AltWeeklies Wire

The Lady Lou Bouncenew

The first female rapper from St. Louis to score a major-label deal, Ebony Eyez seems fully aware of her precedent-setting achievement -- and maybe a bit defensive about it, too. Also reviewed: Minotaur Shock's Maritime.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  11-03-2005  |  Reviews

Not Your Typical Narcissistnew

Iconoclastic singer/songwriter Count Marc Anthony Thompson, using the name Chocolate Genius, takes an autobiographical approach that is far removed from the post-folky narcissism of his inferiors.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  10-28-2005  |  Reviews

Hard to Label This Applenew

Dissatisfied with the first version of her CD, Fiona Apple went back to the studio with a new producer: The result is opium instead of ecstasy.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  10-21-2005  |  Reviews

A Triumph of Soul Over Stylenew

A jazz tribute to Pavement sounds like a bad idea, but it would be a shame to dismiss Gold Sounds on the basis of its gimmick.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  10-21-2005  |  Reviews

Weirdly Endearing Torture Musicnew

The quintet that grew out of the one-man band Skeletons is as bourgeois-averse as ever. Also reviewed: Petracovich's We Are Wyoming.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  09-23-2005  |  Reviews

Love, Indispensable and Inadequatenew

Pixel Revolt sounds so fantastic we'll forgive you for not noticing the lyrics immediately.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  09-09-2005  |  Reviews

Every Track a Money Shotnew

It’s impossible to imagine a band more devoted to excitement, more single-minded in its pursuit of satisfaction, more successful in replicating the arousal/gratification cycle without becoming monotonous.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  09-02-2005  |  Reviews

Rescued from Obscuritynew

Instead of fighting hippie excess with speed, volume, and a few choice barre chords, the Groovies embraced melody, economy, and reverb-kissed riffs. Also reviewed is Puerto Muerto's Songs of Muerto County.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  08-26-2005  |  Reviews

Touring the Prairie Statenew

Before writing the CD's 22 songs, Stevens buried himself in books, reading everything from Saul Bellow novels to out-of-print regional histories to familiarize himself with the state of Illinois, and he produced an emotionally authentic work of art.
Illinois Times  |  René Spencer Saller  |  08-22-2005  |  Reviews

Lizz Wright Gets It Rightnew

Even if she’s not exactly revolutionizing jazz vocals, Lizz Wright is by no means an industry-issued knockoff, and this, her second album, reveals a singer of exceptional promise.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  08-17-2005  |  Reviews

A Bit of a Pillnew

Swedish chanteuse Stina Noderstam's so good, you'll forget she's annoying.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  08-05-2005  |  Reviews

The Real Dealnew

Dwight Yoakam is a purist and a reactionary, but that doesn’t make him any less of a rebel.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  08-05-2005  |  Reviews

Balancing Contrary Forcesnew

If Joe Pernice's Discover isn’t a radical departure, it’s a highly enjoyable variation, proof that some artists are just plain good enough that they don’t need to reinvent themselves with every new release.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  07-25-2005  |  Reviews

SV Mach-IInew

The first new Son Volt full-length in seven years boasts exactly one original member: Jay Farrar, the band’s founder, frontman, and songwriter. Still, the album rocks like a rock band, sounding more like vintage Son Volt than solo Farrar.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  07-15-2005  |  Reviews

Party Like It's 1964new

Originality is in short supply these days, so ripping off the Beatles -- especially when a band does it as competently and as pleasurably as the Redwalls do -- is no worse than ripping off any number of currently fashionable influences.
Illinois Times  |  Rene Spencer Saller  |  07-11-2005  |  Reviews

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