Cheap Trick box set wisely avoids ’80s clunkers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1996 By Steve Newton Back in ’78, my personal Top 10 included power-rock LPs such as UFO’s Obsession, AC/DC’s Powerage, Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous, and the third Cheap Trick album, Heaven Tonight. At the time I was a UBC faculty of arts slacker, and the best … Continue reading Cheap Trick box set wisely avoids ’80s clunkers

Matthew Good, 25, walks home in the cold after opening for the Who

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 26, 1996 Christmas came early for Matthew Good this year. On the same day that the Straight interviewed the up-and-coming local rocker, he received a present from his publisher at EMI: an autographed picture of American astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon. The souvenir is in keeping … Continue reading Matthew Good, 25, walks home in the cold after opening for the Who

Ocean Colour Scene gives shout-out to southern soul with Moseley Shoals

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 28, 1996 Chatting with hungover rock musicians isn’t always a ton o’ fun, but sometimes you can’t blame them for knocking back a few cocktails the night before an interview. When Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Steve Cradock calls from New York one early afternoon, he’s still feeling the … Continue reading Ocean Colour Scene gives shout-out to southern soul with Moseley Shoals

Vancouverites eat up Hootie & the Blowfish’s overbaked passion

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 28, 1996 Hootie & the Blowfish are one of those freaks of nature that show up on the evolutionary ladder of pop music every once in a while, a band that sells huge amounts of its debut recording, yet, by most critical accounts, is totally undeserving of its … Continue reading Vancouverites eat up Hootie & the Blowfish’s overbaked passion

That time the Newt interviewed Seinfeld’s Newman in New York

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 14, 1996 By Steve Newton NEW YORK—Most people may not know actor Wayne Knight by name, but they know the portly Newman character from TV’s Seinfeld. Knight’s increasingly regular appearances as Jerry’s neurotic nemesis have helped develop a cult following for the pathetic mailman he portrays—a following that … Continue reading That time the Newt interviewed Seinfeld’s Newman in New York

Gordon Downie declares Al Waxman prime minister at Hip show in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 14, 1996 At a private party in Yaletown last Friday (November 8), after the first of three Tragically Hip shows at the Pacific Coliseum, vocalist Gordon Downie leaned determinedly over a pool table to set up what he hoped would be a game-winning shot. He slammed the eight … Continue reading Gordon Downie declares Al Waxman prime minister at Hip show in Vancouver

Bluesman Bill Perry lays it down fast and raw on Love Scars debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 17, 1996 I remember when I was about 13 years old and my guitar teacher had his students put on a recital in some big old rented hall. If I recall correctly, the highlight of my performance involved some nervous noodling on an unspectacular rendition of everybody’s all-time … Continue reading Bluesman Bill Perry lays it down fast and raw on Love Scars debut

Punchbuggy’s indie status makes $100 speeding tickets hard to take

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 1996 It’s times like this—when Punchbuggy’s Jim Bryson calls from the chilly wastelands of Saskatchewan—that I feel good about being an observer of rock instead of a participant. I’m cosy at home while he’s shivering at the side of the Trans-Canada Highway, the intermittent swoosh of passing … Continue reading Punchbuggy’s indie status makes $100 speeding tickets hard to take

Pluto met through a Straight ad but isn’t quite cover material yet

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 26, 1996 Ian Jones gets right to the point. The second question the Pluto singer-guitarist asks when calling from a roadside Saskatchewan pay phone—directly following “How are you?”—is “Is this for the cover?” I sheepishly explain that, since I’m not the editor, it’s not my call which story … Continue reading Pluto met through a Straight ad but isn’t quite cover material yet

Whiney False Creek residents put a damper on the Granville Island Blues Festival

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 26, 1996 What is it with Vancouver residents who can’t stand the sound of music emanating from an outdoor venue? I remember how the folks living in the Hastings-and-Renfrew area used to beef about the volume of daylong rock concerts at Empire Stadium in the mid-’70s, as if … Continue reading Whiney False Creek residents put a damper on the Granville Island Blues Festival

The Doughboys’ John Kastner is sick of hearing about the Hip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1996 When Doughboys singer-guitarist John Kastner rings up and informs me that he’s calling from Kingston, Ontario, I casually comment, “Oh, the home of the Tragically Hip.” I suppose I could have said, “Hey, nice penitentiary they’ve got there.” That might have gone over a little better. … Continue reading The Doughboys’ John Kastner is sick of hearing about the Hip

The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson lashes out at “Nazi-like” marijuana laws

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1996 By Steve Newton Lucky Black Crowes fans holding tickets to the band’s virtually sold-out show at the Orpheum on Wednesday (September 25) should consider themselves doubly fortunate, since it looked for a while as if Crowes concerts could become a thing of the past. Last year … Continue reading The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson lashes out at “Nazi-like” marijuana laws

Zakk Wylde draws from Shannon Hoon’s O.D. for his heavy Book of Shadows

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 1996 By Steve Newton Most hard-rock fans know Zakk Wylde as the young musician who helped rejuvenate metal veteran Ozzy Osbourne’s career by cowriting the hit “No More Tears”, in the process taking the coveted guitarist’s spot previously held by the likes of Randy Rhoads and Jake … Continue reading Zakk Wylde draws from Shannon Hoon’s O.D. for his heavy Book of Shadows

