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  • Article

    Pseudointellectuals Don't Get the Blues

    Evolution, blues purists believe, is for the birds. What the creators of modern blues should do, they'll tell you, is leave well enough alone. Forget about the marching hands of time. Forget about new branches of music. Forget about artistic individu...

    by Adam St. James on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Brian Wilson Imagination (Giant) After the 1966 release of the Beach Boys' seminal Pet Sounds, anxiety and substance abuse contributed to a growing sense of inertia in Brian Wilson's life. His struggle was further complicated by his relatio...

    by John Floyd on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    Zoot Up, Punk

    Rarely has it been ultimately advantageous for a band to affiliate with a suddenly hip musical movement. Cool, maybe, sometimes even financially rewarding, but not exactly good for career longevity. Witness the abrupt demise of successful Eighties bi...

    by Adam St. James on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    Careful with That Ax, Lilith

    Meredith Brooks is livid. After a good twelve months of touring and national TV appearances, and after selling more than a million copies of blurring the edges, her 1997 debut album, Brooks has once again been mistaken for a mere rhythm guitarist by ...

    by Adam St. James on July 23, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Lenny Kravitz 5 (Virgin) Poor, poor, pitiful Lenny Kravitz. He has spent the better part of the past ten years -- and five full-length albums -- carefully crafting an artistic persona that, upon close examination, amounts essentially to lit...

    by John Floyd on July 23, 1998
  • Article

    Crazy, Kreamy, and Blue

    Kreamy 'Lectric Santa was the first band I saw after moving to Miami in the fall of 1995 to work for New Times as music editor. Fittingly, they were the last band I saw before leaving in June of 1997 to move back to my hometown of Memphis. I only saw...

    by John Floyd on July 23, 1998
  • Article

    Ravaged by the Rave

    "I sat in throw-up," declared a sweaty, somewhat disgusted sixteen-year-old girl who preferred not to give her name. Along with a half-dozen similar girls -- thin, wan, and dazed, yet still smiling -- she waited patiently for a stall in the suffocati...

    by Nina Korman on July 16, 1998
  • Article

    Come and Get Your Love

    Nowhere in the owner's manual that came with South Florida music promoter Chrystal Hartigan does it say, "She can't do that." If those words ever did appear, somebody must have torn out the page long ago. And it wouldn't be wise for anyone to scribbl...

    by Adam St. James on July 16, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Jeff Buckley Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk (Columbia) Late singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley was a rarity in this cynical age, an artist who wasn't too cool to be himself. He had a yearning, confessional style and an uncommon amount of ...

    by Hans Morgenstern on July 16, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Neil Finn Try Whistling This (Work) New Zealand singer/guitarist Neil Finn has probably forgotten more aching, beautiful melodies and winning musical hooks than most artists will ever write. Through his career as the angry young sparkplug o...

    by Steven Almond on July 9, 1998
  • Article

    Still Can't Hear You, Buddy

    Buddy Guy has been waiting, frustrated yet determined, since the days when record stores carried only vinyl. Waiting for the day he can switch on the radio and hear his voice -- his guitar, too -- on a mainstream, big-city station. Before midnight, p...

    by Adam St. James on July 9, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Ritchie Valens Come On, Let's Go! (Del-Fi) Whether or not listeners understand the Spanish lyrics that follow, the five-second guitar intro that kicks off "La Bamba," the signature tune of tragic Fifties rocker Ritchie Valens, seems to affe...

    by Larry Boytano on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Ani DiFranco, Musician

    Ani DiFranco is a singer, a songwriter, and a producer, but you'd hardly know it from most of the articles that are written about her. "Music?" she squeals in mock terror in response to a question about her primary vocation. "What's that? Nobody ever...

    by Michael Roberts on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Could It Be ... Satan?

    Devil worshippers, they said. In their naive enthusiasm, the four Californian musicians were adamant about their devotion to that baddest of all bad boys. Maybe it was just a phase, but from Slayer's earliest incarnation, its members wanted everyone ...

    by Adam St. James on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Smack My Niche Up

    Record companies love to ignite new buying trends. For decades, label execs have relied on blustery hype to spur those trends. When a musical fad begins to show signs of having exhausted its profitability, as grungy alternative rock did a year or two...

    by Adam Heimlich on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    Still Smokin'

    Crabapple, Georgia, isn't exactly a hotbed of musical inspiration. It's not crawling with cutting-edge, college-age scenesters pushing the boundaries of modern rock. It's not flush with fancy country pickers or earthy blues singers. Hell, it's not ev...

    by Adam St. James on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Garbage Version 2.0 (Almo Sounds) Almost three years have passed since Garbage's self-titled debut blew a hole through the grunge-obsessed alternative gold standard, selling four million records, grabbing three Grammy nominations, and makin...

    by Adam St. James on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    One More Reason to Live

    A lesson from Music Biz 101: Profit margin is not part of the equation when an unknown, greenhorn punk band leaves home for that first cross-country tour. Still, more and more, ambitious young bands are discovering that if they cut out the booking ag...

    by Adam St. James on June 18, 1998
  • Article

    Rotations

    Jerry Cantrell Boggy Depot (Columbia) After five platinum-selling records with hard rock gladiators Alice in Chains, guitarist/songwriter Jerry Cantrell's first solo album finds him in the catbird's seat. The much-publicized drug problems o...

    by Adam St. James on June 18, 1998
  • Article

    Priestly Confessions

    "Knowledge reigns supreme," says Killah Priest. "When Christ was on Earth, he walked among politicians and people who were ignorant. Why would I want to go somewhere where people already know?" Priest is calling from Virginia, where he's in the middl...

    by Adam Heimlich on June 18, 1998
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