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  • Article

    How'd They Do That?

    Skeptical audiences are nothing new to the members of the Cuban sextet Vocal Sampling. When the group starts to perform, concertgoers inevitably fidget in their seats, turning to each other and whispering, one eye on the stage. The group is unfazed b...

    by Judy Cantor on June 11, 1998
  • Article

    Get the Funk Ow!

    It's three seconds before airtime at local radio station WHQT-FM, a.k.a. HOT 105. Funk impresario and part-time Miamian Larry Blackmon, long-time frontman for the band Cameo, bounds across the room, hops onto a tall stool, and hurriedly throws on a p...

    by Nina Korman on June 4, 1998
  • Article

    Straight Outta ... Kendall

    California, it would seem, has pulled a Microsoft on punk rock. If punk is your thing, you'll almost certainly have to buy the California variety, because Golden State bands have handily crushed the competition. Look around. You've got your Green Day...

    by Adam St. James on June 4, 1998
  • Article


    Tori Amos From the Choirgirl Hotel (Atlantic) Tori Amos has followed her muse to the end of some pretty thin branches, documenting her soul's perpetual churning. So far fans have happily crawled out there with her. Little Earthquakes (1991)...

    by John Floyd on June 4, 1998
  • Article


    The Specials Guilty 'Til Proved Innocent! (MCA) Go figure: After returning to the revivalist ska scene in 1996 with the listless Today's Specials, the reunited Specials -- the Coventry outfit that started the whole ska-punk thing back in 19...

    by Michael Yockel on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    Country Discomforts

    If, as the dear departed Frank Sinatra once claimed, L.A. is a lady, then Nashville must be her sleazy sister -- a fickle, powerful, vampiric whore who flits from from one new artist to the next, sucking each dry of all airplay and record sales befor...

    by John Floyd on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    Rasin in the Sun

    Last week Haitian refugees made headlines again, and once again Jacquecine Etienne had to explain. For some of Etienne's American colleagues in the Miami law office where she works as a paralegal, the whole notion seemed incomprehensible: Haitians jo...

    by Judy Cantor on May 21, 1998
  • Article


    Gary Numan Exile (Cleopatra) Gary Numan The Mix (Cleopatra) Synth-crazed robot and occasional musical innovator Gary Numan has been responsible for some of new wave's most laughably dated moments, from "Are 'Friends' Electric" and...

    by Theresa Everline on May 21, 1998
  • Article

    Sinatra: The Voice, the Spark, the Image

    Frank Sinatra never gave a better performance as an actor than he did in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), in which he starred as Frankie Machine, a poker dealer and junkie who emerges from prison hoping to kick all his bad habits (heroin included)...

    by Michael Sragow on May 21, 1998
  • Article

    The Flesh Made Word

    "You know that feeling when you're in big trouble and you know it, but you just feel like laughing?" Mos Def asks from the stage at El Flamingo, a club on the western edge of the revitalized New York City neighborhood of Chelsea. Indie rap's rookie o...

    by Adam Heimlich on May 21, 1998
  • Article

    Do You Believe in Retro?

    In 1970 Steve Boone, onetime bassist for the Lovin' Spoonful, went down to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, bought himself a sailboat, and made it his home. For three years he sailed around the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. He lived frugally, eati...

    by Rafer Guzman on May 14, 1998
  • Article


    Miles Davis/Bill Laswell Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 (Columbia) Listening to Bill Laswell remix, reconstruct, and recycle the work of trumpet legend Miles Davis on Panthalassa brings to mind Natalie Cole dueting with her...

    by Michael Yockel on May 14, 1998
  • Article


    The Mavericks Trampoline (MCA) Trampoline, the fourth record by the Mavericks, wasn't recorded in Miami. It doesn't have any songs about Miami. And yet it has Miami in its blood. Once upon a time the Mavs were Miami's brightest, newest musi...

    by Larry Boytano on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Soul and Inspiration

    So you wanna be a rock and roll star. You can already see yourself up there trading licks with wailing Eddie Van Halen. Or maybe you consider yourself a silver-tongued rapper -- ready, willing, and able to slam some grooves with Puff Daddy. Or perhap...

    by Adam St. James on May 7, 1998
  • Article


    Scott Weiland 12 Bar Blues (Atlantic) During Stone Temple Pilots' short but amazing three-album run, frontman Scott Weiland excelled at fulfilling the expectations of both his fans and his critics. From platinum-selling faux-grunge icon to ...

    by Steven Almond on April 30, 1998
  • Article

    Selling at Mary

    Heading north on I-95 toward her home in Fort Lauderdale, Mary Karlzen takes a sip from a bottle of Miller Lite and returns it to the cup-holder hanging from her dashboard. It's well after three o'clock on a recent Sunday morning, and Karlzen has jus...

    by Rafer Guzman on April 30, 1998
  • Article


    Bob Marley The Complete Wailers 1967-1972 Part 1 (JAD/Koch International) Although it's neither as comprehensive as Island's Songs of Freedom (1992) or as revelatory as Rounder's One Love (1991), JAD's triple-disc Complete Wailers collectio...

    by Larry Getlen on April 23, 1998
  • Article

    Blues Chips

    Techno-dance junkie, speed-metal maniac, smooth-jazz fan -- whoever you are, listen up: Some rainy day the raging inequities of life are gonna come knocking and you will understand, at long last, just what the concept of deep melancholia really means...

    by Adam St. James on April 23, 1998
  • Article


    The Dirty Dozen Ears to the Wall (Mammoth) Back in the late Seventies, when disco ruled, the New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band was busy attempting to keep its hometown's old-fashioned "second line" tradition alive. The band accompani...

    by Steven Almond on April 16, 1998
  • Article

    Blissed Out on Latin Rock

    Marthin Chan, rhythm guitarist for Miami's Volumen Cero, sits in the driver's seat of his Dodge Caravan, parked in front of the Kendall townhouse where vocalist-bassist Luis Tamblay lives. With his left knee drawn up to his chest, Chan contemplates h...

    by Hans Morgenstern on April 16, 1998
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