BIRTH YEARS: '48, '60, '72, '84, '96
CHARACTERISTICS: Rats are honest, and sometimes disarmingly forthright. For instance, a rat might tell you that you've got a nice ass--with no sense of irony whatsoever! Rats are also personable, hardworking, thrifty, and charismatic. Rats from Long Island can be either insufferable or lovable.
YOUR BAND FOR 2001: Musically, your ratty personality loves a sleepy contrast to all your hard angles, so try the soft, straightforward instrumentals of Laurel Canyon. Their weeping violin will appeal to your sincere qualities, but the driving, sparse guitar will appeal to your work ethic. They have a self-titled EP, and a full length is due later this year.
MORE RATTY MUSIC: His Name is Alive, Dirty Three
FAMOUS RATS: Leo Tolstoy, Peggy Fleming, Jules Verne, Prince Charles, Mozart, Doris Day, Adlai Stevenson, Truman Capote
BIRTH YEARS: '49, '61, '73, '85, '97
CHARACTERISTICS: The Ox personality personifies the dependable, sturdy physical attributes of the animal. Stubborn and authoritative, yet somehow calm, the Ox will not shy away from methodical hard work. (Our Ox-loving friends say all that strength carries over to the sack, too.)
YOUR BAND FOR 2001: You big bull! You're a Type A personality, so you'll love the chest-beating release you get from the unrelenting drums, the dirt-grinding bass, the stone-throwing guitar--the Last of the Juanitas. You'll relate to their nearly non-stop touring Calvinism, and as you bang your head, all that pent-up Ox aggression will be relieved. It's like a metal massage! Their latest album, Hawaii, was just released on Flapping Jet records, and you can bet they'll be touring again soon.
OTHER OX MUSIC: Metallica's Master of Puppets, Drive Like Jehu, Refused
FAMOUS OXEN: Margaret Thatcher, Vincent van Gogh, Tori Spelling, Gore Vidal, Hitler
BIRTH YEARS: '50, '62, '74, '86, '98
CHARACTERISTICS: The eye of the Tiger is a raging mystery--on the surface, it is hard and impenetrable, but the reflection beneath reveals deep pools of power and rebellion. Tiger's fierce unpredictability can be daunting, but remember: It is this sort of passion that drives the world to spin. Though headstrong, a Tiger will always be respected. Know any members of the Direct Action Network? Are they Tigers? You bet your sweet bippy!
YOUR BAND FOR 2001: The Intima's post-punk, crimson assertions are similar to Russian poster art: angular, bold, unwavering. The railing glint in their headstrong guitar/violin affront will be a perfect soundtrack to the purposeful night stalking of a Tiger. They've an EP, No Lullaby for Sleep, on Zum Records.
MORE TIGER MUSIC: early Gang of Four, Minutemen, The Au Pairs
FAMOUS TIGERS: Hugh Hefner, Isadora Duncan, Mary Queen of Scots, Charles de Gaulle, Ho Chi Minh, Beethoven
BIRTH YEARS: '39, '51, '63, '75, '87, '99
CHARACTERISTICS: The Rabbit symbolizes fortune and longevity. Don't forget your birth control! Gentle creatures, Rabbits are often unwilling to cause conflict, preferring to take a more happy, compliant stand. Rabbits might even be a little haughty at times, but because of their good natures, they're often very popular.
YOUR BAND FOR 2001: What does a rabbit do for luck? Why, it gives itself a foot massage, of course! (Wah-Wah!) But seriously, Rabbit, to pamper your smart and magical self, you should try the mysterious songs of The Operacycle. Their gorgeous guitar melodies tempered by a thumping forest of brilliant drumming will create just the atmosphere you like--one of comfort, wealth, and joy.
ALSO TRY: Dianogah, John McEntire's drumming (when not with his more boring bands), The Meters
FAMOUS RABBITS: Henry Miller, Ingrid Bergman, Harry Belafonte, Fidel Castro, Josef Stalin, Albert Einstein, King Bhumibol of Thailand, Wesley Snipes
BIRTH YEARS: '40, '52, '64, '76, '88, '00
CHARACTERISTICS: Dragons are sharp and enchanting. O, Dragon, how your imagination and vitality spews forth from your cerebral fire-breathing! Akin to Tigers in your passion, when a Dragon gets an idea, there's no way anyone will stomp it down--even if it's bizarre. Take, for instance, famous Dragon Salvador Dali. When he said, "I'm going to paint an allegorical Christian landscape that doubles as a lady's naked torso," do you think his friends though it was a good idea? Hell, no! But look at him now--well, he's dead--but he's the greatest surrealist painter the world has ever known!
DRAGON'S BAND FOR 2001: Dragon, in your thirst for creativity and double entendre, the complex, brick-heavy emotion of 31 Knots won't let you down. Their mesmerizing, dynamic guitar compositions are hot, like the plumes of smoke that billow from your determined nostrils.
MORE FIRE MUSIC: Yes, Shellac, Lungfish
FAMOUS DRAGONS: John Lennon, Joan of Arc, Salvador Dali, Yehudi Menuhin, Che Guevara, Keanu Reeves
BIRTH YEARS: '41, '53, '65, '77, '89, '01
CHARACTERISTICS: Snake, honey, this is your year, so you should enter it with mucho contemplation and leave it a better person. You're a sensitive, quiet type of character, but have incredibly moody tendencies. As a result, Snakes are apt to obsessive-compulsive disorder (repetitive hand washing, tile-counting, unstoppable record shopping). Perhaps this year's mantra should be "balance" or "harmony" or "Good Samaritanism." Anything to keep you from the edge of solipsism, n'est-ce pas?
