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  • Article

    Static

    Notes from the front... "This your first time here?" inquired the toothy record label rep with a sympathetic grimace that seemed to imply, "I feel your discomfort." "What a zoo," came my sluggish response, as if I were programmed to repeat the s...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 21, 1996
  • Article

    Family Style - Breedlove fishes in the Vaughan gene pool for a little added talent

    For now, at least, Breedlove is new enough to the business of rock and roll to be refreshingly oblivious to even the tiniest perks that come with being a band in demand. As four-fifths of the Austin quintet sidles up to the counter at a barbecue join...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 21, 1996
  • Article

    A Geek with a Guitar - Edwin McCain wants to please with his songs. You got a problem with that?

    It was Cracker frontman David Lowery who penned the choice line about the questionable value of yet another geek with an acoustic guitar: "What the world needs now is another folk singer, like I need a hole in my head." Superficially, singer Edw...

    by Greg Barr on March 21, 1996
  • Article

    Rotation

    Lou Reed Set the Twilight Reeling Warner Bros. Because he is who he is, Lou Reed has managed to elevate his relatively patchy solo output to near legendary status. For every misfire in his 24-year post-Velvet Underground career (1976's toot...

    by Alan Quaintance on March 21, 1996
  • Article

    Porch Music

    If you judge a band by the company it keeps, you'll probably want to get to know the Subdudes a little better. The four-piece -- with two members in Colorado and two in New Orleans -- is no more than one degree of separation removed from predecessors...

    by Jim Sherman on March 21, 1996
  • Article

    Static

    Greetings from Redneck, New Jersey... For the Swales' Rob Carr, big city angst's got nothing on good, old-fashioned small-town misery. "The regular guy just tugs at my heartstrings," says Carr. "If there's any condescension to [my songs], then I...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 14, 1996
  • Article

    Rotation

    Velocity Girl Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts Sub Pop Female-fronted alt rock bands may be a dime a dozen on MTV these days, but they've hardly been a common commodity at Sub Pop, the Seattle-based record label largely responsible for birth...

    by Jim Sherman on March 14, 1996
  • Article

    Unpolished Gem

    JUMP INFORMATION APPENDED FROM FILE C:\NEP\DAYS\031496\03140108.NVT Just when you thought there wasn't the smallest sliver of room in rock for yet another in-your-face, acid-tongued gal, along comes Ruby's Lesley Rankine. Once rumored to hav...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 14, 1996
  • Article

    La Mafia, Redux? - Fama wants to be Houston's next Spanish-language breakthrough

    On the north side of the city, near where I-45 crosses paths with the 610 Loop, there's an unassuming one-story brick and aluminum-sided office building sitting just off the feeder road. From the outside, it doesn't much look like the centerpiece of ...

    by Brad Tyer on March 14, 1996
  • Article

    Once More, From the Top - Peter Stuart is ready to reclaim his captive audience

    It was an impressive place for any aspiring performer to begin -- opening for Counting Crows on tours of the United States and Europe well before record companies had even bothered to take any notice of him. Night after night, Peter Stuart would take...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 14, 1996
  • Article

    Perry Deep

    It's a shame the new El Palacio Cafe and Club didn't open its doors a few weeks earlier. Oscar Perry's deep, smooth voice and penchant for singing about love's ups and downs would have made him an ideal grand-opening headliner for Valentine's Day. De...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 7, 1996
  • Article

    Sample Idea - A boy and his electric toys are the source of Self's soundscapes

    Not long ago, Matt Mahaffey's world consisted of a college dorm room, a few instruments, a four-track recorder and a mountain of bad grades. An undergraduate at Middle Tennessee State University near Nashville, Mahaffey had enrolled to learn the busi...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 7, 1996
  • Article

    Rotation

    Van Morrison with Georgie Fame and Friends How Long Has This Been Going On Verve If the "this" of the CD's title is meant to allude to Van Morrison's jazz leanings -- made explicit here after years of jazzy shadings and tangents -- then it'...

    by Gerard Choucroun on March 7, 1996
  • Article

    Hippie Chic - Jewel is a one-name folkie with a multifaceted spirit

    Life has been nothing short of bohemian for singer/songwriter Jewel Kilcher. Yet, while many are quick to label the 21-year-old artist a neo-hippie, she'd rather think of herself as just a spiritual gal who's trying to make her life worth living. Muc...

    by Joe Hon on March 7, 1996
  • Article

    Static

    La Mafia's godfather... If there was ever any doubt about Oscar De La Rosa's status as La Mafia's leader, it's erased with the release of Un Millon de Rosas (A Million Roses) the new CD from the Houston Tejano giants. On its cover, you'll find Oscar,...

    by Hobart Rowland on March 7, 1996
  • Article

    Whats in a Name?

    If Bob Dole ever decides to change his image, he might consider enlisting a little help from Seattle's The Presidents of the United States of America. These post-grunge front-runners never take themselves too seriously; wouldn't it be nice if Dole fo...

    by Bob Burtman on February 29, 1996
  • Article

    Sound Check

    When the task at hand is spitting out product for listeners, Houston's music community is nothing if not prolific. Tiny local record labels have multiplied in the last few years, selling their smart-looking wares at live performances, through the mai...

    by Hobart Rowland on February 29, 1996
  • Article

    Master of the Universe - From presidents to pop stars, Merle Haggard has a song for everyone

    Given that complex people are often best described with a few short words, "universal appeal" seems the most fitting tag for Merle Haggard. Over the years, Haggard's fans have included everyone from Richard Nixon, who once told Haggard that singing t...

    by Jim Sherman on February 29, 1996
  • Article

    Static

    Reggae revival... After a so-so debut in 1995, Velvet Park will try its hand again this year at the festival game. Saturday and Sunday, the choice plot of cement and grass along Richmond Avenue just behind the Velvet Elvis will play host to the 1996 ...

    by Hobart Rowland on February 29, 1996
  • Article

    Stolen Moments - Jonny Polonsky knows that a little larceny never hurt rock and roll

    There must be a hundred different ways to write a song. Bukka White and his followers just sat there, willing conduits for the "sky songs" they claimed arrived fully formed out of the clear blue yonder. Peter Gabriel, on the other hand, has a craftsm...

    by Brad Tyer on February 22, 1996
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