Rock News Two: The week in pop

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International


After months of vituperation, Justin Timberlake finally admits former lover Britney Spears broke his heart in a cover interview for the February issue of Vibe. Timberlake, hyping his new album, "Justified," talked about the betrayal theme in his new video for the single "Cry Me a River." The video depicts the ostensibly scorned 'N Sync frontman video taping a dalliance with a comely brunette; a little high tech help to enact revenge on a live-in lover who's apparently two-timing. The "live-in lover" in the video is played by a blonde Britney Spears look-alike. So is this how Justin and Britney unraveled? "Britney's a fire sign, a Sagittarius, they do things on a whim," Timberlake told Vibe. He went on to admit his relationship with Spears overwhelmed his sensibilities. "I feel I became so consumed with her that I didn't see some things that I should have seen. I don't feel like I'm saying too much by saying she knows why this happened," he said. Using his heartbreak as inspiration, making "Justified" was therapeutic for Timberlake. "I can't honestly say I've gotten used to it, 'cause the nights are crazy," he admitted. "I've cried myself to sleep looking at the ceiling, missing what we had." Timberlake found another shoulder to cry on in a Rolling Stone interview. "I may not ever get over her," Timberlake whined to Rolling Stone. "I do have to come to the realization that I might never (recover). But I still love her. I really do still love that girl."



The New York Post reports Britney Spears has been on a colossal bender that has friends worried about her well-being. "She has gone out every single night since she said she was taking a break six months ago," the Post quotes a source as saying. "She's always at clubs drinking and dancing." Though Spears' own New York nightspot, Nyla, closed its doors, the Post reports she has been seen frequenting Lotus, Spa, Bungalow 8, Suite 16 and Suede "on a regular basis." The Page Six item went on to detail a Spears appearance at Bungalow 8 when she started a fight. "She had been flirting and drinking with one guy," said the Post source, "and then got up and did a wild dance with another. The two guys tried to duke it out."


Soul music diva Diana Ross was charged with three counts of driving while under the influence of alcohol in Arizona Monday, Tucson police confirm. Ross, 58, was stopped by cops after a witness noticed the white car she was driving swerving erratically on the road. Acting on the tip, cops stopped the former Motown star and gave her a breath test, which showed her blood-alcohol level to be .20, more than twice the legal limit, police said. The former Supremes lead singer was alone in the car. Police wrote her up on three counts, all misdemeanors, then drove her to the area location where she was staying. Ross is scheduled to face charges in municipal court Jan. 13.



Last Sept. 5, Congress passed a resolution declaring 2003 the "Year of the Blues." The resolution "requests that the president issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe the 'Year of the Blues' with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational programs." Scheduled to commence Feb. 1, the "Year of the Blues" also honors the centennial anniversary of W.C. Handy's first exposure to the blues, recounted in the resolution as "in a train station in Mississippi, thus enabling him to compose the first blues music to distribute throughout the United States, which led him to being named 'Father of the Blues'."


Guitarist Warren Haynes and drummer Matt Abts celebrated the memory of their late partner, bassist Allen Woody, with two spectacular nights of music at New York's Beacon theater. Haynes, who also is featured in the Allman Brothers Band, is one of the greatest guitar players on the planet and he was in superb form on opening night. Set one opened with the blues classic "If I had Possession Over Judgement Day" and included "Gameface," "No Need To Suffer," "Driving Rain," "Maggotbrain," "Doing it to Death," "Higher Ground," "World of Confusion" and "The Same Price." The first set ended with a cover of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man." Set two really took off with the addition of George Porter Jr. on bass. The band smoked through "Rockin Horse," "Fallen Down," a medley of "Sailing Shoes" into "Spanish Moon" into "Cissy Strut" back into "Spanish Moon," "Hotntot," "ScoMule" featuring Jon Scofield, "Fools Moon" and "Sometimes Salvation." For the encore Mule did "30 Days in The Hole."



