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  • Article

    Super Squeak - Rick James comes clean on the past, the present -- and the CD he hopes will revive his career

    "I saw it coming," Rick James says, "and subconsciously, I asked for it." He foresaw it in his own public profile, jagged as an EKG, which stretched across nearly 30 years of popular music and eccentric behavior; James had mutated from sing-along...

    by Dave Wielenga on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Modest Chunk

    Over the years, an inordinate amount of ink has been devoted to just how humdrum a bunch of folks the members of Superchunk really are. Somehow they've avoided the Sturm und Drang that seems, for most bands, an indelible part of rock and roll life. I...

    by Hobart Rowland on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Groove United

    It's a place where the boundaries of race, culture and genre are ignored daily, hourly, within the span of minutes -- even seconds. Here, dance music knows no limits -- other than those of the human variety -- and the term "family" can apply to just ...

    by Carrie Bell on October 2, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Jeers of a clown... "It's like a little kid with a chemistry set. He may be really on to something, but then his dad comes home from work, goes into the garage and says, 'Dammit Timmy, I told you not to fuck with my tools,' and he smashes up the kid'...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    The Reich Stuff - A new boxed set gives minimalist Steve Reich maximum exposure

    Repetition is an element common to virtually every musical style. African drummers pound out beats that conform to set patterns. Rhythm-and-blues figures such as James Brown vamp atop roiling grooves that gain power through their very immutability. P...

    by Michael Roberts on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Rhythm Kings - D.R.U.M. not only wants the right sound, it wants the right spirit

    It's a late June Tuesday night at the Ensemble Theatre's former home on Holman and Main, and it's hotter than Salma Hayek in a Norma Kamali bikini. That is, when you get inside the unventilated corridors of the upstairs facilities known as the Midtow...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Smear Campaign - Blur searches for America's kindly embrace -- just so they can shrug it off

    Blur's Graham Coxon flat-out refuses to reveal his alias. "That wouldn't be very good to tell you, because then it wouldn't be my code name, would it?" says the guitarist in a pissy tone, as if being pressed to spill vital state secrets. Suc...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Bjork Homogenic Elektra Following the release of her wildly eclectic 1995 record Post, Bjork told me that "the album is sort of a challenge. It's like saying, 'Okay, life, you can throw whatever you want at me -- an earthquake, a devaluatio...

    by Bob Ruggiero on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Bully Boys

    Comedian Chris Rock has certainly become comedy's stand-up flavor of the month, but what you might not know is that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is at least peripherally responsible for his recent success. It is the mystic, Cleveland-based rap/hip-hop act, a...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 25, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Acrimonious split... A local music insider is calling it a "horrible divorce." And for sure, the recent parting of ways between Houston bar-rock chanteuse Miss Molly (a.k.a. Molly Ann Elswick) and her longtime friend and manager Dickie Malone has all...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 11, 1997
  • Article

    Comeback Penn-ding

    Pessimists might interpret the title of Michael Penn's third CD, Resigned, as an expression of frustration or, more appropriately, resignation. Those with a brighter outlook, on the other hand, might be more inclined to see the title differently -- a...

    by Alan Sculley on September 11, 1997
  • Article

    Impure, and Proud of It

    There are more than a few flamenco purists out there who have stopped just short of demanding the head of Ottmar Liebert on a silver platter. It's out of jealousy, of course. Liebert, after all, has done a remarkable job of taking the musical essence...

    by Mark Towns on September 11, 1997
  • Article

    Burying the Brakeman

    They tried this nine years ago, and then, somehow, it worked. In 1988, Columbia Records rounded up a cast of familiar and vaguely bankable voices -- among them Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, U2, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp -- and...

    by Robert Wilonsky on September 11, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Paul Weller Heavy Soul Island As the temperamental leader of the punk-tinged English power trio the Jam, Paul Weller began his career carving out a fierce vision indebted to early Mod and Merseybeat posturing at its most impenetrably Angloc...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on September 11, 1997
  • Article

    Double Duty - Meet Middlefinger: model citizens (sort of) by day, ska/punk instigators by night

    Many bands like to talk about how much time they spend rehearsing, spinning tales of all-night garage sessions that stretch into daylight, the hours eaten up mulling over just the right lick or lyric. But for members of the ska/punk outfit Middlefing...

    by Bob Ruggiero on September 11, 1997
  • Article

    Rotation

    Oasis Be Here Now Epic It's tempting to write off Oasis's third CD as a vague facsimile of the two that preceded it; Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory? still echo loudly in the pop consciousness, their hit singles as fam...

    by Roni Sarig on September 4, 1997
  • Article

    Out of the Swamp

    Blue Moon Swamp may be John Fogerty's first CD in ten years, but you only have to go to a baseball game to know that he's never really been out of our consciousness. It was between innings at a recent Astros game that the familiar strains of Fogerty'...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on September 4, 1997
  • Article

    Honky-Tonk History - He had 78 hits over 50 years and revolutionized country music. Now, Hank Thompson gets a new green light.

    They're raiments an Aztec priest would envy, a bit faded with age, perhaps, but still arresting in their brilliance. One suit is blood red, with black patterns that race up and down its sleeves. It almost seems to breathe as country music legend...

    by Matt Weitz on September 4, 1997
  • Article

    Static

    Raves and wave-offs... Evidently, Liquid is just getting started -- or so says the group's leader. Bassist Kyle Watt has assured me (in a somewhat defensive manner) that the Houston quartet had yet to establish a real flow when they sat down to recor...

    by Hobart Rowland on August 28, 1997
  • Article

    Wanted Man - Johnny Cash may just be a legend, but he's never sounded better

    It was due in stores by July, but a lifetime of memories does not come easily to a man whose first hit came 41 years ago, when he was a member of a Sun Records roster that included Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and a boy named Elvis. So the world wil...

    by Robert Wilonsky on August 28, 1997
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