Rock News Two: The week in pop

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International
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Shaggy, Soulive and Elvis Costello have been added to the who's who of support acts opening for the Rolling Stones on the "Licks" tour, which kicks off in Boston on Tuesday. Shaggy is set for a pair of October dates in Florida. Costello will open Oct. 14 date in Cleveland. Both Dr. John and Shemekia Copeland will open a Sept. 16 show at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom. "I've been talking about wanting to open for the Stones for years, and now it's going to happen. I can't wait," said Copeland, a rising star whose new album, the Dr. John-produced "Talking To Strangers" on the Chicago-based Alligator records, is destined to be one of the top albums of the year. Other previously announced openers include No Doubt, the Strokes, Jonny Lang, Sheryl Crow, and the Pretenders, who will be play eight of the first 11 shows. Other opening acts are yet to be confirmed. Virgin records is releasing a 40-song, two disc retrospective package to coincide with the tour.



Fans of Widespread Panic, the popular Athens, Ga.,-based band that helped institutionalize the jam-band movement, have been mourning the passing of founding member and lead guitarist Michael Houser, who died Aug. 10 of pancreatic cancer at age 40. The band has determined to continue on, according to Houser's wishes, and has announced it will perform three Halloween shows at New Orleans' Lakefront Arena on Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. As a living memorial to Houser and his love of music, the family requests contributions in his memory be made to The Michael Houser Music Fund. Houser and his family have been deeply involved with Athens Academy and the fund will help ensure the school will be able to provide children with the opportunities to discover the wonder of music. Memorials may be sent to: The Michael Houser Music Fund; Athens Academy; P.O. Box 6548; Athens, GA 30604.


In anticipation of reuniting Phish on New Year's Eve, guitarist Trey Anastasio has scheduled a nine-show mini tour for his solo band in the fall. The tour starts with an Oct. 22 benefit in Anastasio's Burlington, Vt., hometown. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Burlington City Arts. The jaunt will wrap up Nov. 2 at the Pompano Beach, Fla., Amphitheatre. Anastasio is touring in support of his self-titled Elektra solo debut. In between solo gigs he plans to attend Phish rehearsals. According to Anastasio's Web site, "Given the busy schedules of many of the players in Trey's band, these shows will likely be the last time this particular group of musicians tours together."



The on-again, off-again attempt by 'N Sync member Lance Bass to become the first rock musician in space has been given a tentative green light once again. Bass began a week of training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston alongside astronauts from Russia and Belgium in his bid to visit the International Space Station as a passenger on a Russian rocket. After training is completed, terms for the $20 million space ticket still must be worked out with the Russians. The Soyuz crew, with or without Bass, is set to lift off from Kazakhstan Oct. 28.


Crossover superstar Marc Anthony and Carlos Vives will both perform at the third annual Latin Grammy Awards during the live broadcast of the event Sept. 18 on CBS. Gloria Estefan and Jimmy Smits are the co-hosts. Top names among presenters are Jon Secada, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, and actress Daisy Fuentes. It could turn out to be a night to remember for Vives, who is nominated for six awards. Queen of salsa Celia Cruz was nominated for four awards. Miguel Bose, Emilio Estefan, Juanes, Gian Marco, and Alejandro Sanz each received three nominations.



A previously unreleased piece by Woody Guthrie will appear on singer-songwriter Ellis Paul's new album, "The Speed of Trees," scheduled for a Sept. 10 release on Philo/Rounder records. "God's Promise" is a newly discovered Guthrie lyric adapted by Guthrie in 1955 from a popular hymn called "What God Hath Promised," by Annie Johnson Flint (1919). At the invitation of Guthrie's daughter, Nora Guthrie, Ellis set "God's Promise" to music. On "The Speed of Trees" Paul collaborated with guitarist Duke Levine and included special guest performances by Lucy Kaplansky and Jennifer Kimball. The rest of this Boston-area band consists of Kevin Barry joining Levine on guitars, Paul Bryan on bass, John Sands on drums and Tommy West on Hammond B-3 organ. Over the past 10 years, Paul has received numerous accolades. In his hometown of Boston he is a 12-time Boston Music Award winner -- topped only by Aerosmith. He's appeared on soundtracks with songs in two Farrelly Brothers films, "Dumb and Dumber," and "There's Something About Mary." Filmmaker Peter Farrelly calls Paul "a national treasure" and has become one of his biggest fans. Beginning Sept. 7, Paul will kick off a nationwide tour to support the release of "The Speed of Trees."



The Who will continue to market the John Entwistle tribute tour even now that it's over. Each show of the tour, which went on despite charter member Entwistle's death on the eve of the first night, is being sold by the band over the Internet. Beginning with the Detroit show, and are selling exclusive live recordings on disc of shows from the 2002 Who tour of North America. The shows were recorded and mixed live from the sound board. Profits from the sale will go to as-yet unspecified "young peoples' charities" supported by The Who.


Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams of 3LW are denying claims by former band member Naturi Naughton she was forced out of the group. "We've been disappointed by the comments Naturi has made on radio and most recently on MTV's TRL," Bailon said in a statement released by the group's label, Epic Records. "Like most girlfriends, we've had our share of differences. However, at no time was Naturi subjected to any physical abuse. We totally deny claims made against us," Williams said. "I know this sounds like a juicy story to people, but it's really disappointing to see that there are those who have judged the situation before even hearing our point of view." 3LW will continue the current promotional tour in support of the upcoming album "A Girl Can Mack." The album is due in stores October 2002 and features songs produced by P. Diddy and Mario Winans, Montell Jordan and Lil Steve Russell, as well as appearances by Treach of Naughty by Nature, Loon and Lil Kim.



Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame is set to release his third solo album, "The Ragpicker's Dream." The album, produced by Knopfler and Chick Ainlay, is scheduled to come out on Warner Bros. records Oct. 1. Knopfler's band on the album is made up of keyboardists Guy Fletcher and Jim Cox, guitarist Richard Bennett, bassist Glenn Worf and drummer Chad Cromwell. "The record has a kind of an acoustic feel," Knopfler said. "I find myself writing about work, ordinary people and what they do, changes to places over time, and songs about leaving. I've always been interested in the fact that music travels so it's a sort of transcontinental blues... The music has traveled to the States and come back again -- Irish songs, Scottish songs, English songs, and European songs, too." Knopfler plans to tour in support of the album in the spring of 2003.


Dweezil Zappa has decided to put a guitar twice set on fire by Jimi Hendrix on auction next month. The guitar, a Sunburst Stratocaster that Hendrix doused with lighter fluid and lit up during a 1967 London show, then again in 1968 at the Miami Pop Festival, is expected to draw $600,000 when London auctioneers Cooper Owen put it up for sale. Hendrix gave the guitar to Zappa's father Frank, whose band, The Mothers of Invention, also played at the Miami festival. The younger Zappa found the guitar in pieces under a stairway in his dad's Los Angeles studio, and put it back together.



Nonesuch Records is launching the complete re-release of its landmark Explorer Series. The original series--issued on vinyl between 1967 and 1984 -- was a turning point for what later became known as world music. While a few of these recordings were reissued on compact disc over the years, this is the first time the entire series -- 92 recordings in all -- will be released on CD. "Africa: Music from the Nonesuch Explorer Series" contains 13 titles collected from the series. The 13 titles reissued Aug. 27 included "Drum, Chant and Instrumental Music," "Witchcraft and Ritual Music," "Animals of Africa: Sounds of the Jungle, Plain, and Bush," three mbira (thumb piano) recordings from the Shona people of Zimbabwe, and Hamza El Din's "The Water Wheel." A compilation CD will follow on Sept. 24. Nonesuch will issue the CDs grouped by global region, beginning with the African recordings. January 2003 will see the release of 10 titles from Indonesia and the South Pacific, including "Music from the Morning of the World." Subsequent releases over the next three years will group titles from Tibet/Kashmir, Latin America/Caribbean, East Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and India. The 13 African releases originally were issued between 1969 and 1983. The music comes from Ghana, Nubia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Uganda, Zaire, Kenya, and Tanzania. Western audiences heard many African instruments for the first time: the marimba of Tanzania and the dzil or Ghanian calabash-xylophone; Zimbabwe's mbira and Burundi's sanza, both thumb pianos; the talking drums of Niger and Burkina Faso, whose pitch is shifted through changing the tension of the drums' membranes; and dozens of other flutes, fiddles, horns, drums, musical bows, zithers, and lutes from across the continent.



The fifth annual Native American Awards, nicknamed the Nammys, will take place Sept. 7 at the Marcus Amphitheater in Milwaukee. Performers include Felipe Rose, the Indian from the Village People, Gary Small with Graham Lear of Santana, Micki Free of Shalamar, Jana, four-time nominee Martha Redbone, Primeaux and Mike and Bill Miller. Redbone and Paul LaRoche are each nominated for four awards. Free, Jim Boyd, Keith Secola -- with John Densmore of the Doors -- and Gary Small are all nominated for three awards. This year's Native Heart category features an impressive list of mainstream artists, including Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, and the late Joey Ramone. The music of this year's nominees includes a tribal dance remix of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and a pow wow version of "Who Let the Dogs Out."


Counting Crows and Macy Gray will headline this year's Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. The annual Halloween weekend rock festival is slated for Saturday, Nov. 2, which also is Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration. Set against the moss-draped Spanish oaks and eerie swamps of Voodoo Island, the Voodoo Festival includes 30 other artists soon to be announced. Over the last three years, Voodoo has had such international stars as Eminem, Stone Temple Pilots, Tool, Snoop Dogg, The Black Crowes, Bush, Live, John Mayer and Ben Harper.



Hard rockers Korn opens up a U.S. tour Oct. 8 in Manchester, N.H., scheduled to hit 35 cities over the course of nearly two months. The "Pop Sux!" tour also will feature Disturbed and Trust Company. "We're making it more about the band than the huge light shows and all that other stuff," said lead singer Jonathan Davis. "Overall, we like it a lot better." The band is making a limited number of tickets available at a $10 discount to fans younger than 20 years old at each stop on the tour. "We just think that right now, because the economy is so screwed, kids are getting it the worst," Davis said. "And we know that there aren't that many parents buying Korn tickets for kids right now, so we wanted to do something for our younger fans." The band is also issuing a VHS/DVD on the Chrome Dreams label, "Kornography: The Unauthorized Biography of Korn," Oct. 15 in the United States through Music Video Distributors.

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