Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  Oct. 21, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Bruce Springsteen's new video, "Lonesome Day," the first video from "The Rising," is scheduled to be aired this week on MTV, MTV2 and VH-1. The video, directed by Mark Pellington, features a new live vocal track. "Lonesome Day" was shot in and around Asbury Park, N.J., by Pellington, known for his work with Pearl Jam ("Jeremy"), U2 ("One") and Nine Inch Nails ("We're in This Together"), as well as the films "Arlington Road" and "The Mothman Prophecies."

During each take, Springsteen performed the vocals live on camera, which "The Rising" producer Brendan O'Brien edited and mastered for the final cut of the video. "The most striking thing about making this video was the fact that Bruce sang every take live, nailing the vocal take after take, each time," said Pellington. "The final take came 16 hours after the first one, and he never missed a note."


Former Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten is releasing a new album Tuesday, "88 Keys to Tomorrow," on Gaff Music. Constanten played with the Dead during its most adventuresome period, appearing on such classic Dead albums as "Grateful Dead," "Anthem of the Sun," "Aoxomoxoa" and "Live Dead." Since leaving the Dead he's been involved in many projects, both solo and with others. Among the most prominent of these is the experimental duo Dose Hermanos with Grateful Dead sound-shaper Bob Bralove. "88 Keys To Tomorrow" combines elements of classical, stride and avant-garde piano styles.


RebbeSoul is set to release "Change The World With A Sound" on 33rd Street Records in plenty of time for Hanukkah, which begins Nov. 29. RebbeSoul just returned home to Oakland, Calif., from performing in Israel as part of a concert tour of villages racked by terrorist bombings. "Change the World..." is progressive rock and world music, with a funky Middle Eastern groove, based on traditional Jewish melodies.


Continuing their annual tradition of unpredictable New York Halloween performances, Medeski Martin and Wood will once again play in their home city -- this time at the Hammerstein Ballroom -- on Thursday, Oct. 31. The show marks the band's first major New York City appearance since the release of their 10th studio album, "Uninvisible." DJ Spooky's Optometry Project and Smokey Hormel (Tom Waits, Beck) and Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto, Gorillaz) will open the show.


New Orleans-based Near Life Experience has a new album out, "Day Of Silver Sun" on the independent New Orleans label NoiseLab Records. Group leader Steve Blaze, who plays guitar and sings, also is the leader of Lillian Axe. Despite his diverse track record, Blaze's latest endeavor has a modern rock sound, albeit one harboring tendencies toward the underground with punk, doom and aggressive components.

"We wanted to make amazing, powerful, dark music that would move mountains," said Blaze. "When I listen to what friends and other people say, I hear Kiss, Queens Of The Stone Age with a touch of Tool, Type O Negative and Black Sabbath. The music is very emotional and its main characteristic is the melodic vocal style."

Near Life Experience was formed in 1995 by Steve and his brother, drummer Craig Nunemacher (notable for his work with Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society and Crowbar). Although Craig moved on, Blaze pushed forward with guitarist Sam Poitevent, bassist Paul Starnes and drummer Dennis Papaleo.

"I think when we first started out, I had so much of this deep, dark emotion in me," Blaze said. "I guess the melancholy side of my personality only seems to come forth whenever I get creative. I just think there's a heavier, more mysterious, ethereal kind of feel to the new album."

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