Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 32
January 12 - January 20, 1998

Music

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Turntabling
There's still a fair amount of confusion out there about what this DJ thing really means, but DJ Shadow is one name everyone knows. [2]
Matt Ashare

Marriage of Inconvenience
A look at jazz's long and cheesy attempts to cover rock themes. And why there's hope for better music to come. [3]
Dave McElfresh

Everything Old is New Again
The year in albums, both nationally and locally. [4]
Raoul Hernandez

National Top Ten Albums
National Top Ten Albums. [5]


Artist Profiles
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Kings of Rock
Run-D.M.C. changed everything. [6]
Rich Collins

"Following Her Heart"
Michael McCall on Trisha Yearwood's year of recognition (finally!). [7]
Michael McCall

Bird Watching
Andrew Bird fans the flames of hot jazz with his Chicago-based band, Bowl of Fire. [8]
Dave Chamberlain

"Before Her Time"
Beverly Keel mourns Canadian country singer Amie Comeaux. [9]
Beverly Keel


Album Reviews
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Sad, sad. Joy! Joy!
Joy Division, one of the precious few rock bands to reach the summit of honest, brutal, heart-breaking beauty, is recast in a new box set. [10]
Ben Fulton

The "Naked" Truth
If you own the entire Ben Folds Five discography up to this point, almost nothing on "Naked Baby Photos" will be new to you. [11]
Douglas Wolk

Our Man in Havana
Ry Cooder's "Buena Vista Social Club" is a funky gem of an album that showcases some of the greatest names in the history of Cuban pop. [12]
Ed Hazell

The Ice Queen
A new three-CD anthology sets the record straight on British soul singer Dusty Springfield. [13]
Matt Hanks


T here ought to be a field of linguistics dedicated solely to language based on musical genres. Just a cursory glance at this week's music section reveals a whole gob o' words that you'd need to take a graduate-level course to fully understand: illbient, electronica, digital hardcore, jungle, trip-hop, acid jazz, exotica.... Nobody ever says things like, "There's this heavy bass line and a whooshing sound, then these horns come in, and it sounds like they're recorded backwards, and then a repeating keyboard riff floats in and out of the track while somebody samples Gene Wilder saying something over and over from 'Willie Wonka.'" Music writers just don't describe things that way anymore. Instead they write densely packed end-of-year pieces like this. Or vocabulary-challenging pieces like this one, which explains the new DJs-as-album-artists phenomenon. Pretty soon you'll need a PhD to be a music journalist. (Though I'm sure if you just made half of it up nobody would know the difference.)

I'm being way too cynical here. Sorry. For some reason, my attitude today is just plain gloomy. Perhaps it's due to reading this negative look back at jazz covers of popular songs. Or this elegy about the senseless death of an up-and-coming country star. Or this depressing look back at the rise and fall of one of the great, unheralded genius-level bands, Joy Division.

I'm feeling such a world-weary sense of ennui that I didn't even bother to read these pieces about Trisha Yearwood, Run-D.M.C., Dusty Springfield, Ben Folds Five, or Ry Cooder.

Leave me alone.


Mini Reviews
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"Folked Up"
On a new compilation of folk bluesman Dock Boggs, the controversial new Tricky single, and honkytonk sensation Paul Burch. [14]
Jim Ridley and Bill Friskics-Warren

Boston Phoenix CD Reviews

  • Bill Bruford
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Linton Kwesi Johnson
  • Mainliner
  • Frank Pahl
  • William Parker
  • Iggy Pop
  • Richard Shindell
  • Timbaland and Magoo

Turn Up That Noise!

  • Ralph Carney
  • Hank Jones
  • Horace Silver

Rhythm & Views

  • Aria
  • Ian Whitcomb and the White Star Orchestra
  • Jack Killed Jill


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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