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NYC Ghosts & Flowers

NYC Ghosts & Flowers is the eleventh studio album by American rock band Sonic Youth, released on May 16, 2000 by DGC Records. The experimental album is considered to be a reaction to the theft of the band's instruments in July 1999, when several irreplaceable guitars and effects pedals were stolen. NYC Ghosts & Flowers was the first album since Bad Moon Rising in which the band used prepared guitar; as a result of the theft, the members of Sonic Youth relied upon "old guitars in their studio, unearthing instruments they hadn't used in years" which "along with equipment purchased to fulfill the remaining dates, would serve as the foundation for six new songs written over the next month", in addition to "Free City Rhymes" and "Renegade Princess", which were written prior to the tour. The band members acknowledged that "the gear theft was somewhat of a blessing, if a rather unwelcome and unpleasant one, in that it forced them to'start over' and approach creating music with brand new boundaries".

On this album, the influence of beat poetry on the band was evident: The lyrics to most songs resembled the beat style. NYC Ghosts & Flowers was released on May 16, 2000 by record label DGC. A music video was released for the track "Nevermind". According to the band's official website, it was a proposed single that "never found its way into stores." NYC Ghosts & Flowers received an approval rating of 66 out of 100 on review aggregator website Metacritic, signifying "generally favorable reviews". In a positive review for the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot said "though Sonic Youth flirted with alternative-rock songcraft in the early'90s, these noise-rock renegades are once again viewing their guitars as hunks of wood and infinite possibility." He went on to write, "No rock band makes the avant-garde sound quite this tactile and sensual." Salon.com gave the album a positive review and stated, "Even while there isn't a single song here that holds together from beginning to end as the music makes only itself felt in halting jigsaw fashion... the album has a gloomy, unaccommodating tenacity that's hard to shake."

Mojo stated that "in the end, it's worth it for the few great, strange tracks." In Spin, Douglas Wolk hailed it as Sonic Youth's "artiest, most texturally spectacular album" yet, writing that it "fashions a link between the free-jazz of the New York Art Quartet and the psychotic spasms of 1978's no wave grail, No New York." In NME's opinion, the album "burns with such a sense of direction and focus" that revealed the group to still be "a vital creative force" in music. According to Robert Christgau, NYC Ghosts & Flowers proved to be Sonic Youth's "dud by acclamation" among critics. Select wrote that "the songs suffer from a lazy approach and the relentless repetition of unengaging chord patterns." Billboard believed the record "either encapsulates Sonic Youth's most endearing or annoying qualities, depending on how one feels about the band and the spoken-word poetics from Kim Gordon." Brent DiCrescenzo's review for Pitchfork was far more critical and assigned the album a score of 0.0 out of 10, with the critic panning it as "an unfathomable album which will be heard in the squash courts and open mic nights of deepest Hell."

Commenting on the album's avant-garde roots, he said, "These are not new ideas. These are ideas that were arrogant and unlistenable upon birth thirty years ago." DiCrescenzo reevaluated his opinion of the album and, in 2013, remarked on the higher esteem with which he now held it: "I now love the record. It's unlike anything else. No, the lesson here is: beware the opinions of a kid right out of college." He described Pitchfork's decimal scale as "knowingly silly" and "arbitrary". All tracks are written by Sonic Youth. Note: For the vinyl version, "Renegade Princess" moved to track 6, "Side2Side" & "StreamXSonik Subway" were being reversed from the normal tracklist

Flautista!

Flautista! is a live album by American jazz flautist Herbie Mann recorded in 1959 for the Verve label. Allmusic awarded the album 4 stars stating " Flautista!, recorded live at New York City's Basin Street East in June 1959, captures the flutist's deepening immersion in global rhythms and harmonies, documenting a pan-cultural jazz aesthetic that points the way for the myriad world music efforts that followed in its wake". All compositions by Herbie Mann except as indicated "Todos Locos" - 5:35 "Cuban Patato Chip" - 7:45 "Come on, Mule" - 7:18 "The Amazon River" - 8:35 "Caravan" - 9:46 "Delilah" - 6:06 Bonus track on CD reissue "Basin Street Este" - 5:12 Bonus track on CD reissue Herbie Mann - flute, bass clarinet Johnny Rae - vibraphone, marimba Knobby Totah - bass Santo Miranda - drums, percussion Carlos "Patato" Valdes - congas, percussion José Luis Mangual - bongos, percussion