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  • Article

    Able Hands on Deck

    Rob Swift has fat ambitions: He wants to change the way you hear the turntable. To him decks are not to be relegated to backstage wick-wick-wacking and dope beat pumping; instead he wants to scratch out respectability for the turntable as a musical i...

    by Matthew Hilburn on March 25, 1999
  • Article

    Just Call Him Slim Shady

    On a cold Thursday night at Detroit's Wired Frog nightclub, a who's who of the Motor City's hip-hop scene checks out the weekly talent showcase put on by local rap group Da Ruckus. Attention turns to the video screen when Eminem's "My Name Is" video ...

    by Hobey Echlin on March 18, 1999
  • Article


    Mr. Airplane Man Mr. Airplane Man (Altitude Records) Digging into the old school for inspiration and authenticity is increasingly popular, but the Boston duo Mr. Airplane Man need make nary a scratch: They've already found some deep roots. ...

    by Bob Tarte on March 18, 1999
  • Article

    Roots That Matter

    Philadelphia's greatest contribution to hip-hop, the Roots, like to open their CDs with a snatch of dialogue. It's their way of introducing a new set of themes, of offering a kind of preamble to the state of the union message that's on the way. ...

    by Gilbert Garcia on March 18, 1999
  • Article

    Lullaby and Good Night

    From his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home, Morphine's Mark Sandman speaks slowly and lazily, his baritone voice rumbling over the telephone wires on a weekday afternoon. The bassist and vocalist sounds a bit worn down, or maybe it's just his overwhelmi...

    by Mark Watt on March 18, 1999
  • Article

    Boogie Nights, Business Days

    "Dance music has always been treated like a stepchild in this country. But now the music industry is seeing that this culture is at the forefront in addressing issues that affect the entire music industry," says Winter Music Conference founder Bill K...

    by Hobey Echlin on March 11, 1999
  • Article

    Electric Avenues

    From March 13 to March 17, DJ culture looms large as more than 4000 participants descend on Miami for the annual Winter Music Conference, a worldwide gathering of the dance-music industry. During the day most of the action centers around the Fontaine...

    by Brett Sokol on March 11, 1999
  • Article


    Pole CD1 2 (Matador) Brian Eno put it best when, after working with U2 and DJ/producer Howie B on a project, he concluded that rock musicians think of albums as novels, while electronic musicians think of them as magazines. It's a great...

    by Larry Boytano on March 11, 1999
  • Article

    Welcome to the Jungle

    "You're not going to hear as much about bands anymore. That whole underground rock-and-roll scene is ending," explains Toby Hauser, better known as DJ t.farmer. He's part of the drum and bass lineup Thursday evenings at Beatcamp, a popular party held...

    by Brett Sokol on March 4, 1999
  • Article


    Papa Vegas Hello Vertigo (Sid Flips/RCA) The other day I was flying. No, not in an airplane. Really flying. I just flapped my wings and up I went. Anyway while I was up there soaring over the tops of trees and picking dragonflies out of my ...

    by Paul J. MacArthur on March 4, 1999
  • Article

    His Grass Is Blue

    In the liner notes to his new bluegrass album, Steve Earle concedes his primary motive for engaging in the project in the first place was to achieve immortality. An "ambitious and selfish" desire to be sure, but as Earle puts it, he "wanted to w...

    by Bob Mehr on March 4, 1999
  • Article


    Hedwig and the Angry Inch Original Cast Recording (Atlantic Records) Hedwig Schmidt's ill-fated pecker is the biggest thing off-Broadway in years. Apparently nothing gets the culturati in the seats quicker than rock operas about botched sex...

    by Steven Almond on February 25, 1999
  • Article

    Letting Jazz Breathe

    "I've always been an orchestral player and an orchestral thinker. I don't even allow people to bill me as trio anymore, because it's too limiting," says 68-year-old pianist Ahmad Jamal. Coming from just about anyone else, this might be considered sem...

    by Jason Kriveloff on February 25, 1999
  • Article

    Bring On Da Folk

    For folk lovers the Broward Folk Club's annual South Florida Folk Festival may be the ultimate venue to indulge their music jones. Every January the event, now in its eighth year, takes residence in Fort Lauderdale's idyllic Easterlin Park. The festi...

    by Nina Korman on February 25, 1999
  • Article


    Original Soundtrack Louie Bluie (Arhoolie) With more and more prewar black and white string-band music hitting the reissue bins, from 1997's Anthology of American Folk Music to the Yazoo label's marvelous series of mountain-music collection...

    by Bruce Britt on February 18, 1999
  • Article

    Unfoolish Behavior

    I suppose it was the leopard-print pants, or maybe it was his tax exile move from England to Los Angeles in the mid-Seventies, or maybe it was the dreaded disco beat underpinning "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Or maybe it was the simple fact that the immens...

    by Rob O'Connor on February 18, 1999
  • Article

    Train in Vain

    In the kingdom of funk music, Larry Graham is a prince, of course. As the original bassist for Sly and the Family Stone, he played some of the most memorable bass riffs in the history of the genre, and created a pop-and-slap style that has been imita...

    by Ben Greenman on February 18, 1999
  • Article


    Gigolo Aunts Minor Chords and Major Themes (E Pluribus Unum) The Gigolo Aunts -- simultaneous lovers and fighters -- have the rare ability to pull off blustery rockers and doe-eyed ballads. Five years have passed since their last release, t...

    by Steven Almond on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    Life Is Sweet

    March 1985. Lankershim Boulevard, near the edge of industrial North Hollywood. The Palomino. Onstage: Lone Justice, pounding out a Parton-meets-punk mutation of country-rock that has seduced a city full of music critics. The Next Big Thing. They play...

    by Neal Weiss on February 11, 1999
  • Article

    The Levity of the Situation

    There is a moment during "See You Around," the final track of Vic Chesnutt's 1996 album About to Choke, when he sings, "I must admit I'm flattered by your consecration/It's a mind-numbing spine-chilling/But nevertheless heartwarming gesture/As you ma...

    by Bob Mehr on February 11, 1999
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