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  • Article

    Odd Man Out - Van Dyke Parks, the invisible legend of L.A. music, finally goes live

    Van Dyke Parks does not talk. He speaks, pronounces, proclaims, mumbles and grumbles, chuckles and chortles. But he does not simply talk to waste his words; every syllable has meaning, every breath great implication, every silence great weight. Weari...

    by Robert Wilonsky on February 20, 1997
  • Article

    Truth in Advertising - Oh, is Poor Dumb Bastards just the band's name?

    "I never actually stuck anything up my ass," Byron Dean says. "I would just squeeze it a little bit in my cheeks." At the moment, Dean, lead singer for Houston's Poor Dumb Bastards, is addressing a rather intimate question regarding the beer bot...

    by Brad Tyer on February 20, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Tony Bennett On Holiday: A Tribute to Billie Holiday Columbia Tony Bennett has nearly always been an anachronism. His career began just as his brand of sophisticated, Tin Pan Alley melody was about to be swallowed up by the passionate rhyth...

    by Brendan Doherty on February 20, 1997
  • Article

    The Reason of Rimes - LeAnn Rimes has taken country music by storm. She's only 14. And that's the rub.

    It was a Saturday night at Billy Bob's in Dallas, and the cavernous honky-tonk -- so big that the beer lights seem to follow the curvature of the globe as they disappear into the blue smoke -- was alive with ritual: girls in tight jeans eyeing guys i...

    by Matt Weitz on February 13, 1997
  • Article

    Shiny Happy People? - Sweden's Cardigans aren't as warm and fuzzy as they let on

    On the surface, Sweden is a land of crystal lakes, rolling rivers and snowcapped mountains, with lots of happy blond people enjoying the country's famed social welfare system. But it's also a nation perilously deprived of sunlight much of the year, w...

    by Roni Sarig on February 13, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Chris Whitley Terra Incognita Work Chris Whitley's 1991 debut, Living with the Law, is some of the finest driving music ever made. Impossibly atmospheric and superbly moving, Law draws your focus away from the centerline and into scenescape...

    by David Cantwell on February 13, 1997
  • Article

    They're the Queers, They're Here

    If you'd already heard of the Queers before last year's Don't Back Down, you're probably the sort of Mohawked, ultra-into-punk punk who's already written the band off as a commercial sellout. If Don't Back Down was your first exposure, you're probabl...

    by Hobart Rowland on February 13, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    God bless the caterer... You can learn a lot about a rock act from its backstage likes and dislikes. That much I took away from my trip to The Woodlands Mall last weekend. The occasion? A viewing of On Tour, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum'...

    by Hobart Rowland on February 13, 1997
  • Article

    A Feel for the Real

    There was a time, about 60 years ago, when jazz was thought of as simply, well, jazz. Smooth, hard, swinging or jagged, it was all music you danced to. But in the mid-'40s, a small group of performers, spearheaded by Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, began ...

    by Mark Towns on February 6, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    A sound gesture... It wasn't the most poignant way to go out. Josh Lloyd, a longtime bouncer and ever-present personality at Emo's, had been depressed for months, and try as they did, none of his friends seemed able to remedy his sadness. Finally, Ll...

    by Hobart Rowland on February 6, 1997
  • Article

    Souls Shaken, Minds Stirred - Kula Shaker's got what you need -- or so they say

    "I believe in the possibility of a new era," Kula Shaker's frontman, Crispian Mills, once told a leery New York journalist. "You can sing about things like premature teenage sex, or you can sing about everlasting, universal truth." Hmm, sounds l...

    by Hobart Rowland on February 6, 1997
  • Article

    Out of Zion

    So it's come to this: multitudes of baby bands scouring the legacy of Kurt Cobain for anything usable -- and selling lots of CDs by incorporating what they find. Someone dubbed the trend "scrunge" (whoever he or she was must have combined scourge wit...

    by Brad Tyer on February 6, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Bloodhound Gang One Fierce Beer Coaster Geffen "Know thyself," goes one of the commandments of the ancient Greeks. "I'm more tongue and cheek than a lesbo orgy," goes Jimmy Pop Ali, mouthpiece of the Bloodhound Gang, a twisted band of mall ...

    by David Cantwell on February 6, 1997
  • Article

    Modest Intent

    A few years back, an odd little story (or perhaps a rumor) began circulating about the Connells. As the tale went, the group had just finished a show at some Maryland dump, and its members had spread out inside the emptying club to hang out with frie...

    by Brad Tyer on January 30, 1997
  • Article

    Lo-fi, High Expectations - Will Sebadoh end up ruling the DIY world it helped create?

    In Lou Barlow's Boston apartment, it's always easy to know where you stand. As Barlow, the auteur of the subterranean lovesick blues that have made his band Sebadoh an indie icon, describes his home, it sounds like a comfortable place to crash: books...

    by Brendan Doherty on January 30, 1997
  • Article

    Sound Check

    Is it just me, or does it strike you as a bit unnerving that Pearl Jam is held up as modern rock's shining example of perseverance; that, these days, four releases equal a lengthy career -- or perhaps even more distressing, a career in its twilight? ...

    by Hobart Rowland on January 30, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Just in from the Metroplex... To most Houstonians, the rock scene in Dallas is pretty faceless, if only because most of its artists so rarely show their faces around here. Austin acts appear in town like clockwork, but Dallas ... well it's still cons...

    by Hobart Rowland on January 30, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Walter Hyatt King Tears MCA A musician's death, it's sad to note, often sparks considerable interest in his music. You want evidence? Just look at how Townes Van Zandt's CDs have suddenly moved from the back of the bin to the front. Si...

    by Brad Tyer on January 23, 1997
  • Article

    All for One? - The boys in the band want you to know Counting Crows is more than its lead singer

    The last time anyone looked, Counting Crows was still a plural entity -- a sextet, not a solo act. Yet if you judged by the stories written about the California band, you might assume it was a one-man operation, that man being photogenic and enigmati...

    by Hobart Rowland on January 23, 1997
  • Article

    Wicked Rush

    Back when responsible adults refrained from using words such as "smart-ass" in the presence of children, a relative of mine affectionately described certain people as "wisenheimers." And while that expression's meaning may have been mangled in transl...

    by Gerard Choucroun on January 23, 1997
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