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  • Article

    Static

    Minimizing the carnage... While locals are busy debating the significance of the Abyss's sudden demise and its potential impact on the scene, touring acts and booking agents around the country have their own mess to deal with. Upon its closure at the...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    The beer coolers and jug bottles of Jim Beam were out in full force September 4 at the Fabulous Satellite Lounge, as there was no booze to be had at the bar, by order of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. An unspecified problem in the liquor-li...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Nature Boy

    It's not often that a musician inspires fans to drastic measures. Case in point: Greg Brown had trimmed his tour schedule a few years back and hadn't played Texas since. With no gigs in sight, his legions in Austin took matters into their own hands: ...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Reunion Rigor Mortis

    Heading north on Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, 7/10/98, 8:49 p.m.: En route to first Bauhaus show in 15 years. Thought: If most recent spate of high-profile band reunions has proved anything, it's that simpering nostalgia and artistic desperation a...

    by Keven McAlester on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Consummate Gentleman - Pete Mayes, Houston blues' premier nice guy, finally gets busy

    American pop culture has been heartily indulging its fascination with a hopped-up, watered-down update of traditional jump blues, evidenced most readily by the rise of neo-swing. But the original swingers were digging that sound decades before it was...

    by Roger Wood on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Purveyors of Perk

    Financial matters are of little pressing concern to the members of Phuz. That much is evident simply from glancing around the Houston band's high-end townhouse headquarters in West U. Though all five members of the group are milling about inside, not...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Splitsville Repeater Big Deal If there's a special CD rack in heaven where all the great pop failures of the '90s are filed away, chances are there's a section for the Splitsville family of recordings -- just down the row from the Posies an...

    by Bob Ruggiero on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Bach to the Sax - Catalyst breaks classical barriers

    Free-associate with me for a moment. If I say "Bach," what musical instrument comes to mind? Harpsichord? Violin, perhaps? If I say "John Philip Sousa," you think of pomp and trumpets, cymbals crashing, and things red, white and blue. But if I say "s...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    From the looks of things upstairs, 804 would have little more to offer than cheap drinks, odd stares and rambling conversation from a handful of career drunks. But hang around looking stupid long enough, and the perky blond bartender is liable to dir...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Human Machine

    Lately, it seems like no one wants anything to do with trip-hop's baggage -- not the godfathers of the genre, Massive Attack, and certainly not its bad-seed cover boy, Tricky. The loose definition of the style -- slow, slinky hip-hop beats peppered b...

    by David Simutis on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Sad-Eyed Sibs

    When Seattle's vaunted Sub Pop label stopped signing grunge bands and branched out a little, one of its first acquisitions was the Massachusetts-based Scud Mountain Boys, a hungry little Americana band that frequently sounded like the Eagles gone C&W...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    The One Who Stayed Behind

    Eric Taylor doesn't see himself as a victim of circumstance so much as a survivor by choice. Far from being a powerless bystander in the literate folk implosion that shook Houston in the '70s, the 48-year-old singer/songwriter is nonetheless a lesser...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Cloaked in Ambition - Houston's Drapes have more on their minds than simply getting by

    Perhaps the most overlooked hiding place for the burgeoning essence of rock and roll is the rehearsal space. Here, a band's spirit is more easily discernible than on stage or on CD, and the reason is obvious: It's where a group feels most at home. Th...

    by David Simutis on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    Out to the Abyss... Yes, kiddies, the worst is true: The Abyss, an unholy Washington Avenue institution for almost five years, has been up and abandoned. A haven for Houston's death-metal minions since its days as the Vatican, and one of the few club...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Richard Buckner Since MCA It's just like Richard Buckner to attach a drab, monosyllabic title like Since to a work of such complicated beauty. He's the critics' pet, after all -- the kind of sinfully gifted storyteller who makes us music sc...

    by Michael Point on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    Uncertain Justice... It's hard to know what's in the stars for Houston's once-mighty Justice Records these days -- what with all the rumors of stormy major-label courtships and deals falling through. Needless to say, it's not looking good: Label A&R ...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 3, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    Strange how things work: Trammell Crow has informed Voodoo Lounge owner Dan Robinson that he's in default on his lease at Shepherd Plaza. The letter arrived August 25, less than a week after my story ("Stirring the Pot", August 20) documenting the ap...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 3, 1998
  • Article

    Catching Up with Gil - A new series of reissues reaffirms the genius of rap's granddaddy

    Gil Scott-Heron has never been one to wait around for life's battles to come to him. He's expended enormous amounts of energy publicly lambasting three U.S. presidents (Nixon, Ford and Reagan), and yet he has still managed to publish three influentia...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on September 3, 1998
  • Article

    Clay's Choice

    Plain and simple, there's an ongoing love affair between Houston country music fans and singer Clay Walker. Friday's concert at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion has been sold out for weeks, and his appearance at this year's Houston Livestock Show and ...

    by Jim Caligiuri on September 3, 1998
  • Article

    Weird Ways

    The Gourds have taken almost as much critical lip for their unsparingly eccentric ways as they've been praised for their timeless appreciation of the basics. Fall behind on either count, it seems, and they wouldn't be doing their job. Formed in 1994 ...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on September 3, 1998
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