July 2 - July 8, 1997
crew the new! Pardon me, did I say a bad word? I meant
eschew the new. Which is what we're doing this week by
loading the music section with stories about reissued albums.
Hey, reissues aren't just a label's way of making a buck on the
rot from their archives. They're also a great way to introduce
people to overlooked older music, which can be as fresh and kick-ass
as anything your favorite music store put on the shelf at 10 a.m.
this morning. A lot of this stuff you couldn't get unless you
scoured garage sales for scratchy vinyl copies, and that's about
as fun as a hangnail.
Remember Yoko Ono? Tons of her work has finally been made available on CD, including her early John Cage-inspired experiments. An interview explains. We've also got interviews with the guitarist and bassist of The Byrds, who put Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" on the map, and who are now enjoying reissues of several albums. Best of all, hundreds of recordings by folklorist Alan Lomax, who began documenting America's musical culture in the '30s and never stopped, are now available for the world's consumption. And reviews of over 25 (!) other reissues also await.
Sometimes even new music is old. A talk with Phoenix band Phonoroyale reveals how the retro-based rockers arrive at their eclectic sound, while a revisionist take on Queensryche comes to terms with the rebirth of arena rock. A look at singer/songwriter Dan Bern -- once dubbed "the next Bob Dylan" -- suggests he may have fallen into a familiar pattern too soon. And would you believe Vanilla Ice is still packing in audiences? This concert review suggests the crusty Ice may be getting cold feet in his old age. Heck, the only new-new band we're paying attention to this week is Sleater-Kinney, whose riot grrl outpourings mark a movement come of age. You go, grrls!
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