December 16, 1996 |
Many of the tie-dyed fans who packed the Rusted Root concert at the Tower Theater on Friday were starting grade school when Paul Simon released Graceland. But oldsters noticed that what was avant garde in 1986 - Simon's melding of pop music with third-world polyrhythms - has become mainstream. After all, Rusted Root's 1994 major-label debut, When I Woke - a melange of world music influences and pop-folk melodies - went platinum on the strength of one song, "Send Me on My Way. " And this weekend's Tower gigs (the Pittsburgh band also performed Saturday)
December 13, 1996 |
Pop artists engage in risky business when they stray too far from traditional song structures. For every "Bohemian Rhapsody," you tend to wind up with at least an entire Emerson, Lake & Palmer album. Which makes Remember's (Mercury) considerable appeal doubly vexing. Not only does Rusted Root's third full-length release eschew verse-chorus-verse forms for wandering linear constructions, it is, essentially, a guitar album. Yet the Pittsburgh sextet, which plays sold-out shows at the Tower tonight and Saturday, rode to fame on driving, tribal-like rhythms; four of its members play percussion.
January 26, 1995 |
Is it possible to wear your influences on your sleeve and still do more than play musical dress-up? Rusted Root and Dag, two bands with very eclectic sensibilities, seemed to answer that question in Tuesday night's sold-out show at the Theater of the Living Arts. Rusted Root - a seven-member ensemble from Pittsburgh that mixes African and Latin rhythms with modern folk and pop - has built a Deadhead-type devotion after winning converts on tours with H.O.R.D.E. and Sheryl Crow. The two-hour set included material from its Mercury Records debut, When I Woke.
February 13, 1999 |
Neo-hippie groove meisters Rusted Root are a lot like the Teletubbies: soft and sappy, and college students find them trippy. Like the Tubbies, the band has a worldview that is nothing short of warm, fuzzy humanism, and it puts its money where its mouth is, staging a food drive at each tour stop and donating to local charities a dollar from each ticket sold. So, beating up on Rusted Root is a bit like saying Tinky Winky isn't manly enough. The hard-working Pittsburgh group's music is a bland stew of post-Grateful Dead jam gymnastics, Afro-pop tribal beats, and vaguely mysterious Eastern modal chords.
May 7, 1996 |
A host of hot releases from the Soundgarden, Vince Gill, George Michael, Color Me Badd, The Wallflowers and more should vault you into music shops this merry month of May. Here are today's disc releases: Britain's long suffering The Cure endure "Wild Mood Swings" (Elektra), their first collection of new music in four years. Super 8, an L.A. buzz band with a Chili Peppers/Fishbone flava, debuts with their self-titled album on Hollywood. Pantera pound "The Great Southern Trendkill" (EastWest)
September 9, 1994 |
They're rocking in Philly and Pittsburgh this week with the release of two new stand-up-and-holler rock 'n' roll albums. One of the freshest-sounding releases of the year is "When I Woke" (Mercury, 1/2), which comes from the Steel City band Rusted Root, a primal, percussion-crazed, crunchy-granola-chomping collective of seven musicians that's not afraid to mix all (and I mean all) kinds of musical flavors. The smorgasbord starts with a wild "Drum Trip" and a dose of "Ecstasy" - romping like David Byrne's frothiest south-of-the-border rockers with frisky flamenco-guitar interludes and a romantic/spacy hook that just can't quit.
June 20, 2003 |
Harry Potter may be all about fantasy, but publishing is all about business. (Well, it's about reading, too, of course, but first things first.) Harry's creator J.K. Rowling and publisher Scholastic Inc. have sued the New York Daily News, which published excerpts Wednesday from the much-anticipated Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, for copyright infringement, among other things. As everyone surely knows by now, the book does not go on sale until one minute past midnight tonight.
September 17, 2002 |
It sounds like a project only a hippie think tank (or a liberal-arts college) could dream up: Equip a four-member team with a laptop and video camera, then send it around the world to capture the spontaneous inspirations of musicians, singers and thinkers of all orientations. The group's lofty mission was to learn whether the commonality of human experience outweighs ideological and cultural differences. One Giant Leap, the ambitious CD and DVD project that stitches together the spoken and sung insights the team gathered, never quite reaches a conclusion.
August 26, 1996 |
The ticket price was $30, but the real cost of admission to the daylong H.O.R.D.E. tour, which touched down in Camden Saturday, was the willingness to endure tiresome arena-rock indulgences - repetitive harmonica solos by Blues Traveler's John Popper, Lenny Kravitz's theatrical guitar playing - to catch a few sets of great music. Blues Traveler and Kravitz were at the top of an eight-hour, 10-act caravan, which since its inception in 1992 has endeavored to celebrate "Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere.