Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 18
October 6 - October 13, 1997


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The Man in Black
Live music preview. [2]
Michael Henningsen

Arizona Rap?
It sounds incredible, and it is...Phoenix has its own nationally recognized rap group. [3]
Tom Danehy

Get Corked
Techno-beats, sonic waves of guitar ecstasy and a singer with a pair of the cutest feet in the Salt Lake Valley. Who the hell is Cork? [4]
Bill Frost

Personal Battles
Matthew Ryan bares his soul through rock 'n' roll. [5]
Michael McCall

Love Is Strange
Lonesome Bob's new album rules. [6]
Bill Friskics-Warren

Traveling the Gran Highway
Knoxville's Gran Torino is keeping rhythm-and-blues alive on the road and in the clubs. [7]
Mark Jordan

Highly Contagious
Silver Scooter puts the song first. [8]
Greg Beets

Into the Groove
Having your own vinyl-cutting technology can be quite lucrative, as Austinite Troy Dalmasso has discovered. [9]
Andy Langer

Live Shots
Performance reviews of Live, Foo Fighters, Ziggy Marley, and more. [10]

Bill Frisell. [11]

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

Rhythm & Views
Negativland, Portastatic, Peter Mulvey. [13]

Tiny Tunes
This week's bleeding eardrums courtesy of The Blasters and The Cramps. [14]
Michael Henningsen

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. [15]

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

E verywhere you look, it's Johnny Cash. One of my best high school friends loves Johnny Cash. She's still got a whole box of Johnny Cash records in her mother's garage. Another friend, who just had a birthday, celebrated by going to see Johnny Cash in concert. And me? I don't know nothin'. When I heard Johnny Cash sing "Ring of Fire," my first reaction was, "Hey! He's stealing that from Wall of Voodoo!" You see, I wasn't properly Cashed. Not until I read this article. I think you'd better read it too.

Let's face it, though, Cash is an old fogey. Who wants to read about him when you could be reading about the young and the reckless? Hell, I think I'll devote this whole Music Section just to up-and-comers. People like NastyBoy Klick, a rapper from Arizona. I know what you're thinking: rappers in the state that rejected a Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday? Yep, you got it; that's precisely the reason Arizona needs rappers.

But the real rabble-rousers are those young whippersnappers on the Internet. When bands have web sites with downloadable song clips, you know they're downy-cheeked newbies. Just look at the Utah band Cork -- they've got "youth" tattooed all over themselves, and probably got a few piercings to boot. Then there's Silver Scooter, an Austin band that sets up all its tour concerts via an email mailing list. What's next? Virtual groupies?

At least Gran Torino sets up its tours via the telephone. The eight-man R&B band, however, gets there via a big RV. Whatever happened to cramped VW vans? How can you have integrity in a slick, air-conditioned Winnebago? Find out here, if you really want to know.

The best aspect of youthful musical acts, though, is the crisp new cynicism they bring to the table. None of this old, crusty cynicism for me. I like my cynicism fresh and pungent. That's why I enjoyed reading this interview with the country-styled Lonesome Bob, whose debut album Things Fall Apart features the following lyrics:

I've got a girlfriend but we're not in love / We don't lift each other up to heaven above / We like each other and we don't like pain / We try to keep each other sane / It's not some complex psychological dynamic / It's just that loneliness is so much more problematic.

Don't you feel great? Okay, now compare that to the lyrics of Matthew Ryan, a soulful young songwriter whose influences include U2 and the Blue Nile:

There were problems / You said there was something wrong with me, and they were deep-seated, they were deep-rooted, and I must have pushed them away.

Read the interview with Ryan after reading the interview with Lonesome Bob. Could they be the same person? Well, no -- their music styles are at odds. But lyrically, they could be twins.

So that's it for the youth brigade. Just you watch, some of these newcomers will rise to the top. The others, unfortunately, will be forced to get day jobs. And so it goes. And goes. And goes. For a further glimpse into the perpetual motion of rock, this Live Shots review encapsulates shows by Live, Luscious Jackson, Foo Fighters, Jane Siberry, and Pizzicato Five.

And for something really groovy, this story demonstrates how vinyl-cutting technology is seeing new life in small record labels. LP recording may be old, but like Johnny Cash, it's still got a lot of fiery life left in it.

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