Tina's Korner Archives
From "Music Voice" magazine. Courtesy of EMOL.
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Phoenix, Arizona Musicians
After its recent acquisition by Toolies Country's Bill Bachand and almost
six months of restoration, Phoenix's Celebrity Theater, located at 440 N.
32nd St., is set to open its doors. The first show scheduled there is with
Tim & Will & The KMLE Christmas Breakfast Show, on Dec. 8th,
followed by country singer Chris LeDoux. Congratulations to Mr. Bachand.
For more show info., call 267-1600.
One Foot in the Grave, whose members are in the older age bracket,
has been signed to Voices Music, a German recording company. Their new cd,
"Old Farts," is set for release in Europe. The newest edition
to the band is drummer Dave Cook. One Foot in the Grave begins its third
European tour in January '96. Richard Marx of the Superstition Band, scored
his sixth episode of the monthly human interest series "Copperstate
Chronicles"on KTVK. The "Ridin' the Rails" episode tracks
the story of the railroad in Arizona, with the title song being a contemporary
arrangement of "I've Been Working on the Railroad." All music
was produced at Happy Camper Recordings in Phoenix.
"Arizona Showcase" is a tv production on public television
featuring Arizona talent. Produced by Arcade Group Productions in Glendale,
Arizona, it can be sen every Friday at 11:30 a.m. on Cox Cable's channel
22. Some of the featured bands have included Box of Cherries, Cat Acoustic
Groove, Wild Card and Anti-M. To be considered for future tapings, call
James at 582-1107.
Tucson, Arizona Musicians
After getting frustrated with the "label thing" over ten years
ago, resident hybrid connoisseur of the Southwestern Tucson sound, Al
Perry has emerged with a 12-song cd, Losin' hand," on his own label,
Addled Records. Although Perry has the reputation of being able to merge
all genres into its own unique persona, he returns to one of his true musical
loves on this one. "It's real straight country, like Buck Owens, Bakersfield
kind of thing," Al told me when we ran into each other downtown. "The
songs are about failed relationships, they're really depressing," he
conceded saying he really likes this kind of music. Joining him are bassist
Dave Roads, drummer Peter Catalonotte (check spelling) and pedal steel guitarist
Neil Harry. Perry and his band treated Tucsonans to a taste of this country
with a rocking sound at a CD release party held at Club Congress. Opening
groups were the Rugburns and The Almighty Honeywagon.
Musician Paul Young, known for his role in the 80's bands UPS (Useless
Piece of Shit) And Blood Spasm (and the great Jimi Hendix tattoo), has died
of complications resulting from a foot injury. Paul, who worked at the Zip's
Records in Park Mall, was well known for his influence in the formation
of the punk music scene in the 80's. A memorial service was held Saturday,
November 4th at the Downtown Performance Center. He and his contributions
and memories to the the local music scene will be greatly missed.
Commenting on "Monster," R.E.M.'s lead singer Michael Stipe
said, "We wanted to make a really foxy record, raw and sexy, just spit
it out. We were ready to throw out the book." Once, after sitting out
a song in rehearsal, Stipe admitted he was smitten by the group. "If
I wasn't in the band, I'd be a big fan," he announced. "I'd go
see us live. I would be irritated by me every now and then, but I think
I would like us a lot."
Frank Black, recently signed with American Recordings, will debut
January 30th with "The Cult of Ray." The following month he will
begin his U.S. tour with Chicago rocker Jonny Polonsky.
On The Foreman's album, "Folk Heroes," the satirical song
"Ain't No Liberal," is aimed at California Governor Pete Wilson.
"Pete Wilson is 'Casper the Friendly Candidate' -- you can see right
through him," observed songwriter Roy Zimmerman. "I like to think
The Foremen's recording is helping to draw people's attention to the pious
hypocrisies Wilson and other Republican hopefuls are preaching."
For the first time since 1991, Julian Cope performed four East Coast
solo acoustic concerts in support of his new album, "20 Mothers."
