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  • Article

    Shake Your Sheilas

    The Chieftains are, quite simply, the most beloved and most popular traditional Irish music performers in modern times. Long before the current fad for All-Things-Celtic, these rogues with brogues have been proving night after night that Irish music ...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on February 25, 1999
  • Article

    Rotation

    Sebadoh The Sebadoh Sub Pop Like a warm, woolen sweater, Sebadoh is functional and comforting when you need it, but itchy when you don't. After 1997's dismal Harmacy it looked as if ten years of records of varying sound and song quality had...

    by Anthony Mariani on February 25, 1999
  • Article

    They're Nationwide - Local H breaks into the pop mainstream with genuine rock sound

    Joe Daniels of Local H remembers feeling queasy about the group's future when he and his bandmate, Scott Lucas, began recording their second CD, As Good As Dead. The Chicago-area group's debut CD, Hamfisted, had been released in 1995 but had rec...

    by Alan Sculley on February 18, 1999
  • Article

    Back to Her Roots

    Ruthie Foster's artistic identity may challenge some mainstream assumptions about race, age, gender and musical tastes. A 35-year-old African-American singer-songwriter who plays guitar and piano (both solo and with her band), she performs mainly ori...

    by Roger Wood on February 18, 1999
  • Article

    Bop Lite

    One of jazz's most commercially successful trumpeters, Maynard Ferguson has a keen sense of what trend will keep him visible. In the late '40s and early '50s, he was playing swing with Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. In the mid '50s, he worked in ...

    by David Simutis on February 18, 1999
  • Article

    That's the Breaks - Houston rap labels and their artists look for that big deal

    There was a time in Houston when "rap music" meant Rap-A-Lot, and that was it. For the better part of the decade, that rap label, led by James "Lil' J" Smith (now known as James Prince), was at the epicenter of rap in the region. Thanks in part to Th...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    Rotation

    Blondie No Exit Beyond Most pop comebacks, particularly recent ones, are pathetic. Disastrous. Mortifying. (Case in point: Bauhaus.) So when Blondie, a band that defined new wave while somehow managing to maintain street cred, reunites afte...

    by Liz Belile on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    Perseverin' Papas

    The Soul Survivors, a quintet of R&B/ jazz/studio veterans, features a repertoire of '60s and '70s pop/R&B tunes, jazz standards and soulful originals filled with a unique, greasy, sticky sound -- not surprising considering who its members are. Guita...

    on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    Traviata: Racette's Latest Triumph

    Lyric soprano Patricia Racette practically sizzles between rasping coughs in her role as the consumptive Parisian courtesan who dies before she gets her man in La Traviata. As the curtain rises in the Houston Grand Opera's new production, she lies vo...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    Viva Verdi - Compelling leads take Traviata past staging problems

    Tales abound for why Verdi's debut of La Traviata in Venice was a dismal failure. Some point to a lackluster response to its contemporary setting during his time (1850s). This is inaccurate, though, since the show was set in the 1700s. Others blame i...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    We're Number One

    Chicago's alternative rock bands can take themselves pretty seriously. From Tortoise's postrock self-indulgence to Liz Phair's postfeminist diatribes to the Smashing Pumpkins' grandiose tendencies, it's obvious that having a sense of humor isn't ...

    by David Simutis on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    Slightly Off Kilter

    On the quintet's third and latest record, Prolonging the Magic, Cake gives lots of play to its country influences, without giving up much of its laid-back attitude. With wordplay bordering on absurd, singer/guitarist John McCrea deadpans lyrics whil...

    by David Simutis on February 4, 1999
  • Article

    Becoming a Lead Dog

    With its third major label CD, How Does Your Garden Grow, Better Than Ezra has stretched well beyond the guitar/bass/drums trio sound of its previous CDs, Deluxe and Friction, Baby. Fans accustomed to such songs as "Good," "In the Blood" and "Ki...

    by Alan Sculley on February 4, 1999
  • Article

    Rotation

    Ray Wylie Hubbard Live at Cibolo Creek Country Club Misery Loves Company Mythology can be a very powerful and sometimes dangerous thing. This is something Dallas native Ray Wylie Hubbard no doubt understands. A veteran of the early 1970s' g...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on February 4, 1999
  • Article

    Hot Country Punksters

    In Austin, the obsessively self-referential city that calls itself "The Live Music Capital of the World," there is an unwritten book of frequently apocryphal notions about its music scene. One of the major fancies that turns out to be true is that it...

    by Rob Patterson on February 4, 1999
  • Article

    Hitting the Blue Notes

    With the possible exception of Verve, no record label is associated with jazz more than Blue Note Records. Founded by German immigrant Alfred Lion and writer/financier Max Margulis, Blue Note's beginnings were modest. Lion produced a recording sessio...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on February 4, 1999
  • Article

    Smart Pop

    Between the Barenaked Ladies' "One Week" and Fastball's "The Way," there was barely any time left to have Semisonic's "Closing Time" driven into your skull by the radio this summer. It was hard to let a day go by without hearing the Minneapolis band'...

    by Bob Ruggiero on January 28, 1999
  • Article

    Stressing Strauss - Da Camera examines the 20th-Century Enigma composer

    Most strangers to classical music don't realize it, but they really do know Richard Strauss. If nothing else, they're sure to recognize the pounding drums of the opening to Also Sprach Zarathustra, immortalized by Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odys...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on January 28, 1999
  • Article

    From Zero to Hero

    There are reasons, upon first inspection, that Remy Zero's second record, Villa Elaine, should suck: Bio says they sound like Radiohead; first record not so good; long-standing friendship with singer from Counting Crows; from Birmingham, Alabama; bot...

    by David Simutis on January 28, 1999
  • Article

    Internalizing the Blues

    The shadow of Janis Joplin has been following Susan Tedeschi for almost as long as she can remember. "I have known who Janis was ever since I was little," Tedeschi says. "I mean, believe it or not, I've always had that comparison ever since I wa...

    by Alan Sculley on January 28, 1999
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