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September 16th, 2022

Rachel's' 'Music For Egon Schiele' Floats Above Cliche

From the archives: You’ll feel this the first play and you’ll play it repeatedly

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)Rachel’s’ 1995 release Handwriting LP (Quarterstick 30 LP) is on my top 10 of ‘95 list and this enchanting record may end up on the ‘96 list. The music here was composed by pianist Rachel Grimes for a dance and theater piece based on the life of turn of the century Viennese painter Egon Schiele.The stage work was written and directed by Stephan Mazurek for Chicago’s Itinerant Theater Guild, which he heads. The... Read More

September 16th, 2022

AudioQuest Music Releases Terry Evans' 'Puttin' It Down'

From the archives: a highly recommended, all-analog blues LP from AudioQuest Music

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)I thought Pop Staples’ version of J.B. Lenoir’s “Down In Mississippi” (Pointblank/Charisma 92147-2) was powerful—and it was, but the version Terry Evans puts down here shakes the firmament. As I write this, two neo-Nazi idiots—soldiers from Fort Bragg, NC—have just been arrested for cold-blooded murdering a Black couple walking down the street in their own neighborhood (not that it would have mattered... Read More

September 16th, 2022

'The Ghost Of Tom Joad': Bruce Springsteen's Masterpiece

From the archives: The album Springsteen's been working towards his entire career

By: Tracking Angle

(This review, written by Carl E. Baugher, originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)It’s taken him some 20 years or so but Bruce Springsteen has finally delivered his masterpiece. Make no mistake: he’s done a ton of good work over the years. But, this is the album he’s been working towards his whole career. And there’s not a single rock song on it! Here’s evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that the lineage which runs through Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan... Read More

September 13th, 2022

We Caught A Rising Star—Chris Isaak

Interview Originally Appeared 1987 In The Absolute Sound

By: Michael Fremer

Back in 1987, I interviewed the young up and coming and not particularly well-known Warner Brothers recording artist Chris Isaak. Thanks to a reasonably successful recording career, an effective and consistent live show, and an unusual “reality”-type comedy series on Showtime, Isaak divides his celebrity between being a respected recording artist, and a campy “celebrity,” known in some quarters simply for being known. With his swept-back ‘50’s hair and Eddie... Read More

September 13th, 2022

We Caught A Rising Young Star—Chris Isaak Part 2

This interview originally appeared 1987 in The Absolute Sound

By: Michael Fremer

MF: And you’re going into the studio in a few weeks?CI: Yup! I hope to record three songs at a time.MF: It seems like there are few young performers willing to accept the responsibility and stick their neck out and be the front man and go for stardom.CI: Yes, I know. Because I kind of see it in the old position of…it used to be a bunch of musicians would go out and play, and there was one guy who was the team ham and he’s elected to go out—if somebody breaks a string,... Read More

September 13th, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide To Black Saint & Soul Note

From the archives: Fred Kaplan explores the Italian labels Black Saint and Soul Note, which released America's most forward-thinking jazz of the 80s

By: Fred Kaplan

(This feature was originally published as “Black Saint & Soul Note Still On Vinyl!” in Fred Kaplan’s JazzTracks column, Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)It says something about the state of jazz in its own homeland that, for the entire vital decade of the 1980s, America’s most creative jazz musicians were recording for two Italian labels, Black Saint and Soul Note. Both labels were owned by the same man, Giovanni Bonandrini, who set up the business entirely out of love... Read More