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  • Article

    Static

    Getting acquainted... Simply put, it was a matter of mental and emotional maintenance. Just back from a grueling tour with Nanci Griffith, singer/songwriter Denice Franke was more than just disillusioned with the music business; she was disillusioned...

    by Hobart Rowland on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Average John

    John Wesley Harding has proven he isn't the sort of singer/songwriter who lends himself well to major-label promotion. Telling adjectives slide off the guy like egg off well-greased Teflon. After a long but less than financially fruitful stay at Sire...

    by Bob Ruggiero on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Various Artists Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music Arista When the ticket windows closed for the final time last fall, Lilith Fair had become the most successful festival tour of 1997, both financially and artistically. By then, L...

    by Keven McAlester on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    Houston jazz vocalist Marilynn Thibodaux is making the most of her sporadic Swank Lounge appearances as Luscious Caprice, her sassy, wardrobe-savvy alter ego. And so far, she's been encouraged by the results. Especially receptive: the downtown nightc...

    by Hobart Rowland on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Steady Eddie - Decades of torn-up road behind him, Van Halen's guitar god keeps chugging ahead

    It's after 2 a.m. on a Monday morning, Houston time, when Eddie Van Halen calls for a thrice-scheduled interview. But the guitar virtuoso of the storied band that bears his name isn't phoning from some whiskey-besotted post-gig soiree. He's dialing f...

    by Bob Ruggiero on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Simple Case

    As a kid, Peter Case played for years at the Hamburg, New York, Unitarian church, before dropping out of school at 15 and running away to the West Coast. Since then, he's been a party to nearly every rock movement of the last 30 years. He was a homel...

    by Brendan Doherty on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Soul Asylum Candy from a Stranger Columbia It's taken Minneapolis's Soul Asylum three albums and ten years to shed their sloppy, garage-band-in-overdrive baggage. So you could say the new Candy from a Stranger is a watershed of sorts for th...

    by Bob Ruggiero on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    Peccavi's future has been a blur since the tragic murder of owner Al Barretto seven days after the semi-exclusive establishment opened its doors in late 1997. The successful nightclub entrepreneur was stabbed to death December 18 of last year while e...

    by Hobart Rowland on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    A new and improved Dennis? ... "It's the whole package -- you've got to have a package to get across," explains Dennis Lange from his cluttered office near the Richmond strip. The package in question is for Lange's latest pet project, the Sheila...

    by Hobart Rowland on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Close Enough

    Lately, Amy Grant's been showing a side of herself forgotten of late, one that is more personal and revealing, not to mention distinctly less slick. Obviously, there are limits to the breezy pop of more recent Grant hits like "Baby Baby" and "Lucky O...

    by Hobart Rowland on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Static

    Release activity... "People who've known us for years have associated us with salsa and merengue, [and] we wanted to be able to expand our market beyond this city" says Walter Suhr, referring to Pop/Rock, his new CD with Mango Punch!. "We wanted peop...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Clubland

    Assuming the risk and hoping others will follow, the Outback Pub has instituted a weekly original music policy in an effort to liven up the dreary, human-jukebox ritual along the almighty Richmond Strip. For the time being, Thursdays will be set asid...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Dream So Real - Folk-rock space boy Todd Snider awakes to find a career on the upswing

    No doubt about it, Todd Snider is -- to quote the title of one of his tunes -- an "All Right Guy." As a friend of mine once observed, "He's a stoner goof-bag, but a really cool one." In other words, he's that air guitarist in the audience whose fanta...

    by Rob Patterson on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Bad Religion

    Granted, his congregation may be more prone to sin than salvation. But when Reverend Horton Heat is preaching at the hollow-bodied pulpit, the faithful are guaranteed one hell of a service. These days, Heat and his Texas-bred trio are spreading the g...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    No Looking Back

    For much of 1996 and '97, Green Day -- the band that drop-kicked punk rock into the post-grunge mainstream -- was conspicuously out of the public eye. It was quite a switch from two years prior, when the California trio seemed to be everywhere you lo...

    by Alan Sculley on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Tori Amos From the Choirgirl Hotel Atlantic There's no give or take with Tori Amos. Sure, you can tolerate her -- like one tolerates the poetry of Sylvia Plath or the music of Enya or the pain of a hot poker in the eye. You either feel Amos...

    by Melissa Blazek on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Rotation

    Aretha Franklin A Rose Is Still a Rose Arista On initial inspection, A Rose Is Still a Rose seems like an aging legend's desperate attempt to work her way into the contemporary R&B mix by enlisting help from some of today's hottest, hippest...

    by Jim Caligiuri on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Elling's Rant

    It seems only appropriate that Kurt Elling is performing an artists' benefit when he comes to Houston Thursday. A Grammy-nominated singer and die-hard Jack Kerouac fan, the 30-year-old jazz singer is outspoken, to say the least, about the importance ...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Vainglorious

    What is it about Beaumont that gets those creative carbines churning? Maybe it's the stinking petrol sediment forever fouling the humid Gulf air, or the cultural blight that resides comfortably on its bleak streets. Whatever. The talent that has emer...

    by Hobart Rowland on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Feel for the Real - Burning Spear's gimmick-free reggae has all the earmarks of home

    In recent years, the throbbing, roots-oriented style that dominated reggae's formative decade has given way to a more modern adaptation: Strutting and synthesized, dancehall is to Rastafarian-inspired reggae what disco is to the deep soul sounds of W...

    by Bob Burtman on April 23, 1998
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