Weekly Wire

July 28 - August 4, 1997


Up From The Roots
Rock's future may just lie in the past. [2]
Micheal Podolsky

Outstanding In His Field
The work of folklorist Alan Lomax is the focus of an ambitious new reissue campaign on Rounder Records. [3]
Matt Hanks

Another Country
Former Nashvillian Greg Garing moves beyond honky-tonk and into trip-hop. [4]
Michael McCall

Rhythm & News
New Orleans Music Previews and Reviews. [5]

Solar Power, Day 2
Take a trip to the K-TAOS solar powered music festival. [6]
Julie Birnbaum

Out of the Shadows
After years of toiling as a sideman, guitarist Jon Dee Graham emerges with a solo album and as one of Austin's most important musicians. [7]
Andy Langer

Review: John Dee Graham's Escape From Monster Island. [8]
Margaret Moser

Previews of the best local shows. Be there or be square! [9]
Michael Henningsen

Duarte Six hits the road...The Paladins return to town...Billy Bacon and Forbidden Pigs snort up a good time...and more! [10]
Lisa Weeks

Girth In the Balance
With only one year's experience under their belt, Girth is set to release their debut CD. [11]
Bill Frost

Turn Up That Noise!
An eclectic survey of recent recordings. [12]
edited by Stephen Grimstead

Tiny Tunes
Record reviews featuring the Alibi value scale. [13]
Michael Henningsen

Rhythm & Views
New sounds from NRBQ, Brave Combo and the Misfits. [14]

Record Reviews
Reviews of new releases by Lee Roy Parnell, Whiskeytown, Edith Frost, and more. [15]

Now What?
A Web link page chock full of resources, recommendations, and staff picks pertaining to the subject of this section. [16]

I recently came into possession of well over three-thousand 45-rpm records from the 1950s. How I obtained them is a long story involving a high-school friend, one of her parents's bad judgment, and a divorce, but that's not important. What's important is that my lucky windfall has given me detailed exposure to the early era of rock-n-roll. Now, finally, I can gain first-hand understanding of where a lot of today's music originated.

I'm not the only one so intrigued by the past. All over America, people are going back to where it all began -- or so it would seem from this week's Weekly Wire music section. The lead story examines the retro phenomenon, describing how it goes in cycles, and sometimes cycles within cycles. Dizzying, ain't it? Again and again, musicians and listeners yearn for a revival of revivalism. And they don't always agree on what to revive.

So while one segment of the music-creating community hearkens back to the modernistic pop of the '80s (see last week's music section for details), another applies CPR to the twitchy body of early rap music (as in this piece on late '70s rappers The Sugarhill Gang). Many, though, prefer to look 30 or 40 years farther into the past, when country, R&B, and rockabilly were on the cutting edge -- and had lots of bright new blood to prove it.

For more evidence, look at this piece about Greg Garing, a roots-revival type of guy who is now working hard to live beyond hype that has compared him to country's most influential crooner, Hank Williams. Or try this story about folklorist Alan Lomax, whose anthropological recordings of deep-South musicians and other authentic, so-rootsy-they're practically-truffles types are currently enjoying a profitable reissue on Rounder Records.

And then there are the bands that really want to get back to their roots, even if that means reliving a time when hitting rocks and sticks together was considered the hip new thing. I'm talking about the tribalistic Crash Worship, who are currently touring with The Duarte Six. A concert preview gives the low-down.

Other articles focus on bands both classic and modernistic, or in the case of less fortunate artists, both derivative and pretentious. These include:

Talk Back
If anything in this section offends, annoys or perturbs your senses, here's your place to scream like an angry punk rocker.

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