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L7–Bricks Are Heavy

BRICKS ARE HEAVY L7 Slash Records Ever since Nirvana’s Nevermind swooped out of the Pacific Northwest and up the charts, practically every band with electric guitars punched into overdrive and an address within a few hundred miles of Seattle has gotten caught up in the major-label signing frenzy. Never mind that what gives some of […]

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Good Grief

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at Orchestra Hall September 19 The requiem mass, a sacred Catholic ritual, is also a hallowed musical genre that has challenged generations of composers to evoke moods suitable to the funereal occasion it commemorates and to their own age. Over the years, as the center of music making has shifted from the […]

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Bono saved from drowning

Just where does the Zoo TV Outside Broadcast Tour come from? Nothing U2 has ever done–nothing any rock group has ever done–prepares one for how gripping it is as music, how compelling it is as theater, how apropos it is as pop artifact, and how knowing it is about the culture. It takes all the […]

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Records

LONESOME IN MY BEDROOM Luther Johnson Evidence ECD 26005 SWEET HOME CHICAGO Lonnie Brooks Evidence ECD 26001 Luther “Snake” Johnson was a Georgia-born guitarist who made a name for himself in the mid- to late-60s as Muddy Waters’s guitarist. After leaving Muddy, he settled in Boston and led his own band for a time in […]

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Ken Vandermark Quartet

After you’ve watched the local music scene for a while, you can’t help noticing how the some old people keep rearranging themselves into new lineups, constantly looking for just the right juxtaposition of abilities and styles that will really click. It appears that woodwindist Ken Vandermark has now had some good fortune; his group already […]

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Live at 55: Stormy Monday Band & Louisiana Red Meet Carey Bell/Jimmy Dawkins–Kant Sheck Dees Bluze/Dave Hole–Short Fuse Blues

LIVE AT 55: STORMY MONDAY BAND & LOUISIANA RED MEET CAREY BELL Blues Beacon 1010-2 KANT SHECK DEES BLUZE Jimmy Dawkins Earwig 4920 SHORT FUSE BLUES Dave Hole Alligator 4807 Sometimes it seems there’s a never-ending stream of blues “guitar monsters” coming off some vast assembly line, all firing up their Stratocasters and firing off […]

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Lollapaloser

Viewed from the consumer standpoint, Lollapalooza ’92 was one of those bargains with a downside. Financially speaking, of course, it was a deal. For roughly $30 you got a lineup of unquestioned value: the British band Lush, masters of the gorgeous feedbacky guitar wash; demistars Pearl Jam; Ur-noisemakers the Jesus and Mary Chain; Seattle phenom […]

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Records

HIDDEN GEMS Carla Thomas Stax 8568-2 CAN’T GET AWAY FROM THIS DOG Rufus Thomas Stax 8569-2 A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA William Bell Stax 8566-2 REMEMBER ME Otis Redding Stax 8572-2 Stax Records, which folded ingloriously in 1976 after being rent by internal tensions and financial mismanagement, was more than the purveyor of some of the […]