Rock News Two: The week in pop

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International  |  May 17, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Terrapin will kick off its 2003 Summer Concert Series with Summit On the Hudson Festival, slated for May 31 and June 1 at the majestic Croton Point Park in Westchester County, N.Y. Artists on Saturday, May 31, include rock 'n' roll innovator Chuck Berry, folk legend Arlo Guthrie, guitar virtuoso Steve Kimock, classic rockers Little Feat and musical storyteller Reid Genauer and The Assembly of Dust. The lineup for Sunday, June 1, is equally impressive, highlighted by Grammy-winning jazz artist Branford Marsalis, avant-garde trio Medeski, Martin and Wood, the soulful Martin Sexton, and New Orleans jamsters The Radiators. Local craft and food vendors, along with a wide range of non-profit organizations and roving entertainers, will supplement the robust musical lineup. The two-day event, featuring renowned jazz, blues, folk and rock artists, offers attendees the opportunity to jump-start the summer with a convenient musical excursion to a spectacular waterfront venue. The festival marks Terrapin's return to Croton Point Park, where Gathering of the Vibes, Terrapin's annual multi-day camping festival, was held in 1997.


Metal mavens Iron Maiden have compiled every one of their promotional videos into a two-DVD set that runs from 1980's "Women In Uniform" through the band's headlining slot in front of 250,000 fans at 2001's Rock In Rio performing "Brave New World." With a running time in excess of three hours, "Visions Of The Beast" is the definitive chronicle of Iron Maiden through the years, and includes many videos previously unavailable. Not only is every video the band has ever made included -- 31 in total -- but each DVD features never-before-seen Camp Chaos animated versions of six classic tracks, interactive menus and discographies, and some special hidden extras. The DVD is being released in conjunction with Iron Maiden's upcoming globe-trotting marathon -- the "Give Me 'Ed... Til I'm Dead" World Tour.


O.A.R. will headline the "Feeling Better Than Everfine Festival" scheduled for June 28 at Cleveland, Ohio's Tower City Amphitheater. The all-day music event will showcase a total of 12 artists, including Maroon5, Virginia Coalition, Matt Nathanson and Pseudopod, performing on two stages. XM Satellite Radio will broadcast the event live on channel 43-XMU. The artists scheduled to perform at the second annual "Feeling Better Than Everfine Festival" are diverse musically and geographically. The lineup will showcase bands from different parts of the United States that all have strong regional followings. This year's festival will feature music ranging from the "island-vibe roots rock" of Rockville, Md., natives O.A.R., to the alt/rock-country of The Lost Trailers from Washington D.C., the rock/funk-R&B sounds of Los Angeles-based Maroon 5 and Psuedopod, Louisiana-born singer/songwriter Marc Broussard and local Cincinnati rock quartet Oval Opus, among others. No two artist sets will be scheduled at the same time ensuring fans have the opportunity to catch every performance and experience a full day of live music.


California power pop quartet Limbeck will release "Hi, Everything's Great" on Doghouse Records June 17. Produced by Ed Rose (The Get Up Kids, Schatzi, The Beautiful Mistake, Coalesce, Kill Creek) "Hi, Everything's Great," finds the Orange County quartet's sound evolving somewhat from their earlier, straight-up indie power pop, to encompass a richer, more mature alt-country sound. Several songs on the album were inspired by Limbeck frontman Robb MacLean's experiences and recollections while touring the country with his bandmates. Limbeck is currently on tour opening for The All-American Rejects through May 31. The band will then return home to perform at their record release party at Chain Reaction in Orange County June 21. Doghouse has posted two tracks from "Hi, Everything's Great" at


Multimillion-selling hard rock band Skid Row is set to release a new studio project, "Thickskin," a documentary DVD about the making of the album, and a summer tour schedule with Poison and Vince Neil. Vocalist Johnny Solinger, guitarist Snake Sabo, guitarist Scotti Hill, bass guitarist Rachel Bolan and drummer Phil Varone are eager to play songs from the new album, which will be released independently in the United States on Skid Row Records this summer in either July or August. "'Thickskin' has been two years in the making. We're very excited about this, especially since it's the first Skid Row record for Johnny and Phil," Bolan said. "It took a long time to record due to the fact that we had to do it in short bursts because we were touring a lot the past several years. We were on the road with Kiss and then we did the 'Rock Never Stops' tour last summer. We were writing while we were on the road, and then when there was a tour break we'd write some more and then record. It required a lot of hard work. It was kind of like learning to drive in the middle of a demolition derby!"


Swedish rockers Evergrey have a new album, "Recreation Day," due out on InsideOut Music America. The musically ambitious but lyrically bleak fantasy landscape evoked by "Recreation Day" redefines the conceptual boundaries of Swedish Metal. Like the band's last album, "In Search of Truth," "Recreation Day" was produced by King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque and mixed by Fredrik Nordström. "The music is representative of what Evergrey is about, the diversity we have in most of our songs," said vocalist/guitarist Tom S. Englund. "My idea was to make it really beautiful and hard-hitting." The band plans to promote the album in America with a number of live appearances, including the BWBK 6-Pack Weekend Festival at The Odeon in Cleveland June 13-14 -- alongside Candlemass, Trouble and Nevermore -- as well as a return to the increasingly acclaimed Prog Power Festival at Earthlink Live in Atlanta Sept. 5-6 -- with Nightwish, Rage, Symphony X and others. Plans also are in the works for an extensive fall tour, the band's first-ever for North America.


