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  • Article

    The Good with the Badfinger - A Houston producer pays loving tribute to an enduring -- if cursed -- band

    Badfinger could be the most star-crossed band in the history of rock and roll. During their time on the planet as the sometimes plastic, more often authentic, scions of the Beatles, misfortune smiled upon the British foursome all too often. For a gro...

    by Hobart Rowland on January 9, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    The Red Krayola Hazel Drag City Avant-garde rockers have to be the most patient people in the world. They make a release, then wait a decade or more until someone notices. That's what happened with the Red Krayola, whose current resurgence ...

    by Brendan Doherty on January 9, 1997
  • Article

    Grimm Tale

    It's Saturday night at Emo's, and the crowd is sectioned off into the typical competing segments. There's the regular rowdies around the bar; the underage, pasty-white socialites out front in the courtyard; and the 20 to 30 gawking souls huddled arou...

    by Hobart Rowland on January 2, 1997
  • Article

    Same Old Fun

    Someday, in the future, when CD reviews no longer specify the label behind a band's latest release (it'll all be Sony down the line), Disney will buy a little nowhere town and convert it, Epcot-style, to a musical theme park for unrepentant, if thoro...

    by Jim Sherman on January 2, 1997
  • Article

    Gracious Angel - A box set doesn't mean Emmylou Harris's career is done; it may mean it's just beginning

    She does not stick out in the dilapidated lobby of the Farmer's Daughter Motel on Fairfax, just across the street from Los Angeles's Farmer's Market. Her famous long hair -- black with road-map streaks of gray running through it -- is tucked undernea...

    by Robert Wilonsky on January 2, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Grumbling on Washington... A spat's been brewing between two of the city's best-known musical neighbors, Rockefeller's and the Fabulous Satellite Lounge. It appears they're butting awnings over gig rights -- specifically, who's going to book the larg...

    by Hobart Rowland on January 2, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Vic Chesnutt About to Choke Capitol It takes a while to dig Vic Chesnutt. There are nagging delays, such as the one inevitably caused by the attempt to figure out just who, or what, that warbling voice coming through the speaker sounds like...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on January 2, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Reflections '96... Of all the trends and tragedies that spun modern music into its cockeyed spiral in 1996, Houston can't really claim direct involvement in any of them. Last year, we were the last stop on the party train for the late Shannon Hoon (b...

    by Hobart Rowland on December 26, 1996
  • Article

    Still Blue

    In a pop world where female musicians are designed, micromanaged and as carefully positioned in the marketplace as a new brand of air freshener, how wonderfully earthy and real is the art of Joni Mitchell. It's jolting to put on Mitchell's new pair o...

    by Susan Whitall on December 26, 1996
  • Article

    Sound Check

    Imagine for a moment what it would be like if the record industry's billion-dollar promotion budget was allocated on a musical, rather than a commercial, merit system. Jon Bon Jovi (a name that would cause people to scratch their heads and ask, "Who?...

    by Bob Burtman on December 26, 1996
  • Article

    Heavy, Man - An endless drum solo for... the ten worst concept albums of all time

    Back before there were long-form videos and CD-ROMs for overweening artiste types to wallow in, musicians used the concept album to overextend their half-baked ideas. Not content with letting a single song do its job, groups charged an entire collect...

    by Serene Dominic on December 26, 1996
  • Article

    Static

    22 Jacks, a John and a Joey... I must say that I've had few -- if any -- conversations with card-carrying punk rockers in which Elton John has been mentioned, let alone discussed in detail. But, at the risk of threatening 22 Jacks's membership in the...

    by Hobart Rowland on December 19, 1996
  • Article

    Bone to Pick - A voice lost in the shadow of Buddy Holly demands his due. Question is, what took him so long?

    John Pickering has never been effective at throwing his weight around. He's warm and passive by nature, an amiable East Texan with a wide smile, a healthy laugh and a vivid memory. "I'm most comfortable singing. I was a professional singer by th...

    by Hobart Rowland on December 19, 1996
  • Article

    Swing Kings

    Let's face it: The time has come to take the whole "retro" concept and toss it in the trash. The music most folks call classical, after all, was the popular music of its day; it's only come to be considered timeless art because it is timeless. Now we...

    by Brendan Doherty on December 19, 1996
  • Article

    Rotation

    Semisonic Great Divide MCA Precious few know this, but Semisonic's Dan Wilson has already been a party to what is arguably the most lucid back-to-nature statement any post-punk band has made this decade. It happened with his last group, the...

    by Brad Tyer on December 19, 1996
  • Article

    Think Hard - Celindine is bent on a musical formula that takes everything, and nothing, for granted

    Coaxing Celindine's Trey Pool out of his protective shell takes patience. But if you don't have the time to get to know him, he recommends nicotine and alcohol to help loosen the tension. Still, even after a few beers and half an ashtray's worth of c...

    by Hobart Rowland on December 12, 1996
  • Article

    Decay Becomes Him - Ex-Chili Pepper John Frusciante sleepwalks through a rock and roll nightmare

    His upper teeth are nearly gone now; they have been replaced by tiny slivers of off-white that peek through rotten gums. His lower teeth, thin and brown, appear ready to fall out if he so much as coughs too hard. His lips are pale and dry, coated wit...

    by Robert Wilonsky on December 12, 1996
  • Article

    Swing Crazy

    More than half a century ago, when folks were kicking the gong around and asking if youse a viper, bands like the Squirrel Nut Zippers haunted speakeasies by the dozen. Now, the Zippers find themselves among only a handful of bands that embody the ra...

    by Brad Tyer on December 12, 1996
  • Article

    Rotation

    Johnny Cash Unchained American Recordings In 1994, just as his myth was in danger of being destroyed by too many mediocre releases, Johnny Cash was rescued from the country-music trash heap and restored to the sort of honorary status afford...

    by Brad Tyer on December 12, 1996
  • Article

    Static

    Trick or trifle... Cheap Trick didn't mean to become a '70s answer to the Beatles, it's just that their timing was so impeccable and their intentions so real. The Illinois quartet -- comprising Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Car...

    by Hobart Rowland on December 12, 1996
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