Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International


Da Phazz, Rachid Taha, Miro, Angelique Kidjo, The Soft Boys, Transglobal Underground, Khaled, Sparklehorse, The Gotan Project, Manu Chao, The Feelies and Charles Aznevour are among the artists who will appear on the soundtrack to "The Truth About Charlie," scheduled for release Oct. 22 on Epic Records.


The impressive array of world music assembled on the album accompanies the Universal film, which is directed by Jonathan Demme. Music always has been central to the conception of Demme's films, and it plays a substantial role in setting the mood for "The Truth About Charlie."


Longtime sound engineer Jonny Sheehan and noted drummer Tom Kaelin have opened Blue Dot Studio, a recording facility in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood at 70 Washington St. The main engineer currently using the new Blue Dot Studio is noted multi-Platinum producer/engineer Dave Swanson, who has worked with Blues Traveler, Public Enemy and many others. Swanson names it among his favorite recording spots in New York City.


The high-ceilinged main room features fantastic light and views of lower Manhattan, as well as a vocal booth with wood panel frequency resonators. The high ceilings offer a drum sound that is rare to find in urban spaces. The control room features a vintage NEVE mixing console with highly regarded mic preamps, compressors and EQs that work together to create a warm tone. There is a Hi-Definition Pro Tools set up with the latest version of Pro Tools. The studio also has film soundtrack capabilities as they have the ability to mix in surround sound.

Since its soft opening in July, Blue Dot has hosted Blues Traveler's John Popper, Widespread Panic's Dave Schools, world music star Roykey and DJ Logic.


The members of Reel Big Fish escaped unscathed from their tour bus after it caught fire while parked at a truckstop, approximately 20 miles from Columbia, Mo., Saturday.

The six-piece band and three crew members were sleeping when the bus caught fire at a Kingdom City truck stop. The band's driver, Ron Millholland, ran in and woke them up after he detected smoke coming from the bus while returning from breakfast. Within moments of the escape the entire bus was engulfed in flames. The blaze, believed to be caused by a faulty generator, took 30 minutes to extinguish. Fortunately for the band the equipment was in a different vehicle and did not suffer damages. The band was able to make its scheduled date in Columbus that night.



Latin Grammy winning Aterciopelados have recorded three new songs, plus an enhanced version of the new track "Mi Vida Brilla" for "Evolución," an 18-track greatest hits collection due Nov. 5 on BMG U.S.

One of the first Rock en Español bands to emerge from Colombia, Aterciopelados' co-founders and primary songwriters Hector Buitrago (bass) and Andrea Echeverri (vocals) chose and sequenced the tracks for the album. "Evolución" presents an overview of Aterciopelados' career, showcasing Echeverri's poetic, socially conscious lyrics and Buitrago's knack for creating a musical melting pot of Latin rhythms, Colombian folk and electronica.

"Juégale, Apuéstale (Play The Game)," from a Latin Rock Queen tribute album, makes its first appearance on an Aterciopelados release, as do three new tracks: "Tanto Amor," "Mi Vida Brilla," an enhanced CD track with graphic animation, and "Florecita 2003" (Little Flower 2003), a remake of "Florecita Rockera" (Little Flower that Rocks), from the "El Dorado" album.


Rock vets Heart are set to release a 37-track, two CD hits collection entitled "The Essential Heart" on Legacy Records Nov. 26. The digitally remastered new collection links the essential highlights of Heart's two golden eras -- the mid-'70s period on Mushroom/Portrait/Epic, and the mid-'80s comeback on Capitol.


Disc one tracks include "Crazy On You," "Magic Man," "Dreamboat Annie," "Barracuda," "Little Queen," "Kick It Out," "Love Alive," "Heartless," "Straight On," "Dog and Butterfly," "Silver Wheels," "Even It Up," "Rock and Roll," "Tell It Like It Is," "Unchained Melody (live)," "This Man Is Mine" and "How Can I Refuse" and "Allies."

Disc two includes "What About Love?," "Never," "These Dreams," "Nothin' At All," "If Looks Could Kill," "Alone," "Who Will You Run To," "There's The Girl," "I Want You So Bad," "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," "Wild Child," "I Didn't Want to Need You," "Stranded," "Secret," "You're The Voice (live)," "Will You Be There (In The Morning), "Black On Black ll," "Ring Them Bells" and "The Road Home."

The album release will be co-promoted with a pay-per-view "Heart Concert Special," a 90-minute concert shot at the Paramount in Seattle on Aug. 8. The special features new performances of many of Heart's biggest hits as well as covers of a few of their favorite songs written by Led Zeppelin and Elton John.

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