Rock News Two: The week in pop

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  Oct. 5, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Gov't Mule, the B-52's, Bob Weir, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Blind Boys of Alabama, D.J. Logic, moe., Stanton Moore, Tom Tom Club, John Popper, Melvin Sparks and Derek Trucks were among the rock luminaries who performed Wednesday at the second annual Jammy awards. The show, held at New York's Roseland Ballroom, was much more about the music than the awards. "This ain't the Grammies," Robert Randolph shouted to the ecstatic audience at the end of his vibrant set. "This is the Jammys! Let's have a ball." Randolph's set epitomized the attitude of this unique awards show, which matches interesting sets of artists in improvisation. This particular segment began with the Blind Boys of Alabama singing their distinctive take on "Amazing Grace," done to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun." They were joined by Randolph, the innovative steel guitar player, who was in turn joined by Derek Trucks, finishing up the sequence with a wild take on the Jimi Hendrix classic "Third Stone From the Sun." The evening opened with bassist Rob Wasserman and D.J. Logic playing a duet. They were joined in progress by Rusted Root, then guitarist Melvin Sparks and harmonica virtuoso John Popper, who went on to emcee the show dressed in pajamas and a bathrobe. A moving moment took place midway through the show when the buzzing crowd grew silent for a brief tribute to the late Michael Houser, the lead guitarist for Widespread Panic, who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year.


The complete track listing for the late George Harrison's final album, "Brainwashed," due out Nov. 19, has been released. The former Beatle was working on the Dark Horse/EMI Recorded Music album prior to his death last November. The album will include 11 original Harrison songs as well as a cover of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." "Brainwashed" was produced by Harrison with his son Dhani and Jeff Lynne, and features musical contributions by those three as well as drummers Jim Keltner and Ray Cooper, keyboardists Mike Moran and Marc Mann, harpist Jane Lister, and pianist John Lord. "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" features pianist Jools Holland (Squeeze) plus guitarist Joe Brown and bassist/tuba player Herbie Flowers from his band. Harrison's final recorded song, "Horse to the Water" (a collaboration with Dhani), appeared on Holland's 2001 album "Small World Big Band." The first single from the album will be "Stuck Inside a Cloud." Here is the complete track listing for "Brainwashed": "Any Road," "Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night)," "Pisces Fish," "Looking for My Life," "Rising Sun," "Marwa Blues," "Stuck Inside a Cloud," "Run So Far," "Never Get Over You," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," "Rocking Chair in Hawaii" and "Brainwashed."


Singer/Songwriter Lane Brody, known for her work rescuing animals in distress, will hold her first Wildlife Benefit Concert Oct. 11 at Greer Stadium in Nashville. The Academy Award and Emmy-nominated Brody will perform with special guests in a three-hour concert event for the benefit of Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a non-profit animal care center in Davidson County that treats over 1,000 injured wildlife annually. Brody has rescued animals and worked in partnership with Walden's Puddle since its inception ten years ago. Billy Bob Thornton and adult contemporary artist Richard Marx are slated to headline the show. Additional artists on the bill include Steve Wariner, Thom Bresh, K.T. Oslin and Brad Martin with other artists to be announced. In addition to the live concert, a silent auction featuring various music memorabilia items will be held throughout the evening. All proceeds from the auction will benefit Walden's Puddle.


Filter lead singer Richard Patrick has checked into rehab, forcing the group to cancel its tour dates for the rest of the year. Filter was to headline the 11-city Rellim tour beginning this week in Minneapolis. Refunds for advance tickets will be available at point of purchase. "I want to apologize to all my friends and fans for having to cancel these upcoming shows, but right now I'm concerned about my health and want to get back into the best physical and mental condition to go back on the road next year," Patrick said in a statement. The group's third album, "The Amalgamut," was released July 30 on Reprise and has sold 90,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The single "Where Do We Go From Here" reached No. 11 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 12 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks survey.


