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  • Article

    Static

    From the vaults... I discovered the Velvet Underground in a way that should make the band's most impassioned devotees cringe. I'd been told by a hip elder cousin that, in light of my immersion in David Bowie and Mott the Hoople, it was only prudent t...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 3, 1997
  • Article

    Still Flying - Roger McGuinn is happy to look at the past, but he's not ready to live in it

    Roger McGuinn prefers to travel light; two guitars are all he carries, and a 12-string Rickenbacker is always one of them. At an age when many graying rockers are thinking about calling it a career, McGuinn, 54, is busy indulging the same wayfaring f...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 3, 1997
  • Article

    Funk Historians

    Fans of hard-core, Clinton-era (George Clinton, that is) funk should find something -- if not everything -- about Shag eerily familiar. The multiracial octet is nothing if not a sweaty-assed '90s encapsulation of Clinton's P-Funk experience circa 197...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 3, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Matthew Sweet Blue Sky on Mars Zoo/Volcano The disappointment of Blue Sky on Mars cuts two ways. First, there are the songs: Aside from a few hummable gems that transcend time and cliche ("Back Two You," "All Over My Head," "Make Believe"),...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on April 3, 1997
  • Article

    Educated Sounds

    If you ever wanted proof of the benefits of education, Horace-Alexander Young is it. Over the last decade, the Houston native and admired jazz flute virtuoso has found himself recording, touring the world and serving as musical director for the likes...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 27, 1997
  • Article

    Looking for Billy Zoom - X was the West's great punk hope. But now they're finding more fun in their new worlds.

    No one will ever make a movie about D.J. Bonebrake. Not while punk culture is overcrowded with easily glorified martyrs such as the Germs' Darby Crash, that badass party boy and even worse Iggy imitator whose life and fabulous suicide will soon be en...

    by Steve Appleford on March 27, 1997
  • Article

    Sound Check

    Over the past year, a new generation of soul crooners -- D'Angelo, Maxwell and Tony Rich -- has revivified R&B vocals by dumping the new-jack croak that Boyz II Men still use to line their pockets with gold. These fellows are slipping into the darker...

    by Elvis Mitchell on March 27, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Minor cause for an update... There's a simple reason why the furor over efforts by state Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) to prevent underage music fans from gaining access to nightclubs that serve alcohol fizzled so quickly: People finally got th...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 27, 1997
  • Article

    Revenge of the Nerds - A Nerf Herder lesson in how to sell yourself as who you are

    Brand the guys in Nerf Herder misfits, and they won't argue with you about it -- they know as much. It's no coincidence, after all, that both halves of the California band's name share more than a few letters with "nerd." Head Herder Parry Gripp reli...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 20, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Excerpts from a SXSW diary... Wednesday, March 12, 3 p.m.: The carnage hasn't yet begun, but already the staff at Austin's La Quinta Capitol looks like they've been through hell. One weary employee, dripping with sweat, joins me in the elevator as I ...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 20, 1997
  • Article

    All the Wilder

    Think of Webb Wilder, the self-styled "last of the full-grown men," as a road-show Warren Zevon. Like Zevon, Wilder uses a mix of sledgehammer rock and witty, twisted lyrics that's a rocket ship to a strange (and fun) planet. Drawing from a far-rangi...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 20, 1997
  • Article

    Punk and Precious - Rasputina offers up a trio of not so mellow cellos

    Stringed instruments have a long, if not always honorable, tradition in pop music. Sweeping violin washes have been used to sweeten everybody from Ella Fitzgerald to Hank Williams for audiences that, presumably, preferred to swallow their personaliti...

    by Brad Tyer on March 20, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Buick MacKane The Pawn Shop Years Ryko Anyone who's seen Alejandro Escovedo play live knows what the (tiny) audience for his recent records may have missed, which is that alongside the eclectic and literate sensitivity that has been Escoved...

    by Mark Towns on March 20, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Dinosaur Jr. Hand It Over Reprise It's been almost two years now since Dinosaur Jr. finally hit the pop charts with "Feel the Pain," and at least two years before that since Dino has managed to sound like anything other than a steadily dilu...

    by Gerard Choucroun on March 13, 1997
  • Article

    Descendents Ascendant

    Some timing. Just when Green Day's lesser ilk have drained nearly every liter of urgency from punk's once-proud legacy, along comes a group of its more durable practitioners to apply defibrillator paddles to its lukewarm carcass. Those potential life...

    by Jim Sherman on March 13, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Only a speck of Houston in Austin... If my only job at this week's South by Southwest Music and Media Conference were to witness every showcase performance by a Houston artist, my efforts would amount to little more than a day's work. Houston's repre...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 13, 1997
  • Article

    Lucky Horseshoe - Are a praised CD and a slot at SXSW enough to make this band happy? Of course not.

    Somebody up there likes me, so they provide me with little accidents of grace. Horseshoe, 1996. That may be true in concept, but at the moment, Greg Wood, Horseshoe's burly lead singer, looks less like an accident of grace than a walking disaster...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 13, 1997
  • Article

    A Whole Lot Country - And quite a bit rock and roll add up to No Depression music

    Over the past several months, I've contributed stories every now and then to a bimonthly magazine called No Depression that takes as its subject matter the burgeoning field of "alternative country" music -- which is to say, music with recognizably "c...

    by Brad Tyer on March 13, 1997
  • Article

    The Once and Future Dolemite - Rudy Ray Moore, the brotherman from another land, is still outta sight

    The first time I saw Rudy Ray Moore doing his act live, he was laying out a heavy hand of rude, raw, scatological humor. A big man who seems somehow more dark-skinned in person than he does on-screen, where he forever lives on as the B-grade blaxploi...

    by Elvis Mitchell on March 6, 1997
  • Article

    God's Own Player

    The fact that pianist Cyrus Chestnut grew up surrounded by great music shouldn't come as much of a shock. Jazz isn't for everyone, after all, and a passion for the genre is often instilled in its purveyors at a young age. From there, a player is apt ...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on March 6, 1997
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