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  • Article

    Brian's Kids

    The sophomore slump is a popular phenomenon in modern music. A band's debut release does well; the next album falls short of expectations as the group stumbles to re-create the magic that brought fans into its realm in the first place. Maybe this lac...

    by Mark Watt on June 24, 1999
  • Article


    The word crossover hangs in the air at this year's MIDEM Americas 1999 conference, which rolls into Miami Beach next week with a series of daytime panels and evening music showcases, all spotlighting Latin, Caribbean, and African artists and the reco...

    by Brett Sokol on June 17, 1999
  • Article

    Salsa Hard and Fast

    On one typically addictive track of trombonist Jimmy Bosch's upcoming album, piano and brass embrace like an inspired couple on the dance floor, shimmying together then breaking apart for some saucy solo moves. Congas keep the rhythm, and a male chor...

    by Judy Cantor on June 17, 1999
  • Article


    Faust Ravvivando (Klangbad) For aficionados of the genre known as Krautrock, Faust is a big deal. A style that flourished in the early '70s, Krautrock was an attempt by (mostly) German artists to fuse two major streams of twentieth-century ...

    by John Floyd on June 17, 1999
  • Article

    One Nation Under a Groove

    In California a crowd of 10,000 shakes the Santa Monica Pier for the last free concert of the summer. High school kids, industry types, the homeless, cholos, black, white, and brown all make elbow war for room to dance. Ozomatli pounds its sound out ...

    by Josh Kamensky on June 17, 1999
  • Article


    Vinicius Cantuaria Tucumo (Verve) Maybe Brazilians are just musically superior to the rest of us. It's food for thought not only because the leading lights of Brazilian popular music -- artists such as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who d...

    by Mark Watt on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    Boy Wonder

    At a recent well-attended reading, a fan asks writer Nick Hornby about the influence of music on his work, asserting maybe a bit too strongly that his personal soundtrack directly influenced the text. Hornby steers the question a bit, answering it, b...

    by Thomas Crone on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    The Once and Future King

    In the summer of 1953, a shy Memphis teenager steals up enough courage to go into a local recording studio, pays eight dollars and twenty-five cents, and, accompanied only by his rudimentary guitar playing, cuts two ballads: the pop standard "My Happ...

    by John Floyd on June 10, 1999
  • Article

    Fingers of Fury

    On a recent afternoon, pianist Chucho Valdes gives a master class to students at Havana's Instituto Superior de Arte. Valdes sits casually before a worn grand piano in a large classroom on the conservatory campus, overlooking the palm-shaded tangle o...

    by Judy Cantor on June 10, 1999
  • Article


    When drum and bass first washed up on these shores from London in the mid-Nineties, there was rampant talk that it would rejuvenate hip-hop. Drawing on the same Jamaican traditions of toasting MCs, cut-up DJ moves, and the manic street-level sensibil...

    by Brett Sokol on June 3, 1999
  • Article

    Buena Vista : New Music from the Old Club

    Before Buena Vista Social Club gained fame as the title of the best-selling Cuban-music album of all time, it was an actual social club, a prerevolutionary gathering place for black residents of Havana's working-class Buena Vista neighborhood. An ear...

    by Judy Cantor on June 3, 1999
  • Article


    Carlinhos Brown Omelete Man (Metro Blue) Omelete Man, the wide-ranging new album by Brazilian singer and multi-instrumentalist Carlinhos Brown, may surprise listeners whose image of Brazilian music is confined to the sophisticated bossa nov...

    by Alec Hanley Bemis on June 3, 1999
  • Article

    Hip-Hop Goes Back to the Streets

    When Time placed Lauryn Hill on its cover this past winter, it seemed at first glance like an affirmation of hip-hop's creative strength. Years after Yo! MTV Raps had become a staple of middle-American viewing and teenagers of all races had adopted t...

    by Hobey Echlin on June 3, 1999
  • Article


    Andre Williams & the Sadies Red Dirt (Bloodshot) Considering that he's spent the past 40 years recording everything from bizarro doo-wop and horny R&B to sleazy funk and punked-up blues, it's hardly surprising that Motor City madman Andre W...

    by Chris Duffy on May 27, 1999
  • Article

    Z's Take on Tropiclia

    It was an anxious Tom Ze -- guitarist, singer, and experimentalist -- who took the stage in New York City's Central Park six years ago. Back then Ze was a complete unknown in America, and not even terribly famous in his native Brazil. Indeed less tha...

    by Mark Athitakis on May 27, 1999
  • Article

    How the Wolf Survives

    Over the past ten years or so, Los Lobos have probably been referred to in print as the best band in America more frequently than any other. But the band's level of popularity has seldom been commensurate with its formidable reputation. While groups ...

    by Michael Roberts on May 27, 1999
  • Article


    Frank Consola, host of the morning jazz show on WDNA-FM (88.9) was a bit miffed at the implication in Kulchur that there's pressure from station management to avoid pushing the programming envelope. He insists any parameters on his playlists are stri...

    by Brett Sokol on May 27, 1999
  • Article


    Kelly Willis What I Deserve (Rykodisc) After failing to find much of an audience for her four fine releases from the Nineties -- beginning with 1990's Well-Traveled Love on MCA and concluding with the 1996 A&M EP Fading Fast -- honky-tonk c...

    by Rob O'Connor on May 20, 1999
  • Article

    Trance: Bleached Beats

    If one word describes Miami's current club culture, it's trance, the joyous, bubbly sound that currently dominates the playlists at the major nightclubs. "People like happy stuff. When they go out, they want to have a good time," is how Duncan Ross e...

    by Brett Sokol on May 20, 1999
  • Article

    The Jive Still Jumps

    There's nothing quite like the end of a millennium to bring about an era of artistic retrospection. Although this has been the trend in all the arts lately, it has been especially apparent in the jazz world. As the deaths of nearly all the pioneers o...

    by Jason Kriveloff on May 20, 1999
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