July 14 - July 21, 1997
he amount of sheer personality that can be found among
musical artists is staggering. Just look at the Weekly Wire
music section that glimmers before your electron-soaked eyes.
It contains enough personality to fill Michael Jackson's
closet, Meat Loaf's pantry, and the trunks of every one of Elvis's
Cadillacs -- and that's after the old peanut-butter-and-bacon
sandwiches are removed.
What's with Fiona Apple? The 18-year-old former Manhattanite never smiles, hates her fame, and hangs out with Marilyn Manson and Howard Stern. Talk about depression. But according to this account, the woman can sing, so more sour power to her. On the other side of the personality lollipop, quite a few Christian acts are upbeat these days thanks to their estimated $538 million in annual record sales. An article explains the musicians' belief that success has arrived because "God wants to be more popular than Mick Jagger." Uh-huh. (Can you imagine the lips?)
Some personalities are in transformation. Since surviving a brain tumor, guitarist Rainer Ptacek has more gratitude, peace and joie de vivre than ever before -- and he's more social, too, if his new tribute album is any indication. (With friends like PJ Harvey and Robert Plant, who needs other friends?) The Nields, an underrated Massachusetts band, recently learned the art of self-promotion, causing this fan to equate their new attitude with a great big zit. Oooh.
I could go on, mapping out personality in Erykah Badu's classic, Billie Holiday-inspired soul crooning; Barbara Manning's scorching new solo LP; Austin quintet Glorium's self-effacing rock purity; the amp-destroying shenanigans of the Muffs; or Patty Stevenson and Craig Siemsen's allegedly perfect musical and real-life marriage. But I can't, because I've got to tell you about our album reviews, which include evaluations of 23 Texas albums in a row, plus Bill White Acre, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Belle and Sebastian, and the Tennessee Kingsnakes, to name a few. Is it just me, or does the personality quotient here boggle the ears?
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