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  • Article

    Elling's Rant

    It seems only appropriate that Kurt Elling is performing an artists' benefit when he comes to Houston Thursday. A Grammy-nominated singer and die-hard Jack Kerouac fan, the 30-year-old jazz singer is outspoken, to say the least, about the importance ...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Vainglorious

    What is it about Beaumont that gets those creative carbines churning? Maybe it's the stinking petrol sediment forever fouling the humid Gulf air, or the cultural blight that resides comfortably on its bleak streets. Whatever. The talent that has emer...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Feel for the Real - Burning Spear's gimmick-free reggae has all the earmarks of home

    In recent years, the throbbing, roots-oriented style that dominated reggae's formative decade has given way to a more modern adaptation: Strutting and synthesized, dancehall is to Rastafarian-inspired reggae what disco is to the deep soul sounds of W...

    by Bob Burtman on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Star Power and Substance

    Baaba Maal provided the African celebrity glitter at this year's International Festival, but a pair of lesser-known emigrants from that continent may well equal the Senegalese superstar in substance. Sally Nyolo and Ricardo Lemvo have taken routes th...

    by Alan Sculley on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    For three years, the building at 2727 Crossview that once housed Birraporetti's stood vacant. These days, former patrons of that Italian eatery would never recognize the place. For starters, there's a vast bar and cocktail area, lavish balcony and di...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    Raves and wave-offs... Technically, Island Romance, the new CD from Houston's Irie Time, could be considered a rerelease -- that is, if its like-named 1991 antecedent was ever officially available in the first place. Like the biracial reggae quartet'...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Fresh Spin

    Though noticeably older, Chris Duarte is often mentioned along with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang as part of a new generation of guitarists carrying the blues to a new generation of fans. In doing so, though, it's likely Duarte will continue to...

    by Alan Sculley on April 16, 1998
  • Article

    You're Not from Texas - Deep in the heart of western swing with a Scot on a mission

    Scotland's Duncan McLean knows more about Texas swing than most Texans; it's an avocation, a pure-hearted love of the form, that sucks up much of the Aberdeenshire-born author's time. McLean now lives in Orkney, an isolated island chain off the Scott...

    by Clay McNear on April 16, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Page & Plant Walking into Clarksdale Atlantic When all is said and done, the Led Zeppelin output that endures best isn't the straight blues jams or the acoustic ballads, but, quite simply, the rock and roll -- that is, the sound made when a...

    by Bob Ruggiero on April 16, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    A rose by any other name... Granted, it was an inane moniker. Hell, even the band members knew how juvenile it was: Pull My Finger, a name that conjures up sulfur-tinged memories of that kid in seventh-grade gym class always willing to let one rip fo...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 16, 1998
  • Article

    Reason to Roam - At 67, Ramblin' Jack Elliott reclaims -- temporarily -- the urge to wander

    If he'd had his druthers, Ramblin' Jack Elliott would've probably been born in Texas. Instead, he entered the world in Brooklyn, New York, a happy stroke of fate that eventually led to his becoming one of the primary enduring human threads of the con...

    by Rob Patterson on April 9, 1998
  • Article

    Ball of Confusion

    In 1997, the Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and Currently Known as Sir Hieroglyph was lying low. It's all relative, sure, but '97 was the first year since 1983 that hadn't seen a single disc released by the Funky Pop Pol...

    by Ben Greenman on April 9, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    The Mavericks Trampoline MCA Mavericks lead singer/songwriter Raul Malo has always harbored ambition as soaring as his gorgeous voice. But for him and his band, the focus of those ambitions is constantly shifting. On their major-label ...

    by David Simutis on April 9, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    Quality time... "It was absolutely fantastic," gushes Texas Johnny Brown, one of the more immovable veterans dotting the Houston blues landscape. It seems the 70-year-old singer/ guitarist is still giddy over the March 27 celebration thrown in honor ...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 9, 1998
  • Article

    Write or Wrong? - Marilyn Manson's Long Hard Road Out of Hell is paved with one journalist's bad intentions

    In November 1996, New York Times reporter and rock critic Neil Strauss crawled into the hot tub at a Holiday Inn in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with desperate-to-shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Strauss was there to write an article for Rolling Stone, and ...

    by Jim DeRogatis on April 2, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Semisonic Feeling Strangely Fine MCA In the increasingly disposable world of '90s pop, Dan Wilson is a hooksmith without peer, and one of the most shamelessly sentimental songwriters of his generation. But then, what exactly is Wilson's gen...

    by Zac Crain on April 2, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    Ego run amuck?... It had to be the easiest $1,000 Houston's Ezra Charles ever made. Hired by oldies station KLDE/94.5 FM to open for creaky classic-rockers Three Dog Night at the Children's Festival in Hermann Park March 21, the insufferable leader o...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 2, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    Richmond Strip entertainment mogul and City Streets owner Jeff Meineke has been keeping plenty busy. He recently presided over the massive image overhaul of Blue Planet, turning it into Powerplant, a high-end Outer Loop partier's Taj Mahal -- and one...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 2, 1998
  • Article

    Hard to Kill

    A recent MTV Online editorial opined that heavy metal is "the dog bone buried in the background of pop culture these days." If that's the case, then Megadeth's singer, guitarist and residing conscience, Dave Mustaine, is undoubtedly one of the fierce...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on April 2, 1998
  • Article

    Tangled Web - From Mexico to L.A. via Alaska and El Paso, Tito Larriva has seen it all -- and more

    The phone call finally arrives around 6 p.m., four hours late. The connection crackles and hisses as if it resents the human intrusion; Tito Larriva's voice on the other end sounds hollow, distant. The imagination reels. This is, after all, the prima...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 26, 1998
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