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  • Article

    Playbill - The Dusty 45's

    Mention Seattle to the proverbial man in the street, and his associations will likely run along the lines of Starbucks, grunge, Microsoft and the Space Needle. "With-it" stuff comes to mind, those aspects of Seattle that made it America's It City f...

    by John Nova Lomax on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Hayseed Dixie - A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC (Dualtone)

    Let's get one thing out of the way immediately: This four-man bluegrass band can pick like hell. At the same time, let's address the central question posed by Hayseed Dixie's very existence: Can a long-term career be etched out of metal hillbilly sht...

    by Greg Barr on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Ervin Charles, featuring Richard Earl - Greyhound Blues (Dialtone)

    A Texas blues guitarist whose early-1950s performances directly inspired guys such as Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter and Phillip Walker, Ervin Charles was just beginning to earn wider recognition when he died last year in Beaumont. Unlike his nation...

    by Roger Wood on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Felix Baloy - Baila Mi Son: The Afro-Cuban All Stars Present Felix Baloy (Tumi)

    The Afro-Cuban All Stars' first album, A Toda Cuba Le Gusta, came out in this country at the same time as the original Buena Vista Social Club. Producer Juan de Marcos Gonzalez links the two projects. He recruited many of the Buena Vista musicians, a...

    by Aaron Howard on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Slim - The Electric Hoss (Z&S Music)

    Rush, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience prove you can get fat sounds from a slim lineup, which is also what you have here with the appropriately monikered Slim. Formed in 1996 by ex-Skrew bandmates Robb Lampman (guitar/vocals) and Chadwick Davis ...

    by Bob Ruggiero on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Arco - Coming to Terms (Pehr Records)

    Arco's debut album, Coming to Terms, is a whispered confession, a catalog of private fears and insecurities. This slo-fi sound, heartbreaking in its sensitivity, hasn't changed much since the band's 1998 UK EPs Longsighted and Ending Up. Arco shar...

    by Sande Chen on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Dave Douglas - A Thousand Evenings (RCA Victor)

    Is A Thousand Evenings jazz? Hmmm. Not according to traditional definitions. There's not a drummer in sight. There's a written score, though additional improvisation by the quartet is allowed. Nontraditional instruments such as accordion and violin a...

    by Aaron Howard on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Lucky Boyd - Let's Go (Campsite)

    Jorge Luis Borges once recalled his father giving him this advice: "Read a lot, write a lot, don't rush into print." For musicians, the corollary to these three prudent injunctions would be "Listen a lot, play a lot, don't rush into the studio." Luc...

    by John Nova Lomax on May 17, 2001
  • Article

    Tex-Jap Jazz - Bayou City keyboardist Morgan Bouldin finds a groove in a restaurant of the rising sun

    In multicultural Houston, keyboardist and native son Morgan Bouldin has survived professionally by being not only talented but flexible. It's a quality the fickle business of music often demands, even of its best practitioners. But listening to Wide ...

    by Roger Wood on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    The Big D - Dallas's Blond Bomber levels audiences with his get-down roots rock

    Check out the cover of Ronnie Dawson's latest CD, More Bad Habits. The blond, flat-topped Dawson sits at a table that's buckling under the weight of mounds of fried onions and potatoes, stacks of ribs, oodles of burgers and beer, and a giant ashtray ...

    by Aaron Howard on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    Fenix*TX Rising - Betrayal! Blink 182! Boobies! The Houston band has lived to tell all.

    The boys of Fenix*TX are a reminder of the inconsistencies in life, how nothing is ever cast in shades of black or white. They conjure up images of a drunken young doofus who hangs up beer adverts in his room with all the reverence and devotion of a ...

    by Melanie Haupt on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    A Spanking Good Time - Who's really feeling the pain as S&M emerges from its underground dungeons?

    We start off this column with Martin, a man who just likes to be referred to as Martin. Who is Martin, you ask? Martin is the owner/manager of DareWare, the popular fetish/bondage/sex retail palace on Westheimer. "People just know me as Martin from...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    Eric Clapton - Reptile (Reprise)

    Each new Eric Clapton release raises fears that he will have finally crossed the line into pure adult-contemporary music, that last purple stop on the musical spectrum before Muzak's invisible ultraviolet. The watch, however, can be put on hold for a...

    by Chris Smith on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    Dave Matthews Band - Everyday (RCA Records)

    If you're a fan of the Dave Matthews Band's loose, collaborative approach to free-flowing, upbeat jams, you'll likely be disappointed by its latest, Everyday. The new record is like fat-free cheese: a rubbery, tasteless imitation of the rich original...

    by Melanie Haupt on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    Lupe Olivarez - Sin Miedo (Go Records)

    By choosing Sin Miedo ("Without Fear") as the title of his solo debut and using a stylized illustration of an evil-eye talisman on its cover, Lupe Olivarez symbolizes his hope for a seamless transition into uncharted territory. Still, the Basics grad...

    by Greg Barr on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    Playbill - John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers

    Pity poor John Mayall. While the tireless 67-year-old Korean War vet is rightly credited with helping to spearhead the British blues boom of the early- to mid-'60s, any mention of his name inevitably centers on the amazing players who passed through ...

    by Bob Ruggiero on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    Playbill - Opeth

    Sweden's Opeth has long been a fixture on the underground circuit, combining black- and death-metal atmospherics with old-school (read: 1970s) progressive song structures and melancholia. Now 11 years and five records into its career, the band is und...

    by Chris Smith on May 10, 2001
  • Article

    Playbill - Duncan Sheik

    Undeniable Truth of Life No. 427: Duncan Sheik's "Barely Breathing" was the best pop song of the '90s. Marvelously crafted with an uncanny sense of buildup and a hook that never tires, the song spent some 55 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, prov...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on May 3, 2001
  • Article

    Playbill - Medeski, Martin and Wood

    The jam-band concept has just about run its course. With Phish on hiatus and the mediocre Widespread Panic picking up the slack in arenas, few improv acts are worth catching anymore. Medeski, Martin and Wood, however, provide a rare exception. Perh...

    by Mike Emery on May 3, 2001
  • Article

    Tom Russell - Borderland (Hightone)

    Most of the outstanding Texas songwriters are regional poets. Although they don't write poems per se, they use a poetic style that accommodates the average person. Their songs illuminate the details of everyday life. Few, if any, Texas songwriters ha...

    by Aaron Howard on May 3, 2001
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