Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 15
September 15 - September 22, 1997

Music

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A One-Hit Wonder?
Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may soon have trouble keeping up the mortgage. [2]
Larry Nager

Head Held High
Billy Ray Cyrus just won't give up. [3]
Beverly Keel

Master of the Rhythm
Anticipating the arrival of Tito Puente. [4]
Michael McCall

Cover to Cover
If you're feeling nostalgic, just pick a decade. There's a tribute band in Memphis for you. [5]
Jim Hanas

Just For the Record
Your official incomplete guide to building (or improving) your record collection. [6]
Michael Henningsen

25 for Life
The beginner's jazz collection. [7]
Michael Henningsen

Blue Notes
30 suggested blues recordings for the beginner's collection. [8]
Michael Henningsen

The Good, the Badass and the Alt.Rock
50 vital alternative, punk and rock records for the beginner's collection. [9]
Michael Henningsen

Word
20 rap records for the beginner's collection. [10]
Michael Henningsen

The Basic 10
An introduction to classical music. [11]
Michael Henningsen

Letters at 3AM
The reissue of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music is a landmark exploration of freedom - not the American Dream type, but freedom of the heart. [12]
Michael Ventura

Turn Up That Noise!
An eclectic survey of recent recordings. [13]
Stephen Grimstead

Rhythm & Views
Ken Field, Revelators, Patric Cassidy. [14]

Tiny Tunes
Slap on the headphones and check out the latest disks from UV Transmission and New Wet Kojak. [15]
Michael Henningsen

7 and 7 is
Short reviews of singles and EPs. [16]

Texas Platters
Reviews of new releases by Lone Star artists, including Ursa Major, Transona Five, Flounders Without Eyes, and more. [17]

Desperately Seeking the News
Vince Gill blows up. [18]
Henry Walker

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. [19]

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T hose of you who worried about me last week, I'm fine. I prayed at the porcelain throne and now everything's peachy. Except for one thing: I'm feeling really pissed off about The Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame's financial problems. Come on people! Let's get it together and support that rockin' museum by making a special trip to Cleveland! Party time! It's a beautiful city -- just ask anyone in Detroit.

I felt a lot better after hearing about Billy Ray Cyrus's jim-dandy new lease on life. Despite early success and a hit single, Cyrus felt crushed by all the critics who trashed him mercilessly. This interview reveals that Billy Ray even considered getting rid of his bad haircut to win back the public's favor, but -- bless his achy breaky heart -- he finally realized he just had to be himself. Now that's the Billy we know and love: rat-like and unfashionable.

Okay, enough sarcasm. Let's switch gears for this biographical article about Tito Puente. Now 74 years old, the Latin mambo king and cha-cha master still knows how to put on a great show. If your notion of Latin music is limited to Desi Arnaz, Esquivel and commercial jingles about Chiquita Banana, it's time to immerse yourself in plenty-o-Puente, because Tito's neato. Go buy some of his albums now, or else.

After you're done, come back and read this article about the joys of record collecting. Whether you prefer the thrift-store vinyl or rainbow-tinted plastic chrome variety, collecting albums is a hobby even more rewarding than accumulating Pez dispensers. Let this guide assist you in your quest. And if you're not sure what else (besides Puente) to buy, check out these lists of "essentials" in a variety of genres:

All I can say is, Why only 10 classical selections? Even rap merits 20. This is what's wrong with our society today! Oh well, at least the Spice Girls aren't on any of those lists.

You're probably thinking, "That's nice, Zamfir, but did you know that we're just here to read album reviews, and, um, you're an idiot?" To which I should probably be offended, but you know what? Billy Ray took it like a man, so I'm a-gonna' too. As his daddy once told him, "the more you stomp in shit, the more it stinks."

So let's talk album reviews. This week's Turn Up That Noise! column critiques releases from Tom Ovans, and The Oblivians; Rhythm & Views reviews albums from Ken Field, revelators, and Patrick Cassidy. Tiny Tunes opens its ears for UV Transmission and New Wet Kojak, and this Texas Platters column contains reviews of dozens of Big Star releases, including albums by Phil Ochs, Ornette Coleman, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Especially praiseful is this in-depth evaluation of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music.

My achy-breaky fingers are plum Tanya tuckered out. So see you next week.


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

Rhyme and Reason
Our critic compares the cream of current country. [06-20-97]
Michael McCall

Turn Up That Noise!
An eclectic survey of recent recordings. [08-04-97]
Stephen Grimstead



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