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  • Article

    Calibrations - Novelty songs

    Novelty songs. Hal Spector has always dug novelty songs. Ray Stevens, Roger Miller, Spike Jones and His City Slickers -- all notorious novelty acts, all among Spector's earliest musical heroes. "I've just always been a nut for goofy songs," Spector...

    by David Pulizzi on September 16, 1999
  • Short Cuts - Powerman 5000, Macy Gray


    Short Cuts - Powerman 5000, Macy Gray

    Powerman 5000 Tonight the Stars Revolt! (DreamWorks Records) If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and Korn should be supremely flattered by the new Powerman 5000 album. Taking derivation to new height...

    by Bruce Britt on September 16, 1999
  • Article

    The Elegant Aging of Richard Thompson - Why doesn't anyone buy this man's records?

    Groucho Marx once said that aging gracefully is the grandest oxymoron of all -- the big lie. After all, to age is to wrinkle, to wither, to shrink, to vanish. To do so gracefully means only to admit defeat. Grace has nothing to do with it; what's s...

    by Robert Wilonsky on September 9, 1999
  • Short Cuts - Richard Buckner, The Ramones


    Short Cuts - Richard Buckner, The Ramones

    Richard Buckner Bloomed (Rykodisc/Slow River Records) You could say Richard Buckner plays alternative country, the so-called '90s amalgam of alternative rock and country popularized by the likes of Uncle Tupelo and its offspring Wilco and Son...

    by Daniel Lovering on September 9, 1999
  • Article

    The Importance Of Selling Elvis - RCA's bottomless pit of revenue

    On November 21, 1955, RCA Victor made the sweetest deal in the history of the recording industry. For the grand sum of $35,000 plus outstanding royalties, which amounted to another $5000 or so, RCA purchased from Sam Phillips' Memphis-based Sun Recor...

    by David Pulizzi on September 2, 1999
  • Short Cuts - Robert Palmer, Lamb, Carl Hancock Rux


    Short Cuts - Robert Palmer, Lamb, Carl Hancock Rux

    Robert Palmer Rhythm & Blues (Pyramid) Robert Palmer is one suave so-and-so. Ever since leaving the funky and cool Vinegar Joe in the early '70s and going the way of the solo artist, he has made a career out of reinventing himself on a regula...

    by Bruce Britt on September 2, 1999
  • Article

    A Show Less Ordinary - Mama's Root rocks hard

    The last time the four young men in Mama's Root played before a well-connected, music-industry representative, they bombed. Miserably. Somehow or other the band cajoled the rep into attending a Mama's Root show last December at the Culture Room in Fo...

    by David Pulizzi on August 26, 1999
  • Short Cuts - Paul Jones, Los Lobos


    Short Cuts - Paul Jones, Los Lobos

    Paul Jones Pucker up Buttercup (Fat Possum) As the blues continues to work its way into the pop mainstream via smoothies such as Keb' Mo', Jonny Lang, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, artists like Paul Jones are left to maintain the music's brutal p...

    by Bruce Britt on August 26, 1999
  • Article

    Grievous, Indeed - Homage to long-dead Flying Burrito Brother Gram Parsons

    Chris Hillman knew Gram Parsons perhaps better than anyone, or at least as well as anyone could know a wealthy young man dedicated to living fast, loving hard, dying young, and leaving a beautiful memory. It was Hillman who brought Parsons into the B...

    by Robert Wilonsky on August 19, 1999
  • Article

    Kool Keith, Guided by Voices - David Simutis|Brian Baker

    Kool Keith Black Elvis/Lost in Space (Columbia) Musically speaking, there are at least two kinds of visionaries. First there are those who, like Kurt Cobain or Chuck D., see how things are in the world and describe those things eloquently. Then...

    on August 19, 1999
  • Article

    Quiet as They Wanna Be - Slow music...worth the wait

    General wisdom: If you want anything done right -- or at least done cheaply -- the best thing to do is do it yourself. It's wisdom that the four members of the Austin, Texas-based American Analog Set have taken to heart. As with the band's first ...

    by David Simutis on August 12, 1999
  • Short Cuts - Those Bastard Souls, Sophie B. Hawkins


    Short Cuts - Those Bastard Souls, Sophie B. Hawkins

    Those Bastard Souls Debt & Departure (V2) At their most brilliant, the Grifters were the best band to come from Memphis since Big Star. Now that the group is drifting in limbo, head Grifter David Shouse has more time to spend with his erstwhi...

    by Brian Baker on August 12, 1999
  • Article

    Webbed Feat - This is not your father's radio

    It's the Fourth of July, and Hollywood native Mr. Entertainment is celebrating the First Amendment in front of two turntables and a microphone. He's broadcasting live from inside a pine-paneled closet-cum-DJ booth, and the records he's spinning sugge...

    by Emma Trelles on August 5, 1999
  • Short Cuts - Freedy Johnston, Atari Teenage Riot


    Short Cuts - Freedy Johnston, Atari Teenage Riot

    Freedy Johnston Blue Days Black Nights (Elektra) When Freedy Johnston hit the chart jackpot in 1994 with "Bad Reputation" from his startlingly good third album, This Perfect World, no one was more surprised than he. He knew beyond a doubt tha...

    by Brian Baker on August 5, 1999
  • Clown Jewel


    Clown Jewel

    Eight things, true and otherwise, that Jewel has said: 1. "Sure, sex sells." I've never seen Jewel in person, mind you, but I have seen her on TV, in the backstage area of an awards show. She was near Fiona Apple and not too far from Marilyn Mans...

    by Ben Greenman on July 29, 1999
  • Shortcuts - Limp Bizkit, Fluid Ounces


    Shortcuts - Limp Bizkit, Fluid Ounces

    Limp Bizkit Significant Other (Flip/Interscope) Considering the band's fondness for macho funk-rock rhythms and masculine posturing, it's a mystery why the members of Jacksonville-based Limp Bizkit elected to name themselves after a flaccid foo...

    by Bruce Britt on July 29, 1999
  • Article

    Dubbed Out - Augustus Pablo

    There was something in his eyes, Augustus Pablo's inevitably reefer-blurred eyes, that was alternately haunting and sad, chilling and beautiful. In the numerous photos of the dub innovator that grace the slew of albums released during his life (which...

    by John Floyd on July 22, 1999
  • Short cuts - The Pretenders, The Beta Band, Heather Eatman


    Short cuts - The Pretenders, The Beta Band, Heather Eatman

    The Pretenders Viva el Amor! (Warner Bros.) Doing the late-night channel-surf thing recently, I stumbled across a broadcast of Hard Rock Live, the VH1 live-performance showcase featuring classic rock acts. The Pretenders were holding court, ...

    by Bruce Britt on July 22, 1999
  • Article

    Gospel Truth

    Gospel has been the bedrock of popular music since it was first recorded in the early 1900s. It was the first musical love of iconoclast rockers ranging from Little Richard to Elvis Presley. It has produced soul singers as dazzling and innovative as ...

    by John Floyd on July 17, 1999
  • Article

    Short Cuts - The Chemical Brothers, The Apples in Stereo, Naughty by Nature

    The Chemical Brothers Surrender (Astralwerks/Virgin) At one time the Chemical Brothers were the biggest electronica band in the land. Before Fatboy Slim was heard in every commercial, before Ray of Light won a Grammy, before Prodigy had a number one ...

    by David Simutis on July 17, 1999
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