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  • Article

    Al's Just Fine

    The five members of Al's Not Well are no strangers to misfortune. The Hialeah-bred glitter-punk outfit has suffered the death of a beloved band member and numerous soured record deals. This past spring its luck seemed to have changed. Having spe...

    by Hans Morgenstern on November 20, 1997
  • Article

    It Only Hurts When They Sing

    Given our now fixed image of members of the press as ruthless invaders of privacy who pursued Princess Diana to a grisly end, it hardly seems possible that once upon a time journalists and photographers actually worked in tandem to keep a celebrity's...

    by Serene Dominic on November 13, 1997
  • Article


    Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals (Ark 21) For decades Los Angeles has been a center of American punk rock and its descendent genres. And for much longer the city has been a focal point for Latin culture in the U...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on November 13, 1997
  • Article

    The Art of the Matter

    Looking at classic-rock record covers is like going to a modern art museum. Here, next to the Rothkos, there's the iconic, prismatic cover for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, designed by Storm Thorgerson's Hipgnosis firm. Over there, just beyond ...

    by Ben Greenman on November 13, 1997
  • Article

    Rattle and Bum

    For any rock music fan opposed to cultural hegemony or self-righteous sanctimony, it's difficult to resist gloating over the fact that U2's Pop album and its ongoing U.S. tour have bombed. The tour's most noteworthy emblem is a gigantic stage prop in...

    by Dave Marsh on November 6, 1997
  • Article

    Puff Goes the Weasel

    Puff Daddy & the Family's No Way Out is as stunningly slack a piece of work as has ever been issued by a major rap act. Puff Daddy, born Sean Combs, has one of the weakest verbal flows of all time; he mouths wan rhymes in a pinched monotone that soun...

    by Michael Roberts on November 6, 1997
  • Article


    Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Look on Yonder's Wall Magic Sam The Magic Sam Legacy Roosevelt Sykes Feel Like Blowing My Horn Big Joe Williams Piney Woods Blues (Delmark) Slickness is bad for practically every type of music...

    by Raymond Tuttle on November 6, 1997
  • Article


    Bridges to Babylon The Rolling Stones (Virgin) Although they've never really gone away, the Rolling Stones have had more "comebacks" than Richard Nixon. Every time they emerge from their cocoon of luxury for a new album, Rolling Stone magaz...

    by Michael Roberts on October 30, 1997
  • Article

    Mac Daddies

    All Mick Fleetwood wanted was a guitarist. Fleetwood Mac's drummer was checking out the studio of engineer Keith Olsen when he heard a track from an obscure California duo named Buckingham Nicks. Looking for someone to replace departed guitarist ...

    by Gilbert Garcia on October 30, 1997
  • Article

    A Sideman Steps Forward

    Labor of love. Labor of love. Labor of love. If I had a nickel -- wooden or otherwise -- for every time I've read (or overheard) someone recycle that soggy cliche, I could quit this writing nonsense tomorrow and pursue my dream of climbing Pamela Lee...

    by Steven Almond on October 30, 1997
  • Article


    Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind (Columbia) There's a federal statute prohibiting anyone who doesn't admire Bob Dylan from becoming a rock critic, so it's no surprise that I'm crazy about a great many of his recordings. Highway 61 Revisited and T...

    by Raymond Tuttle on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    Green Day Family Values

    Billie Joe Armstrong could be forgiven if he were to display a bit of an ego. After all, his band Green Day sold more than nine million copies of its major-label debut, 1994's Dookie, and almost single-handedly brought punk rock back aboveground. Spi...

    by Zac Crain on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    Ho Chi Minh Finds God

    Down a row of dark warehouses off Biscayne Boulevard, a solitary pair of green floodlights illuminates the entrance to Alex Diaz's North Miami Beach apartment. Inside, Diaz, the founder of ethereal folk rockers Ho Chi Minh, has perched himself atop a...

    by Hans Morgenstern on October 23, 1997
  • Article

    A Man Who Loves His Son

    La Casa de la Trova in Santiago de Cuba occupies a small colonial building with high-beam ceilings and long street-level windows that at noon on a September Sunday are filled with the faces of people looking in. The austere room feels more like a cha...

    by Judy Cantor on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    The Young and the Rockless

    It's 8:30 on a sultry Thursday evening and Rose's Bar & Music Lounge looks, well, strange. Usually at this hour there are just a few hard-core sots sucking down two-for-one happy hour drinks. But tonight there are plenty of people -- and hardly any o...

    by Larry Boytano on October 16, 1997
  • Article


    It's Praying Time Miami Mass Choir (Savoy Records) The Miami Mass Choir is on a mission. Formed in 1995 under the guidance of gospel veteran Marc Cooper, the choir, whose 50-plus members are drawn from Miami-area churches, has toured extens...

    by Julian Cohen on October 16, 1997
  • Article


    Buena Vista Social Club Ry Cooder and Various Artists A Toda Cuba Le Gusta The Afro-Cuban All-Stars Introducing Ruben Gonzalez Ruben Gonzalez (Nonesuch) Thanks in part to his atmospheric soundtrack for Paris, Texas, guitarist ...

    by Raymond Tuttle on October 16, 1997
  • Article

    Hunka Hunka Burnin' Celluloid

    To commemorate August's twentieth anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, MGM Home Entertainment has released a video gift set containing all 31 of Elvis's movies in a guitar case. Maybe they should have been packaged in a coffin instead, since the maj...

    by Serene Dominic on October 9, 1997
  • Article


    Resigned Michael Penn (57/Epic) Michael Penn is best remembered for two radio hits ("No Myth" and "This & That") that are now nearly a decade old. His last disc, Free-for-All, came out a full five years ago. So it's good to hear him return ...

    by Rob O'Connor on October 9, 1997
  • Article

    Baca on Top

    Chorrillos, the black neighborhood outside Lima, Peru, where Susana Baca grew up, borders the sea, and her speech mimics the rolling rhythm of breaking waves. Laughter rims Baca's rich voice, even as she talks on the phone from a hotel room in Cedar ...

    by Judy Cantor on October 9, 1997
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