Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 10
August 11 - August 18, 1997


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Atomic Kids' Stuff
The veteran rockers of the New Rhythm And Blues Quartet aim for the bubble-gum set. [2]
Dave McElfresh

The "Hard Copy" on Headshake!
The "Lizard Kirk" and his band of misfits unleash Tabloid Rock -- the Headshake time-tunnel to the rockin' '80s. [3]
Bill Frost

Tough Enough
Cowboy Mouth's Paul Sanchez isn't afraid to be sensitive. [4]
Rich Collins

The Plots Thicken
Songwriter Dave Olney releases his most ambitious collection yet. [5]
Michael McCall

For a Song
The Bluebird Cafe still draws hordes of aspiring songwriters. [6]
Beverly Keel

The Beat Goes On
New releases from Victor Wooten, the Feminine Complex. [7]
Ron Wynn, Jim Ridley and Michael McCall

Latin Scholar
On "Habana," young trumpeter Roy Hargrove comes into his own. [8]
Ron Wynn

New Orleans Music Reviews and Previews. [9]
André E. Maillho

The Brotherhood
Hot Buttered Rhythm's unique instrumention allows its players an almost telepathic connection with one another. [10]
Christopher Hess

Hot Buttered Review
Hot Buttered Rhythm, reviewed by Greg Beets. [11]
Greg Beets

Big Game Hunter: Never the same show twice. [12]
Andy Langer

Spanish Harlem Sounds
Ta Mére: Austin's Latin connection. [13]
David Lynch

The Hits Keep On Coming
RCA raids the tomb of the King once again with "Platinum: A Life In Music." [14]
James Busbee

Rock-A-Hula Baby
Tribute Week concerts have the good taste to emulate, the King, not imitate. [15]
Mark Jordan

Primus, Mirabel and Iona Live
Reviewing the in sounds from way out. Featuring the Alibi Tru-Value Scale. [16]
Michael Henningsen

Rhythm & Views
Bruce Cockburn, Tom Russell, Sterling UK. [17]

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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W hat a stretch: the articles in this Weekly Wire music section reveal musicians changing their approaches in order to freshen up old forms. For instance: After 30 years of adolescent, often-punky rockin', the New Rhythm & Blues Quartet have decided to regress even further and create music for kids. Yes, artists who once screamed against the establishment are now singing songs like "Always Safety First" and "Encyclopedia." But what will the critics say?

Another way to liven up your image (other than improving your music) is to create a memorable theme-based stage persona. The thinking is, "If it worked for KISS, the Village People and Gwar, why not us?" The latest to theorize such are Headshake, who now perform their psychedelic-funk-grunge music as New Age conspiracy buffs, ladies' men, and other ha-ha funny incarnations. I'm crackin' up. An article provides the details.

Other musicians stretch themselves just by changing venues. Paul Sanchez, an Irish-born rocker from the band Cowboy Mouth, has learned to love the meditative qualities of singin' and strummin' solo in front of a small audience. And David Olney, considered a paragon of songwriting integrity among Nashville musicians, recently set foot in that vapid wasteland called L.A. (only to find he prefers it where he's at). But there's one venue where artists strive to stretch themselves just by being themselves. That's the Bluebird Café, the Nashville spot where thousands of aspiring singer-songwriters from all over the country line up for open-mike night. Here's why.

Of course, it's nothing new when jazz musicians stretch themselves, since that's what jazz is all about: live, improvised transformation. But each has his own particular take on the best starting point for the journey. No one knew that better than the late Nigerian band leader Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose fusion of chants, freestyle jazz, and funk called "Afrobeat," is explained here. 311 recently stretched themselves when the intense funk-jazz quintet from Omaha leaped from the small time to the big time overnight, as this interview details. And these three articles about Hot Buttered Rhythm, Big Game Hunter, and Ta Mére explain how each of these jazz-styled groups keeps adding spice to their flavor.

With this week marking the 20th anniversary of Elvis' death, naturally we've got some articles about the King. You'll have to find them yourself, though, since my boss told me there's some sort of hokey Where's Elvis? game going on. No, I have nothing to say about how he's "stretching himself." He's dead. But the boss told me to tell you, "brand-new Cadillac." Whatever.

Talk Back
If anything in this section offends, annoys or perturbs your senses, here's your place to scream like an angry punk rocker.

From The Vaults

Ono -- Oh Yes!
Yoko Ono talks about the Rykodisc reissue of 11 of her albums. [07-02-97]
Jody Denberg

Destinations Unknown
The Latest sounds from Trans Am, The Sea and Cake, and Ben Folds Five. [06-06-97]
Noel Murray

Baby, You Can Drive My Car
Beto y los Fairlanes mix cultures In Madrid. [07-02-97]
Michael Henningsen

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