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  • Article

    Roadshows

    Welfare music Bill Wyman of the Chicago Reader can often be overheard proclaiming the Bottle Rockets the best band in America, and as the band was finishing its set on the final night of the South by Southwest Music Conference, he was shouting hi...

    by Robert Wilonsky on April 13, 1995
  • Article

    Good rockin' last night - Dallas' forgotten Star Talent Records label got there before Sun's rise

    Rufus Thomas is not certain of the year--he figures it was 1943, though it might have been 1950--but he recalls the moment with astounding clarity. He was performing in Currie's Club Tropicana, a nightclub on the north side of Memphis, Tennessee, whe...

    by Robert Wilonsky on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Exile on vain street Like critic Chuck Eddy once said of Pussy Galore, with whom Trux singer Jennifer Herrema once performed, "Maybe you gotta live in Manhattan to understand this sort of thing." And like a local rock-crit colleague points out, Y...

    by Robert Wilonsky on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    A brighter shade of blues - J. Bone Cro presents Brian Eno and John Lee Hooker to the aliens

    On a gorgeous spring day, a man known by the name J. Bone Cro sits on the front porch of a house on Lower Greenville Avenue--the home and studio of a seminal experimental music collective called the Vas Deferens Organization. The 27-year-old musician...

    by Philip Chrissopoulos on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    Reviews

    Classic rock candy Wasps' Nests The 6ths London Records 20 Good Vibrations The Beach Boys Capitol Records Stephin Merritt's list of influences is rooted in the most classic and cliched pop music--names like Burt Bacharach, Phi...

    by Robert Wilonsky on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    Dour times - Portishead creates a sad poetic sound that separates dreams from reality

    It is perhaps just as well that Portishead, which was to make its American debut here April 16 at Deep Ellum Live, canceled its Dallas gig just a few days ago. The Island Records publicist explains the cancellation this way: "The band decided to play...

    by Robert Wilonsky on April 6, 1995
  • Article

    Big star - Robert Gordon's new book reveals Memphis is once and forever music's Shangri-La

    Memphis is a city that has long thrived on tourism. After all, for many of the world's countless blues enthusiasts who annually plan trips to the United States, Memphis and New Orleans and Chicago are the only cities that matter. Memphis city officia...

    by Gilbert Garcia on March 9, 1995
  • Article

    A better man - Drummer Dave Abbruzzese considers life after Pearl Jam

    "Does anyone know if I won a Grammy last night?" Dave Abbruzzese wonders. He says this as an afterthought, in the middle of a casual conversation with producer David Castell as the two stand in the messy kitchen area of Castell's Garland recording st...

    by Robert Wilonsky on March 9, 1995
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Bitter, Sweet Matthew Sweet may well be an influence on the likes of someone like Freedy Johnston, who began making records six years after Sweet's debut, but the similarities between the two men extend only to the music--a rich, well-constructed...

    by Robert Wilonsky on March 9, 1995
  • Article

    Punk, polka, and puke - New releases: Sonic Youth, Los Lobos, The The, and Mr. Spock

    Made in USA Sonic Youth Rhino Records Nice Ass Free Kitten Kill Rock Stars In the end, there isn't much to get with Sonic Youth. It's noise signifying noise, the songs an almost accidental result of what happens when you put gui...

    by Robert Wilonsky on March 2, 1995
  • Article

    Licensed to steal - Negativland makes its case in a new book and album

    In the grand scheme of things, Negativland exists on the fringes of the fringes, out where the air is thin and the mainstream does not venture. For more than a decade, they have perfected the art of sampling, splicing together any sound they could sn...

    by Robert Wilonsky on March 2, 1995
  • Article

    Uncle Whopelo? - Slobberbone is the dumbest name for the best new band in town

    I have seen the future of local music, and its name is stupid. Slobberbone they call themselves, and it may be the worst name for the best young band to emerge from this town (Denton, actually, but I'll claim 'em) in a very long time. When they p...

    by Robert Wilonsky on March 2, 1995
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Soul power The CD booklet accompanying Digable Planets' late 1994 release, Blowout Comb, reads almost like a pamphlet you might be handed at a political rally, each page covered in messages and symbols and slogans. A prisoner from the California ...

    by Robert Wilonsky on March 2, 1995
  • Article

    Striking a Nerve - Laurie Anderson riffs on fame, death, and the political landscape

    There's a moment on Laurie Anderson's most recent album, last year's portentous and unnerving Bright Red, when her velvety sage's voice breaks out of its cool, ironic mode and challenges the very universe. In "Love Among the Sailors," a funereal piec...

    by Jimmy Fowler on March 2, 1995
  • Article

    Reviews

    Flak racket rubberbullet rubberbullet Last Beat Records Once one of my favorite local bands because they were so weird--a rock band that splintered off into oddball free-jazz jam, a hard-core guitar band fronted by Earl Harvin's funky...

    by Robert Wilonsky on March 2, 1995
  • Article

    Reviews

    Diamond Dave, Shinola Sam Balance Van Halen Warner Bros. Records If the first incarnation of Van Halen made music for the crystal meth generation, then Van Hagar does it for the Crystal Pepsi Generation. With each record since the depar...

    by Robert Wilonsky on February 2, 1995
  • Article

    Roky's road - The father of psychedelia is not insane, just a little crazy

    AUSTIN--The man standing at the counter waiting to order his food is disheveled, slumped, looking slightly deranged. His beard chopped and trimmed in odd proportions, his matted and tangled and unwashed hair sticking up in various spots, his voice an...

    by Robert Wilonsky on February 2, 1995
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Take out the trash, Pantera Almost since its inception, the Basement was known as the home to Pantera: the band members hung out there as though it was a second home, and the hard-rock club was used as a backdrop in three videos. So as the Baseme...

    by Robert Wilonsky on February 2, 1995
  • Article

    Case dismissed - Judge tells the Nightcaps that ZZ Top aren't "copycats"

    In the end, the members of the Nightcaps weren't just seeking money when they picked their legal fight with ZZ Top. They wanted some respect, some credit--someone to acknowledge that 20 years ago, ZZ Top stole their one small claim to Texas music fam...

    by Robert Wilonsky on February 2, 1995
  • Article

    Roadshows

    Rock-a-silly Without the Cramps, Jim Heath might still be playing in blues bands, and without the Cramps, Ronnie Dawson might still be languishing in unwarranted obscurity. Yes, the Cramps, the band that has managed to exist for more than 16 year...

    by Robert Wilonsky on January 26, 1995
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