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  • various artists: Cairo to Casablanca

    Article

    various artists: Cairo to Casablanca

    various artists Cairo to Casablanca Putumayo World Music MARKET-SAVVY RECORD geeks have always known that it's almost always a mistake to judge an album by its cover. Though few would argue that you can't infer quite a bit from one. Take ...

    by Michaelangelo Matos on December 2, 1998
  • Article

    The Blues and the Grays - After 30 years Nashville lifer Don Williams makes the best record of his career

    Giant Records' Nashville label chief Doug Johnson thought his song "Ride On" was tailor-made for Don Williams, but Williams had his reservations. Its subject matter--a little girl who uses her rocking horse to work off the pain of her parents' divo...

    by Britt Robson on November 25, 1998
  • Article

    Baby Steps - Twice the ambition, half the vision

    Dave King, drummer and composer for the locally heralded avant-jazz trio Happy Apple, loves his home state with a passion that borders on jingoism. One of the band's T-shirts features this aggressive non sequitur: We're Happy Apple. We're From Minn...

    by Joshua Westlund on November 25, 1998
  • Article

    Bleep! Doink! @#$%?! - Squarepusher and Autechre make techno with teeth

    Tom Jenkinson (a.k.a. Squarepusher) loves to toy with jungle's biggest weaknesses: a cocky confidence in its newness, and lust for perpetual innovation. With his uncanny knack for injecting manic pop thrills into comatose musique concrte concepts,...

    by Joshua Westlund on November 18, 1998
  • Grooverider: Mysteries of Funk

    Article

    Grooverider: Mysteries of Funk

    Grooverider Mysteries of Funk Columbia U.K. JUNGLE COLLECTIVE Roni Size/Reprazent's New Forms did something almost unheard of: It presented drum 'n' bass as living-room music without sacrificing the genre's innately funky dance-floor streng...

    by Michaelangelo Matos on November 18, 1998
  • Article

    New Radicals: Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too

    New Radicals Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too MCA HOW LONG HAS it been since a pop songwriter had enough zest and guts to savor life? Gregg Alexander--code name: New Radicals--writes euphoric tunes. Not the zirconium-faux euphoria of Disne...

    by Britt Robson on November 18, 1998
  • Jad Fair and Yo La Tengo: Strange but True

    Article

    Jad Fair and Yo La Tengo: Strange but True

    Jad Fair and Yo La Tengo Strange but True Matador THE CONCEPT BEHIND this record--22 songs drawing their inspiration from supermarket tabloid headlines--is so amusing that it's surprising nobody thought of it until now (with the possible ex...

    by Jay Ruttenberg on November 18, 1998
  • Ballad of a Golf Pro

    Article

    Ballad of a Golf Pro

    Although Tangletown's Seth Zimmerman grew up with Bob Dylan and the Band spinning on the family hi-fi, his vocal Dylanisms might stem as much from nature as nurture: The 28-year-old singer is Bob's nephew. Seth's father David even brought his broth...

    by Peter S. Scholtes on November 18, 1998
  • Love on the Tracks - Spoken-word artist Truth Maze hitches the soul train to the peace train

    Article

    Love on the Tracks - Spoken-word artist Truth Maze hitches the soul train to the peace train

    It's a sunny midweek afternoon and Truth Maze is hanging out in the stacks of the downtown branch of the Minneapolis Public Library. Although the dreadlocked hip-hop scenester has only been here a moment or two, he's already been recognized by a few...

    by Christina Schmitt on November 11, 1998
  • Ipso Post-Facto

    Article

    Ipso Post-Facto

    The most popular reggae band ever to emerge from the Minnesota tundra has just released a greatest hits package, The Best of Ipso Facto (Mouthpiece), and will perform a reunion/farewell/CD-release show this Saturday at O'Gara's in St. Paul. The rock...

    by Peter S. Scholtes on November 11, 1998
  • Article

    Dyno-mite!

    SURE, LOCAL HIP hop needs venues, which is why the crowded showcases at Bon Appetit and First Avenue are so vital. But it also needs albums, something to fill your headphones after the show, to soundtrack the cityscape, to let the international unde...

    by Peter S. Scholtes on November 11, 1998
  • Article

    Booty Call - The Afghan Whigs' search for their soul produces a new collection of retro rump shakers

    As the alt-rock well has continued to run dry, a whole set of post-punk bands have taken to appropriating the blues, with varying degrees of success. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Red Red Meat, Railroad Jerk, and Royal Trux have each wandered thr...

    by Chris Herrington on November 11, 1998
  • Son Volt: Wide Swing Tremolo

    Article

    Son Volt: Wide Swing Tremolo

    Son Volt Wide Swing Tremolo Warner Bros SON VOLT'S JAY Farrar may be the most fatalistic rock 'n' roller since the John Fogerty of "Who'll Stop the Rain." When bad things come his way, the poor guy doesn't necessarily take it hard, because ...

    by Chris Herrington on November 4, 1998
  • Saint Etienne: Good Humor

    Article

    Saint Etienne: Good Humor

    Saint Etienne Good Humor Sub Pop "FROTHY" IS THE word that most effectively describes the U.K. retro-soul band Saint Etienne: light, pretty, and about as deep as a Hayley Mills vehicle, and driven by a twee worldview that could make a Dusty...

    by Michaelangelo Matos on November 4, 1998
  • DeeJay Punk-Roc: ChickenEye

    Article

    DeeJay Punk-Roc: ChickenEye

    DeeJay Punk-Roc ChickenEye Independiente/Epic DEEJAY PUNK-ROC sees the world through the eyes of a chicken with its head cut off. At least that seems to be the implicit gag behind the cover of the Brooklynite's debut disc, ChickenEye, which...

    by Joshua Westlund on November 4, 1998
  • Article

    Steeplejack says No mas

    Steeplejack says No mas Mixing self-effacing wedding-toast humor and cowpunk zeal, Steeplejack has hung on as the quintessential good-time Minneapolis bar band. With just enough songcraft to set them apart, the group manages to turn a disparaging...

    by Peter S. Scholtes on November 4, 1998
  • Article

    In My Room - His Name Is Alive condenses the pop universe into a residential house in Livonia, Michigan

    Fort Lake, Mich., was the site of a Civil War battlement that proved itself of little use to the Union during the conflict and of even less use afterward. By the end of the 19th century, the land the fort stood on had become a sinkhole and the fort...

    by Keith Harris on November 4, 1998
  • Deana Carter and Lee Ann Womack

    Article

    Deana Carter and Lee Ann Womack

    Deana Carter Everything's Gonna Be Alright Capitol Lee Ann Womack Some Things I Know Decca FOR A NUMBER of reasons, record sales and public exposure chief among them, things have never been better for women in Nashville. But you hav...

    by Chris Herrington on October 28, 1998
  • Hovercraft :Experiment Below

    Article

    Hovercraft :Experiment Below

    Hovercraft Experiment Below Mute/Blast First HOVERCRAFT'S CAUSTIC MUSIC rocks out spastically, approaching the gigantism of cock-rock, while eluding any testosterone-addled delusions of grandeur. In short, Hovercraft play industrial music. ...

    by Joshua Westlund on October 28, 1998
  • Kirk Franklin :The Nu Nation Project

    Article

    Kirk Franklin :The Nu Nation Project

    Kirk Franklin The Nu Nation Project Gospo Centric TOUGH TIMES PRODUCE all manner of charming hucksters offering to ease our worries with magical salves and simplistic credos. That Reverend Franklin peddles Jesus rather than Versace or bump...

    by Keith Harris on October 28, 1998
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