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  • Article

    Rotations

    Los Lobos Colossal Head (Warner Bros.) All artists show their influences in their work. What separates the sublime from the hapless in this regard is the ability to do it without being crass. And there's certainly nothing crass about Colo...

    by Michael Yockel on July 11, 1996
  • Article

    Even Major Labels Get the Blues

    "The blues is alright" goes the refrain of the anthem of the same name, a regional Southern hit back in the mid-Eighties for its writer, vocalist/guitarist Little Milton Campbell, a 40-year veteran of the blues club circuit. The song has become Milto...

    by John Floyd on July 4, 1996
  • Article

    Styx and Groans

    This is going to be difficult for me -- for all of us, I expect -- because this isn't going to be some misty recollection, but rather the dredging up of a very specific and humiliating sliver of the past. Which means what we're dealing with is, in es...

    by Steven Almond on July 4, 1996
  • Article

    Five Variations on a Theme by Barry White

    Your First, Your Last, Your Everything: Four years ago, before his umpteenth comeback, before his 1994 The Icon Is Love album and its "Practice What You Preach" single both went to number one on the R&B charts, Barry White, the grand pooh-bah of le m...

    by Michael Yockel on June 26, 1996
  • Article

    Spunky Junkies

    Michael Timmins readily acknowledges the irony surrounding the biggest hit to date by the Cowboy Junkies, the Canadian group for which he serves as guitarist and songwriter. Said hit -- a mournful cover of the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" -- cam...

    by John Floyd on June 26, 1996
  • Article

    Rotations

    The Specials Today's Specials (Virgin/Kuff) You can't say the time isn't right for the triumphant return of the Specials, the English group that way back in the late Seventies combined punk's rant-and-roll dynamics with the slippery grooves...

    by Raymond Tuttle on June 26, 1996
  • Article

    The Greening of Amanda

    A lot of things seem weird to Amanda Green. The 24-year-old singer/songwriter uses the word a lot to describe, in general, her personal life and, in particular, the confluence of professional events ranging from her first club gig last August (a solo...

    by Jim Murphy on June 20, 1996
  • Article

    Rotations

    Guided by Voices Under the Bushes Under the Stars (Matador) Three albums after the rock press discovered them in 1993 (and nine since the band formed about ten years ago), Guided by Voices remains the rarest of indie-rock rarities -- a cr...

    by Michael Yockel on June 13, 1996
  • Article

    Rhymes of Passion

    "It's kinda hectic, man," says Wyclef "Clef" Jean, rapper, songwriter, and sonic engineer for the Fugees. "A lot of things are going on." And, Jean should have added, those things are pretty damn nice A the kinds of things that happen only to a b...

    by Michael Roberts on June 13, 1996
  • Article

    A New Tale to Tell

    Love and Rockets has achieved an almost unheard-of feat with its new album Sweet F.A.: The three-man band has created a near-perfect alternative makeout record. Sweet F.A. boasts sensual, shimmery soundscapes punctuated by twangy, languid guitar line...

    by Georgina Cardenas on June 6, 1996
  • Article

    Sturm and Clang

    Scattered throughout the songs of Archers of Loaf are moments when you'd swear everything will explode in a discordant burst -- when the tension builds to a point where it threatens to rend the quartet into a thousand pieces of bone and flesh, sprayi...

    by John Floyd on June 6, 1996
  • Article

    Buddy System

    The instrument seems such a natural fit in his large, graceful hands that it's hard to imagine a time when Buddy Guy wasn't playing the guitar. Truth is, the 59-year-old blues legend had no idea what a guitar was as a child. "I grew up on a farm near...

    by Steven Almond on June 6, 1996
  • Article

    Love Hurts

    Mike Boudet doesn't like talking about Enjoy the Cancer, the EP he has self-released under the name Lounge Act. He says it makes him uncomfortable, and on a recent afternoon at Tapeworm, the Miami studio Boudet co-owns, he's clearly ill at ease. The ...

    by John Floyd on May 30, 1996
  • Article

    Favorite Thing

    More than any other group that emerged during the Amerindie boom of the early Eighties, the Replacements summarized everything that I had ever loved about rock and roll. R.E.M. was great, but I always found Michael Stipe to be an infuriatingly obtuse...

    by John Floyd on May 23, 1996
  • Article

    Rotations

    Brother J.T. and Vibrolux Music for the Other Head (Siltbreeze) John "J.T." Terlesky has more extracurricular music projects than anyone this side of George Clinton. In addition to his regular gig as frontman for garage rockers Original S...

    by Michael Yockel on May 23, 1996
  • Article

    Rotations

    The Grifters Ain't My Lookout (Sub Pop) For the past six years, the Grifters have made some beautifully fractured and schizophrenic music -- loose yet deceptively complex, chaotic and noisy but susceptible to moments of majestic pop splen...

    by Michael Yockel on May 16, 1996
  • Article

    Touching Up Haiti's Roots

    In a cockfighting-arena-turned-nightclub perched on a sheer cliff, high on a mountain overlooking Port-au-Prince, the eleven members of Kanpech crowd on-stage on a warm Sunday night in late March. Frederic "Fredo" Pierre Louis, the band's cherub-face...

    by Judy Cantor on May 16, 1996
  • Article

    Rotations

    Steve Earle I Feel Alright (Warner Bros.) Alejandro Escovedo With These Hands (Rykodisc) Survivors are nothing new in rock and roll. Survivors with something interesting to say, however, don't come rolling out of rehab or obsc...

    by Stephen Tignor on May 9, 1996
  • Article

    Presidents' Daze

    They chose their name as a joke, but the trio of rock and roll goofballs known as the Presidents of the United States of America has been the object of intense media questioning about their intentions in Campaign '96. Therefore the band has released ...

    by Steven Almond on May 9, 1996
  • Article

    Bad 'N' Ruined

    The artistic demise of Rod Stewart is a cataclysmic event in rock and roll history, a betrayal of his abilities and potential that has been written about many times by many esteemed rock scribes. No piece of criticism, however, better illustrates the...

    by John Floyd on May 9, 1996
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