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  • Article

    Too much pork for just one fork

    Too much pork for just one fork America's fascination with the South comes from the curious notion that somewhere down there, amid the humidity, kudzu, polyester, cheese grits, and firearms--it's just more fun to be Southern. That's the perceptio...

    by Matt Weitz on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    Out There

    Giving in Jon Langford Skull Orchard Sugar Free Jon Langford made his legend pouring delicious doses of fear and whiskey, crafting unexpected rock and roll for a major label that never appreciated his genius, becoming the kind of Waco Bro...

    by Robert Wilonsky on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    The LeAnn Rimes of mariachi music - Talented and determined, Nydia Rojas is forging a pop career while remaining true to her roots

    Olivia Rojas knew she was in trouble when she saw the look on her 10-year-old daughter's face that morning. In the annals of the age-old power play between parents and their children, her suggestion that Nydia get up and sing at a little taco stand n...

    by Matt Weitz on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    Spoth the ravin' - Mark Ridlen continues his sonic adventure

    The taillight-yellow 10-inch vinyl disc starts out with an almost-ambient collection of various electronic noises--just what you'd expect from Spoth, a group that's a collaboration between Lithium Xmas alum Mark Ridlen (experimental musician and plat...

    by Matt Weitz on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    Out Here

    One giant leap for mankind Transaction de Novo Bedhead Trance Syndicate Musik Von Tone Float MIT Timothy's Brain c/o Avant Garde The big trend these days in experimental music--at least locally--has been to move away from hazy i...

    by Matt Weitz on February 12, 1998
  • Article

    Out Here

    Head 'em up Technology--unlike money--seems to genuinely trickle down to folks who were never imagined as beneficiaries. Yet there's a cruel joke. Several items in recent Dallas Observer music sections have mentioned the fact that technological adv...

    by Matt Weitz on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Changing the Course of Empire - Local favorite emerges from the commercial doldrums

    Chad Lovell, drummer for Course of Empire, has a barely noticeable habit: Whenever he discusses the history of his band, he tends to laugh a lot--as a person will when later recounting a terrifying or trying experience. You can't really blame him. Af...

    by Matt Weitz on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Freedom of choice - Ben Folds Five: a revolution in genre-bending

    In the business of alternative music--where the clock is always ticking on a band's continued relevance and getting to the point is considered bad taste--Ben Folds Five is an unlikely success story. Any other focused, passionate, guitarless band that...

    by Robin Myrick on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Out There

    All rocked out Pearl Jam Yield Epic Eddie Vedder has always been a better star than artist. He's best at grand gestures, belting out "Alive" or vowing to bring a concert-ticket monopoly to its knees. But these days, "Ed" (as he now calls ...

    by Keith Moerer on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    No Doubt about it - Hellcat Records keeps it real

    An hour before Denton's Grown-Ups are set to take the stage at Emo's in Austin--the second show of their three-date reunion tour of Texas--an episode reminiscent of the "mods vs. rockers" scene from Quadrophenia breaks out. Two rival packs of kids sq...

    by Zac Crain on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Roadshows

    You know what they done? Bill Kirchen finally had to change the way he sang "Too Much Fun," the signature party tune he wrote during his stint as the guitarist for Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. The singer--in that band the all-too-cr...

    by Matt Weitz on February 5, 1998
  • Article

    Let's play four - The Flaming Lips release four new CDs--and one new album

    The flustered clerk stood there with slack-jawed confusion, as if someone had just asked him whether he could mow the linoleum in the store. "You mean, you're supposed to play them all at the same time?" he asked, still not fully grasping the co...

    by Zac Crain on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Out Here

    Two for Texas Shadows Where the Magic Was James Hand Self-released When the music that James Hand loved--in this case, the stark traditional country of the post-war era--changed and moved on, he stuck with it. It's appropriate, then, that...

    by Matt Weitz on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Facing the music - Local music exec's departure is a sign of better things than you might at first think

    After almost four years of steering promising local bands through the straits and around the shoals of outrageous music-biz fortune, David Dennard--director of Crystal Clear's steve records label and president-for-life of his own Dragon Street Record...

    by Matt Weitz on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Roadshows

    The rhythm of the saints Many Americans became acquainted with South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo through its appearance on Paul Simon's Graceland album, but remain unaware of the band's importance as a cultural force. From the group's famili...

    by Robin Myrick on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    The enchanted forest - Carl Stephenson on Beck, the Geto Boys, trip-hop, and the fine line between dream and reality

    If Forest for the Trees had been recorded in 1997, it would surely spur interest, if only for its position at the musical intersection of the moment, pulling together such current themes as studio wizardry a la Beck, trip-hop, and Eastern sounds. But...

    by Richard Baimbridge on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Out There

    Coming out, growing up Ten Cent Wings Jonatha Brooke Refuge/MCA Records Jonatha Brooke can zing eloquent barbs at her self-absorbed lovers and spill poetry like water when smacked with a doe-eyed crush. She's also blessed with a beautiful...

    by Matt Weitz on January 29, 1998
  • Article

    Believe the hype - Austin's Sixteen Deluxe is as good as advertised

    It was an odd, unexpected sight at the Christmas party thrown this year in Austin by Hamstein Publishing and Lone Wolf Management: the four members of Sixteen Deluxe--Austin's great white (pop) hope--gushing about their brief encounter with ZZ Top's ...

    by Zac Crain on January 22, 1998
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Captain Fantastic rides again Back in 1975, when my best friend and I were screaming, weeping, Tiger Beat mad about Elton John, our small grade-school hearts raced faster the minute one of his songs came on the radio or one of his antics made the...

    by Robin Myrick on January 22, 1998
  • Article

    Behind the lines - From reds to feds to blues

    If you don't know what a "wet line" is, check out Samuell Boulevard between Sibley and Boone, the boundary that separates where liquor may and may not be sold. Of the 16 establishments that line this section of street, 12 are either liquor stores, be...

    by Tim Schuller on January 22, 1998
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