Skinny Puppy's American Recordings debut and final studio lp, "The
Process," will hit the shelves February 20th. The 12th album in their
career, the band has suffered a series of misfortunes, ranging from the
departure of singer Nivek Ogre and the heroin overdose of keyboardist Dwayne
Goettel. "He'd changed girlfriends," said Ogre of the warning
signs. "He was with this woman who I thought was pretty disastrous
to his life. He started doing a lot of speed and downers." Of the album's
title and theme, Ogre explained that "The Process was a psychotherapy
cult that started in the early 60's. They were deemed a Satanic cult, but
they were neither Satanic nor Christian. In fact, they were both and all.
They were into the duality of opposites."
Slayer's upcoming lp is tentatively titled "Selected and Exhumed."
Barkmarket played Tucson's Club Congress November 26th. Their five-week
jaunt wraps up December 9th at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ.
"The Isle of View," the name of the Pretenders home video
features the band in a live acoustic performance backed by the Duke Quartet,
a classical string ensemble. Tracks include "Brass in Pocket,"
"Back on the Chain Gang" and "The Phone Call." Of the
14 cuts, "Blue Sun" and a cover of Radiohead's "The Creep,"
are two special tracks not included on the CD, which is titled the same.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers current world tour will run through 1997.
Opening through December 31st will be The Flaming Lips and Silverchair.
Speaking of Silverchair, the Australian rock band was featured in
the October issue of the on-line publication, Addicted to Noise.
Besides Sweet 75 and Hovercraft on the Sky Cries Mary tour,
Microsoft is also on the bill, demonstrating their new CD Plus technology.
"Inarticulate Nature Boy" will be the A&M solo record by Josh
Clayton-Felt, the former lead singer of School of Fish. Due for release
in early 1996, Clayton-Felt played all the instruments on the disc. "I
kept collecting stuff, writing and playing different instruments. I felt
the songs take on a character that seemed like the sound that I'd been looking
for. I decided to make the record the same way," he said. "I did
the whole thing on my own in a home studio we set up. I felt no pressure
there. The music just came out. Catch Clayton-Felt and his touring band
at Gibson's in Phoenix on December 14th and at Club Congress in Tucson on
Everclear has been named "Band of the Year" by Addicted
"Fiddlehead Salad" is a 16-song collection performed mainly
by gay and lesbian artists. On Reprise Records, the collection is in support
of Maine Won't Discriminate, a coalition opposing discriminatory measures
on the Maine November ballot. "Hatred and discrimination are ugly,"
stated Reprise president Howie Klein. "It is with aggressive pleasure
that Reprise can play even a small role in helping to defend basic human
rights for any oppressed minority." Some cuts include "12 Gays
of Christmas" by Venus Envy, "You're One" by Imperial Teen
and "Surfer Dyke Pal" by Phranc.
Col. Bruce Hampton has been signed to Capricorn Records. His latest
ensemble is the Fiji Mariners with the Col. on guitar, Dan Matrazzo on keyboards
and Pete C. on drums. An album is slated for the spring of '96.
In response to comments mad by White House Director of Drug Policy, Dr.
Lee Brown on the Capricorn release "Hempilation," Capricorn Records
and NORML have issued a joint statement. "Capricorn Records does not
advocate the use or legalization of marijuana. The lp was intended as a
forum for the artists to air their views on the topic and the record company
stands firmly by the decision to distribute the product to the public. It
is our deepest hope that Dr. Brown's recognition of this project will lead
to positive discussions on the issue."
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December 1995 from "Music Voice" magazine
Skinny Puppy's keyboardist, Dwayne Goettel, was found dead
of an apparent heroin overdose at his parents house in Edmonton, Canada.
The 31-year-old musician and Evin Key were in the midst of working
on their first American Recordings album at the time of his August death.
