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Do-right woman: Candye Kane solidifies her career change.

Ear Candye

Gut-bucket blues from ex-porn star

Candye Kane The Toughest Girl Alive (Bullseye)

HERE'S AN antidote to all those squeaky-clean, teeny-voiced teen divas polluting the airwaves. Blues belter Candye Kane--a former topless model and onetime blue-movie queen--returns with her third album of sassy swing, gut-bucket blues, rollicking rockabilly, and fun-loving shtick from a stacked singer who has gone from teen mom to welfare mother to battered wife to fat girl to bisexual recording artist. Often naughty and bawdy, Kane strikes with a lot of charm. It would be a real mistake to write her off as a novelty act, though that might be the impression if you've ever seen her play piano with her breasts. Guests include Dave Alvin and Marcia Ball. Greg Cahill

Marah Kids in Philly (E-Squared/Artemis)

LATELY, traditional rock 'n' roll on indie labels has been an alternative to "alternative" mainstream major-label acts like Matchbox 20. On Kids in Philly, Marah do what the big pop-rock boys don't do: they concentrate on human- interest detail, they don't ham-fistedly overstate their seriousness, and they sound as though they're enjoying themselves. It's a busy, crowded sound, where elements like banjo and xylophone work as propulsion rather than accent--often scruffy, always exuberant. Imagine the Counting Crows as a Jersey bar band, or Bruce Springsteen's early "E-Street Shuffle" era as part of the current neo-folk Americana scene. Classic rock? How about classically yearning rock idealism? Karl Byrn

doubleDrive 1000 Yard Stare (MCA)

THERE'S MUCH more to the "nu-metal" of Korn and Limp Bizkit than mere rap-fusion. A separate musical identity lurks beneath the surface of their popular rap-metal angst, and doubleDrive crystallizes it. 1000 Yard Stare is as crisply focused and doggedly consuming as its title implies, mixing the speed of punk with the big bluesy riffs of Black Sabbath--and if that sounds like a formula for '80s thrash, the fresh magic spark is the reflective questioning of '90s alternative. Musically, they're a missing link between Pearl Jam and Iron Maiden--a link Metallica is still trying to find. K.B.

From the June 29-July 5, 2000 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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