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  • Article

    Riff Raff

    Cow Town It's too early to tell, but Holy Cow may get its nightclub permits back sometime this week. The SOMA nightclub lost them four weeks ago on something close to a technicality: Police discovered that Cow owner Jeff Thompson -- who bought the ba...

    by Bill Wyman on May 6, 1998
  • Article

    Reviews

    Africa: The Ba-Benzele Pygmies (Rounder) You won't see the artists interviewed on MTV or Charlie Rose. You won't read about them in glossy magazines or find their faces plastered on major metropolitan billboards. Often they're anonymous or thei...

    by Martin Johnson on May 6, 1998
  • Article

    Hear This

    Chris Speed Adventurous jazz fans may recognize tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Chris Speed from his front-line partnership with fiery NYC bandleader Tim Berne in the combo Bloodcount. Last year, the young horn player stepped out for the first ...

    by Sam Prestianni on April 29, 1998
  • Article

    Hear This

    Red Monkey Red Monkey are rock anthropologists. The angry music produced by this British trio flows from the band's examination of the human condition. The results? Minimalist riffs wrapped around wry three-minute social commentaries. Each song o...

    by Robert Arriaga on April 29, 1998
  • Article

    House of Tudor

    The French shapeshifter Arthur H. sings in his native tongue on Trouble Fete, so I can only speculate about the story lines: Jean-Paul Belmondo slips through an alley, a filterless cigarette jutting from his nihilistic pout. Bricks glisten between pi...

    by Silke Tudor on April 29, 1998
  • Article

    Riff Raff

    Yeah, Well We're Tired of Hearing About Bar Closings Too The doors at the Chameleon have been shut on and off for several months now. Recently owner Karen Carney assured Riff Raff that the narrow Valencia Street beer bar and live music venue was on b...

    by Bill Wyman on April 29, 1998
  • Article

    Reviews

    Dar Williams, Ron Sexsmith Palace of Fine Arts Saturday, April 18 In a recent online poll of folk music fans' favorite record of all time, Joni Mitchell's Blue came in second. It was tied with Dar Williams' sophomore album, 1996's Mortal Ci...

    by Dave Clifford on April 29, 1998
  • Article

    Night Crawler

    Battle Matzo! Although aired in only a few cities stateside, Iron Chef -- a gladiator-style cooking show filmed in Tokyo and rebroadcast here on Fuji TV -- has blossomed into something of a cult phenomenon. Like Trekkers, followers of Iron Chef p...

    by Silke Tudor on April 29, 1998
  • Article

    Nuthin' But a She Thing

    Various Artists Fat Beats and Bra Straps (Rhino) Angela Davis Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (Pantheon) Between the glare of the Gucci-flashing sample-ocracy that currently rules mainstream hip hop and the haze of the gat-blunt...

    by Natasha Stovall on April 29, 1998
  • Article

    House of Tudor

    Just as musicians have discovered the significance of silence (leaving breathing room in the space between carefully placed notes), visual artists have begun to discover the importance of noise (creating color and texture with a palette of sound). Ar...

    by Silke Tudor on April 22, 1998
  • Article

    The Perfect Band - How Miles Davis found a group for jazz's past and future

    In 1965, Miles Davis had the quintet he'd dreamed of -- the group featuring saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams that is featured on the six-CD set The Miles Davis Quintet 1965-'68: The Comp...

    by Michael Ullman on April 22, 1998
  • Article

    Hear This

    Beth Lisick Ordeal Mouth Almighty wanted her. But like most major labels, the fledgling spoken-word offshoot of Mercury Records was clueless. They said, "You're rock 'n' roll, you're Patti Smith." They were wrong. Beth Lisick is a cynical bi...

    by Sam Prestianni on April 22, 1998
  • Article

    Riff Raff

    Riff Raff's First-Ever Big Contest Thing For the past five months, Riff Raff has closed this column with a stupid quote from a famous -- or, sometimes, an incredibly obscure -- live album. If you've suffered through some of the same lamebrained monol...

    by Bill Wyman on April 22, 1998
  • Article

    Reviews

    Ali Crucial (Island Black Music) As the American art-soul movement continues to gain momentum with acts like the Fugees' Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, the British R&B groups that used to make this genre worth listening to are still trying to...

    by Philip Dawdy on April 22, 1998
  • Article

    Woodstick - Three (small) days of peace, love, and psychedelia

    It took a fanzine editor, a record store owner, and a small-time concert booker to make Terrastock II happen. And each of them will tell you that the three-day festival celebrating several variants of psychedelic music, which occurs this weekend in S...

    by Jeff Stark on April 15, 1998
  • Article

    Riff Raff

    Trouble in Clubland It's too early to put nails in the coffin, but it looks like V/SF, the dance club at the corner of 11th Street and Folsom, is about ready to get buried -- just as the Trocadero was. Only two months ago SFPD Capt. Dennis Martell cr...

    by Bill Wyman on April 15, 1998
  • Article

    House of Tudor

    Without his runway good looks and his New York address, it would be easier to regard Jim White as a genius, but no one said the world was fair. On Wrong-Eyed Jesus, White's 1997 debut for Luaka Bop, the erudite redneck searches for his soul in golden...

    by Silke Tudor on April 15, 1998
  • Article

    Hear This

    Freakwater Freakwater were one of the bands that made it OK for hipsters to admit they liked country music. Even more than country-influenced bands like Uncle Tupelo, Freakwater, with their deep appreciation of Appalachian music, showed the indie...

    by Jeff Stark on April 15, 1998
  • Article

    Hear This

    Gianni Gebbia Sicilian saxophonist Gianni Gebbia channels the history of the Mediterranean in every note he plays, almost as if he were speaking in tongues across the centuries. His tone and phrasing glide seamlessly from angular dialectical frag...

    by Sam Prestianni on April 15, 1998
  • Article

    Extremities

    Diamanda Galas Malediction and Prayer (Mute) Sue Garner To Run More Smoothly (Thrill Jockey) Here is the Diamanda Galas story: She is a supernatural diva triumphant. She fears nothing. At 20 she played piano with Ornette Coleman; ...

    by Natasha Stovall on April 15, 1998
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