Former band vocalist Ogre, who had left the group several months
ago due to intense band problems, issued a statement from his Seattle home,
which said in part, "I am truly sorry for Dwayne's family and hope
Dwayne is rememberd as being extremely sensitive and the beautiful, gifted
person/artist whose talent and offerings were cut short by drugs. He was
the little known genius behind the curtain of Skinny Puppy."
Glenn Danzig and drummer Joey Castillo are laying down basic
tracks at Ocean Way Studios. With the departure of Eerie Von and guitarist
John Christ, Danzig will be announcing
new players in the future.
After making their American concert debut on the Lollapalooza '95 tour,
British group Laika took on a number of September dates with Tricky.
An EP is scheduled to be released any time now and their follow-up album
is due in early '96.
Queen will release it's 20th album this month. Entitled "Made
in Heaven," it will come close to four years to the date of the death
of lead singer Freddie Mercury. It was his wish that the band complete
the work, which contains 10 new tracks. Hollywood Records will issue "Made
in Heaven" on Nov. 7th.
Hootie and the Blowfish, k.d. lang, R.E.M., Lou Reed, Pretenders
and Joni Mitchell are among the artists to be on the Reprise Records
release, "Friends." The dozen songs will be incorporated into
the popular tv program throughout the season. The show's theme song, incidentally,
"I'll Be There for You," is sung by the Rembrandts.
Out on Warner Reprise Video is "No. 1 Video in America This Week,"
a collection of Mudhoney video clips filmed during the Sub Pop and
Reprise Records eras.
The Muffs apeared at a free concert in Dallas and Babes in Toyland
did the same in LA and San Francisco in late September. Sponsored by Spin
Magazine, Levi's and the top alternative station in each city, special cd
campler was sold in all the Levi outlets to coinside with the performances.
Featured tracks include those by Ash, Grant Lee Buffalo, The Foremen,
Morrissey, The Muffs and Babes in Toyland. "Blonder and Blonder"
is the Muffs current LP while the one from Babes in Toyland is called "Nemesisters."
"Living With the Dead," a full-length biography of the Grateful
Dead, will be released this month by Warner Audio Video Entertainment
(WAVE). The three-hour audio was written and narrated by Grateful Dead manager
Rock Scully and biographical rock author David Dalton. WAVE President Lori
Weintraub stated, "Jerry Garcia's death brought the Grateful Dead phenomena
full circle. The spoken audio read by Rock Scully brings the legendary story
to life through the words of someone who shared it. For many fans, 'Living
With the Dead' will be the time capsule of an era." It was recently
announced that the Dead will not continue together any longer.
British trio Supergrass spent a busy October, hitting 11 cities las
month, including Gibson's in Tempe.
Talk show host Kathi Lee Gifford, inspired by her two sons, has recorded
an album of 10 original lullabies. Special guests include Aaron Neville,
Kenny Loggins, Sandi Patty and Nancy LaMott.
Warner Reprise Video has simultaneously issued the cd and video of Travis
Tritt, "Greatest Hits -- From the Beginning," covering the
chronicles of his career.
With Marco's departure to Century Media Records, Stephanie Cabral
is now National Director of Publicity and Matthew Bower will be handling
The Gin Blossoms will perform a benefit concert for Arizona's Camp
Hakuna Matata on Nov. 5th at the Arizona State Fair Coliseum. The band will
donated the entire guarantee of the performance, allowing the HIV/AIDS summer
camp for children to operate a full week instead of the usual four days
and being able to provide a retreat for at least 200 children (this year
the camp accommodated 90). In an official statement released by the Gin
Blossoms they acknowledged "that these special children deserve a chance
to have some fun, and if the Gin Blossoms can help them do that by sending
them to camp, that's terrific. What could be more important?"