At one point during Kenny Chesney's New Year's Eve show in Nashville he actually stopped singing because the audience was louder than he was. "These songs have built me a life," he said afterward. "And the idea that you can stand on a stage where you'd just seen the Rolling Stones play all those songs that were part of my growin' up -- then sing your songs to people and they know them that same way ... you know, to where you can just stop and they'll carry you along, well, that's heavy in a way I've only recently had someone point out to me." The show marked the retirement from Chesney's set of the cover of the Georgia Satellites' rock anthem, "Keep Your Hands To Yourself." As the band leaned into the signature guitar lick, a T-shirt and blue jean clad figure bounded out of the wings and Chesney announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, from the Georgia Satellites, Dan Baird." The two then proceeded to tear it apart, trading verses, lines in the chorus and some blistering guitar solos.


Jam band Deep Banana Blackout has called it quits. Tuesday's show at Toad's Place in New Haven will be the band's last performance for a while. Guitarist James Sangiovanni, bassist Benj LeFevre, drummer Eric Kalb and percussionist Johnny Durkin are the remaining charter members of the group, which started in 1995. The rest of the current lineup includes Cyrus Madan on keyboards, Rob Somerville on percussion, Bryan Smith on trombone and Hope Clayburn on sax and vocals. "For a little while, especially the past year, we found ourselves drifting apart a little bit," Sangiovanni said. "We weren't working intensely toward a common goal. People got burned out of the routine of it." Smith and Clayburn have found themselves much in demand sitting in with other jam bands in need of a horn section.



Sonic Youth has readied a reissue of its 1992 classic "Dirty" as a two-CD set with lots of additional material, scheduled for release March 4. The package features 11 previously unreleased rehearsals and demos and several b-sides. New liner notes include essays by Sonic Youth guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo. The new material includes "Stalker" (from the double-vinyl version of the album), and rehearsal recordings of "Little Jammy Thing," "Stalker," "Youth Against Facism," and "Wish Fulfillment." Eight of the rehearsal songs have never been released: "Barracuda," "Dreamfinger," "New White Cross," "Guido," "Moonface," "Poet in the Pit," "Theoretical Chaos" and "Lite Damage." B-sides include "Genetic," "Hendrix Necro," "The Destroyed Room," "Is It My Body," "Personality Crisis," "The End of the End of the Ugly" and "Tamra."


The second annual DIY Music Festival will be held Thursday, Feb. 6 at the famed Derby nightclub in Hollywood, Calif. The live music event, which teams top independent talent with nationally recognized acts, serves as the kickoff party for the 2003 DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music and Books, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the American Film Institute. The DIY Convention offers panels and workshops on creating, promoting, protecting and distributing independent film, music and books. Last year, the DIY Music Festival's national acts included Smithereens leader Pat DiNizio, songwriter Steve Wynn, Triple X recording artists the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs and acclaimed guitarist Steve Conte. They joined DIY Album of the Year artist Susan Robkin, Songwriter of the Year winner Holly Light, and Song of the Year scribe Tom Freund for a memorable evening of DIY music. Submissions to the 2003 DIY Music Festival must have been released after Jan. 1, 2001, and created using recording equipment and other tools generally available to anyone. Submissions will be judged by a panel of music industry professionals using the following criteria: 1) The sophistication and potential of the music to reach a larger audience; and 2) The unique use of DIY resources to create a compelling music experience. Deadline for entry to the 2003 DIY Music Festival is Jan. 25. Winning entries will be invited to participate at the live showcase at the Derby and will receive a selection of prizes from sponsors. Entry forms are available online at Individuals entering the contest will be admitted free to the 2003 DIY Convention and Film Festival (



Eminem may have sold more than twice as many records as anyone else in 2002, but it wasn't because he was getting all the airplay. In fact, no Eminem tune made the top 10 most played list, according to data from the Nielsen Broadcast System released by The most played song was Nickelback's "How You Remind Me," which was played 421,770 times. Puddle of Mudd's "Blurry" was second, followed by Linkin Park's "In the End," Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle," The Calling with "Wherever You Go," Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles," Avril Lavingne's "Complicated" and Ashanti's "Foolish." Rapper Nelly had both the ninth and tenth most-played tracks, "Dilemma" and "Hot in Herre."


