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  • Article

    New and Improv-ed

    The three musicians that compose the jazz-rock hybrid Swivel Stick face each other in a dark corner of South Miami's Space Cadette Studios. Behind them a wall lined with compact discs pasted onto multicolored squares reflects the faint light from an ...

    by Hans Morgenstern on February 4, 1999
  • Article

    Farewell to the Pathetic Aesthetic

    In the early Nineties human beings became interesting again. After the tumultuous trends of New Wave prophylactic pop, hair metal, and glitz-drenched superstars of the Eighties, audiences began turning their attention toward musicians who oozed hones...

    by Dave Clifford on January 28, 1999
  • Article

    A Tune of Her Own

    The tall woman with the leonine mane is wearing black jeans, black cowboy boots, and a teal sleeveless shirt. She leans forward a bit as she lugs two guitar cases and a backpack that appears to be bursting at the seams. She's not a roadie, but a musi...

    by Nina Korman on January 28, 1999
  • Article

    Rotations

    Blondie No Exit (Beyond) 1. Start with a joke: If this isn't the most anticipated album of the first half of the year, then I'm Amelia Earhart. 2. Follow with dense critical sentence heedless of its own unwieldy syntax: Twenty years af...

    by Robert Wilonsky on January 28, 1999
  • Article

    Dylan's Buried Treasure

    There's an age-old joke that MCs at open-mike nights trot out before a particularly torturous act takes the stage. It goes something like this: "Ladies and gentlemen, this next act has suffered for their art. Now it's your turn." It's a bit like bein...

    by Rob O'Connor on January 28, 1999
  • Article

    A New Subculture

    Ed Matus has been performing as part of Miami's music scene long enough to have seen plenty of live-music venues rise and fall. Mostly fall. The 25-year-old guitarist started playing out with his ornate hardcore band, Subliminal Criminal, in 1991. Th...

    by Hans Morgenstern on January 21, 1999
  • Article

    Rotations

    Hi Fi Killers Jamaica (Loosegroove) The Hi Fi Killers are a duo of DJ/instrumentalists from Seattle. Their 1997 debut, Loaded, and their 1998 followup Possession, combined hip-hop drum loops and turntable scratching with organic brass-secti...

    by Bob Ruggiero on January 21, 1999
  • Article

    Home for the Holidays

    It is late afternoon, Christmas Eve, in Havana. While many of the city's residents are gathered in living rooms and on patios, awaiting a holiday meal of roast pig, a hearty group of musicians and sound engineers are spending the day at work. They ha...

    by Judy Cantor on January 21, 1999
  • Article

    Better Dead Than Read

    Just like the year's new records, 1998's rock-and-roll reading found small pleasures in unexpected places, while the much-touted "big events" were ushered in with a resounding plop that echoed throughout the lavatory. As we've been doing every year s...

    by Jim DeRogatis on January 21, 1999
  • Article

    Rock 101 Revisited

    Yeah, sure, if you actually remember the Sixties you weren't really there. True for any era worth remembering. But as long as the person doing the retelling has some idea of what's important, the results should be okay. It takes real talent to make s...

    by Rob O'Connor on January 14, 1999
  • Article

    Wild About Harry

    As the film world's foremost peddler of nostalgia-driven baby-boomer romanticism, Nora Ephron is acutely aware of the crucial role that music plays in selling her three-hanky tales. The soundtrack to her 1993 megahit Sleepless in Seattle not only enh...

    by Gilbert Garcia on January 14, 1999
  • Article

    Black Blues, White Label

    North Mississippi blues guitarist R.L. Burnside's new record, Come on In, features drum programming, loops, samples, and remixes by hip white producers such as Alec Empire, Beal Dabbs, and Tom Rothrock (who is credited as main producer on the recordi...

    by Ross Johnson on January 14, 1999
  • Article

    Rotations

    Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs Pharaohization! The Best of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (Rhino) "One, two ... one, two, tres, quatro!" It's one of the greatest, if not the greatest, count-off in rock- and-roll history, an intro so nutty...

    by David Simutis on January 14, 1999
  • Article

    True Rhymes

    The new Busta Rhymes album arrived in stores with the fanfare traditionally reserved for a royal wedding. Titled ELE (it stands for Extinction Level Event, and it's nicked from the comet-meets-Earth film Deep Impact) Busta's third album finds the fla...

    by Ben Greenman on January 7, 1999
  • Article

    Deadmeat Puppet

    The phone is no friend of Curt Kirkwood. Too often, the tidings it bears are foul. He calls them "incomings from Tempe." They go like this: Your brother's wife overdosed this morning; She's dead. Your brother got busted again last night, an...

    by David Holthouse on January 7, 1999
  • Article

    The Beat Surrender

    It's 2:00 a.m. at Zanzibar. The club's few attempts at exotic decor: a totem-pole-like wooden sculpture with carved faces, a couple of bar stools covered in zebra-striped upholstery, and two banners suspended from the ceiling, one depicting a caricat...

    by Nina Korman on January 7, 1999
  • Article

    Rotations

    The Pine Valley Cosmonauts The Pine Valley Cosmonauts Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills (Bloodshot) Sure, the tribute album is a dead dog. But as long as record labels large and small are gonna keep trying to revive the damn thing, here's hop...

    by David Simutis on January 7, 1999
  • Article

    Rotations

    The Cardigans Gran Turismo (Mercury) This disc has been getting a lot of negative reviews, all undeserved. The Cardigans are from Sweden, have a cute, blond female singer, and scored a big international hit with the airy "Lovefool," include...

    by David Simutis on December 31, 1998
  • Article

    Grown Up

    It seems like forever ago that R.E.M emerged from Athens, Georgia, looking like art-school students who drove pickups to class (except for Michael Stipe, who probably rode his bike). What has it been now, seventeen years, since the first single? How ...

    by Robert Wilonsky on December 31, 1998
  • Article

    White Riot

    Having a producer or four helps a lot on the new Jon Spencer Blues Explosion record, Acme. Although no single person is credited as a producer, there are no fewer than ten people listed as "mixers" of individual songs, and there are six different stu...

    by Ross Johnson on December 31, 1998
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