Monsters of Rock, joining forces with Global Artists, produced their
first-ever live Internet multicast from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Monsters
of Rock tour, a South American/Mexican jaunt, features Ozzy Osbourne, Alice
Cooper, Megadeth, Therapy?, Faith No More and Paradise Lost.t
Julian Cope's latest, "20 Mothers," is out on American
During it's first week on the radio, Ruth Ruth's "Uninvited,"
off of their "Laughing Gallery" LP, was the second most added
track on alternative radio, including KUKQ, KUPD and KROC as well as being
added to MTV's 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation. In other news, The Mother
Hips was added on KDKB.
Jim Shepard is recording his American Recordings debut under the
name V-3, which he has used before. Commented A&R executive Johan Kugelberg,
"He moves between Pavement/Guided by Voices lo-fi, hard psyche rock,
jazzy improv and folk songs with great ease. He is an amazing lyricist with
an honesty and sense of urgency that makes me think of the Beats and the
best of the 60/70s counter-culture writers."
Halloween night saw Slayer on American Recordings Internet Chat Room,
who answered questions to fans and media for one hour. By no coincidence,
their first home video, "Live Intrusion," was released on the
Dan Baird's second solo album, "Buffalo Nickel," will be
on the shelves on January 16th. Produced by Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam,
Pete Droge), one of the numbers on the record is "Hush," which
was a hit for Deep Purple in '69. Joe South, who wrote the song, contributes
backing vocals. "Classic shit is classic for a reason," stated
Baird. "The only thing I worry about is sounding phony."
Songs like "Die Mother Die," "Mary Pickford, Marry Me,"
and "Generation Crap" are among the numbers that grace Stiffs,
Inc. current album, "Nix Naught Nothing."
Among those sighted at Long Fin Killie concerts (on tour with Medicine)
have been Superchunk's Mac McCaughn, Come's Thalia and Chris, Sebadoh's
Lou Barlow and Pavement's Mark Ibold.
The 1993 greatest hits collection by Prince, "The Hits 1"
and "The Hits 2" have been certified Platinum. The albums are
on Warner Bros./Paisley Park Records.
Tom Petty's "Wildflowers," on the other hand, has reached
Triple Platinum. Petty also received Best Male Video for "You Don't
Know How It Feels" at the 1995 MTV Video Awards.
Chris Isaak has struck Gold with "Forever Blue."
"The Birthday Concert" was recorded on Dec. 1, 1981 on Jaco
Pastorius' 30th birthday in his hometown of Ft. Lauderdale with top-notch
players, friends and family. On the Warner Bros. label, the album was released
to coinside with Bill Milkowski's book, "Jaco: The Extraordinary and
Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius" from Miller Freeman books.
Clara, the five-year-old daughter of Flea, provided the artwork on
the invitation for the Red Hot Chili Peppers listening party for
"One Hot Minute." called "Dreamship: Lullabies for Little
Ones." Warner Kids President Lori Weintraub commented that "'Dreamship'
is the kind of record we love to see. Kathi Lee's public persona and reputation
as a role-model mother, combined with the album'sbeautifully crafted songs
are a guarantee of parent approval. It's an equation that translates into
broad appeal."Reprise Archives have issued tow classic albums. Rosemary
Clooney's "Love" was originally recorded for RCA Records but
never released. It was recorded with singer and arranger Nelson Riddle at
a time when romance was in full bloom for the two. "More of Other Worlds,
Othr Sounds" is the album of Juan Garcia Esquivel heralded as
the Mexican Duke Ellington to the King of Quirk. The reissue by Reprise
Archives includes original artwork and liner notes.
From Good Homes
While performing at a local New Jersey club a few years back, The Dogs were
asked to stop playing at their gig, a request to which they reluctantly
obliged. Undaunted, they went elsewhere to hoist a few drinks and upon returning,
the place was locked with their instruments inside. Wanting to play one
more number, they broke in, got caught and had to appear in court. The sentencing
judge, commenting that they all came "from good homes," sentenced
them to community service.
