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Brian J. Barr

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  • 4 years ago

    Can enough praise be heaped upon Raekwon's 1995 solo debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx? Constantly heralded as a landmark in hip-hop, Cuban Linx made a strong case for rap's ability to tell rich stories, laced as it is with cinematic scenes of gritty ...

  • 6 years ago

    We can forgive the Presidential Inauguration Committee for leaving David Byrne out of January's Obama festivities. After all, when you're trying to reach millions of Americans, Bruce Springsteen is about as populist as you can get. And Aretha Fran...

  • 6 years ago

    In 1975, Willie Nelson recorded a tribute to his musical hero, Lefty Frizzell: the all-covers album To Lefty from Willie. Despite Nelson's efforts, Frizzell remains one of the more underappreciated country musicians, but Nelson's intent was essent...

  • 7 years ago

    At Hollow Earth Radio's basement digs in north Seattle, station co-founder Amber Kai Morgan keeps a stash of answering machine cassettes in a Mason jar marked "beans." As self-proclaimed salvagers of prerecorded sound, Morgan and her boyfriend, Ga...

  • 7 years ago

    Tunnel of Love (Columbia, 1987) The gelled hair, black suit and bolo tie on the album cover, flanked by a hot white coupe on a sunny beach that bears no resemblance to the grim Jersey shore. The mega-success of Born in the U.S.A. and its unintende...

  • 8 years ago

    I was 16 years old when my older cousin started dating the guy who would turn me on to "punk rock." This was in a very backward Pennsylvania town during one of my transitional teenage years. By this time, 1996-97, most of the cool kids in my schoo...