LOU REED COLLECTION
"NYC Man -- The Ultimate Lou Reed Collection" is slated for release June 3 from BMG Heritage. The highly anticipated 2-CD career retrospective spans Reed's career from the Velvet Underground to the present. Reed recently finished exhaustive work on the 31 tracks included in the set, which originally was slated for a May 6 release. Reed personally oversaw song selection and remastering, culled from over 150 source tapes -- masters, multi-tracks, reference copies -- making this the highest quality collection of his work.
For "Sweet Jane" Reed edited out the guitar intro from the original version on the "Loaded" album. When asked about changing a classic track, Reed responded "If DaVinci wanted to change the Mona Lisa he should be able to."
As for "I Wanna Be Black," Reed commented: "That was one of the tapes rescued from the obscurity of the anti-binaural (an archaic 360 degree sound recording system). We were able to put it back to where it's supposed to be. It sounds as though you're in a club surrounded by the audience with the band in front of you, and people tinkling and yelling in back of you and chairs scraping. Its definitely exciting."
CHANDLER TRAVIS RELEASE PARTY
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic celebrated the release of its new album, "Llama Rhymes," Wednesday at the Lizard Lounge before an audience of more than 100 people. Travis, one of rock's true originals, is a classic American regional songwriter whose eccentric vision is rooted in the self-determinism and awe of nature, characteristic of people who live in the small New England village of Eastham, Mass. Popular vocalist Bleu showed up to sing backing vocals on "Village of the Darned" and "Get Right Back to Where We Started From."
"I've got a great idea for our next record release party," Travis said. "We have a book of about 200 songs, so for the next party we'll play the longest set ever played -- 14 or 15 hours long. I'd like to do it at the Lizard Lounge again, I just have to figure out if they can stay open for that length of time."
Travis currently is putting together another "Incredible Casuals" album.
"We're trying really hard to do something you can't describe," he noted. "Maybe that doesn't work in our best interest commercially, but the thing that's important about it is getting to do it in the first place."
BEST OF JAMES TAYLOR
In 1968, James Taylor released his first album on Apple Records and made history when he became the first outside artist to sign with the Beatles' label. Since then, Taylor has gone on to record top-selling albums, singles and videos that have earned 42 RIAA certifications, including one Diamond and three Multi-Platinum awards. "The Best Of James Taylor" is the first album to combine recordings he made for Apple, Warner Bros. and Columbia, along with a brand new track, "Bittersweet." Chronicled are songs from a dozen different albums, recorded over 35 years. Each track has been newly remastered for this album as Warner Strategic Marketing is in the process of re-mastering Taylor's entire catalog. The album is scheduled for release April 8, with a national tour to follow.
INDIGO GIRLS HONOR THE EARTH
Grammy-award winning musicians Indigo Girls and Indian environmental activist Winona LaDuke team up in April to take a message of alternative energy and cultural preservation to college campuses from Minnesota to Colorado. The Honor the Earth Tour is a cross-country speaking and performance tour aimed at educating college students and the
general public on current issues related to environmental activism and the development of wind power on Indian lands, in particular.
The tour also will include visits to Indian reservations currently implementing wind power and other alternative energy projects in their communities. In 1991, Winona LaDuke met Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers backstage at an Earth Day benefit near Boston. Out of that first meeting, a long-lasting friendship and working partnership was born, and the national foundation Honor the Earth was created. Indigo Girls since have headlined four Honor the Earth concert tours to raise money for Indian groups working on front-line environmental issues in communities across the country.
The life and music of Phil Collins is the subject of a documentary DVD "A Life Less Ordinary," due out May 20 from Sanctuary Visual Entertainment. "A Life Less Ordinary" was first broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corp. in the United Kingdom on Nov. 4, 2002, to an audience of nearly 3 million people. It provides an intimate look at Collins and his work as a singer, songwriter, drummer and actor.
Starting with his stage debut as the Artful Dodger in "Oliver!" while still a youngster, through the release of his 2002 solo album "Testify," this DVD is a comprehensive overview covering his years as a member of the legendary Genesis and his work as a solo artist. Several interviews are included as DVD extras.
"A Life Less Ordinary" is presented in letterbox format with Dolby Digital stereo sound. Additional footage features personal home movies and clips from the Live Aid concerts on July 13, 1985, for which a Concorde flight enabled Collins to be the only artist to perform in both London and Philadelphia, acting appearances in the television show "Miami Vice" and feature film "Buster," and the Academy Awards.