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  • Article

    Ardent Idea - Can a Spot from Dallas do better than a Big Star from Memphis?

    The guys in Spot consider themselves a pretty lucky group, and well they should: the Dallas band has found itself plopped smack dab in the middle of a minor recording renaissance. This wondrous celebration of renewal is happening not in Texas but in ...

    by Hobart Rowland on December 7, 1995
  • Article

    Sour Success - Radiohead wants to prove it's more than just a "Creep"

    Radiohead's Thom Yorke is a miserable sort, but so far this year no other shoe-gazing Brit has reveled in his sadness quite so beautifully -- and thoroughly -- as Yorke does on Radiohead's sophomore effort, The Bends. The band's sobering reply to its...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 14, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Steven Kowalczyk Moods and Grooves Atlantic Suave New Englander Steven Kowalczyk fancies himself a young Tony Bennett -- or, at the very least, a thinking man's Harry Connick Jr. Moods and Grooves is not so much an introduction as an outl...

    by Roni Sarig on September 14, 1995
  • Article

    A Band's Dissolve - Banana Blender Surprise calls it quits or do they?

    The boys in Banana Blender Surprise have the gift of self-awareness and perspective, a decidedly precocious gift for a bunch of twentysomethings. These guys know who they are. They're a group of post-collegiate kids -- and a pre-collegiate one -- fro...

    by Tim Carman on September 14, 1995
  • Article

    Critic's Choice - All Bottled Up

    As long as the Bottle Rockets sing about what they know, it's more than likely that there'll be plenty of trendy types who won't care to listen -- even when the band's simple sentiments come in such hook-adorned packages as "Gravity Fails" and "I Wan...

    by Hobart Rowland on September 14, 1995
  • Article

    Critic's Choice - Let Bobby Inside Your Head

    Over on Dowling Street, the veterans of life and the blues sit in icehouses and barber shops, talking about the Action Town's glory days, when you could walk from one end of the Third Ward to the other any night of the week and hear music every step ...

    by Hobart Rowland on August 31, 1995
  • Article

    Postmarked Texas - Joe Ely sends a sad, beautiful Letter to Laredo

    Joe Ely has left Texas many times, spending some of those years busking in New York City subway stations and the Paris Metro. He traveled throughout Europe and the United States as a young man -- even ran away with the circus for a little while to te...

    by Robert Wilonsky on August 31, 1995
  • Article

    Sound Check

    The idea of love in rock and roll isn't particularly novel -- it's been addressed to death by everyone from Buddy Holly to Kurt Cobain. Writing a good love song is cake, right? Tom Petty has worked a trillion variations on the theme and still mana...

    by Hobart Rowland on August 31, 1995
  • Article

    Feel the Feel - Collective Soul makes a case for its staying power

    As fabricated as it might sound, Collective Soul has a valid grassroots success story to tell. After the band invaded alternative and AOR play lists out of nowhere last year with the relentlessly cheery "Shine," it was justifiable, perhaps, for the s...

    by Hobart Rowland on August 31, 1995
  • Article

    Bittersweet Pill - Alanis Morissette has jumped from kiddie crushes to adult angst

    You oughta know by now about Alanis Morissette, whose Jagged Little Pill has turned spite into a selling point. But what you might not know about are the secrets hidden beneath her spitfire attitude. Morissette's "You Oughta Know," on heavy rota...

    by Greg Barr on August 24, 1995
  • Article

    Troubadour for a Lost Generation

    Todd Snider must have had plenty to think about all those hours he spent sitting in the darkness. As a troubled teenager on the lam from college and a screwed up family life, he'd escape to the roof of his brother's Santa Rosa, California, house when...

    by Hobart Rowland on August 24, 1995
  • Article

    Promises,Promises - The Cranberries aren't impressed by the hype that's followed them to the top

    Cranberries guitarist/songwriter Noel Hogan sounds surprisingly carefree as he ponders the expectations that surrounded the band after its million-selling debut, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, made the group one of modern rock's bright...

    by Alan Sculley on August 24, 1995
  • Article

    Critic's Choice - Lovett Again

    It's not a natural instinct to pity your betters, but you almost have to feel sorry for Lyle Lovett. In a way, Katy's own local-boy-made-good flew a tad too close to the sun, and the sun -- for a moment -- threatened to burn him back down to earth. T...

    by Mitchell J. Shields on August 24, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Naughty by Nature Poverty's Paradise Tommy Boy If any rappers deserve to be called poets, Treach and Vinnie of Naughty by Nature do. The two don't plumb the depths of human existence, but man, do they love to play with words. They fire off ...

    by Hobart Rowland on August 24, 1995
  • Article

    Short and Punky - Sad Pygmy just wants to make more noise

    Sad Pygmy bassist/vocalist Carol Sandin and guitarist/vocalist C-Dog are married -- not just to each other, but also to their stubborn conception of the independence and integrity of punk rock. You can hear it in their music, which is a staunchly ant...

    by Brad Tyer on August 17, 1995
  • Article

    Mr. Bad Example - For 20 years, Warren Zevon has danced with madmen and outlaws

    Warren Zevon's characters are mad, desperate, frightening, pathetic sorts. They are sociopaths who smear pot roasts on their chests and rape and kill their prom dates only to build cages with their bones; down-on-their-luck outlaws who need lawyers, ...

    by Robert Wilonsky on August 17, 1995
  • Article

    The Celtic Connection - After 18 years, Houston's Irish Session is as much about family as music

    Orange, particulate-laden light slants down Norfolk Street as a sweltering Houston day becomes sweltering Houston dusk. Inside McGonigel's Mucky Duck, despite a packed house early on a weekday evening, there's a feeling of being somewhere cooler, som...

    by Jim Sherman on August 17, 1995
  • Article

    Critic's Choice - Wheel of Dysfunction

    Nobody ever accused the Catherine Wheel of being about fun. After all, it's hard to misread the intentions of an English quartet that chooses to name itself after a gruesomely inventive tool used for torture in the fourth century. Given that, yo...

    by Mitchell J. Shields on August 17, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Bjsrk Post Elektra The eccentric voice of Bjsrk, with its range and variety of accents and enunciations, could make a reading of the dictionary a pleasurable experience. Her songs have always been more about sound than meaning; the only per...

    by Roni Sarig on August 17, 1995
  • Article

    Rotation

    Rod Stewart A Spanner in the Works Warner Bros. Rod Stewart is such a pain in the ass to review. The guy's a great talent. With that raspy and rich voice, Stewart can bend a lyric like few others. His songs, even the ones sappy enough to po...

    by Jim Sherman on August 3, 1995
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