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Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Grad and glad

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 1999 at 12:00 AM

A local band makes good and makes a good record. That’s enough material for a story all its own. After all, they say it’s harder to be a hero in your hometown than anywhere else in the world. Ain’t it the truth. Anybody who’s listened to the Verve Pipe honing...

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Cathartic caterwaul

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 1999 at 12:00 AM

These two are totally friggin’ mental! And that, to paraphrase Martha Stewart, is a good thing. Bantam Rooster’s debut album of two years ago, Deal Me In, was a raging slab of punk frustration with dangerous backwoods undertones wailed by guitarist/howler T. Jackson Potter and drummer Eric Cook. They were a...

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Avant-gains

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Warning; Archie Shepp’s recent collaboration with the Ritual Trio signifies some serious heaviosity in the ever-expanding realm of free/modern jazz. A tribute to the late bassist Fred Hopkins (a longtime mainstay of Chicago’s avant-garde community), Con-versations displays four music veterans engaging in an emotive remembrance of their fallen comrade. Although...

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Spirit of B-boy

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 1999 at 12:00 AM

If we can still get away with talking about "keeping it real" then Sway & King Tech keep it real. These guys eat, sleep and breathe hip hop – now the proof is on wax. This or That, the duo’s new offering, is a fresh, coherent statement from beginning to...

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Real love blues

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Hollywood hasn’t quite ruined Randy Newman for pop music, but big-screen duties sure have hogged his time. The prolific composer of film sound tracks hasn’t given us a real solo album – not counting 1995’s all-star Faust project – since the affecting Land of Dreams, released all of 11 years...

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Faded funk

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Mike Paradinas (mu-ziq) is, like his peers, Aphex Twin and Luke Vibert, a tremendous talent. In the brave new world of autistic dance music – which both flirts with and ignores the dance floor – Mike is the most brilliant of the idiot-savants, work-playing in the increasingly mined terrain of...

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Mcbluesish

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Essential? True, the names on this CD are some of the best names in the blues. Luther Allison. Otis Rush. Magic Sam. Jimmy Reed. Robert Cray. The performances on this two-CD collection are all well worth listening to. If you like good blues performed by some of the best...

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Wednesday, August 18, 1999

Old-hand

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 1999 at 12:00 AM

It’s hard not to like the sound of John Lee Hooker. As he enters the eighth decade of life, musicians half his age are still scrambling to record with the man. Listening to such recent albums as The Healer, where he recorded great-sounding compositions with such artists as Carlos Santana...

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Smiley-face meets Happy-feet

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Happy Hardcore, like acid jazz, is really neither, but instead a kind of impossibly upbeat blend of rave’s rush and arpeggiated, feel-good, New Age sounds: heartfelt female vocals singing Tori Amos-writing-greeting card lyrics over crisp drum fills, Vangelis/Enya-like keyboards, video game synths and beats so squeaky clean they pound you...

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Protect Ya Neck

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 1999 at 12:00 AM

You have got to have balls to sample Thelonious Monk, then drop some old-school big band and follow it up with lyrics about Ornette Coleman and Scott Joplin. But with a hip-hop record, that kind of hi-fi audacity is always two steps away from either the lowest kind of musical...

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