Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 45
April 13 - April 20, 1998

Music

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Still Standing
Michael McCall bids adieu to the late, great Tammy Wynette. [2]
Michael McCall


Artist Profiles
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Concision and Subtlety
Bedhead's quiet pop is a change from Trance Syndicate's usual roster. [3]
Greg Beets

Tragic Songs of Life
Michael McCall examines the heartbreak songs of Mike Ireland and Holler. [4]
Michael McCall

Rockabilly Redux
Wanda Jackson and Ronnie Dawson were both bigtime rock-and-rollers in the early days. [5]
Ron Bally

Hit Man
Michael Gray talks to songwriter extraordinaire Dan Penn. [6]
Michael Gray

WE, the People
New York turntablists spin revolution. [7]
Brendan Doherty


Live Report
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Live Shots
Christopher Hess and Raoul Hernandez spent the weekend at the 11th Old Settlers Music Festival in Round Rock watching the likes of Vassar Clements and Bela Fleck. [8]


Album Reviews
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Days of the Wu
If you want the equivalent of '50s rock and roll, the only place you'll find it is in the genre outsiders call rap and insiders insist is hip-hop. [9]
Franklin Soults

A Ship That Won't Sink
Titanic's heart, it seems, will go on and on and on, bringing a new definition of retro to pop. [10]
Jeffrey Gantz

Space Shots
Members of jazz innovator Sun Ra's Arkestra are doing right by the master's legacy. [11]
Ed Hazell

Producer in Paradise
32 Records label owner Joel Dorn is lovingly reviving the best of everyone from Louis Armstrong to Ike & Tina Turner. [12]
Ted Drozdowski

O Positive!
A flood of recordings proves that even when jazz bassist Charlie Haden is recording genre-specific music, he reaches "beyond category." [13]
Jon Garelick


G oodbye Tammy Wynette. For those of you who enjoyed such classics as "Stand By Your Man" and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," this reverent and informative eulogy is worth your time. Heck, that's true even if you're one of the seven people not familiar with Wynette's work.

Unfortunately, we don't have any write-ups on Wendy O. Williams yet, who killed herself last week at age 48. She's the one for whom people could really use a primer. Wendy's punk-rock band the Plasmatics, who pushed the obscenity envelope from 1978 till 1987, never quite attained "household name" status, and their song titles were never used by Hillary Clinton in defense of her husband's behavior. (Though with names like "Sex Junkie," "Put Your Love in Me" and "Fast Food Service," they would have been plenty appropriate.)

I'll always look back fondly at Wendy O's contribution to the early days of music video, a harsh little montage in which she drives a bus through a wall of television sets. Could this be the best music video of all time? Damn straight it is. And perhaps someday I'll fulfill my quest to nab a copy of The Plasmatics' final album, "Maggots: The Record," a conceptual masterpiece about the invasion of the earth by giant maggots. Stand by your maggot, Wendy, we'll miss you.

Lots of articles in this here Music area, of course. As usual we've got a gob of "Artist Profiles," but I favor the "Album Reviews" this week. Where else can you get a complete rundown of the many "Titanic"-related CDs that are being used as coasters all across America? We've also got the latest on Wu-Tang hip-hop spin-offs, and a group of New York turntablists (not DJs, "turntablists") who use nothing but thrift-store records as the basis for their music.

Wow. In the old days, when people wanted to be unusual, they just got a bunch of wildly accomplished musicians, gave them drugs, and let them soar to free-form heights. Now they get a bunch of computer equipment and mix polka albums with Japanese pop. The world never ceases to amaze me.


Mini Reviews
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Boston Phoenix

  • Propellerheads
  • Mary Coughlan
  • Richard Davies
  • Drill Team
  • The Sky Cries Mary
  • Ernest Ranglin
  • Sly & Robbie
  • John Zorn

Tiny Tunes

  • Calexico
  • The Black Light
  • Atomic Love Machine
  • Sampler

Turn Up That Noise!

  • Libido
  • Dylan Hicks

Rhythm & Views

  • The Trashmen
  • The Bevis Frond
  • Pussy Galore


Now What?
If you go gaga over the sultry smoothness of a symphonic glissando, just wait till you experience our transitions to cool and useful music links on the Web. [18]


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