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  • Article

    Shooting craps - U2 takes over the world--and turns it into a commercial

    When it comes to Las Vegas, the gambling and the naked showgirls and the 99-cent shrimp cocktails aren't really what make it seem so different from the real world. It's the bizarre architecture: Huge public buildings the size of Versailles or Blenhei...

    by Gina Arnold on May 15, 1997
  • Article

    Winner's circle - All the bands that fit,and one that quit

    It's at times like these--after all the tabulation, assignments, editing, and production that go into the magnificent beast that is the Dallas Observer Music Awards--that I'm reminded of the last words of my late favorite uncle: "what truck?" No...

    by Matt Weitz on May 8, 1997
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Oh l'amour In the mid-'80s, no artsy high school music collection was complete without the pop avant-garde album Upstairs at Eric's by Yaz--an early electronic project by the creative duo of Vince Clarke and vocalist Alison Moyet. After she left ...

    by Richard Baimbridge on May 8, 1997
  • Article

    Young Country repellent - With the Cicadas, Rodney Crowell exits Nashville's cocoon

    Rodney Crowell is one of those guys who was probably never meant to be a Nashville high-roller in the first place. Sure, he's penned huge hits for dozens of top-echelon C&W stars, was ushered into patriarch Johnny Cash's kingdom through his former ma...

    by Rick Koster on May 8, 1997
  • Article

    Out There

    Music for buildings and food Orblivion The Orb Island Records Trace the history of ambient music, and you'll touch on names like Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno, but when it comes to the history of danceable ambient music, Orb would be cons...

    by Richard Baimbridge on May 8, 1997
  • Article

    Out of the past - Slaid Cleaves finally molds his influences into the shape of his own voice

    Slaid Cleaves has a soft voice: not mumbled or insecure, just diminished. More than five years of living in Texas has diluted his childhood's Maine inflections, but apparently has not lent him the trumpet-like blare that comes so easy to denizens of ...

    by Matt Weitz on May 8, 1997
  • Article

    Out Here

    Function and form Swinging and Singing Johnny Reno Menthol Records Too often in pop, format counts for more than intention or even execution, and we're left feeling vaguely suspicious of Andy Timmons playing the blues with the Pawn Kings ...

    by Matt Weitz on May 8, 1997
  • Article

    The 1997 Dallas Observer Music Awards

    I wandered around the Dallas music scene lonely as a freelance cloud, the Dallas Observer Music Awards were about as interesting to me as a medium-sized rock in a coffee can. Who cares what anybody else thinks? Ah, the carefree ways of callow yo...

    by Tim Schuller on May 1, 1997
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Don't believe the hype Critics have taken two sharply different tacks when it comes to reviewing the new U2 album, Pop. While most of the larger, mainstream publications are hailing it as an innovative breakthrough, many of the smaller, more savvy...

    by Richard Baimbridge on May 1, 1997
  • Article

    Out Here

    Heavy tin foil Come On Feel The Metal Various artists steve records The joke's an easy one to remember, but a hard one to tell. Come On Feel The Metal, on which almost three dozen local bands go metal in all its incarnations (from Zep t...

    by Robert Wilonsky on April 24, 1997
  • Article

    Together again - Respected but short-lived country-rock outfit the Cartwrights are getting back together

    Nobody's looking past this one gig, but the late, lamented Cartwrights--a virtual family tree of local bands past comprising Barry Kooda (Nervebreakers, Yeah Yeah Yeah), Alan Wooley (Killbilly), Kim Herriage (Feet First), Donny Ray Ford, and Richie V...

    by Matt Weitz on April 24, 1997
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Misery as its own reward There is something about the allure of romantic despair. On her latest album, Excerpts from a Love Circus, Lisa Germano wallows in it, yet she seems reluctant to crawl to the shore. Listening to her songs makes you wonder...

    by Philip Chrissopoulos on April 24, 1997
  • Article

    Out There

    Willful obscurity Straightaways Son Volt Warner Brothers Records "No one here says what they mean," Jay Farrar sings on Straightaways, the latest offering from Son Volt. That line is accurate, the title ironic, since this album is a tri...

    by Matt Weitz on April 24, 1997
  • Article

    Holmes style - NY's Holmes Brothers are the Magi of soul

    Ever since the guitar filibuster got elevated to sacrament, blues fans who love great singing and concise songs have been screwed. To their rescue come the Holmes Brothers--Wendell and Sherman Holmes on guitar and bass respectively, and Popsy Di...

    by Tim Schuller on April 24, 1997
  • Article

    Drawn-blinds blues - Laura Nyro, 1948-1997

    "Other people had hits with her songs" was the sentence just beneath the headline in USA Today that announced musician Laura Nyro had died. She succumbed to ovarian cancer at the age of 49. This was the most depressingly predictable of epitaphs ...

    by Jimmy Fowler on April 24, 1997
  • Article

    All a-flutter - Another local songwriter has a cut on a major-label release

    When the Dallas Observer ran a preview a few weeks ago announcing an upcoming Monte Warden show, said preview mentioned that Warden--like our own Colin Boyd--seemed to be haunted by the ghost of a certain bespectacled pop genius named Buddy. It was a...

    by Matt Weitz on April 17, 1997
  • Article

    Out Here

    Service with a smile Satellitely Quickserv Johnny Rainmaker Records Quickserv Johnny, to paraphrase the Tom Hanks character in That Thing You Do, is the latest star in the Rainmaker Records galaxy--blasting through the same platinum-fille...

    by Rick Koster on April 17, 1997
  • Article

    Lip service - Cowboy Mouth's manic responsibility

    For much of the '90s, rock 'n' roll scenesters--from Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson to Alex Chilton and Peter Buck--have moved to New Orleans, drawn as much by the city's Flowers of Evil darkness and spirit of perpetual carnival as by its musical he...

    by Rick Koster on April 17, 1997
  • Article

    Out There

    Thinking man's headbangers Aftertaste Helmet Interscope Records Helmet has long been promising to inject hard rock with new life: A combo led by a jazz guitarist who plays tight, economical, and subtly brutal metallic rock looks great on ...

    by Philip Chrissopoulos on April 17, 1997
  • Article

    Bassx comes correct - Local band finds its way in the Big Apple

    Even if the competition is not exactly fierce, to be nominated in the Dallas Observer's "Best Rap/Hip-Hop" category two years in a row is no small feat. Denton's Bassx walked away winners in 1995; in 1996, prior to the ballot counting, the band packe...

    by Philip Chrissopoulos on April 17, 1997
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