"Eating dirt was forbidden. I was old enough to understand that. But I could. not. help. myself. My mother would often find me next to a houseplant, black streaks covering my mouth and hands. “Have you been eating dirt?” she would ask. I would solemnly shake my head. The perfect crime. Except for that telltale black ring around my mouth." —The Last Word On Nothing's Cassandra Willyard opens up about her past as a compulsive geophagist. She does so in relating the new scientific theory that the consumption of dirt (a phenomenon among children and pregnant women around the world) might have more to do with protection against pathogens [...]
One of my happiest days as a music journalist came in 1999, when I got an advance copy of Ol' Dirty Bastard's second solo album, Nigga Please. What a rewarding surprise it was to hear an artist who had become more renown for the tumultuous details of his personal life-he was amidst a string of nine arrests over the span of 13 months at the time-return with a work of music so powerful and compelling, so brazenly different from anything I'd heard before. "A biblical storm set to funk beats," I called it in a review I wrote for Vibe.
Speaking of Lou Reed, when I first saw the title of Jim Jones' new song, I fervently hoped he might be covering the symphonically depressing classic Danny Boyle used so effectively to soundtrack the overdose scene in Trainspotting. It turns out that the truth is even more odd than one man's fervent hope.
Proclamations that a certain era is "good" or "bad" for music are always specious. There's both good and bad music being made all the time, of course, in all different genres, and that's been true even during eras accepted as either "golden" or "dead" for whatever style you might be talking about. What's easier to talk about, what I think people are actually assessing when they talk in this way, is what's popular at a certain time in history—stylistic characteristics of the music that happens to be selling the most, or being played on popular radio stations. Of course, people often disagree about stylistic characteristics, too, whether they make [...]