MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S RAVE
"A Midsummer Night's Rave" debuted Sunday night at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The film is a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" set in a rave two years in the future. A group of friends share an adventure fueled by pounding beats, a magical Puck and his glowing pills, and a hot pursuit of some stolen drug money. A few well-wishing fairies, an unexpected turn of events and some changes of heart lead this entourage through one unforgettable night. The film was produced and directed by Gil Cates Jr. and features performances by Andrew Keegan, Lauren German, Corey Pearson, Sunny Mabrey, Chad Lindberg and more. The film will screen two more times during the SXSW Film Festival, Wednesday at the Alamo and Saturday at the Millennium.
MOUNTAIN CLASSICS REISSUED
Mountain thundered onto the music scene in 1969 and laid the foundation for the future of hard rock and heavy metal. Columbia/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music, is releasing three of the groups classic albums, 1970's "Climbing!" and 1971's "Nantucket Sleighride" and "The Best of Mountain." All of these Mountain reissues feature bonus tracks, state-of-the-art remastered sound and detailed liner notes, including essays by West and Laing.
"I'm very happy with these reissues. They show what Mountain is all about," West says. "When we started, people thought we were an English band because of (bassist) Felix Pappalardi's work with Cream. We built a strong following in New York and were known more as a live band rather than a recording band. But we did make great records."
"We considered ourselves the quintessential heavy-rock New York band," drummer Corky Laing says. "Since we were from the concrete jungle, we'd be considered concrete blues -- a hard rock/blues band. And we were very well-received in New York. (The Who drummer) Keith Moon used to tell me he was always nervous about performing in New York, but for us playing a place like the Fillmore East was like playing in our own living room."
'BEHIND THE MUSIC THAT SUCKS'
"Behind the Music That Sucks" appears to be on a fast track to success. The industry is buzzing over this tongue-in-cheek takeoff on VH1's tendentious "Behind the Music" series. "Behind the Music that Sucks" follows the rags-to riches-to rags-to-redemption arcs in the careers of pop music notables. This high-octane, no-holds-barred parody spins sardonic comedy with career miscalculations while profiling the ups-and-downs of six stars in each episode, versus VH-1's one star/per episode formula.
The first episode of the weekly series profiled the career victories and scandals of Eminem, Dr. Dre, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Britney Spears and Bon Jovi. Forthcoming episodes will generate laughs from the dubious achievements of urban music greats Puff Daddy, Sisqo and Bloodhound Gang, rap-rockers Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit, pop divas Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, metal madmen Kiss and Van Halen, jam band Phish and actors-turned-singers David Hasselhoff and William Shatner.
"Musicians are a wonderfully creative bunch, with both the art they create and the oversized adventures and myths they generate as they travel the ladder of fame," said muchmusic usa President Marc Juris. "This series pokes fun at their outrageous behavior and the television institution that makes a business of amplifying their climb, crash and burn, and ultimate redemption. For the stars, it's a chance to laugh at themselves; for the creators of 'Behind the Music' it shows that imitation and exaggeration of their stock and trade is the most sincere form of flattery."
BLACK OAK ARKANSAS DVD
Rhino Home Video celebrates the birth of Southern rock with the release of "Black Oak Arkansas -- The First 30 Years," an 89-minute look at the band that defined the style -- as well as influencing bands like David Lee Roth-era Van Halen. Considered pioneers of Southern rock, Black Oak Arkansas emerged out of the Deep South in 1969 fronted by consummate showman and singer Jim "Dandy" Mangrum. The rowdy, rebellious band sold more than 3.5 million albums, including three gold records and 10 charting albums, between 1971 and 1976. Black Oak Arkansas also scored a Top 30 single with their cover of the raunchy R&B hit "Jim Dandy to the Rescue." Frank Barsalona, chief executive officer of Premier Talent, touted the group as one of the top touring acts of the 1970s, headlining for such classic rock contemporaries as Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Foghat and KISS. The DVD is a retrospective of the band's career, featuring performance and documentary footage from London's Royal Albert Hall, the Charlotte, N.C., Motor Speedway, the Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Ark., their private home compound in Oakland, Ark., and their tour bus, "The Tunnel of Sound."
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE
New York City's critically acclaimed Fountains Of Wayne have inked a new worldwide, multi-album deal with EMI's S-Curve Records. The group's third full-length album, "Welcome Interstate Managers," is completed and being readied for a June 3 U.S. release. Fountains Of Wayne's first two albums, "Fountains Of Wayne" and "Utopia Parkway," earned the group a reputation as masters of the three-and-a-half minute pop song. Led by songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood, the four-piece band is known for crafting witty, wistful and instantly memorable character portraits, often using the Northeast United States as a backdrop. MOJO magazine included Fountains Of Wayne in the recent book, "The Greatest Albums Of All Time."
"Welcome Interstate Managers" was produced by Schlesinger and Collingwood along with longtime collaborator Mike Denneen, and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge and John Holbrook. It features guest appearances by James Iha, Robert Randolph, Jen Trynin and others. FOW also recently completed work on a new VH1 animated series, "Hey Joel," created by Time/Entertainment Weekly magazine columnist Joel Stein, which is slated to begin airing in mid-2003. The band appears as animated characters within each episode of the show, as well as providing the opening theme and two original songs per episode. In addition, FOW also provided the theme song for the current Comedy Central hit show "Crank Yankers."