Singer Toni Braxton is set to release her fifth studio album, "More Than a Woman," Nov. 19 on Arista Records. Retailers are hoping that Braxton's newest picks up where the 2000 hit "The Heat" left off. That album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally and has sold 2 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The first single from "More Than A Woman" will be Neptunes-produced "Hit the Freeway." Braxton also worked with producers Irv Gotti, Rodney Jerkins, and Chink Santana on the album. "This time around, we're going to give people something different, something that is not familiar," Braxton said. "Sometimes, artists can get confined by what they've done in the past. When people hear I'm working with the Neptunes, they're like 'I wonder what that will sound like?' I'm just being a part of my own generation -- and we grew up with rap and hip-hop as well as R&B!"


Britney Spears, on hiatus after a grueling tour that left her physically and emotionally exhausted, has been chilling out in Milan with Italian designer Donatella Versace. She was spotted in the front row at Versace's fashion show in Milan wearing a revealing dress designed by her host. "I think I may just go to Los Angeles and record a little bit," said Spears. "But other than that I just plan to hang out."


Reggae stars Freddie McGregor, The Mighty Diamonds, Gregory Isaacs, Max Romeo, John Holt, Toots Hibbert, Ken Boothe, Brent Dowe, Honey Boy, Alton Ellis, Jackie Robinson, Bob Andy, Winston Groovy and Leroy Sibbles are all collaborating with neo-reggae band UB40 on that band's newest album. UB40 are set to release "The Fathers of Reggae" Nov. 19 on Virgin Records. "The Fathers of Reggae" features 16 reggae luminaries working their way through personal band favorites. "Singers like John Holt, Ken Boothe, Toots and Gregory Isaacs... they're our gods... more than heroes," said Robin Campbell. "They could have just said 'no' and it wouldn't have surprised me in the slightest. But practically everybody jumped at the idea. What was really nice was, after we'd talked to a few people we started getting phone calls from other singers asking 'Why aren't I going to be on that album?' It was incredible." Once the project was agreed to, the album gained its own momentum. The band began by drawing up a long list of UB40 songs they wanted covered, all of them songs the band felt could be approached from a different angle. When the list of artists started to firm up, it became easier to decide what songs suited particular styles. "When I gave Freddie McGregor 'You're Always Pulling Me Down,' he loved it and just said 'That's my tune... that's my tune,'" Robin explained. "We were on tour when Ali spoke to John Holt and told him we wanted him to do 'The Pillow.' Straight away he started singing it on the phone!"


The Disco Biscuits have become antiwar activists. The popular electronic dance band will play an antiwar concert Oct. 24 in Washington D.C. They're calling it "The Primary Colors for Peace Concert" and it will be held at Nation. Although the band members have traditionally kept their political beliefs to themselves, they all agree on, and are in support of, peaceful resolutions to the current world crisis. Each member of The Disco Biscuits will be dressed in one of four colors (red, blue, yellow, or green) to signify their support for peace and their position against the prospect of a war with Iraq. Fans attending the concert are encouraged to choose a primary color for peace, and dress entirely in that color.


The record industry may owe you money for compact discs you purchased. Attorneys general in 41 states and three U.S. commonwealths have announced a $143 million settlement of price-fixing charges against the five major U.S. distributors and retailers Trans World Entertainment, Tower Records, and Musicland Stores. In an anti-trust lawsuit filed in August 2000 in federal court, the states charged the companies from 1995-2000 had conspired to inflate the price of CDs, costing consumers millions of dollars. The suit claimed the majors and retailers illegally used minimum advertised pricing policies to raise CD prices. Universal Music and Video Distribution, BMG Distribution, WEA and EMI Distribution issued statements saying they believe the policies were legal but that protracted litigation would be prohibitively expensive. Tower and Trans World also contend their innocence but say they, too, wished to avoid costly litigation. Sony Music Distribution and Musicland had no comment. The settling states will receive $67.38 million in cash to compensate consumers and pay settlement administration costs and attorneys' fees. In addition, 5.5 million CDs, valued at $75.7 million, will be distributed to public entities and nonprofit organizations in each state to benefit consumers and promote music programs.


