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  • Article

    Out There

    Loud and clear I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray The Fairfield Four Warner Brothers Records Black gospel singing at its best is transcendent--a striking contrast to the travails of African-Americans--and the Nashville-based Fairfield Four (in f...

    by Rob Patterson on December 18, 1997
  • Article

    Tejano outsiders define what's in - La Mafia continue to break barriers even as their industry ignores them

    "I would say we're probably the Rolling Stones of our music, because we've been around a long time," says Oscar de la Rosa, lead singer of La Mafia, one of Tejano music's biggest acts. It's an awfully grand comparison to make, but de la Rosa has neve...

    by Rob Patterson on December 18, 1997
  • Article

    Out Here

    Don't fence me in Lift to Experience Lift to Experience Random-Precision Records Smoothie Sandwich Lung Cookie Records One of the bastard children of music criticism is labels, the stifling shorthand used to sum up any hard-to-d...

    by Zac Crain on December 18, 1997
  • Article

    Yuletide resuscitation - Big Iron comes back for another round

    Christmas is a time for gentle reflection on good times past--and perhaps even the wiping away of a nostalgic tear, so the cover of Honkey-Tonk Holidays (Christmas in Deep Noellum) is particularly poignant: now-passed nightspot Naomi's, all aglow wit...

    by Matt Weitz on December 18, 1997
  • Article

    Prometheus unbound - The boxed set of Charles Mingus' Atlantic years

    Nobody struck at the soul of jazz like Charles Mingus. His music raged with paradoxical fury: intense yet funny, demonic yet spiritual, chaotic yet carefully arranged. That was Mingus. Oh, yeah. His autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, reveals a tort...

    by Jonathan Eig on December 11, 1997
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Let us now praise local bands It's been a veritable roller coaster of a year for the Old 97's: big-name attention, major-label foofaraw, and the derision of Whiskeytown's resident know-it-all and professional butthead David Ryan Adams (what is that...

    by Matt Weitz on December 11, 1997
  • Article

    Blues plate special - Live music at lunchtime in the heart of downtown

    "Catfish and the blues were born together," declares L.R. "T.C." Deere, owner of the five-location Top Cat seafood restaurant chain. A bit incongruous behind the cash register of his downtown location (505 N. Griffin, right across from the bus statio...

    by Matt Weitz on December 11, 1997
  • Article

    Out Here

    Seed catalog Texas Blues Radio Various artists Independent release Time was, KNON DJs who did Texas blues shows had to bring in old vinyl by dead guys. Now, they have new CDs by Dallas/Fort Worth players who are not only alive, but giggin...

    by Tim Schuller on December 11, 1997
  • Article

    Out There

    Fall from Graceland Songs from The Capeman Paul Simon Warner Bros. Records It's easy to understand why Paul Simon would be attracted to the story of Salvador Agron, who, in 1959, stabbed to death two innocents caught in a New York City ga...

    by Robert Wilonsky on December 11, 1997
  • Article

    Honed alone - A free-jazz disciple gets the last laugh

    Dennis Gonzalez almost ceased to exist this September, when he and his Harley were run off the road by an unidentified motorist. After the impact, flying through the air, he took time to accept his death, he says. He needn't have. Although re-establi...

    by Tim Schuller on December 11, 1997
  • Article

    Girl in the spotlight - Lisa Loeb, figuring it out in public

    Imagine Rod Serling walking out of the soundstage and into the pool of light cast by a single spotlight. "Submitted for your approval," he says in that authoritative way that jogs our collective TV memories. "A portrait of a young woman who wants not...

    by Matt Weitz on December 4, 1997
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Just like heaven The Cure has always been a band that was synonymous with the term "cult following." It didn't so much have fans as it had disciples: legions of pale-skinned, spidery-haired Robert Smith clones pretending that every day was Hallow...

    by Zac Crain on December 4, 1997
  • Article

    Deck the malls - This season's Christmas album offerings

    It's been looking a lot like Christmas here in the office since about July, when the first "seasonal" albums began arriving, presaging a time when the people of the world--or at least those who aren't Muslims, Jews, Jains, Bahais, animists, cargo cul...

    by Zac Crain on December 4, 1997
  • Article

    Why Christmas music sucks

    Poor old Scrooge, he missed the big boat when it came to Christmas. If that seminal capitalist were alive today, he could easily be a record-company executive, and then realize the true meaning of the Christmas season: the annual blizzard of Christma...

    by Rob Patterson on December 4, 1997
  • Article

    Interesting intersection - The many roads of Keli Vaughan

    There is restlessness about Keli Vaughan. It shows up in the way she uses her hands to accent her conversation, and it's scattered through her transcontinental history, which has seen her traveling to India, China, Europe, and Great Britain. There is...

    by Matt Weitz on November 27, 1997
  • Article

    Out There

    Sweet progress Candy Lickin' Man Chico Banks Evidence Records You'd think Chicago's blues labels--Alligator, Delmark, and Earwig--would have ears closer to their own streets than an outfit in Conshoshocken, Pennsylvania. But that's the ho...

    by Tim Schuller on November 27, 1997
  • Article

    Rory in the sky - The long-coming canonization of an Irish hero

    "Are your Irish friends coming to dinner?" My mother, stuffing a turkey on a rain-drenched Thanksgiving day in 1976, was wondering if I was bringing Irish blues-rock guitar hero Rory Gallagher and his band home for our family's traditional evenin...

    by Rick Koster on November 27, 1997
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Local band hell It's been nearly four years since the Toadies released their major-label debut, Rubberneck, and in that time the band and its label have done little to capitalize on the huge success of "Possum Kingdom," a song so unstoppable it s...

    by Zac Crain on November 27, 1997
  • Article

    Too cool for us - According to Spin, Columbus, Ohio, is more of a music town than Dallas-Fort Worth

    Spin magazine's just-released Underground USA (Vintage, $14) is subtitled "An insider's guide to live music, cheap eats, dive bars, thrift stores, and deviant fun in America's top music cities." According to the introduction written by Craig Marks, S...

    by Matt Weitz on November 27, 1997
  • Article

    Out Here

    Hank's back Hank Thompson and Friends Hank Thompson Curb Records It took over 30 years, but country music has caught up with Hank Thompson. Thompson--a longstanding force who, with his Brazos Valley Boys, revolutionized postwar country mu...

    by Matt Weitz on November 27, 1997
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