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  • Article


    Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Left of Cool (Warner Bros.) Outside the bluegrass world and the few bluegrass-inspired, traditional country recording sessions that must still be booked occasionally somewhere, banjo players are pretty rare bir...

    by Robin Myrick on October 15, 1998
  • Article

    Ice Age

    Mentioning the name Vanilla Ice usually elicits looks of disgust, mistrust, and runaway cheeseball feelings. But there's a new sheriff in Ice Land and he's laying down tracks that could start to melt even the most skeptical attitude. Vanilla Ice, a.k...

    by Larry Boytano on October 15, 1998
  • Article

    The Sound of Change

    As controversial in Cuba as he is popular, Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez is a sign of his times. Gonzalez, known as Manolin, sings in a soft voice, performing catchy dance tunes that employ a rather formulaic mix of peppery percussion, punchy horns, and ...

    by Judy Cantor on October 15, 1998
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    In Good Hands

    "What time is the PTA meeting?" asks the resonant voice on the other end of the phone, posing the question to someone in the same room. It's not an unusual concern, seeing that the person being queried is Jane Thomas, schoolteacher and mother of five...

    by Nina Korman on October 15, 1998
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    Bob Marley and the Wailers The Complete Bob Marley & the Wailers: 1967 to 1972, Part II (JAD) This treasure-filled three-CD box set, which showcases Bob Marley and the Wailers' work with legendary producer Lee "Scratch" Perry in 1970 and 19...

    by David Simutis on October 8, 1998
  • Article

    Garage Sale

    For a while back in the mid-Sixties, it seemed like every city in the United States had one: a group of four or five guys so enamored of the reworkings of American rock and R&B by the British Invasion's front line that they had to take a stab at it t...

    by John Floyd on October 8, 1998
  • Article

    Growing Pains

    Bands' Websites come in many configurations: from lifeless layers of static pages hyping outdated tour schedules and lame photos to tantalizing, up-to-date, Java-enhanced affairs with eye-popping graphics, video clips, and megabytes of press clipping...

    by Adam St. James on October 8, 1998
  • Article

    Americana, No Depression, Whatever

    There's always been an unflinching quality to Jay Farrar's songs, a refusal to romanticize the facts into an ego-sparing balm or a conscience- calming salve. Not that he isn't a romantic; like many other great lyricists, he attempts to transcend in s...

    by Michael C. Harris on October 1, 1998
  • Article

    Widespread Hispanic

    Mana is indisputably the commercial giant of Latin rock. The first rock en espanol group to score a gold album in the United States, the band's status is truly -- and internationally -- gargantuan. Accordingly, it was apropos that, after an arty...

    by Judy Cantor on October 1, 1998
  • Article


    Hole Celebrity Skin (DGC) Courtney Love's glamorously defiant look on the cover of Celebrity Skin, the latest CD by her band Hole, fits with her penchant for blissful contradiction. Her tousled hair and skimpy see-through T-shirt are as pun...

    by Bruce Britt on October 1, 1998
  • Article

    Balancing Act

    In their dreams young musicians bask comfortably and happily in the luxury of immense success. Those REM-induced illusions can be mapped out fairly easily: Critical acclaim and financial reward have settled on them like UV rays on a sunny day, rooms ...

    by Adam St. James on September 24, 1998
  • Article

    Rap Without Pretense

    The emerging rap star known as Mos Def is a goofball. Usually, interviewing rap stars is an exercise in cliche recitation, with both parties agreeing about the need to take hip-hop to the "next level," and to "stop the violence." For a few moments Mo...

    by Adam Heimlich on September 24, 1998
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    John Hiatt The Best Of John Hiatt (Capitol Records) Few singer-songwriters exude the piss and vinegar of John Hiatt -- not to mention a dastardly wit and hearty guffaw. Since the Seventies, while under contract to numerous record labels, th...

    by Rob O'Connor on September 24, 1998
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    Marshall Crenshaw The 9 Volt Years: Battery Powered Home Demos & Curios 1970-198?) (Razor & Tie) Marshall Crenshaw is one of rock and roll's unsung heroes; he first beautified the airwaves in 1982 with his modest hit "Someday Someway." Amid...

    by Hans Morgenstern on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    Ruminations from the Royal Court

    Riley "B.B." King presides so dominantly over the past and present of modern blues that his influence, innovations, and massive talents are easily taken for granted, and at worst overlooked. The most visible and commercially successful blues artist o...

    by John Floyd on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    In Defense of the Gods of Grunge

    Pearl Jam's got it bad. Unquestionably the most interesting of the grunge bands to follow in Nirvana's wake, Pearl Jam has suffered at the hands of everyone. Even with all manner of concessions to the marketplace -- a video, a tour with the help of a...

    by Rob O'Connor on September 17, 1998
  • Article

    The Last Days of Sound and Fury

    Battering-ram six-string power and inescapable melody have long been the tools of Bob Mould's trade. Through the hostile punk punches of his HYsker DY days in the Eighties and the sublime soaring of his pop-leaning early-Nineties excursion with Sugar...

    by Michael C. Harris on September 10, 1998
  • Article


    Bauhaus Crackle (Beggars Banquet) Bauhaus's revered position in the world of gothic music has an auspicious origin. Their debut single from 1979 was a nine-minute, tongue-in-cheek horror-fest homage to Bela Lugosi, the actor best known for ...

    by Ross Johnson on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Two Turntables and a Gender Gap

    In the bowels of Miami Beach's Marlin Hotel is a small, exotic, denlike space. Narrow and dark, the room is painted a rich wine color. Strips of mirror cover the ceiling and stretch down the walls, alternating with billowing burgundy and navy batik c...

    by Nina Korman on September 10, 1998
  • Article

    Separate but Equal

    A lot of groups would love to be given credit for having started an entire genre of music, but Bristol, England's Massive Attack has neither the time nor the inclination to bask in its status as the "Godfathers of Trip-Hop." As the British and Americ...

    by David Simutis on September 3, 1998
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