That wild ’70s weekend when Kiss brought the glam and the Pistols brought the punk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 1996 The Rocket really nailed it. The Seattle music paper’s latest cover sports hilarious caricatures of Kiss’s Gene Simmons and the Sex Pistols’ Johnny “Rotten” Lydon, under the headline “Geezers of Rock”. A prune-faced Lydon is depicted with bloodshot eyes, slobbering all over himself, wearing a button that … Continue reading That wild ’70s weekend when Kiss brought the glam and the Pistols brought the punk

Steve Earle on jail, addiction, execution, and other lighthearted topics

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 1996 By Steve Newton So I’m sitting there by my phone, sipping a coldie and patiently waiting for Steve Earle to call. His manager has set up the “phoner” himself and guaranteed me that Earle will call from Dallas after his Lollapalooza gig. I’m raring to find … Continue reading Steve Earle on jail, addiction, execution, and other lighthearted topics

Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 1996 It’s just after 11 p.m. when Jon Auer from the Posies rings up, but he’s still just scraping the sleep dust from his eyes, and the familiar clink of ice cubes is evidence that potent liquid refreshment is speeding the transition to wakefulness. It’s actually late … Continue reading Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

Even Limblifter has trouble topping the Odds’ power-pop at Foxfest ’96

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 1996 The folks at CFOX radio have been jubilantly claiming that “the Fox rocks!” for quite some time now, but as any Vancouverite with cable hooked up to their tuner can tell you, it’s really the stations out of Seattle that can rock you like a hurricane. … Continue reading Even Limblifter has trouble topping the Odds’ power-pop at Foxfest ’96

The Scorpions and Alice Cooper bring melodic ’70s-style hard-rock to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1996 By Steve Newton It was such a scorcher last Sunday (July 7), I found it impossible to pull myself out of our plastic kids’ pool and get down to the Coliseum in time for the start of the Scorpions/Alice Cooper concert. I completely missed the 25-minute … Continue reading The Scorpions and Alice Cooper bring melodic ’70s-style hard-rock to Vancouver

That time Ozzy Osbourne had to pack it in after three songs in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 13, 1996 Heavy-metal maven Ozzy Osbourne has overcome plenty of adversity during his more than 25 years in the hard-rock biz—from life-threatening bouts with booze and drugs to the airplane-crash death of guitarist Randy Rhoads—but he wasn’t able to prevail over the asthma attack that forced him to … Continue reading That time Ozzy Osbourne had to pack it in after three songs in Vancouver

One band ain’t enough for Limblifter and Age of Electric’s Ryan Dahle

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 1996 Most rockers would be happy being in one major-label recording band, touring around the country and heading into the studio when the time is right to make another album. But after spending seven years in Age of Electric, and getting signed to MCA Records in Canada … Continue reading One band ain’t enough for Limblifter and Age of Electric’s Ryan Dahle

The Refreshments chickened out from calling themselves Pop Enema

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 27, 1996 By Steve Newton When Arizona rockers the Refreshments were starting out, they would do most anything to get a crowd interested. They used to play gigs in shower caps, water wings, and senior’s sunglasses, and give away candies and chocolate milk to first dancers. Hey, you … Continue reading The Refreshments chickened out from calling themselves Pop Enema

I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 23, 1996 If you happened to walk into a house party while the last song on the new I Mother Earth CD was playing, you could be excused for taking a big swig of your beer, raising it in a toast, and proclaiming: “Man, that Carlos Santana can … Continue reading I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

Buffalo Brothers pay the price for that sweet Hammond B-3 sound

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 16, 1996 The members of London, Ontario, rock quartet Buffalo Brothers come from all over the largest of the Canuck provinces. Drummer Glen Gamble grew up in Brantford, bassist Jeff Fountain hails from North Bay, keyboardist Michael Bonnell calls Sault Sainte Marie home, and singer-guitarist Shaun Sanders is … Continue reading Buffalo Brothers pay the price for that sweet Hammond B-3 sound

Ex-Cars guitarist Elliot Easton denies going mercenary for Fogerty-less CCR

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 2, 1996 By Steve Newton When a band calling itself Creedence Clearwater Revisited comes to the Pacific Coliseum on Friday (May 3), former Creedence Clearwater Revival leader John Fogerty will not be along for the ride. The lifeblood of the original CCR had been drained during a … Continue reading Ex-Cars guitarist Elliot Easton denies going mercenary for Fogerty-less CCR

Garbage’s Shirley Manson doesn’t think punters give a fuck who Butch Vig is

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 2, 1996 By Steve Newton Usually when a band is on the lookout for a singer, its members will put the word out by advertising in a music paper, requesting demo tapes or offering appointments for auditions. The three founders of Garbage—Duke Erickson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig—didn’t … Continue reading Garbage’s Shirley Manson doesn’t think punters give a fuck who Butch Vig is

Bad Religion frontman more impressed by D.O.A. than the Sex Pistols

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 2, 1996 By Steve Newton Who would have guessed that the same punk-rock music that was big in the late ’70s would be all the rage in the middle of the ’90s? Just five years ago, the announcement of a Sex Pistols reunion tour would have been scoffed … Continue reading Bad Religion frontman more impressed by D.O.A. than the Sex Pistols

New name suits Semisonic’s sad songs on Great Divide debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 2, 1996 There are all kinds of stories about bands being threatened by lawsuits over their names, but you can add another one to the list with the case of Minneapolis power-pop trio Semisonic. They were touring Midwest clubs as Pleasure last year when, out of the blue, … Continue reading New name suits Semisonic’s sad songs on Great Divide debut