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  • Article

    Short Cuts

    Lhasa La Llorona (Atlantic) Like seasoned songsters more than twice her age, Lhasa evokes an idyllic past that's tucked away in the folds of our collective musical consciousness. Borrowing from the vocal styles of jazz singers, cabaret diva...

    by Liesa Goins on December 10, 1998
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    Short Cuts

    U2 The Best of 1980-1990 (Island) U2 is no stranger to division. During its early days, the band engaged in an internecine dispute over whether its sound should hew to the punk or Christian genres. (Thankfully it's fully neither.) The ...

    by David Simutis on December 3, 1998
  • Article

    Action Incorporated

    If Howard Stern still believes he carries the burden of being "King of All Media," he should pick up a copy of the urban-music bible The Source sometime. He'll find that many of today's rap impresarios are kicking his ass in that department, probing ...

    by Craig D. Lindsey on December 3, 1998
  • Article

    Do Not Go Gentile Into that Good Night

    A tinsel-decked Christmas tree overwhelms the living room of Atlanta's upstanding Freitag family. The ceiling-scraping spruce is about to be topped by a star until one of the characters declares that "Jewish Christmas trees don't have stars." How the...

    by Robin Dougherty on December 3, 1998
  • Article

    Play That Funky Music, White Boys

    Although they're signed to the venerable jazz label Blue Note and have a name that sounds like a law firm, Medeski, Martin, and Wood are not your father's idea of jazz. They're more likely your Beastie Boys-loving, younger sister's kind of thing. ...

    by David Simutis on November 26, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    Fatboy Slim You've Come a Long Way, Baby (Astralwerks) As the hype surrounding electronica fades, the most inventive artists will start to stand out from the bandwagon-jumpers. Norman Cook, a.k.a. Fatboy Slim, is one of the few who've bee...

    by Steve Almond on November 26, 1998
  • Article

    History Repeating

    In the spectrum of British female pop phenoms, Shirley Bassey has legs. She has endured the icy rigors of record-industry bandwagoning, color barriers, fleeting trends, and fickle fans. Like fellow Brit Dusty Springfield, who rode the hit parade with...

    by George Pelletier on November 19, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    R.E.M. Up (Warner Bros.) R.E.M. has been a lot of things since its well-documented, small-town beginnings: underground college-radio favorite; above-ground music-industry manipulator; international pop icon. But one element in the band's lo...

    by David Simutis on November 19, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    Various Artists for the MASSES (1500/A&M) Certain signs indicate that a band is aging: Instead of new material, it releases "best of" compilations, B-side collections, rare recordings, and the obligatory live album; at least one member goes...

    by David Simutis on November 12, 1998
  • Article

    Ladies, Start Your Engines

    After almost a decade, Barenaked Ladies' slow and steady wooing of America finally came to fruition this past summer. Stunt, the Canadian band's fourth full-length CD, debuted at No. 3 in July -- not bad when you consider its predecessor, Born on a...

    by David Simutis on November 12, 1998
  • Article

    The Breath of the Blues

    The harmonica is a curious instrument. Palm-size and usually made without moving parts, it looks so simple, like a toy. Mastering one should require no more than inhaling, exhaling, and fluttering a finger or two. But the innocuous little thing has f...

    by Adam St. James on November 5, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    Aerosmith A Little South of Sanity (Geffen) Ever wonder what an Aerosmith concert is like? If so, A Little South of Sanity, the band's new live double album, will answer any and all of your questions. You won't be surprised. (That's never b...

    by Mark Rosen on November 5, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    PJ Harvey Is This Desire? (Island) Two-time Grammy nominee Polly Harvey is one of a handful of artists who consistently reinvent and redefine their sounds without losing sight of themselves. Previously she's been a bit of a groovy riot grrr...

    by David Simutis on October 29, 1998
  • Article

    The Road Well Traveled

    Dishwalla's new album, their second, is entitled And You Think You Know What Life's About. The title is a sarcastic one, because after releasing what would become Billboard Magazine's Rock Song of the Year in 1996, the band toured for two and a half ...

    by Larry Getlen on October 29, 1998
  • Article

    Something Wicked This Way Rocks

    If Them Ickies singer/songwriter/guitarist Mickey Zetts hadn't watched the Marx Brothers movie Monkey Business with some friends while under the influence of LSD, South Florida might have been deprived of one of its most colorful and inventive bands....

    by Larry Getlen on October 22, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    '68 Comeback A Bridge Too Fuckin' Far (Sympathy For the Record Industry) He isn't a household name even in his adopted home of Memphis, let alone among the hipsters of indie-rock, yet Monsieur Jeffrey Evans is arguably the greatest roots-ro...

    by David Simutis on October 22, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    Q-Burns Abstract Message Feng Shui (Astralwerks) Michael Donaldson, the DJ-songwriter known as Q-Burns Abstract Message, can't be terribly serious about practicing feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of arranging furniture to create maximum ...

    by John Floyd on October 15, 1998
  • Article

    Alley Cats

    For six years Girls Against Boys (GVSB to its fans) has been laying down reality-noir soundtracks that openly embrace and explore the lusty, dirty, and hidden sides of human nature. But during a performance on the Late Night With Conan O'Brien show t...

    by David Simutis on October 15, 1998
  • Article

    Short Cuts

    Gillian Welch Hell Among the Yearlings (Almo Sounds) Revival, Gillian Welch's brilliant 1996 debut album, had an old-time, hardwood simplicity about it: The two voices and two acoustic guitars did the majority of the work but were supported...

    by Steve Almond on October 8, 1998
  • Article

    The Peter Principle

    Peter Frampton, the man responsible for one of the most successful live recordings of all time, is talking about setting up college funds for his kids as if it's a big challenge. The '70s rock god is the proud father of four, and these days he discus...

    by Larry Getlen on October 8, 1998
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