She’s “not the average girl from the video,” and thank God for that. Her rustic urban sound is a breath of fresh, soulful air in today’s makeup-heavy diva vacuum of female pop music. She may have studied jewelry making at Savannah College of Art & Design, but she produced some solid gems on her debut album Acoustic Soul. “Back to the Middle’s” dense, muscular vocal mixed with sparse guitar and percussion is soothing to the mind and soul. “Strength, Courage and Wisdom” is the self-help anthem of the year, and she delivers it with power and without a trace of cheesy Stuart Smalley overtones. Most recently, she can be seen dueting with Heartland spokesman John Mellencamp on yet another timely anthem, “Peaceful World.” Her youthful voice and clever guitar licks compliment the aging rocker well. She’s “learned to love herself unconditionally,” and you will too. –AR


“It takes a lot of people; I hope it doesn’t take me.” So expounds the pensive waif of a protagonist, Howie, when referencing the Long Island thoroughfare that serves as freshman director Michael Cuesta’s movie-long metaphor. Between his mother’s fiery death, a best friend blowing for bucks and a whole lot of mindless walking along the grim interstate, Cuesta’s contention (L.I.E. = Howie’s rather morose coming of age) remains pretty academic. Throw in a roused Brian Cox as the pedophile-next-door type crowing to be “the best c*cks*cker in the whole Western hemisphere,” and you’ve got yourself some thinking to do at flick’s end. Think “Gummo’s” candid lens crossed with “Ice Storm’s” suburban sensibility. –MR

Get Ready

Founding both emo (Joy Division) and new wave (New Order) pioneering acts makes Bernard Sumner somewhat of a living legend. So when initial rumors began to circulate some TWO years ago about a N.O. follow-up to ’93’s less than stellar Republic, speculation began to shape as to what sound would prevail. Get Ready, a giant step forward from the synth-laden gems of yesterday, including “World” and “Touched by the Hand of God,” to name a few, offers a fully blossomed Sumner ripping through electro-enhanced guitar soliloquies like a champ. With “Crystal’s” infectious organ effects, “Vicious Streak’s melodic refrain and Billy Corgan’s signature whine on “Turn My Way,” the album offers an eclectic gathering of creativity. This fact makes it quite difficult to peg the prime cut, but here we go. “Rock the Shack” intros with drum-machine-backed raspy guitar while lyrics creep to the forefront. “I’ve been accused of everything/ From Timbuktu to old Berlin/ I need some armor for my flesh/ I need to stop and take a rest/ I’ve been wide-eyed but couldn’t see/ I stand accused of being me” croons a splendidly just off-key Sumner just before breaking into a “Rock the shack/ Rock the shack/ Rock the Shack” tirade, affirming that New Order has thankfully not shelved their axes for the now ubiquitous beat machines of post-modern rock. –MR

Cola with Lemon Twist — Home Brew

This summer saw the advent of Pepsi with Lemon Twist, which was an excellent idea in theory. Execution, however, left much to be desired. The artificial lemon flavoring made the already super-sweet beverage seem filmy and fluoride-treatment-like. May I suggest a little initiative and creativity? Mixing Coke or Pepsi with a few real lemon slices is delightful and provides a healthy dose of Vitamin C at the same time. No lemons? Don’t fret. Although slightly alien-looking, mixing lemonade with soda also produces the desired results. The refreshing taste is worth the embarrassment suffered at the soda fountain. And while the others are reluctantly forcing down the same ol’ same ol’ you’ll be enjoying the sips of sovereignty. –AR

Blog of the Week:

“The coolest part of the whole weekend would definitely be climbing up the side of the house on a rickety old ladder, completely trolleyed, and falling flat on my arse. And to think … all to impress a boy. F**k Lara Croft, athletic bitch. I think I’ll stick to basic levels of altitude and cigarettes. I hate coming back to Norfolk. It’s so lonely and melancholy. 10 whole days of Joshua de-tox but. Cool life man.”



This article was published Sep 24, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 24, 2001 at 12:00 am


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