Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  May 14, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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The "In-Laws" soundtrack, due out May 20, includes a rare, never-before released song by Sir Paul McCartney, "A Love For You," originally recorded in the early '70s. This archival gem was finished specifically for this film, where it will get its first-ever airing. McCartney has also contributed a previously unheard version of his hit song "Live and Let Die" -- from a never-aired 1974 McCartney TV special -- to the collection along with a third track, "I'm Carrying." The album's 17 tracks also include material from KC & the Sunshine Band, who appear as themselves in the film, Badfinger, the Bee Gees, Cameo, Ella Fitzgerald, Chic, Electric Light Orchestra, Mel Torme and Elvis Presley. The comedy film, starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, is a remake of the 1979 film of the same name scheduled to be in theaters May 23.


Nativist blues rockers the James Mathus Knockdown Society have a new album, "Stop and Let the Devil Ride," set for release June 17 on Fast Horse Recordings. The album was recorded at Rick Miller's (Southern Culture On The Skids) studio Kudzu Ranch in North Carolina and mixed by Dennis Herring at Sweet Tea Studio in Oxford, Miss. The album features James (Jimbo) Mathus on guitar and vocals and long-time Society members Stu Cole on bass and Nate Stalfa on drums. Also appearing on the album are special guests Luther Dickinson on guitar (North Mississippi Allstars) and Patrick Smith on keyboards. The Knockdown Society's raw electric blues is based on a hybrid Mississippi juke-joint music. "Stop..." features 10 original tunes plus new versions of Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes' "How Long", Otis Rush's "Love I Miss Loving" and the traditional "Blues Jumped A Rabbit." On "Mean Old Line" a primordial Son House riff is retrofitted with pounding bass, drums and electric guitar. "Blues Jumped A Rabbit" is an ancient folk melody put to a North Mississippi stomp. "Call The Warden" uses a musical idea inspired by Charlie Patton. On the autobiographical "Never Seen Daddy", Mathus uses a Junior Kimbrough-style riff.


S.T.U.N., whose debut album for Geffen/Interscope Records, "Evolution of Energy," will be released June 24, will hit the road May 15 for 25 dates with Dredge, then will start the nine-week Warped Tour June 19 in Boise, Idaho. S.T.U.N. -- an acronym for Scream Toward the Uprising of Non-Conformity -- tackles topics such as the government's mental privacy invasion, the healing power that holding onto self-determination provides and the hypnotic ease of falling into the trap of blind compliance.

"When I grew up I was taught that whoever was in authority was right," said guitarist/songwriter Neil Spies, "and that's not the truth. We're here to prove what can be done."

S.T.U.N. -- Spies, Christiane J (lead vocals), Nick S. (bass) and Bobby Alt (drums) -- worked with producer Sean Slade (Radiohead, Hole, Sebadoh) on "Evolution of Energy" and mixers Paul Kolderie (Pixies, Billy Bragg, Kristen Hersh) and Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Jeff Buckley, System of a Down).


Reggae legend Culture, featuring the esteemed Rastaman Joseph Hill, is set to deliver its 30th album, "World Peace," June 17 (Heartbeat). The album balances catchy, seductive rhythms with the profound spiritual message for which Culture is known. The band, named "one of the most influential roots artists since the 1970s" by the Washington Post, is comprised of impassioned frontman and chief lyricist, Hill, with backing vocalists Albert Walker and Telford Nelson. "World Peace," is an all-new studio album featuring live band arrangements and recorded with some of Jamaica's most acclaimed musicians, including The Firehouse Crew and members of Shaggy's band. Recorded at the famed Mixing Lab in Kingston, Jamaica, the album was produced by Joseph "Culture" Hill and mixed by Lynford "Fatta" Marshal, no stranger to the Jamaican hit machine. Founded in the rich tradition of harmony trios in 1976, Culture burst onto the scene with "Two Sevens Clash," a record that went on to define the politically charged Jamaican reggae scene of the day.


Professor and Maryann have a new album, "Runaway Favorite," scheduled for June 10 release on Happy Thighs Records. The duo has been perennial favorites on the New York City music scene for nearly a decade, building a dedicated fan base, and receiving rave reviews from the critics for their distinctive sound. On "Runaway Favorite," the Professor and Maryann add drums, bass and strings to their already lush sound. The duo's strength is in its simplicity, Danielle's sensuous vocals playing off Ken's elegant harmonies and subtle hooks. In celebration of the record release, P&M will be headliners at New York's Bottom Line Wednesday, June 4.

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