Whoah, Hype!

Whenever the Mighty Music Machine churns out someone new, there are always the inevitable comparisons to people who've come before. But the Dreamworks Records press release touting singer Nelly Furtado's debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, struck LowBallAssChatter as being just a tad overwrought with the name-droppings. Observe: “[Furtado sounds like] Macy Gray, Gwen Stefani and TLC's T-Boz rolled into one” (Spin Magazine); “Sounds like: Macy Gray, Gwen Stefani and Fiona Apple—all rolled into one” (Seventeen); “Like what you've come to expect from people like Macy Gray or Fiona Apple. If somehow you could combine those two, you'd come up with Nelly Furtado” (Wakeboarding Magazine); “Has a taste for TLC and Janet Jackson” (Philadelphia Inquirer); “Vocals and lyrics that evoke Tori Amos' personal mysticism, Gwen Stefani's shiny earnestness and the freely associative wordplay of the Beat poets” (Elle); “The thinking woman's Christina Aguilera” (Entertainment Weekly); and “Offbeat harmonies that sound like Bjrk meets Macy Gray” (Interview). Whew! Well, after a quick spin around the LowBall boom box, we have to say we were decidedly underwhelmed by Furtado's rather flaccid tuneage—but damn, did we come away with a serious craving for some Macy Gray! (Rich Kane)

PARENTS OF THE YEAR Carrie and John Davis sure loved practicing those old-time conservative family values. Like following a strict, religious way of life. Really, really strict. So strict that the couple was arrested two weeks ago and charged with torture, false imprisonment and child cruelty for offenses committed against their two sons, Yahweh Lord and Angel Lord—as if those names weren't cruelty enough. Investigators say the Davises, who lived on a 10-acre, fenced, camouflaged compound in a remote part of San Bernardino County northeast of Twentynine Palms, regularly shackled their sons inside their bedroom with dog chains, locks and wire during Bible-study sessions; that both boys had whip marks on their backs; that both were so malnourished and underdeveloped that 17-year-old Yahweh looked more like a 10-year-old and 12-year-old Angel looked more like a 5-year-old; and that instead of being given baths, the Davises would take the boys outside and hose them down. Authorities have described this as the most severe case of child abuse in San Bernardino County history. What's this got to do with music? In a Los Angeles Times interview, mom-from-hell Carrie—who admitted to the shackling accounts—painted quite a different picture, telling a reporter that the family's lives were far happier than depicted in the press, with “evenings spent listening to . . . Journey.” And suddenly it all makes perfect sense. (RK)

CLARIFICATION In response to Alison M. Rosen's story about Wank in our fifth-anniversary issue (Sept. 8), founding member Danny Walker says Wank have not broken up, that he and guitarist Billie Stevens are still together, and “if you want to know what's up with Wank . . . I'm at bo*********@ea*******.net, and Billie Stevens is at wankabillie@

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