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  • Article

    Salsa's Past as Prologue

    When Buena Vista Social Club garnered the award for Best Tropical Latin Performance at the recent Grammy ceremonies, American guitarist Ry Cooder, who produced the album of traditional Cuban music performed by a seasoned supergroup in Havana, took ho...

    by Judy Cantor on March 26, 1998
  • Article

    Musicians in Glass Houses

    "I love the sound of breaking glass" goes the refrain to the 1978 pop song of the same name written and sung by British rocker Nick Lowe. The tune climbed into the Top 10 in England but didn't receive much airplay in North America. That could account...

    by Nina Korman on March 19, 1998
  • Article

    A River Runs Through Them

    Ted Lahey, vocalist-guitarist for the band Day by the River, is speaking from a pay phone outside the town hall in Northampton, Massachusetts, his feet soaking in the slushy aftermath of a sleet storm. He has some time to chat before Day by the River...

    by Larry Getlen on March 19, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Kristin Hersh Strange Angels (Rykodisc) Although not at all revolutionary, Throwing Muses created a distinct form of postmodern rock, full of propulsive bass lines, hypnotic guitars, and abrupt instrumental redirections. The band hit a high...

    by John Lewis on March 19, 1998
  • Article

    Ball of Confusion

    In 1997 the Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and Currently Known as a Pretentious Hieroglyph was lying low. It's all relative, sure, but last year was the first since 1983 that hadn't seen a single record released by the F...

    by Ben Greenman on March 19, 1998
  • Article

    Truth Serum

    Hanging off the end of Crystal Ball is The Truth, a dozen new songs that are bound to be eclipsed by the larger set. It's a shame. Full of passionate singing and compelling guitar work, The Truth is a mostly acoustic album that combines deep-blue pop...

    by Ben Greenman on March 19, 1998
  • Article

    Born to the Blues

    Dr. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov could have easily predicted how the tune broadcast from an ice cream truck would affect most people. Let a few bars of that familiar melody resonate through a neighborhood, and everyone screams for ice cream. The brilliant P...

    by Adam St. James on March 19, 1998
  • Article

    Cultural Glasnost, Miami Style

    Young, old, white, black, Latin, in suits, shorts, cowboy hats, and platform shoes, with long hair, shaved heads, or balding -- people packed together at tables and wedged on the stairs, mingling, relaxed. The crowd gathered in the restaurant space o...

    by Judy Cantor on March 12, 1998
  • Article

    Between Punk Rock and a Hard Place

    Sam McBride takes the telephone receiver from his wife Suzy and grunts a quizzical "Hello." Slightly out of breath, he's just walked in the door of the couple's East Bay duplex, and he explains somewhat apologetically that things have been hectic in ...

    by Michael Yockel on March 12, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Ted Hawkins The Ted Hawkins Suffer No More (Rhino) Ted Hawkins The Final Tour (Evidence) In many ways the late Ted Hawkins, who spent the bulk of his career singing for tips on the Venice Beach boardwalk just outside Los Angeles,...

    by Adam St. James on March 12, 1998
  • Article

    Psychotronic Reaction

    Currently being posited as an alternative to the mournful noisy rock out of the suddenly loathed Northwest are all kinds of Good-time Joe's Toe-Tappin' Jug Band-type nonsense -- as though the opposite of morbidly paralyzing introspection were witless...

    by Curt Hopkins on March 5, 1998
  • Article

    Master of Mixology

    Imagine, if you will, music that is beheld. Imagine stepping into an orchestra and experiencing it from the inside. From that vantage point the view is inseparable from the notes. It's not watching like one watches television, but rather seeing in th...

    by Adam Heimlich on March 5, 1998
  • Article

    Rock of Ages

    Kelly Mason, age sixteen, recalls with glee a recent Christian rock concert she attended. "It was the first time I'd been to a Presbyterian church with a mosh pit," she says, "and you'd step out of the pit and there's blood on the floor. And I'm like...

    by Rafer Guzman on March 5, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    James Iha Let It Come Down (Virgin) On his first solo release, Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha eschews his band's more wrenching form of heart surgery in favor of the tender Neil Young-style ballads that are often washed down with whi...

    by Curt Hopkins on March 5, 1998
  • Article

    Give Them a Break

    While some would argue that there are many jackasses in contemporary music, there's only one elephant butt -- or so I believed for more than three years. In 1994 at the now-defunct Stephen Talkhouse in Miami Beach, completely by accident I saw and he...

    by Nina Korman on February 26, 1998
  • Article

    Art for Art's Sake

    Although it's buried near the end of a CD EP and presented as a rough demo, "Happy Hour" may be the song that best explains at least part of the creative drive and artistic aesthetic behind the writing of Everclear auteur Art Alexakis. In it the 35-y...

    by John Floyd on February 26, 1998
  • Article

    Jonny on the Spot

    Like a lot of seventeen-year-old boys, Jonny Lang is having trouble waking up. It's almost one o'clock in the afternoon, but Lang sounds groggy, distracted, still lost in dreams. Unlike most seventeen-year-old boys, Lang has a pretty good excuse: He ...

    by Steven Almond on February 26, 1998
  • Article

    Horn of Plenty

    Sax player Eric Allison, looking casual yet distinguished in a black jacket, a light-gray collarless shirt with the top button opened, and dark gray slacks, is in a good mood. Heading toward an outdoor table for a pre-gig meal at Sterling Worth Cafe...

    by Larry Getlen on February 19, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Groovie Ghoulies Re-Animation Festival (Lookout!) The Donnas American Teenage Rock 'n' Roll Machine (Lookout!) Rock shtick has a short radioactive half-life. For example: When was the last time you listened to late-Eighties Englis...

    by John Lewis on February 19, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Various Artists !Ay Califas! Raza Rock: The '70s & '80s (Rhino/Zyanya) To the listening public, new directions in music often seem like Athena sprung fully armed out of ... nowhere. But musicians know better. They've seen, and often adored,...

    by John Floyd on February 12, 1998
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