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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | February 2, 1994
Once a rock group arrives at a certain level of success, it's pretty much a given that it will turn up on "MTV Unplugged." Most of the time, that works out to the act's advantage, since an "Unplugged" slot usually results in added status, star power and legitimacy (not to mention the odd platinum album).But not every act is flattered by the format, as Stone Temple Pilots make plain in their "MTV Unplugged" appearance (which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. on MTV). After watching the band amble through five songs from its debut album, "Core," most viewers will feel that "Pull the Plug" would have been a more appropriate venue.
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By J.D. Considine Bebe Winans | December 11, 1997
Bryan AdamsMTV Unplugged (A&M 314 540 831)Originally, the idea behind MTV's "Unplugged" concerts was to transform familiar songs by stripping them of their studio sheen, reducing the arrangement to just acoustic guitars and voice. These days, though, it's the artists who are being remade, using "Unplugged" to present themselves in a new light. So Nirvana emphasized angst over rage in its "Unplugged" session, while Eric Clapton used his to show that he didn't need a Stratocaster to be electrifying.
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | May 5, 1993
Anyone who has ever worried about being too old for MTV can take heart when Rod Stewart turns up on "MTV Unplugged" tonight (the 90-minute edition premieres at 10).Like most guests of "Unplugged," Stewart has taken the show as an opportunity to try something a little different. So instead of turning in a set of acoustic-guitar versions of his recent hits, he digs into his back catalog and dusts off a half-dozen or so numbers from his days with the Faces. Even better, he brings along former Face (and current Rolling Stone)
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By J.D. Considine | July 31, 1997
Sarah McLachlanSurfacing (Arista/Nettwerk 18970)Rock and roll being loud by nature, it's often assumed that quiet is just a cover-up for having nothing of substance to say. It's a ridiculous notion, of course, but seldom has it been put to rest as succinctly as on Sarah McLachlan's fourth album, "Surfacing." Even though there are times when McLachlan's voice barely rises above a murmur, her approach is so suited to the songs that the quiet itself seems to draw you in. "I Love You" is a case in point, a whispery dream of a song that turns its softness into strength as McLachlan takes us through all the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with true love.
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | December 14, 1994
When Bob Dylan went electric to play the Newport Folk Festival back in 1965, people were shocked. Playing electric guitar was a big deal for an old folkie like Dylan; not only did it fly in the face of what the purists deemed a legitimate use of tradition, but it seemed to define Dylan less as a folk singer than as a rock and roller. For Dylan, plugging in was definitely an important move.Going unplugged, on the other hand, seems no big deal. Dylan's last two albums of new material, "Good as I Been to You" and "World Gone Wrong," were made without electric guitars, and he even did an acoustic set at Woodstock.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | November 11, 1992
It starts off like any other edition of "MTV Unplugged." First we see Bruce Springsteen stride to the stage and shoulder an acoustic guitar; then we hear him launch into a spirited rendition of the raucous, ribald "Redheaded Woman."And then he changes the rules."That was the unplugged part of the show," says Springsteen, removing the acoustic and strapping on his trusty Fender Telecaster. "Let's bring out the band."With that, Springsteen undoes the entire premise of "MTV Unplugged," transforming the program so completely that MTV wound up crossing out the "Un" part of "Unplugged" in the show's logo.
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | July 29, 1994
UNITYBig Mountain (Giant 24563)It's not hard to understand why America took an instant liking to Big Mountain's version of "Baby, I Love Your Way." Not only is lead singer Quino's lithe tenor perfectly suited to the song's lilting melody, but there's a certain campy kick to hearing an old Peter Frampton hit remade as a reggae number. Unfortunately, that sort of trick works only once an album, and anyone expecting more of the same from "Unity" will be sorely disappointed. Although Quino's smooth singing is easy enough on the ear, his Bob Marley Lite approach makes the album more soothing than exciting, so that apart from the dancehall-tinged "Sweet Sensual Love," most of the songs here leave no impression whatsoever on the listener.
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By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | November 11, 1994
WOODSTOCK '94Various Artists (A&M 31454 0289)Now that the mud has dried and the hype has finally died down, perhaps it's time to ask whether Woodstock '94 really was the major musical event its promoters promised. Certainly in terms of marquee value, the double-CD set "Woodstock '94" delivers an impressive array of talent, from Joe Cocker to Cypress Hill and Blind Melon to Metallica. In terms of quality, however, the set isn't quite the bargain it seems. It isn't that the music is bad, just that so little of it is great.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | July 17, 1993
Los Angeles--MTV is rejecting more music videos than ever because of violence and negative depictions of women, according to a network executive."For the first 10 years, violence wasn't an issue," says Judy McGrath, senior vice president for MTV. "But the last two years, violence has become more prevalent on music videos."McGrath estimates that MTV now rejects about 27 percent of those videos that it would otherwise play for musical reasons, because they are considered too explicit, violent, racist or sexist.
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By J.D. Considine | July 31, 1997
Sarah McLachlanSurfacing (Arista/Nettwerk 18970)Rock and roll being loud by nature, it's often assumed that quiet is just a cover-up for having nothing of substance to say. It's a ridiculous notion, of course, but seldom has it been put to rest as succinctly as on Sarah McLachlan's fourth album, "Surfacing." Even though there are times when McLachlan's voice barely rises above a murmur, her approach is so suited to the songs that the quiet itself seems to draw you in. "I Love You" is a case in point, a whispery dream of a song that turns its softness into strength as McLachlan takes us through all the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with true love.
