Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International
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Judge William Leven has found Lou Pearlman and Transcontinental Records in contempt of court for ignoring a previous court order to produce documents relating to royalty payments. Leven further fined the parties $2,500 in the Hillsborough County, Fla., case involving pop star Aaron Carter and his parents Robert and Jane Carter.


Carter attorney Bill Yanger said, "Lou Pearlman may think he can ignore Aaron Carter, he may think he can ignore me, but Pearlman learned today that he'd better not ignore a Circuit Court judge in Hillsborough County."

The Carters repeatedly have tried to obtain a full accounting on behalf on their 15-year-old son Aaron for the records Pearlman's label has sold and continues to sell for him.

"Unfortunately, TransContinental has failed to provide any royalty payments or accounting, ever, to Aaron," claimed Jane Carter. "TransContinental's only response is to continue to stonewall in this matter -- an all too familiar pattern for Louis Pearlman and his label."


In June of 2002 the Carters filed their original lawsuit demanding accounting statements and royalties due the young Carter. In 1997, Pearlman signed then 10-year-old Aaron, younger brother to Backstreet Boy star Nick Carter, to a recording agreement with his TransContinental Records label.

The suit alleged despite having reached platinum sales status and selling more than 1 million copies of his recordings to date, Carter has not received any royalties from the sale of his TransContinental albums. Carter has sold 10 million records worldwide to date.


Several of Louisiana's top slide guitarists will be on hand at Tipitina's in New Orleans April 24 for the Slidemania show. An all-star cast of slide guitar phenoms featuring Sonny Landreth, John Mooney and Papa Mali will be joined by a host of special guests, including Camile Baudoin of the Radiators, Brint Anderson and C.C. Adcock. Landreth, of Breaux Bridge, La., simply is one of the most innovative players on the scene today. His unique chording technique and fiery precision captures the soulful energy of the music of South Louisiana. While Landreth's stylings have been known for years in his native state, his stately performances as a sideman for John Hiatt established his reputation internationally.


Mooney has enjoyed a fruitful career mining the territory of his idol blues great Son House while developing a reputation as an individual artist with fire in his belly. His high-energy performances are marked by his fascinating blend of searing slide guitar work and gut-crunching rhythm. Born Malcolm Welbourne, Papa Mali's stage moniker was bestowed on him by none other than reggae great Burning Spear during his tenure with the celebrated reggae band, the Killer Bees. Since dissolving that band, the Shreveport, La., native has been exploring the furthest reaches of blues-based guitar work and hypnotic, soul-drenched vocals, drawing on his lessons learned from the late, great "Hoodoo Bluesman" John Campbell.

New Orleans native Baudoin, lead guitarist for New Orleans' finest rock band, the Radiators, has peerless technique that also is used to great affect as a member of Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste's funk ensemble. Anderson's work on the slide guitar reflects the great blues-based traditions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. A native of LaPlace, La., Anderson spent numerous years as a Texas-based guitar slinger.

C.C. Adcock of Lafayette, La., is a lineal descendent of the great guitarists who have populated South Louisiana for decades. His fresh take on the traditions has made him an in-demand session player as well as producer. With the advent of the swamp pop supergroup, Little Band of Gold, Adcock began redefining the role of guitarist-front man.



Singer, guitarist and songwriter Pete Francis has finished work on his major label debut, "Untold." Produced by Francis and John Siket (Sonic Youth/Yo La Tengo/Phish) "Untold," out May 20 on Hollywood Records, presents a wide range of approaches to music-making. The 11 songs of "Untold" share a cohesive musical vision, from the soulful melodies and rich vocals of the opening track, "One Train," (mixed by Bob Clearmountain) to the lilting waltz feel of "Julie" and the ethereal air of "OK."

The 27-year-old Francis covers considerable ground in his narratives -- the year spent studying the great poets in Ireland ("Burning the River"), the games of chess he played against the resident masters of New York City's Washington Square Park ("Motion"), the candy glamour of Los Angeles ("Sandcastle City"), and a fresh take on the familiar sting of broken relationships ("Stones," "Coal Miner").

"I was interested in making an actual album -- with songs that relate to each other and have a fluidity from track to track," Francis said. "I chose the title 'Untold' because it means both 'not revealed' -- though these songs are about things being revealed -- and 'vast,' as in a record where all these songs can hang out together. My hope is that these songs will offer people continuous discovery."



Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa brings an entirely new, multi-media concept to Paris and San Francisco this spring. Working in collaboration with London-based video artists Marc Silver and Nick Hillel, collectively known as Yeast, Sosa will present four concerts that fuse new digital video technology with live performances by the Omar Sosa Duo, featuring master Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles. The VJs will sample, mix and project images, illuminating the venues in synchronization with the live musical performance. The content is both personal and political, with messages that enter through the realm of the emotions. Sosa will be in Paris Tuesday and Wednesday at Studio de L'Ermitage. In San Francisco he will perform April 18-19 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts. Joining the Duo as special guests in San Francisco will be Moroccan vocalist Yassir Chadly, didjeridu master Stephen Kent, and hip-hop lyricist/rapper Brutha Los.


San Francisco's The Court and Spark had a hit showcase at SXSW, which they took time out from recording to attend. The new album includes lots of drum machine, clavinet courtesy of Femi Kuti's old keyboard player, church pump organ courtesy of the SF Symphony's Organist Charles Rus (the only one of these instruments in the world), and harmony courtesy of Wendy Allen and the Mother Hips boys, as well as a guest vocal spot by M. Ward, who the band had whisked from sound check to the studio just before their Noise Pop show together a few weeks back. This is the first record with new bass player Jeff Palmer (ex-Mommyheads).


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