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Comeback Clips

A music-video renaissance is afoot -- but it's strictly on the download

Artist: Vicious
Song: "Nika"
Info: Audiences may have been feeling kiddie rap duo Kris Kross back in the early '90s, but this pint-size dancehall rapper failed to catch fire. At least this 1994 track, which also sampled the famed "Sheets" synthesizer rhythm, sounds fairly catchy.
Essential listening for:People who've ever wondered what Ini Kamoze would sound like if he'd started out rapping at ten.

Artist: Da Brat
Song: "Funkafied"
Info: The tomboyish MC's breakthrough 1994 hit, courtesy of boy wonder Jermaine Dupri, is also the song that most subtly samples "Sheets," as the melody gets replayed on synthesizers and used as the backbeat.
Essential listening for: Standard blunt-blazing, or for those still trying to figure out what the hell Janet Jackson sees in Jermaine Dupri.

Artist: Keith Murray
Song: "The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World"
Info: Remember in the mid-'90s when East Coast MCs like Keith Murray were the shit? Well, if you don't, his debut 1994 single, composed by Murray and EPMD's Erick Sermon, should jog your memory, as the "Sheets" melody also gets replayed and reconfigured on this one.
Essential listening for: Folks still holding out for that Def Squad reunion album.

Artist: Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Song: "Break of Dawn"
Info: "It Takes Two" straight-up snatches the "Sheets" synth sound and throws in some poppy drums for the first track off their 1994 album, also titled Break of Dawn.
Essential listening for: Those wondering if Base and Rock did anything else besides "It Takes Two."

Artist: Whitney Houston
Song: "One of Those Days"
Info: Miss "Crack Is Wack" was the last to sample the song in 2002, lifting the melody and chorus, even snagging Mr. Biggs himself, Ronald Isley, to appear in the video.
Essential listening for: When your significant other is digging a "dookie bubble" out of your butt!

The Isley Brothers appear Saturday, December 31, at Reliant Arena, 8400 Kirby, 713-799-9500.

BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Band name: Dissonant Angel

Web site: dangelrock.com or myspace .com/dissonantangel

Personnel: Marzz Starr (rhythm/lead guitar), Rip (lead/rhythm guitar), Ryan (bass), Joe (drums), Shadow (lead vocals)

Native or transplant? Native

What's in a name, particularly yours? The struggle of being human

When did you form? In 2003, but members of the band have been playing together for years

Releases/discography: Dissonant Angel self-titled EP (2005), Tomorrow Starts Today (December 2005-January 2006 target date)

What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Strungout's Twisted by Design, Mötley Crüe's Too Fast for Love, Iron Maiden's Killers, Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction

What artists have had the biggest impact on you?Randy Rhodes, Marc Bolan, Steve Harris, CKY, Steven Tyler, Mike Portnoy

Finish this sentence: I'd rather be... touring

Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully signed with a couple of successful albums underneath our belt

What's the biggest misconception about you or your band?That we're a screaming death metal band. We are a melodic rock band.

Weezer or Winger? Weezer

Jay-Z or Z-Trip? Neither

Parting shot? Come check us out live. You won't be disappointed. Our show is very energetic and balls-to-the-wall. Plus, beware of our face-melting solos!

See them at:Java Jazz Coffee House, 2502 FM 1960 East, 832-392-8542

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