Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 29
December 22 - December 29, 1997


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A Word From Our Sponsor
Commercial jingles: It may not be art, but it pays the bills. [2]
Greg Beets

Psychographical Communities
Thanks to the Internet, you can listen to your favorite radio station in any part of the world. [3]
Marc Savlov

Nothing New
Michael McCall finds little new but much to enjoy. [4]
Michael McCall

A Semi-Charmed Year
Noel Murray names Built to Spill the band of the year, and he tells you why. [5]
Noel Murray

Some Sounds, Some Buttons
Bill Friskics-Warren pays tribute to Sleater-Kinney, Cornershop, and more. [6]
Bill Friskics-Warren

Living Blues
Ron Wynn examines a year of R&B, hip-hop, and jazz. [7]
Ron Wynn

Heavenly Piece
An essay on Christmas music. [8]
Russ Tarby

Santa's Playlist
From Johnny Mathis to Heinrich Schutz, there's a wealth of hip holiday music in the back catalogue. [9]
Boston Phoenix music critics

Artist Profiles
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Live Shots
Live reviews of Paul Newman, Hamicks, Jonathan Fire*Eater, and more. [14]

Music Notes
Jim Ridley on a dozen concerts that mattered. [15]
Jim Ridley

Artist Profiles
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Talking Heads
In the spirit of home-town unity, the Boston Phoenix has the Bosstones' Dicky Barrett interview Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. [10]
Matt Ashare

Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Despite a less-than-sudden rise to national fame, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Dicky Barrett is still in it for the fun. [11]
Matt Ashare

Noché de la Tarántula
Tito & Tarantula are back in town. [12]
Raoul Hernandez

Letters @ 3AM
Butch Hancock's songs and love of life are more than a tall tale. [13]
Michael Ventura

Album Reviews
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Unquiet Genius
Forget the "democracy" of jazz: in Mingus's music, the common good and the individual expression are always posed as a question, not an answer. [16]
Jon Garelick

Micro Madman
The new-music label CRI has released a bonanza for fans of eccentric American composer Harry Partch. [17]
Damon Krukowski

The Gift of Music
Connick returns to his vocal roots on "To See You" -- but fails to satisfy fans of his piano playing. [18]
Geraldine Wyckoff

J ust between you and me, I get tired of reading the same old album reviews and artist profiles every week. I don't care who the hot new face-pierced singing sensation is. I don't care if so-and-so's band's main influences were Captain & Tenille and King Crimson. I just don't care. It just doesn't matter.

What I do like are the unusual stories -- stuff like this article about commercial jingles. Sure, it's not art, but a lot of these tunes pack more quality and ideas into 30 seconds than most bands could dream of getting into a five-minute pop song. Cheeeeeeeeese to the rescue, indeed.

Then there's this article about radio stations on the Internet. My friends keep telling me to tune into the John Peel show in England and lots of other cool stuff, but it has always seemed too complicated. Thanks to the story, I am now a new man.

There's also some great end-of-year stuff in this week's issue. Let me sum it up:

Let's not forget the Holiday music stuff. Personally I don't get it: What good is holiday music? You listen for about a week and then the rest of the year it's useless. I guess holiday music keeps uncreative musicians off the streets, so that's good. Anyway, here's a story about holiday cover songs, and another one about "holiday chestnuts." Ooh.

Now if you'll pardon me, I gotta go restart my "A Very Brady Christmas" CD. (Hearing Cindy sing "Fwosty the Thnowman" gives me goosebumps every time.) One last note to all you avant-gardians: be sure to read this story about the Harry Partch reissues. Muy interesante. See you next week!

Mini Reviews
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Jingle Bell Schlock
Sorting through this year's batch of seasonal CDs can be a rewarding, if sometimes mind-boggling, experience. [19]
The Boston Phoenix music critics

Yet More Rotations

  • Alana Davis
  • Maggie Estep
  • Kiss
  • Holly Macnarland
  • The Piersons
  • Snow
  • Talking To Animals
  • Shania Twain
  • You Am I

Boston Phoenix CD Reviews

  • Handel Arias
  • Contemporary Oboe by Burkhard Glaetzner
  • Naftule's Dream
  • David S. Ware Quartet
  • God Street Wine
  • Chevy Heston
  • The Blasters
  • Boogie Nights Soundtrack
  • A Life Less Ordinary Soundtrack

Turn Up That Noise!

  • Treadmill Trackstar
  • Robert Fripp

Rhythm & Views

  • The Toy Dolls
  • Peter Tosh
  • Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson

Tiny Tunes

  • Yes
  • The American Analog Set

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. [25]

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