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By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN STAFF | April 22, 1996
The verdict's finally in on "Murder One." Is Neil Avedon guilty or innocent? More important, whom did the jury believe?"Why Planes Go Down" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) You may decide to stick to walking after watching this investigation into why planes have a tendency to crash and burn if not handled properly. Gillian Anderson of "The X-Files" is the host. Fox."Star Trek: Voyager" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WNUV, Channel 54) Joel Grey guest stars as an old guy trying to help Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew)
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By J. D. Considine | March 21, 1996
KISSMTV Unplugged (Mercury 314 528 950)What rock fan hasn't, while sitting around the campfire, been seized by the urge to break out acoustic guitars and rip into a few choruses of "Rock and Roll All Nite"? All right, most of you. But that doesn't diminish the charm of hearing all-acoustic versions of that song and other KISS oldies on "MTV Unplugged" especially when they're performed by the band's original lineup. Of course, it isn't quite the KISS reunion purists have prayed for, as the classic quartet Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss is augmented by latter-day KISS-ers Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer, but less finicky fans will hardly bat an eye. After all, what matters most isn't how many guys the band puts onstage, but what they sound like and this lineup sounds pretty good.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | March 14, 1996
If you plan on watching TV today, I hope you like basketball.NCAA Basketball Tournament (noon-5 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.-12: 30 a.m. depending, of course, on how long the games actually last, WJZ, Channel 13) Ten hours of basketball today, and this is only the beginning. Hope you got your office pool entry filled out in time. CBS."The Montel Williams Show" (Part 1, 3 p.m.-4 p.m., Part 2, 3 p.m.-4 p.m. tomorrow, WRC, Channel 4; Part 2, 4 p.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow, WMAR, Channel 2) This two-part look at children kidnapped by their parents includes Baltimorean Barbara McDonald, whose 14-month-old daughter was kidnapped by the girl's father, who then kept her hidden from the authorities for 14 years.
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By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | September 17, 1995
It's all ABBA's fault.For some reason, whenever Americans put the words "Swedish" and "rock" together, all they can come up with is ABBA. Never mind that Ace of Base and Roxette have long since topped ABBA's success record; as far as most Americans are concerned, half the people in Stockholm still wander the streets singing "Fernando."So maybe we ought to put a couple of misconceptions to rest for good. First, Swedes are not totally ABBA-crazed. On a recent visit to Sweden, the only evidence I saw of lingering ABBA-mania came on a TV show called "Smastjarnona" ("The Little Stars")
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By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer | April 17, 1995
Medical reality and medical melodrama are part of a rich Monday mix that includes a not-so-instant replay of "Baseball," a new TV movie and the bloody conclusion of "Texas."* "Profiles in Survival" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Actress Susan Anton narrates this American Cancer Society special, which profiles four cancer survivors -- and the discrimination in employment and health care that some recovering patients face. The show includes a cancer risk quiz, and NewsChannel 2 contributes two short spots to localize the story.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | December 14, 1994
How many shows must a man knock down before he can call one a joy? The answer, my friend, is on MTV, where a special "Unplugged" with Bob Dylan is the night's tastiest treat.* "Beverly Hills, 90210" (8-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Tough times at "90210": First it was Shannen Doherty as Brenda who got fired, and now it's Jennie Garth's Kelly. In this case, it's not the actress who gets fired, but the character: Kelly was caught in a burning building. Fox.* "Bob Hope's Christmas Show: Hopes for the Holidays" (9-10 p.m., Channel 2)
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | December 14, 1994
How many shows must a man knock down before he can call one a joy? The answer, my friend, is on MTV, where a special "Unplugged" with Bob Dylan is the night's tastiest treat.* "Beverly Hills, 90210" (8-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Tough times at "90210": First it was Shannen Doherty as Brenda who got fired, and now it's Jennie Garth's Kelly. In this case, it's not the actress who gets fired, but the character: Kelly was caught in a burning building. Fox.* "Bob Hope's Christmas Show: Hopes for the Holidays" (9-10 p.m., Channel 2)
FEATURES
By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer | April 17, 1995
Medical reality and medical melodrama are part of a rich Monday mix that includes a not-so-instant replay of "Baseball," a new TV movie and the bloody conclusion of "Texas."* "Profiles in Survival" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Actress Susan Anton narrates this American Cancer Society special, which profiles four cancer survivors -- and the discrimination in employment and health care that some recovering patients face. The show includes a cancer risk quiz, and NewsChannel 2 contributes two short spots to localize the story.
FEATURES
By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | December 14, 1994
When Bob Dylan went electric to play the Newport Folk Festival back in 1965, people were shocked. Playing electric guitar was a big deal for an old folkie like Dylan; not only did it fly in the face of what the purists deemed a legitimate use of tradition, but it seemed to define Dylan less as a folk singer than as a rock and roller. For Dylan, plugging in was definitely an important move.Going unplugged, on the other hand, seems no big deal. Dylan's last two albums of new material, "Good as I Been to You" and "World Gone Wrong," were made without electric guitars, and he even did an acoustic set at Woodstock.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | November 11, 1994
WOODSTOCK '94Various Artists (A&M 31454 0289)Now that the mud has dried and the hype has finally died down, perhaps it's time to ask whether Woodstock '94 really was the major musical event its promoters promised. Certainly in terms of marquee value, the double-CD set "Woodstock '94" delivers an impressive array of talent, from Joe Cocker to Cypress Hill and Blind Melon to Metallica. In terms of quality, however, the set isn't quite the bargain it seems. It isn't that the music is bad, just that so little of it is great.
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