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TUNES OF '93 IN TEN EASY STEPS SIR CHARLES, BARRY GOLDWATER AND DAVE FROM CIRCLE K WEIGH IN WITH THEIR FAVES

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9. Blind Melon. Weren't these guys Supertramp in another life?
10. The Introduction of the Minidisc. To introduce another format is fine, but if the powers that be are going to push for the obsolescence of the CD the way they did with vinyl, I'd just as soon wait until they invent a microchip that just snaps into my brain.

Dave From Circle K
You'll find him behind the counter with the radio on at the Ash and University location in Tempe. Days and nights. "In general, it was a pretty good year, kinda weird--I mean, from Tool to Melissa Etheridge," Dave says.

1. STP, "Push"
2. AC/DC, "Big Gun"
3. Ozzy Osbourne, "No More Tears"
4. Scorpions, "Alien Nation"
5. Gin Blossoms, "Found Out About You"
6. Alice in Chains, "In a Hole"
7. Spin Doctors, "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong"
8. Tool, "Sober"
9. Megadeth, "99 Ways to Die"
10. Melissa Etheridge, "The Only One"

David Koen, New Times contributor (hip-hop)
1. Digable Planets, Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space). What it sounds like to inhale the jazz vibes of Art Blakey and Sonny Rollins and exhale hip-hop as cool as Miles Davis or Chet Baker.

2. Dr. Dre, The Chronic. With this album and Doggystyle (see No. 4 on this list), Dre and his glossy gangsta shit are starting to rule hard-core funk in a way no one has since George Clinton and James Brown.

3. De La Soul, Buhloone Mind State. In a year in which many rappers would've been naked without their cartoonish sexism and violence, De La turned out to be the most dangerous hip-hop act of them all, its reckless eclecticism orbiting stylistic circles around the blunt-puffing, bitch-smacking masses.

4. Snoop Doggy Dogg, Doggystyle. Dre protg Snoop, a self-termed conceited bastard, has every right to be. His quietly cocky phrasing is the deftest delivery in hip-hop.

5. Guru, Guru's Jazzmatazz: Volume 1. Miles ahead of Doo Bop, thanks to solid performances from both the hip-hop and jazz sides. Not a perfect genre-blending, but the closest to date.

6. Brothers Grimm, demo tape. Scottsdale's Brothers have hit on a ridiculously catchy gangsta-pop vein that makes them, without a doubt, the funkiest thing to come out of the Valley since Dyke and the Blazers.

7. A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders. Refreshingly free of jazz, blunts, gats or any other trend, the Tribe's understated, blue-collar sound is almost most remarkable for what it isn't.

8. Various Artists, the Judgment Night soundtrack. With rockers and rappers blending seamlessly, musical miscegenation has rarely sounded more inspired.

9. Cypress Hill, Black Sunday. The combo of Muggs' agitated beats and B-Real's ugly nasal rhymes goes beyond just great hip-hop; it's great grunge that stands up to anything coming out of Seattle these days.

10. Monie Love, In a Word or 2. So what if the absence of monster singles buried this album? Gonads or no gonads, Monie's still got one of the most ruthless tongues on the planet.

Charles Barkley, Nike spokesman
These are Sir Charles' favorite artists of 1993, in no particular order. He is a busy man these days; nine is apparently all he had time to enjoy.

1. Toni Braxton
2. Shai
3. Silk
4. Michael Bolton
5. Bobby Brown
6. Mariah Carey
7. Joe
8. Levert
9. Brian McKnight
10. Aretha Franklin

Larry Crowley, New Times contributor (country music)
1. Marty Brown, Wild Kentucky Skies. In his follow-up to the spectral High and Dry, Brown proves again precisely what the words "gifted" and "underappreciated" mean. Wild Kentucky Skies is high-class hillbilly, beginning to end. 2. Iris DeMent, Infamous Angel. Songwriter DeMent's accent is a beguiling, Arkansas-Kansas City hybrid, and her delivery is more than a little reminiscent of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's. The result is a countrified folk fest of unique, netherlandish vocals and powerful storytelling. Rare and wonderful stuff.

3. Robert Earl Keen, A Bigger Piece of Sky. Guitarist-songsmith Keen's oft-eerie tales of young lives lived on the edge are always carefully crafted and muscularly delivered; this year's batch is even more so, especially as he growls through the disturbing "Blow You Away" and weaves the startling story "Jesse With the Long Hair . . ." 4. Evangeline, French Quarter Moon. This harmony-driven quartet from Cajun country blends blues, country, rock, zydeco and a soup can of front-pew church music into a most flavorful musical gumbo. The choirlike, go-to-meeting beauty of "Don't Cross That Bridge" and the wistful "Elvis of the Night," especially, go perfectly with a cold Hurricane and a warm honey.

5. Nanci Griffith, Other Voices/Other Rooms. Griffith's a celebrated songwriter, but here she offers more than an hour of tributes to a handful of her musical influences. Her high, tender vibrato renders great, sometimes forgotten tunes like Dylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather" (with Bob Z. on harmonica), John Prine's "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" (that's Prine's gutsy harmony there) and Janis Ian's "This Old Town" (with Bla Fleck providing inspired banjo) fresh and fragrant. Oh, my.

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