This New Jersey band, who have played under an assortment of different names,
have been "From Good Homes" for the past five years. Touting an
acoustic-based sound that features guitar, harmonica, drums, bass, saxophone,
melodica, fiddle and mandolin, this five-member band has a groove that defies
One Jersey critic dubbed them "hick pop," a term that charmed
the band so much they named their independently-released CD "Hick Pop
Coming At Ya" on their label, GRRRRrrrr Records. "Open Up the
Sky," however, is their CD on RCA Records. Produced by Don Smith (Cracker,
John Hiatt) and Jim Rondinelli (Jayhawks, Matthew Sweet), the album offers
a mellifluous blend of perky beats, folk accents, touches of funk, sweet
harmonies and the winning lead vocals of Todd Sheaffer.
From Good Homes has been building their fan base via constant touring. Besides
headlining their own shows, they have performed with Widespead Panic, Hootie
and The Blowfish and the Dave Matthews Band. "Open Up the Sky"
reveals a clever interpretation of the musical styles that surround us,
presented with an undeniable good time feel.
"Souled Out" marks Tower of Power's third release on Epic Records
and their 15th album during the course of their 25-year career. While the
core members remain the same -- Emilio Castillo, Carmen Grillo, Nick Milo,
Doc Kupka and Rocco Prestia -- the current line-up featues five new members,
adding a fresh touch. In choosing the lead vocalist, the band auditioned
Brent Carter, who nabbed the postion, said that if he had known they were
screening so many people, he wouldn't have flown to the tryout. "Brent
had a real distinctive style, he had a very pleasant personality, he seemed
to have really good values," said co-founding member Emilio Castillo
in a recent phone interview, "which is important to us because we're
going to live on the bus with this guy for seven months out of the year.
He tried really hard in the audition. He's great, and a pleasure to work
with, too." On "Souled-Out," the multi-talented Jeff Lorber
co-produced five numbers, co-wrote three and contributed keyboards on a
few tracks. Although Castillo admitted to being less than enthused upon
his initial meeting with Lorber, who is a big fan of the band, he decided
to take a chance and employ his talents on this LP. "After that it
was a total, great experience," Castillo affirmed. "I loved every
minute of it. He's just a great producer, a great writer, totally happening."
This funk and soul band, known for their impeccable rhythm section and a
phenomenal horn unit, are on the road for the next year. Future plans include
widening their fan base and expanding into writing film scores. "We're
freshly back into it," Castillo affirmed. We went through the whole
80's without a record deal and people counted us out, said we were dinosaurs.
We stuck to our guns, kept playing this kind of music and it's paid off
Read Tina's interview with Tower of Power
Eleven is an enigma unto itself -- a triage of parallel lines that do intersect.
Guitarist/vocalist Alain Johannes was born in Chile, but grew up in Switzerland
and Mexico. Natasha Shneider, who handles vocals, organ and bass, grew up
in Moscow, studied classical piano and became privvy to rock 'n roll through
the Soviet underground.
Moving to LA in the mid-80's, she met Johannes at an art studio and the
two have been together for the past nine years, both professionally and
personally. Ex-Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons joined the band and has
recently departed when asked to join Pearl Jam.
Meanwhile, Greg Upchurch, watching MTV in his home state of Oklahoma, decided
Eleven was his favorite band and moved to LA. Landing a job at a record
store, Upchurch met Johannes and Shneider when they stopped in and is now
their drummer. And "Thunk" is the band's second release on Hollywood
Prior to his departure, Irons played on seven numbers, while Soundgarden's
Matt Cameron contributed on four. Clearly, "Thunk" demonstrates
that Eleven will not be restricted to conventional approaches common in
the industry. On "Seasick of You," droney, androidish vocals reign;
a transcendental aura dominates "You Will Know;" and "No
Ground" has a dark, tormented musical backdrop fronted by Shneider's
With their multi-dimensional sound, Eleven is trodding on unique turf. "If
music isn't twisted to some degree, it's no good," Shneider claimed,
"but it still has to have a sense of elegance." Added Johannes,
"I guess you could say our ears are very stretched. We listen to a
lot of different stuff -- classical, Indian, Bulgarian, jazz -- and try
to soak it in."
