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  • Article

    Rotation

    Everclear So Much for the Afterglow Capitol Art Alexakis is a walking tangle of contradictions, an extremely driven (some say overdriven) ex-drug addict prone to getting snared by life's extremes -- the black and the white, the good and the...

    by Stephen Gershon on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    Charles in Charge - A new collection confirms Ray Charles's position as the architect of soul

    Ray Charles tells people that there are three things he never wanted to own: a dog, a cane and a guitar. To the blind music legend, they symbolize helplessness, the down-in-the-mouth stereotypes that surround a backwoods blues singer. Charles may be ...

    by Salvatore Caputo on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    Getting a Grip

    The members of Clutch have been jammed into neutral since early summer, and you can't help but sympathize with their plight: The band's been waiting months for its third CD to surface in stores. Now, it looks like they'll wait some more. Atlantic has...

    by Hobart Rowland on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Lisa Stansfield Lisa Stansfield Arista The rock and R&B traditions have long made a fetish of privileging the new. Typically, critics praise the sounds that no one appears to have made before while dismissing as irrelevant any music that to...

    by David Simutis on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    The Hatta with the patter... As an ambitious army brat growing up in a variety of locales, Benjamin Thompson -- better known as Da Madd Hatta -- spent a lot of time in his own head. And though life eventually settled into something resembling stabili...

    by Hobart Rowland on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Dub and Dumber

    In their zeal to make sense of new and ever-evolving genres, rock critics are always quick to hold high a familiar sound from the past as the forerunner to and "seminal" influence on whatever is happening in the present. But Arkology (Island Jamaica/...

    by Jim DeRogatis on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Steven's Lament

    Near the end of an interview in which he's spilled his guts over the problems that surrounded Aerosmith's new CD, Nine Lives, '70s cock-rock icon Steven Tyler issues a few words of caution. "You've got enough stuff to get me sued, buster," the s...

    by Alan Sculley on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Earthbound

    Man or Astro-Man? are from outer space -- or so it seems. The way they tell it, their ship crashed, leaving them stranded. So they must roam Earth recovering pieces of it, and when they finally have the thing reassembled, they'll destroy Earth and go...

    by David Simutis on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    The Impotence of Being Earnest

    Despite himself, Phil Ochs just didn't like the cut of his gold lame suit. The liner notes to the excellent new Ochs retrospective, Farewells & Fantasies, tell us that the folk musician -- more usually decked out in the studied proletariat garb of ea...

    by Michael Batty on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon Virgin In 1994, I listened with a straight face as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards told me that in time, Voodoo Lounge would come to be viewed as one of their best releases ever, maybe even up there with...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    X files... How do you spoon-feed the classics to sensory-taxed post-baby-boomers and actually get them to open their ears? Is there really a way in which Bach, Beethoven and Wagner might be seen for the ageless superstars they are by a generation rai...

    by Hobart Rowland on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Super Squeak - Rick James comes clean on the past, the present -- and the CD he hopes will revive his career

    "I saw it coming," Rick James says, "and subconsciously, I asked for it." He foresaw it in his own public profile, jagged as an EKG, which stretched across nearly 30 years of popular music and eccentric behavior; James had mutated from sing-along...

    by Dave Wielenga on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Modest Chunk

    Over the years, an inordinate amount of ink has been devoted to just how humdrum a bunch of folks the members of Superchunk really are. Somehow they've avoided the Sturm und Drang that seems, for most bands, an indelible part of rock and roll life. I...

    by Hobart Rowland on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Groove United

    It's a place where the boundaries of race, culture and genre are ignored daily, hourly, within the span of minutes -- even seconds. Here, dance music knows no limits -- other than those of the human variety -- and the term "family" can apply to just ...

    by Carrie Bell on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Jeers of a clown... "It's like a little kid with a chemistry set. He may be really on to something, but then his dad comes home from work, goes into the garage and says, 'Dammit Timmy, I told you not to fuck with my tools,' and he smashes up the kid'...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    The Reich Stuff - A new boxed set gives minimalist Steve Reich maximum exposure

    Repetition is an element common to virtually every musical style. African drummers pound out beats that conform to set patterns. Rhythm-and-blues figures such as James Brown vamp atop roiling grooves that gain power through their very immutability. P...

    by Michael Roberts on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Rhythm Kings - D.R.U.M. not only wants the right sound, it wants the right spirit

    It's a late June Tuesday night at the Ensemble Theatre's former home on Holman and Main, and it's hotter than Salma Hayek in a Norma Kamali bikini. That is, when you get inside the unventilated corridors of the upstairs facilities known as the Midtow...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Smear Campaign - Blur searches for America's kindly embrace -- just so they can shrug it off

    Blur's Graham Coxon flat-out refuses to reveal his alias. "That wouldn't be very good to tell you, because then it wouldn't be my code name, would it?" says the guitarist in a pissy tone, as if being pressed to spill vital state secrets. Suc...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Bjork Homogenic Elektra Following the release of her wildly eclectic 1995 record Post, Bjork told me that "the album is sort of a challenge. It's like saying, 'Okay, life, you can throw whatever you want at me -- an earthquake, a devaluatio...

    by Bob Ruggiero on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Bully Boys

    Comedian Chris Rock has certainly become comedy's stand-up flavor of the month, but what you might not know is that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is at least peripherally responsible for his recent success. It is the mystic, Cleveland-based rap/hip-hop act, a...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 25, 1997
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