Liz Phair, Skye Sweetnam, the Donnas, the Flaming Lips, the Music and Beth Orton all contributed tracks to the original motion picture soundtrack to the forthcoming New Line Cinema romantic drama "How To Deal," due out July 8 on Capitol Records. The contemporary music compilation introduces newly signed Capitol recording artist Sweetnam performing the soundtrack's lead single, "Billy S." The music on "How To Deal" is an ambitious collection that spans genres and generations, with five new songs exclusive to the soundtrack, and two recorded specifically for the film itself. Skye Sweetnam is a 14-year-old singer/songwriter from a small Canadian town -- the Toronto sub-suburb Boulton, pop. 15,000 -- with a knack for writing pop anthems celebrating teen rebellion. "How To Deal" stars Mandy Moore as Halley, a high school student who is disillusioned with love after seeing the many dysfunctional relationships around her. Her divorced parents have no clue. Her sister is obsessed with planning the perfect marriage but nothing is more lame than the shallow cheerleaders at her school and their jock boyfriends. Convinced all relationships are doomed, Halley has given up even seeking it when a tragic event in her life leads to a romantic encounter with a young man (Trent Ford). Halley then realizes true love sometimes can be found in the most unexpected places. The film opens nationwide on July 18.


A major void in Charm City's live music scene will be filled this summer with the grand opening of the Funk Box in the heart of Baltimore's top nightlife district, historic Federal Hill. Mothers Federal Hill Grille and Walther Productions have joined forces to create this new, upscale home for local, regional and national touring acts on the site of one of Baltimore's most historic live music venues, the 8 x 10 Club. In the year since the old club's closing, the new owners have leveled the old Cross Street structure to completely rebuild and renovate the venue as the region's premier destination for adult fans of all musical flavors. Targeted for an August debut, the Funk Box will cater to a broad array of music genres by building and expanding upon the location's legacy. The commitment to presenting live music seven nights a week best presents the opportunity to experience blues, funk, jazz, R&B, rock, pop, bluegrass, reggae, alternative, Latin, salsa, fusion, alt-country, dance, world, zydeco, reggae, ska, progressive, world beat, hip-hop or singer-songwriter on any given night in an upscale, intimate venue


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.


Blues legend B.B. King and rock guitar hero Jeff Beck will be the headliners at the 12th annual B.B. King Music Festival. This nationwide tour kicks off on the West Coast July 25 and will include amphitheater stops in major U.S. markets through September. The landmark event, presented by VH1 Classic, will feature King and Beck on tour together for the first time ever. Rounding out the tour are New Orleans-based progressive funk outfit Galactic and up-and-coming Florida-bred blues band Mofro. This year's festival lineup marks a turning point with the inclusion of newcomers Galactic and Mofro signaling the festival's desire to embrace the exploding American grassroots rock scene. These two bands not only will bring their particular brands of funk, soul and blues to the shows, but also a dedicated and ever-growing fan base that defines the genre. In years past such greats as George Thorogood, Buddy Guy, Etta James, The Neville Brothers, Little Feat, Dr. John and many more shared the stage with King.


Grunge pioneers Pearl Jam are looking for a new record label, the New York Post reports. The Seattle-based band completed its contractual obligations to Sony last year. The Post quotes sources as saying talks with other labels have been "heating up." A band spokesperson declined to confirm the Post report. Pearl Jam currently is on tour. Sony, which has undergone a reorganization since the departure of company chief Tommy Mottola at the beginning of the year, recently lost top artist Wyclef Jean. Another star, Ozzy Osbourne, quit Sony's Epic subsidiary after 23 years on the label.


The Radiators, New Orleans premier rock band, played the closing performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival last week, then hit the road for a pair of weekend gigs at New York's hottest club, B.B. King's. The band, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, played one marathon set Friday night because the club was concerned that patrons would go outside between sets to smoke in compliance with New York's ban on indoor smoking and not return. The group's incendiary performance and the enthusiasm of its followers apparently changed minds at the club, which allowed the band to return to its usual two-set format for Saturday's show. Highlights include "Barnburner," "Welcome To The Monkey House," "River Run," "Death Of The Blues," "Stealin A Feelin," "Jump Back," "Furthur On Up The Road" and "Out On The Western Plain." The entire audience stayed for the second set, which included several terrific extended medleys and outstanding guitar interplay between Caile Badoin and Dave Malone.


Taking a break from rehearsals for their upcoming summer tour, Train played an unannounced show at the club Sweetwater in Mill Valley, Calif., last week. The all-acoustic set previewed songs from the band's upcoming (June 3) Columbia Records release "My Private Nation," including "All American Girl," "Get To Me" and the album's first single, "Calling All Angels." Train also played back catalog hits such as "Drops of Jupiter" and "Meet Virginia," plus a couple of covers -- The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun" and Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On." Though the show was unannounced, word traveled fast and within minutes of Train's hour-long set, Sweetwater was at full capacity, with many fans peering into the club's windows from the sidewalk. "Calling All Angels" is currently No. 1 on the Billboard AAA Monitor, and top 10 on the Billboard Top 40 Adult and Modern Adult charts. The video for "Calling All Angels" debuted in the top 10 of VH1's weekly countdown after less than a full week in rotation. On June 3 Train will perform a free outdoor concert at Tower Records on 4th Street in Manhattan. The band will kick off a major headlining U.S. tour with a hometown show at San Francisco's Warfield Theater June 27.

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