Plastic Museum is one of those bands that likes to use their imagination
with humor. For starters, they derived their name from a "Cops"
episode. Later, bassist Rich Soumakian contacted the group after he saw
an ad for a guitarist in the University paper entitled "Hot Sex."
And the band's latest CD is called "Full Frontal Nudity" on Polymur
Records. But all jesting aside, one thing these Tucson players take seriously
is their music.
Formed three years ago, the band consists of vocalist Eric Hulstedt, guitarists
Eric Brobeck and Rich Soumakian, bassist Thomas J. Ferrugia, Jr., and drummer
Michael Wagner. In 1993 and '94, they won the Battle of the Bands competition
sponsored by the Rock and this past summer has seen them playing in Los
Angeles. In demand, especially on the local University music scene, they
have played a variety of venues, including The Rock, O'Malley's, the Buena
Vista, The Electric Ballroom (Tempe), Monsoons (Flagstaff) and Ronco's (Scottsdale).
Their self-titled 1993 demo revealed a band with a mission, but with haphazard
direction. Viewing that effort as a learning experience, Plastic Museum
feels more comfortable with "Full Frontal Nudity," recorded at
the Salt Mines in Mesa. "Someone made the statment that we were like
freshmen in high school with the demo," said Eric Hulstedt, "and
with this one we were soon to be graduating from college."
Clearly, their contemporary rock sound draws from the band's combined musical
influences of 80's dance bands, reggae, grunge, jazz, metal and classics
like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Hulstedt's vocal intensity
ranges from a dreamy mood in "Breathe" to straight-in-your-face
candidness on "Happy Birthday Shithead." The punk-driven birthday
ode was penned for his roomate's girlfriend, Mia. "She came over and
I was sitting on the couch tinkering with the guitar. She said, 'Eric, it's
my birthday. Why don't you write me a song?' So that was the first thing
that came out -- 'Happy Birthday Shithead -- are you getting any older and
smarter? I don't think so.' It was done sarcastically," he was sure
Juggling school, work, recording and performing, Plastic Museum realizes
it's necessary to tow the line in all areas. "I think that a sign of
healthy living is that you've got to be motivated if you going to get anywhere,"
Hulstedt noted. And, oh yeah, about that "Cops" episode -- when
the police questioned the suspect, who lived with his mother, on why he
had women's panties and high heel shoes in his dresser drawers, he replied
"Man, I'm gonna start me a plastic museum." The band concurred.
"We thought that was kind of groovy," Hulstedt reflected. "He
had a response to the question, so we said, 'Well hell, we might as well
start one too."
See Plastic Museum page.
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Armageddon Dildos are a German band who have released "Lost,"
their second album for Sire and the third in their discography. Initially,
Dirk Krause (synthesizers) was the founding member of Head on Shoulders
while Uwe Kanka (vocals) was in the punk band Beat the Beat. Together they
formed the Dildos in Kassel, Germany in 1988. In 1991 they released "That's
Armageddon" on the Zoth Ommog label, which went to the top of the German
alternative charts. In 1992 they were signed to Sire Records and debuted
with "Homicidal Dolls," garnering favorable reviews on both sides
of the continent. In early 1994 they took Morrissey's hit "Everyday
is like Sunday" and recorded a maxi-CD with six versions of the song.
Mid-1994 saw the two in Chicago's Trax studios with Keith "Fluffy"
Auerbach (Ministry, Lard, Revolting Cocks [penises of a feather?]) producing.
"We liked Chicago from the first moment -- they city has a good spirit,"
admitted Kanka. "Our sessions happened mostly all through the night.
Sometimes we did 36 or 48 hour sessions. But it was great fun this time
because we met a lot of different musicians." Contributing on this
LP is guitarist Mat Mitchell of Skatenigs who lends his ample talents to
the endeavor. (name some songs). On the haunting "Too Far To Suicide,"
Kanka said a personal problem of his own prompted him to write the song.