South Rampart Street in New Orleans is one of the most important thoroughfares in the history of American music. There is no street in the country with more structures significant to the history of American music than the 400 block of South Rampart Street. This is the street that gave birth to Ragtime and Jazz and featured the greatest blues players of the early 20th century. The New Orleans Music Hall of Fame is looking for help preserving and restoring the world famous Eagle Saloon, Iroquois Theatre and Karnofsky Store on South Rampart where Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Kid Ory, Bunk Johnson, John Robichaux and others performed and exercised their musical genius. The Hall of Fame is offering to engrave your name on a brick on the oldest and most significant street in exchange for a donation. If you would like to become a part of the Rampart Street Jazz Renaissance Project, call the New Orleans Music Hall of Fame Inc., a not-for-profit organization, at (504) 866-1702.



Thee Midniters, widely regarded as the pre-eminent Latino rock band during the 1960s, will release a hits package, "Greatest" (Thump/Universal Music) Jan. 28. Thee Midniters scored national hits with "Land Of A Thousand Dances" (1965); the cruising anthem "Whittier Blvd."; ballads "That's All" and "Dreaming Casually"; barrio favorites "Sad Girl," "The Town I Live In" and "It'll Never Be Over For Me"; and garage rock classics "Love Special Delivery" and "Jump, Jive And Harmonize." Thee Midniters shifted effortlessly between soul/R and B, garage rock, pop ballads, Latin jazz and psychedelia. They are widely hailed as pioneers of L.A.'s eclectic Mexican-American rock heritage -- a direct link to future East L.A. heroes Los Lobos. A key ingredient to Thee Midniters' sound was the powerful vocal style of Little Willie G., who is still active. In 2000, Little Willie G.'s solo album on Hightone Records, "Make Up for the Lost Time," was produced by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.


On "Belive," the second gospel-flavored album from master New Orleans vocalist, pop star and Grammy winner Aaron Neville, classic gospel favorites share the spotlight with beloved folk/funk/pop tunes and original melodies, all imparted with Neville's deep connection to the inspired music he grew up loving. "Believe," the follow-up to Neville's first gospel recording, 2000's Grammy-nominated "Devotion," bristles with heartfelt emotion and Neville's trademark vocals. The album is scheduled for release on Neville's own Tell It Records, through EMI Gospel, Jan. 28. Co-produced with Barry Beckett, who worked with Bob Dylan on his 1979 gospel-laced "Slow Train Comin'," the album's mood is upbeat. Included are Neville's glorious version of "Amazing Grace" and "Ave Maria," and his soulful versions of Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" and Sam Cooke's "Change Gonna Come."



Master P lost $105,000 for sampling a grandma's phone message about pot for one of his productions. The Louisiana-based impresario, whose Cash Money label is a multi-million dollar business, lost a suit filed by 80-year-old Geneva Burger of Pomona, Calif. Master P used a sampled recording made by Burger on a phone conversation from 1997 as part of "Sky's the Limit," an album by Magic. "When people get hooked on pot," Burger asked, "can they get sick if they don't get it?" When Burger heard her voice on the album, she slapped Master P with the lawsuit, claiming to have suffered anxiety when she heard her voice on a "crude gangsta rap CD." Superior Court Judge R. Bruce Minto awarded punitive damages to Burger in the form of $105,000.


Ozzy Osbourne told his listening habits are a lot less heavy metal and a lot more classic rock. "The Beatles are my favorite thing," confessed his Oz-ness. "I like the older stuff when I was younger, like Zeppelin, the Beatles, McCartney, Lennon albums. Early Bowie albums like 'Ziggy Stardust.' My heroes are dying off now. George Harrison recently died, which was tragic... I'm listening to Paul McCartney's new album right now."



Chicago blues guitar superstar Buddy Guy was spotted enjoying the tunes on Bourbon Street in New Orleans last weekend. He spent most of Saturday night at the Funky Pirate, first listening to the Swamp Tones, then digging the always awesome Big Al Carson doing his down and dirty blues set. Guy later made it down the Frenchmen Street for the late night hang, digging Joe "Survival" Caruso and the Big Bossmen at the Spotted Cat. Guy was rumored to be scouting Big Easy blues talent for a State Department tour.

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