The final agreement between the estate of Kurt Cobain, represented by his wife Courtney Love, and Universal records, the world's largest music company, was hammered out Monday, as Love had been predicting in recent interviews. Love, lead singer with the band Hole, is no longer contractually bound to release her music on Universal. In return she will allow the company to issue unreleased Nirvana material from her husband's archives and compilation albums of Nirvana songs.


Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl talks about his current band and Nirvana in the November issue of Spin magazine. "I guess, in a way, our band (the Foo Fighters) actually represents something, which I really didn't consider until a few years ago. I didn't think we meant much to anybody," Grohl told Spin. "From my point of view, I was in this band that people considered so important (Nirvana), and people thought it really made a difference, and it touched so many people's lives and changed the direction of popular culture. Now, that's not necessarily how I look at it, but a lot of people think about it that way. And it doesn't make sense to imagine that happening twice in your life. The Beatles were ... great but Wings didn't change the world. I can't believe I just made that comparison. That's so... pretentious." Grohl has been reluctant to talk about Nirvana, but he admitted in the interview that he thinks about the experience every day. "People think of Nirvana as this sad, brooding experience. But I don't. I have a lot of great memories. And at the same time, I've forgotten so much, just because it was so insane. I mean, I joined the band in September of 1990, and by April of '94, it was done. Try to remember everything that happened to you during college. You can't."


Enya's unique take on New Age music will get its first American box set treatment Nov. 12 on Reprise Records. The four-disc package "Only Time -- The Collection," includes her most popular tunes as well as tracks previously unavailable in the United States, with bonus video footage on the enhanced fourth CD. The velvet and gold-foil packaging is designed to enhance its appeal as a holiday gift. The 50 tracks span Enya's career from her 1987 debut album, "The Celts," through 2000's "A Day Without Rain." Included are the hits "Orinoco Flow," "Book Of Days," "May It Be" (from "The Lord Of The Rings"), and "Only Time," featured prominently by CNN during its Sept. 11 coverage.


American music legend Delbert McClinton hit the Billboard charts with "Room To Breath" as the No. 1 Blues Album as well as charting on the Pop Albums (Top 200), Country Albums, Independent Albums and Internet Albums lists. The Grammy-winning McClinton entered the Top 200 at No. 84, the Country Album Chart at No. 12, the Independent Album chart as No. 4 and the Internet Album Chart as No. 5. McClinton appeared on "Imus In The Morning" on New York radio and nationally on MSNBC-TV on the album's Sept. 24 street date. He will return to New York, appear on "Good Day New York" Oct. 11, Imus again Oct. 12, and will headline a two-nighter at B.B. King's Oct. 11-12. Delbert will spend the rest of 2002 touring the United States and will embark on the ninth annual Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches Cruise -- -- Jan. 11-18, 2003, flanked with a ship full of American music legends and fans.


Southern rock pioneers Lynyrd Skynyrd will release a greatest hits package Oct. 8 on CMC International Records, "Turn It Up!" It gathers 12 songs from the five studio albums Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded between 1991 and 1999 for the Atlantic, Capricorn and CMC International record labels. Despite several personnel and business changes during this time, the strength of the music never wavered. The core musicians highlighted include vocalist Johnny Van Zant; guitarists Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke, Hughie Thomasson, Ed King and Randall Hall; keyboardist Billy Powell; bass guitarist Leon Wilkeson, who passed away in 2001; drummers Artimus Pyle, Custer, Owen Hale and Kenny Aronoff; and background vocalists Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase. "Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991" was the first studio album for the reformed Jacksonville, Fla., band, which first got together in 1987 for the Tribute Tour commemorating the 10th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and background vocalist Cassie Gaines, among others.


Madonna is thinking of having another child, according to "Access Hollywood." "I don't know if it is going to happen," said the 44-year-old mother of two, "but I have thought about it." Madonna also told "Access Hollywood" what her current idea of a good time is: "Eating a yummy macrobiotic meal, watching a Japanese samurai film and then reading the Zohar." One thing the Material Girl no longer does is read her own press. "There's a lot of stuff in it that isn't positive," she said. "Even though you know it's not true, you read it and you just think, 'Why are people so mean?'"

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