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    Optimist International Optimist International is a band of three anonymous San Francisco boy scouts dedicated to bringing the virtues of kind, helpful, obedient, cheerful, clean living to the masses. Founded in late 1996 on the dual premise of "b...

    by Sam Prestianni on July 1, 1998
  • Article

    Reviews

    Robert Pollard Waved Out (Matador) After a few dozen albums, EPs, singles, and lineup changes, this much has become clear about Guided by Voices: Bee Thousand, the band's breakthrough 1994 album, was a fluke, a brave and guileless collision...

    by Dave Clifford on July 1, 1998
  • Article

    Riff Raff

    Don't Miss the Boat The people behind the Future Primitive Soundsessions DJ parties have plenty to celebrate. Their newly formed record label's first release, Shortkut vs. Cut Chemist, is going into its fourth pressing with sales of 10,000 thus far, ...

    by Bill Wyman on July 1, 1998
  • Article

    Madonna's Not a Virgin Anymore - So why does she keep acting like a princess?

    Madonna has undergone personal re-creations at such a rate that it would seem almost inevitable that she'd eventually have to face the most challenging costume change of all: looking, if not acting, her age -- for a female pop star, a taboo propositi...

    by Natasha Stovall on July 1, 1998
  • Article

    House of Tudor

    Live, the Gourds appear as they did on their shit-kickin' debut, Dem's Good Beeble -- just four good ol' boys from Austin wailing away on mandolin, accordion, banjo, and bottom-end Gibson guitars. The lyrics may touch on the surreal at times, but the...

    by Silke Tudor on July 1, 1998
  • Article

    Boys Will Be Boyz - Matt Wobensmith ditches gay punk for queer hip hop

    If you ask Matt Wobensmith, punk is dead. Five years ago the 27-year-old San Franciscan founded the zine and record label Outpunk to document queercore, an at-that-point little-known genre of furious three-chord rock played by people who happened to ...

    by Tim Kingston on June 24, 1998
  • Article

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    Quagmire Before migrating to the Bay Area a couple of years back, the Wisconsin natives in Quagmire must have indulged in the coming-of-age reality trip of the great American Midwest: torching fat bowls beneath starry night skies, prowling for ma...

    by Sam Prestianni on June 24, 1998
  • Article

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    The Creatures Siouxsie & the Banshees died a horrible death. Some might argue that the famous goth band is not really dead, but merely existing in a state of suspended animation resulting from the growing pains that produced the dismal 1991 relea...

    by Robert Arriaga on June 24, 1998
  • Article

    House of Tudor

    There are an estimated 15 million people spread out across the world who can trace their roots back to the Rom, colloquially known as Gypsies. In whatever country they have set foot, in whatever era, the Roma have swirled at the bottom of the social ...

    by Silke Tudor on June 24, 1998
  • Article

    Riff Raff

    What's the Situation(ist)? Over the last few months you may have noticed an intimidating group of very bald men in dark sunglasses and bright orange crew jackets prowling through the streets of San Francisco. They move with great purpose, equipped wi...

    by Bill Wyman on June 24, 1998
  • Article

    Mush Never Sleeps

    Various Artists Have a Nice Decade: The '70s Pop Culture Box (Rhino) Rhino Records began the '90s with the '70s: In January 1990, the reissue label unleashed the first volume of its soon to be infamous Have a Nice Day series of '70s pop...

    by Mark Athitakis on June 24, 1998
  • Article

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    Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos Marc Ribot may be the most inventive guitarist to come out of New York's fecund downtown scene in the last two decades. A learned jazz and classical player, he often reduces pop, rock, or blues song forms to thei...

    by Sam Prestianni on June 17, 1998
  • Article

    House of Tudor

    Badi Assad, the baby sister of the well-known Brazilian classical guitar duo the Assad Brothers, has transcended her role as yet another acclaimed guitarist in an already guitar-heavy family with her English-language major-label debut. Chameleon show...

    by Silke Tudor on June 17, 1998
  • Article

    Hear This

    Citizen Fish Citizen Fish are not a teen-age ska-punk band made up of glitzy hipsters; nor are they so removed from the music's roots that they think the Skatalites enabled better television reception. Instead, they're an English quartet who help...

    by Robert Arriaga on June 17, 1998
  • Article

    Riff Raff

    Those Darn Kids, Part 843,956 The end of the millennium is one of the best things to happen to publishing in the past 1,000 years -- lots of long, sober articles outlining the best and worst (insert concept here) of the century, filled with overblown...

    by Bill Wyman on June 17, 1998
  • Article

    Sound Ideas - Mitchell Froom provided the sonic boom behind some of the '90s' best records

    The guitarist of a semi-famous alternative band once summed up the contributions of his producer this way: "He smoked a lot of pot, yelled at his girlfriend, and hit 'record' when we told him to." Once, during the recording of Reverend Horton Heat's ...

    by Robert Wilonsky on June 17, 1998
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    John Lurie & the Lounge Lizards John Lurie has written, directed, and produced his own films, appeared in a crop of unusual cinematic ventures as both a lead (Down by Law, Stranger Than Paradise) and supporting actor (The Last Temptation of Chris...

    by Sam Prestianni on June 10, 1998
  • Article

    Reviews

    Jeff Buckley Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk) (Columbia) It was only a little over a year ago that Jeff Buckley became a cliche: the promising young rocker dead before his time. He went for a late swim in Tennessee's Wolf River and...

    by Martin Johnson on June 10, 1998
  • Article

    Oh, Silver Deities! - Jewel's poetry smacks into a screen door like, uh, a moth

    Few pop-culture developments have been so inevitable as a book of poetry by Jewel, rock music's reigning queen of dime-store spirituality. A ripe tomato of a woman and a rotten apple of a songwriter, Jewel emerged from a SoCal coffeehouse a few years...

    by Keven McAlester on June 10, 1998
  • Article

    House of Tudor

    Chances are anyone who has stepped into a New York jazz club in the past 35 years has felt a tingle created by Olu Dara, the dapper don of the cornet. His arrival in NYC in the mid-'70s harmonized with that of Henry Threadgill, Lester Bowie, Julius H...

    by Silke Tudor on June 10, 1998
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