SNAKE MUSIC FOR 2001: This year, you'll want to keep your obsessions in check, but it's OK if you build a candle-laden shrine to The Swords/Project. Their white-knuckled yet beautiful mood swings (created impeccably by two drummers, violins, a Rhodes piano and an orchestra of guitars), are just the healthy fixation you need in 2001.
MORE SLITHERY SONGS: Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Rachel's, Mogwai
FAMOUS SNAKES: Picasso, Ann-Margret, Brahms, JFK, Indira Gandhi, Abe Lincoln, King Hassan of Morocco
BIRTH YEARS: '30, '42, '54, '66, '78, '90, '02
CHARACTERISTICS: If the vibrato of a Horse's whinny could be translated to English, it would say, "I have a zest for life." Strong and self-confident, you Horses are always outspoken--and almost always right. You're also a fan of instant gratification, warm socks, and microwave knishes.
HORSE BAND FOR 2001: The ladies of Heart Beats Red belt their sentiment from the heart, with strong and irrepressible breaths. Their harmonic emotion is unrestrained--much like your carefree gallop, Horsey. That is why they're your perfect group--no waiting around for dynamic increase to get to the point with this band. They're just full-on power.
ALSO TRY: Braid, Mates of State, that dog (first album).
FAMOUS HORSES: FDR, Ulysses S. Grant, Barbra Streisand, Rembrandt, Chopin, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Pearl Bailey, Denzel Washington
BIRTH YEARS: '31, '43, '55, '67, '79, '91, '03
CHARACTERISTICS: Sheep, you're shy and sweet, but you never sacrifice dignity. You're willing to stand up for yourself but, like the Rabbit, you prefer not to rock the boat. Often a homebody, you are very protective of your abode, although houseguests always feel comfortable and welcome.
YOUR BAND FOR 2001: When you're lying about the couch and drinking a soft pink wine, The Places make the warmest music for you, Sheep. With melodies layered with velour, cozy vocals and autumn strumming, you'll adore the slight country and nostalgic ache they inspire.
ALSO TRY: Joni Mitchell, The Pastels, Freakwater
FAMOUS SHEEP: Andy Warhol, Catherine Deneuve, Vivian Chow, Mark Twain, the Shah of Iran
BIRTH YEARS: '44, '56, '68, '80, '92, '04
CHARACTERISTICS: Monkeys are said to be the smartest animal of the zodiac, in that they are closest to man. Celebrated linguists, Monkeys are quick-witted and cunning. You'll never want to get into a verbal argument with a Monkey, because they'll almost certainly take you down. Despite all this, monkeys are very communal and friendly.
YOUR BAND FOR 2001: Monkeys like to talk? Have we got a linguist for you: Dino, that rhyme-slinging boy wonder who raps faster than a Tibetan cheetah and, respectably, gives props to his mom and his girl. Dino's diverse beats and tongue-twisting rhythms are a good match for your intense brain-power. It's like Olympics of the Mind!
ALSO TRY: Talib Kweli, Goodie Mob, Ugly Duckling
FAMOUS MONKEYS: Paul Gauguin, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, Milton Berle, Federico Fellini, Mick Jagger
BIRTH YEARS: '33, '45, '57, '69, '81, '93, '05
CHARACTERISTICS: If you're a Cock, there's a good possibility you own a Hawaiian-print shirt. That's because you're a flashy, brazen, fun character. The first to snort some blow at a party (and the last to pass out), you've got a knack for entertaining, despite your seemingly aggressive mannerisms. Just watch out in the workplace--on the East Coast, that's called sexual harrassment.
COCK Music for 2001: There's nothing a Cock loves more than a pairing of clever and crass. That's why the intelligent yet unstoppable The Planet The is likely to be in your tape deck in 2001. Their unexpected timing, prodding, (sometimes falsetto) lyrics, and punchy blots of Korg and guitar will make a Cock soiree get just as goofy as you like.
ALSO TRY: King Crimson, Mothers of Invention, Trans Am
FAMOUS COCKS: Elia Kazan, Jonathan Taylor Thomas
BIRTH YEARS: '34, '46, '58, '70, '82, '94, '06
CHARACTERISTICS: Dogs, consistent with the old adage, are very reliable, social people. You might get impatient sometimes, Doggie-Dog, but you're loyal to the bone. The only time you've ever stabbed a friend in the back is when he asked you to--and that was only once or twice, anyway.
DOG MUSIC FOR 2001: Dog, you're going to love Steve Kramp. His lyrics are loyal, just like you. He's loyal to the people, the proles, the disadvantaged. His red-faced and passionate crooning turns sweet and tender with the turn of a chord, and his musical strength will remind you of your own upstanding character.
ALSO TRY: Mountain Goats, Richard Buckner, Utah Phillips
FAMOUS DOGS: Itzhak Rabin, Voltaire, Ralph Nader, Golda Meir, Socrates, Cher
BIRTH YEARS: '35, '47, '59, '71, '83, '95, '07
CHARACTERISTICS: Boar, you have a drooling, knock-kneed thirst for knowledge. Some call you a bookworm, but by goodness, you know you're simply an intellectual. Although you are a quiet person, inside that constantly turning brain of yours you've got a lot of sass. For fun, your favorite games are chess, rugby, and Magic: The Gathering, or anything that allows you to show off your sharp head and slight lust for blood.
BOAR MUSIC: You like a challenge, Mr./Ms. Boar, and that's why the Holy Sons are right for you in 2001. With rocking guitar that's layered like an Escher illustration, brainy lyrics you might be able to figure out, and interesting melodies, this band'll make you feel right smart. And you like that.
ALSO TRY: Crooked Fingers, Pavement, Portastatic
FAMOUS BOARS: Rosalind Russell, Maria Callas, Ernest Hemingway, Hitchcock, John D. Rockefeller, Danny Glover, King Hussein