"It felt like I was walking through a long, dark tunnel," he explained.
"I didn't find answers. I couldn't speak about my situation with friends.
And I knew if I continued this way I would get worse and worse. I managed
the situation after a while, but it took time. And so the lyrics, 'I can't
stand this world no more, but it's too far to suicide' found their way out
of my brain and my heart."
When Wanderlust determined it was time for group photos, their location
of choice was an attractive brownstone house on a quaint Philadelphia street.
So off trotted lead singer Scot Sax, lead guitarist Rob Bonfiglio, bassist
Mark Levin and drummer Jim Cavanaugh to model for the family glossies. Sax
knocked on the door with the intent of asking permission to pose on the
front steps. Well, it turned out the person who came to the door was the
owner of a recording studio and also worked with producer Michael Musmanno,
who had the revered standing of cultivating wonders in the studio. The brownstone
resident asked that a demo be sent to him and by the first of October Wanderlust
and Musmanno were recording. Three days later they surfaced with a four-song
EP they intended to release locally. However, before the CD was even pressed,
several major labels were pursuing Wanderlust. They ultimately signed with
RCA Records, who requested the band to complete the record. Three months
later their debut, "Prize," was on record shelves.
The album pushes off with "I Can't Remember," a full-speed, thrash-metal
composition. The majority of the remaining tunes are primarily in the techno
vein. "Germany" has hypnotic, blurred vocals giving it an eerie,
enchanting touchEP into an LPFrom the start of "Wanna Feel New,"
Wanderlust exhibits smooth, melodic lead vocals and complimentary backing
vocals. The title track demonstrates a dreamy, commerical appeal whereas
a mids-60s pop sound can be heard on "Coffee in the Kitchen."
Wanderlust is the type of outfit that writes good, comfortable hooks and
has the right instrtumental trimmings to dress it up.
Pretty & Twisted
When Johnette Napolitano left Concrete Blonde, she knew whatever she did
next, she'd have a pretty tall order to fill. After all, Concrete Blonded
had released five well-received albums. "I'd been waiting along time
to decided what to do after I left the grup, because I felt I really had
a lot to live up to," Napolitano reflected. "Concrete Blonde is
a great group and I didn't exactly know what I was going to do, but I trusted
that I would when the moment was right and the right people were in place."
Napolitano linked up with old buddy and Wall of Voodoo founding member Marc
Moreland and drummer Danny Montgomery, a native San Franciscan she met while
in Paris. Hence the birth of Pretty & Twisted and their self-titled
debut on Wasrner Brothers Records. In a first, she produced the LP, which
was recorded partly with the group and some parts on her own. "Pretty
& Twisted shows a supple, instrumentally uncluttered work. "I feel
these songs are intense without being as aggressive as Concrete Blonde,
which isn't how I feel anymore," Napolitano clarified. "Deep and
molten, maybe, but not outright angry. I like listening to this music. I'm
not in my twenties anymore; the things that pissme off arent what they used
to be. I also feel lucky just to be alive and doing this at all; everyone
by now has lost someone to AIDS, drugs or violence." Napolitano dedicated
the album to Marlon Brando after hearing a line in one of Moreland's songs.
Piquing her interest, she read up on him and was taken by his attitude,
work, point of view and honesty. Other well-known names pop up on the album
too. The song "Come Away with Me" has unpublished lyrics by Janis
Joplin and "Singing Is Fire" was written around a Charles Bukowski
poem. For the moment, Napolitano is earger to tour, being away from the
road for nearly two years. "I'm especially looking forward to performing
this music live," she confirmed. "Danny and Marc have given me
a lot of confidence in doing things live that I've never done before, like
playing piano and guitar. It's going to be a blast to be on the road with
these guys, just to hear what comes out!"
