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Music

Tipping The Scales

The Roots know they're on the cusp of entering the upper echelon of rap popularity. Forever championed by critics and underground hip-hop fans, the group has scored hits on their past two albums: "You Got Me" from 1999's Things Fall Apart and "The Seed (2.0)" from 2002's Phrenology. The Tipping Point means many things to the band, including that this album may very well decide if this band is accepted by the general hip-hop populace, or left to be appreciated by those who look hard enough for good hip-hop. Thus, it's rather ballsy that The Tipping Point's first single is "Don't Say Nuthin'," a track in which lead emcee Black Thought rips the bland hip-hop community that isn't saying anything.

by JOHN CARROLL

Heavy Lifting

The titles on Together We're Heavy, the second album from The Polyphonic Spree, are numbered from 11 to 20, continuing from the first ten sections of the band's debut, The Beginning Stages of... Despite the titling, however, things couldn't be more different on this sophomore effort. The Spree's debut was originally recorded as a demo, and didn't feature many of the current 21 group members.

by JOHN CARROLL

The Rising

There is one piece of advice that Dave Bielanko -- lead singer of Marah -- has for people who bash his band: "Whatever you wanna do is good with us.

by EUGENIA SALVO

Back To The Streets

"What's Ramones?" Mike Skinner, the one-man act of The Streets, asks from his cell phone, en route to Utah.

by JAMES SCHNEIDER

Pop Rocks

Former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp told Street last week that he didn't understand distorting guitars these days.

by JOHN CARROLL

He's Come Undone

Matt Sharp has been in the music business for over a decade, but with the release of his self-titled solo debut, he finds himself back where he started, when he was Weezer's falsetto-singing bassist. "There were no expectations for that Weezer record," Sharp explains.

by JOHN CARROLL

To Heaven Through Hell

"Heavy punk rock is the best way to describe it," explains Ben Perri, lead singer of From Autumn to Ashes.

by JAMES SCHNEIDER

Keeping it Simple?

Once a near-popstar, jaded by his brush with "careerist music," Simple Kid is now a one-man act who writes and composes.

by ANNE HENOCHOWICZ

Clearly Canadian

She's the same old Alanis. She's been a victim. She's been a bitch. She's gotten better. If there is a reason for So-Called Chaos, it's pain.

by JAMES SCHNEIDER

Sign of the Cross

Despite the too-easy, self-deprecating title, David Cross' latest comedy CD -- It's Not Funny -- is a hilarious, diverse look at his life, at politics, and at the world.

by JOHN CARROLL

Albums

Aerosmith Honkin' on Bobo 2 stars On Aerosmith's new album Honkin' on Bobo, the five rockers take a positive new step -- the album doesn't sound exactly like the band's last few.

by 34TH STREET

Not artsy fartsy

Cursive is sick of hearing about Omaha. "It's kind of hard to have any feeling if you read press that mentions Omaha.

by 34TH STREET

Cutting-Edge Traditionalism

The shape-shifting world of entertainment requires new musicians to bend borders and break with stale conventions.

by JOHN COYNE

Editor's picks

Tami Fertig Gary Jules Mad World Nothing quite nurses a broken heart like a sad piano song.

by 34TH STREET

A 90 Day Case Study

Looking at the 90 Day Men's fourth and latest album, Panda Park, you develop a fascination with the overtly psychedelic cover art.

by JIM NEWELL

Albums

Michael McDermott Ashes For all the Jersey folk out there, there's been a change in tides.

by 34TH STREET

Editors' picks

Tami Fertig: Arab Strap Cherubs Imagine this: a sweet and simple guitar melody floating lazily atop the slow and steady beat of a drum machine -- over and over and over again.

by 34TH STREET

Coheed my call and listen to this band

Coheed and Cambria is "progressive rock, definitely not run-of-the-mill." Occasionally lumped into emo, or emo-core, the group's rock stylings are comparable to those of close friends and frequent tourmates, Thursday and Thrice.

by JAMES SCHNEIDER

Albums

Ben Kweller On My Way Ben Kweller wrote his first album during puberty, lived his adolescence in a recording studio and now, at 22, professes to know life's transcendental truths.

by 34TH STREET

Split Kicks and bobbing heads

There are very few opportunities -- unless you are showering with them -- to hear a bassist singing.

by EUGENIA SALVO

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