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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v9n3 (01/20/2010) » Section: Left of the Dial

The Knux - F*ck You EP

I constantly want to believe that hip-hop has simply been on an inevitable downward turn for a decade or so but is ready to swing back up. I think of the fertile late 1980s, the peaks of the 1990s—but then, apart from a few bright spots, those 2000s felt like a drought. Rap music is a streetwise art form born of the underground, but there have been so few inspiring acts to rise up of late that myself and many fellow believers in the rhythm and rhyme have been gradually losing the faith.

The Gifted Children - My Museum Pieces

It would be a travesty to ring out 2009 without mentioning the year’s installment from Western New York indie rock workhorse The Gifted Children. Thirteen years and over 1,300 songs into their career, to say that the band is prolific would be an understatement. They could be considered proud members of Guided by Voices leader Robert Pollard’s “write-10-songs-before-breakfast” club, but they are hardly another example of quantity over quality: You would be hardpressed to find a single song in their catalog to be considered a “throwaway.”

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