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  • Article

    Punk Drunks

    GBH is by no means a complicated band. Both musically and personally, its members seem to subsist entirely on a diet of punk and drink, as both items have been not only the thrust of 80 percent of their subject matter, but also one of the main reason...

    by David Wilcox on March 4, 1999
  • Article

    Pop Goes the Quartet - Quartetto Gelato ain't your father's chamber quartet

    Take a couple of classical fiddlers, mix in some fiery oboe licks, throw in a little freebase accordion, serve it up with megadoses of a Puccini-loving Irish tenor, and what's the end result? The inimitable, irreverent flavor of Quartetto Gelato. Dub...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on March 4, 1999
  • Article

    It Takes One - Lonestar returns to the Lone Star State in a blaze of glory

    Lonestar is made up of five guys from Texas who each separately took their dreams of stardom to Nashville. It's the kind of story that usually ends with crushed hopes and poverty, or worse. Very few end the way Lonestar's does: with gold records and ...

    by David Simutis on March 4, 1999
  • Article

    Phat Cat - Ex-Stray Cat Lee Rocker brings rockabilly into the '90s

    When Lee Rocker wants to, say, hit a local California juke joint, he hops in his 1959 Ford Skyliner, a 19-foot-long, red street machine with white trim he picked up five years ago in Garland, Texas. When Lee Rocker wants to get dressed for a gig or e...

    by Anthony Mariani on March 4, 1999
  • Article

    Easy on Friday Night

    In the 1970s, as lead singer of The Commodores, Lionel Richie helped usher in the disco era. In the 1980s, he gained success as a one-man hit factory. The man was, next to Michael Jackson, the biggest pop star of the decade. He matched Irving Berlin ...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on March 4, 1999
  • Article

    The Devil Makes Him Do It - One-on-one with pop satirist Wesley Willis

    Wesley Willis is standing inside a record store in the fashionable Wrigleyville area of Chicago, waiting. The large keyboard in his backpack looks small compared to his six-and-a-half-foot, 300-pound-plus frame. He yells, "Get away from me," when I i...

    by David Simutis on February 25, 1999
  • Article

    Bohemian Rhapsody - Socratic life hits the Heights

    In last weekend's production of Puccini's La Boheme, Opera in the Heights performers reminded audiences of one truism, easily forgotten since the advent of the Three Tenors and Jessye Norman's televised Christmas concerts. It's hard to surpass opera ...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on February 25, 1999
  • Article

    Jazz for the Masses

    Sometimes Houston is lucky if one nationally known jazz act is playing in town on a given weekend. Well, even though it's typically famine or famine 'round these parts, this weekend it's a feast. Five world-renowned jazz acts will make their way into...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on February 25, 1999
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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
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