The Mother Hips
Following their successful 1992 debut, "Back to the Grotto," The
Mother Hips have emerged with "Part-Timer Goes Full." And with
over 500 performances under their belt, not to mention appearances at music
conventions, two H.O.R.D.E. summer tours and at venues like CBGB's, and
the Fillmore, the band has undoubtedly made the transition to being a full-time
act. Back in 1990, the embryonic stage of The Mother Hips was beginning
to take place. Guitarist Greg Loiacono and bassist Isaac Parsons met while
moving into Northern California's Chico State Dormitory. Then, during a
late-night jam in the dorm's bathroom, they met guitarist Tim Bluhm. The
three then recruited drummer Mike Wofchuck. They gigged together for a bit
and then Parsons and Wofchuck joined a hard rock cover band while the other
two joined anacoustic trio. Eventually the guys reunited, started playing
to packed houses and left Chico State University in 1992 to seek fame and
fortune. That year they recorded "Back to the Grotto," began touring
cross-country and were subsequently signed by American Recordings in 1994,
who reissued their debut in March of 1995. With "Part-Timer Goes Full,"
the Mother Hips fuse just about every conceivable form -- guitar rock, soul,
blues, R&B, pop and country. "We tried touse 'Beggar's Banquet'-era
Rolling Stones as a model for the instrumentation," said Bluhm, referring
to the piano and horns on some tracks. The opening number, "Shut the
Door," boasts a nice guitar solo, a clear, relaxed sound with a hint
of Elvis Costello. A funk, laid-back southern feel permeates "Stoned
Up the Road." Noted Loiacon, "Our vocal heroes are people like
the Everly Brothers. We found a lot of this later Everly Brothers stuff
where they'd started doing country music and covering Buffalo Springfield
songs. Their harmonies are so sweet and innovative. That's the kind of harmony
we like, but we have our own version." Clearly, the band credits its
open-minded approach to various musicians as part of the charm of their
music. "Music is a medium where it's actually necessary to borrow and
to insinuate your heroes, unless you want to be completely progressive,"
Bluhm verified. "You have to go back and grab things you thought were
worthwhile, especially if they're obscure."
Any original member of Warrent will tell you- it's been a hard road that
they've traveled littered with its share of bumps and bruises. The smooth
portion of the ride, their first two albums -- 89's "Dirty Rotten Filthy
Stinkin' Rich" and 91's "Cherry Pie" -- sold roughly 2.5
million units. When "Dog Eat Dog" came out in '92, grunge was
riding the crest of the music wave and even though the album went gold,
the group's popularity began to fade. As band and personal problems grew,
the final blow came when vocalist Jani Lane, long considered the catalyst
of the group, decided to leave in 1993. Remaining members guitarist Erik
Turner and bassist Jerry Dixon began penning songs and searching for a new
lead singer. Their attempts were futile and at the same time Lane was chomping
at the bit. In less than six months since the split, all parties decided
to give it another go and undertook a club tour, even though they had no
record label and no current product. Personnel changes in the group persisted
with guitarist Joey Allen quitting and the departure of drummer Steve Sweet.
Replacing them were guitarist Rick Steier and drummer James Kottak, with
keyboardist Dave White also joining the line-up. Signed to CMC International
Records, Warrant went into the studio and sifted through 2 1/2 years worth
of material, emerging with "Ultraphobic." Although they spent
more time writing this record than previous ones, it took them only five
weeks to record it. The LP shows a maturation -- be it credited to their
years of turbulence, growing pains, or the newly shared songwriting endeavors.
Warrant hasn't forsaken its roots, but instead added a meaningful dimension
in content and style. The band tackles the weighty topic of child abuse
on "Family Picnic," a number that has genuine feelings evidence
in Lane's strong vocals. Ride #2" starts with a drum-oriented intro
while "Live Inside You" is your hearty dose of hard rock and sex.
Warrant's innovative passage into the mid-90's, despite the rollercoaster
ride, has yielded some invigorating results.
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