March 8, 2003 |
Jesse Malin is not what he once was. The big punk-rock hair is gone, and so is his band, the D*Generation, gone too soon to enjoy the current mania for garage rock. Malin is now a hard-core troubadour, making folk-rock for the underground, with a sound falling somewhere between Paul Westerberg and early Bruce Springsteen. It fits him well, like an old rock T-shirt that he maybe always preferred anyway.
January 28, 1993 |
Did the 1980s produce a better band than the Replacements? Say what you will about London, New York, Seattle and Athens, Ga.; I've always considered Minneapolis to be the capital of the post-punk era, chiefly because of Husker Du and the Replacements. "Let It Be" is the first of the Replacements' Holy Trilogy (which also includes 1985's "Tim" and 1987's "Pleased to Meet Me"), albums that established this band as not only fun but great.
March 10, 1996 |
The NBC sitcom "Friends" has already spawned a hit record--the Rembrandts' performance of the theme song, "I'll Be There for You." Now how about "Smelly Cat"? The song, part of the repertoire on the show of the spacey, tonally challenged singer-songwriter Phoebe (played by Lisa Kudrow), has become a favorite of some viewers who, via letters and Internet discussions, have been asking for it to be made available on an album. That's exactly what Reprise Records' Klein would like to do.
December 17, 1995
Three of the star divas of the "Waiting to Exhale" soundtrack album are finishing their own new albums. Whitney Houston's hits collection (with three new tracks and some remixes of old songs) is now due in March, as is Toni Braxton's second album (with "Exhale" writer-producer Babyface, L.A. Reid, David Foster and R. Kelly, among the producers). Due in May is Aretha Franklin's latest, with production by Sean (Puffy) Combs and Daryl Simmons. . . .
November 7, 1998
Both during and since his tenure with the Pixies, Frank Black's performances have been revved-up, yowling and barking attempts to break out of ordinary life into some special realm of release. It was a surprise then to hear Black open his show Thursday for a half-capacity, but adoring, crowd at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano with a controlled baritone croon on a slowed-down version of the Pixies' nugget "Wave of Mutilation."
April 29, 1996 |
Too many contemporary singer-songwriters confuse transparent affectation with originality as they slur, growl, sneer and intone off-key throughout the course of an album or a concert. That makes Shawn Colvin--with her gorgeous voice and natural instinct--a rarity on the current folk-pop scene.
August 6, 1995 |
"Calling from the station, calling from the edge of desperation. . . ." That's Johnette Napolitano on the line, and it sure didn't take the feisty L.A. singer long to get back into fighting form. Barely a year after the end of Concrete Blonde, she's leading another trio into battle against the demons. She doesn't always vanquish them, but she never gives them less than the fight of their lives.
June 20, 1993 |
Thanks to compelling works from PJ Harvey, Paul Westerberg, the American Music Club and Sebadoh, the emphasis is on rock in this edition of the guide, a way to keep up with what's fresh in pop on a budget of $50 a month. May American Music Club, "Mercury" (Reprise). These guys are in their 30s and they wear suits onstage, so don't expect grunge or youthful alienation.
September 29, 2006 |
Is there such a thing as too much Ashton Kutcher? I don't know, I'm just asking. In one of those peculiar convergences of motion picture distribution, the actor has lead roles in not one but two of this week's major releases. Along with his action bow in "The Guardian," he costars opposite Martin Lawrence in the garrulously warm and wacky animated comedy "Open Season."