Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 33
January 20 - January 26, 1998

Music

Album Reviews
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Country Comforts
Former Blood Oranges vocalist Cheri Knight finds new life under Steve Earle's wing. [6]
Jonathan Perry

Three of a Kind
Texas boogie-woogie pianist Marcia Ball, New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas, and Mother Earth herself, Tracy Nelson had more fun that you will with their collaborative CD, "Sing It." [7]
Clea Simon

Natural Highs
Victoria Williams's "Musings of a Creekdipper" is as starkly beautiful, as mystical and fractured as the landscape of her desert home. [8]
Joan Anderman

Louisville Ladies
"Springtime," the latest from the Louisville's Freakwater, sparkles like a rough-cut diamond dropped in a glass of whiskey. [9]
Chris Tweney

Country Queens
Nashville's crossover action is in the hands of new country queens such as LeAnn Rimes and Shania Twain. [10]
Franklin Soults

Deep Shleep
With his first release in six years, Robert Wyatt returns to the droll lyrics, complex melodies, sparse arrangements that made him important. [11]
Mac Randall


Artist Profiles
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Reality Check
Sixteen Deluxe anticipates the release of their new album on Warner Bros., "Emits Showers of Sparks". Today, Wheatsville Co-op; tomorrow, the world? [2]
Christopher Gray

Small-Town Heroes
With a name like Slobberbone, and their contempt for big record companies, you know this Denton, Texas, band has just got to be good. [3]
Brendan Doherty

Celestial Skinsman
He was the most unusual jazz performer in Knoxville, Tennessee, if not the country: Samarai Celestial. Mike Gibson relates the life of this one-of-a-kind musician. [4]
Mike Gibson

The Space Program
ST-37 and their new album on Black Widow, "Spaceage." [5]
Ken Lieck


I 'd like to take a moment to voice my concern about the pathetic state of weird band names today. What's with these whippersnappers? This week's stories focus on such "artists" as Slobberbone, Freakwaters, ST-37, Sixteen Deluxe, and someone named Samarais [sic] Celestial. What in the ever-lovin' kinds of names are those? When I was a young 'un, our bands had practical, sensible names like Meat Puppets, Haysi Fantayzee, Yaz, Twisted Sister, the Virgin Prunes (not to be confused with the Electric Prunes), and The Very Idea of F*cking Hitler. My, how times have changed.

Why do you think Cheri Knight left the so-called Blood Oranges to pursue a solo career? No, not because hemoglobin and citrus don't mix -- it was the name! Why stick with a band named after clotting fruit when you can exploit a top-notch title like Cheri Knight (a combination of George Washington and Arhurian legends all rolled into one)? Such basic-but-respectably named artists as Robert Wyatt; Mark Eitzel; LeAnn Rimes and Shania Twain; and the trio of Marcia Ball, Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson will never have to worry about changing trends or the quizzical glances of people put off by a mystifying moniker. Now if only we could get Victoria Williams to avoid odd album titles like "Musings of a Creekdipper." But perhaps I'm getting too persnickety.

Look, all I'm saying is: leave the weird names to the weirdos.

Yours truly,


Album Reviews
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Dark Mark
Eccentric Mark Eitzel trades on mopiness and self-absorption, but there's also an openness to his vocals that can be touching. [12]
Stephanie Zacharek

Atomic Bombs
Saxophonists Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafsson go for broke on their new CD, "Blow Horn." [13]
Ed Hazell


Mini Reviews
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Tiny Tunes

  • Kip Winger
  • Silver Scooter

Boston Phoenix CD Reviews

  • The Ramones
  • Entombed
  • Fred Frith
  • The London Suede
  • The Gothic Archies
  • Pat DiNizio
  • Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
  • Pete (LaRoca) Sims


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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