s Cookie: The Anthropological Mix Tape(Maverick) and Q-Tip’s Kamaal the Abstract (Arista).Jonny Whiteside’s Top 10 2001 1. Knoxville Girls, In a Paper Suit (In the Red). Most NYC rock & roll hipsters simply make jerks out of themselves; this artful crew is the exception that proves the rule. 2. The Damned, Grave Disorder (Nitro). While this occasionally goth-goon pandering effort ain’t exactly perfect, it’s the best they’ve managed in years — inviting Scabies back would’ve made all the difference. 3. Andre Williams, Bait and Switch (Norton). Cult R&B hero finally nails a solid platter, with a little help from Ronnie Spector and Rudy Ray Moore. 4. Ike Turner, Here and Now (Ikon). Hard revelatory blues from this relentlessly maligned master, in his first new album for decades. 5. Shaver, The Earth Rolls On (New West). Billy Joe and son Eddy’s final collaborative set, and the tragic OD loss of the latter adds a ton of poignant weight to an outstanding album. 6. Bare Jr., Brainwasher (Virgin). Where John Carter Cash and Shooter Jennings misfire, Bobby Bare Jr. comes through — a high-brat rock & roller gnashing through tunes like "Why Do I Need a Job?" "God Doesn’t Know My Name." 7. The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide in Black (In the Red). A slew of classic soul covers all messed up by the radical fuzz guitar treatment of Mick Collins, self-proclaimed "last black man in rock & roll" (although it is a bit difficult to get behind a brother who calls himself "Mick"). 8. Dexter Romweber, Chased by Martians (Manifesto). Plangent, furious, idiosyncratic; this former Flat Duo Jets leader always comes through. 9. Merle Haggard, Roots (Anti). Hag reintroduces MIA-for-44-years Lefty Frizzell guitarist Norm Stephens with this sublime dose of hardcore 1952 honky-tonk. 10. Red Simpson,Hey Bin Laden (Wagon Wheel). California’s other great country singer-songwriter nails the general mood with typically low-key aplomb. Andrew Lentz’s Good, Bad & Noteworthy Releases 2001 "Ass and titties, ass and titties, ass and titties, ass and titties, ass?" . . . Annoying, isn’t it? That’s the crux of ghetto-tech honcho DJ Assault’s Jefferson Ave. (Intuit-Solar). Beavis and Butthead might find it titillating, though . . . Be wary of Brits who rely on gospel choirs and 65-piece orchestras to get their soul on. Still, Spiritualized’s Let It Come Down (Arista) swells without being turgid . . . Jargony lyrics and art-school theory clutter Le Tigre’s pop pastiche Feminist Sweepstakes(Mr. Lady), but these übergrrrls are so beguiling they’ll have date-raping frat boys reading Susan Faludi essays . . . Zero 7’s creamy Simple Things (Palm) swirls back-lit horns, balmy synths, oozing bass and diva songbirds so that — yes — time will momentarily stop . . . Composer Clint Mansell doesn’t need the visual aid of indie flick Requiem for a Dream to suffocate you, his film score sucks the air out of the room all by itself (Nonesuch) . . . Must have been the 20-hour darkness of the Icelandic winters that caused Minus to deliver such a frightening slab of guitar-fueled psychosis on Jesus Christ Bobby (Victory) — there’s hope for metal yet . . . Nickelback are the apotheosis of KROQ mediocrity, like a caricature of Creed, STP and Days of the New, but their single "How You Remind Me" (Roadrunner) will have you doing double-gainers off rooftops to get the tune outta yr head . . . Jersey rapper Chino XL is going to hell for all his hating on I Told You So (Metro Rap), but goddamn this Latin thug is funny . . . Spare, languid and impossibly abstract, Phoenicia’s Brown Out (Schematic) reveals the rock between the pixels . . . And for all you drill & bass-noise terrorist-tweakers, Teutonic badass Panacea (a.k.a. Mathias Mootz) proved with The Hardest Tour on Planet Earth (Position Chrome) that he’s still the only hardcore jock that matters.
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