Monday, March 30, 2009

Green Day, Matthew Sweet hit the (theater) stage

The Berkeley Repertory Theater in California is presenting not one, but two '90s-related musicals in their 2009-2010 season, Variety says. If you're in the area, look for rock operas of Green Day's American Idiot (which is itself a rock opera), and Matthew Sweet's 1991 breakthrough Girlfriend (which is not).

What albums would you like to see turned into musicals? The Ben Folds Five stuff comes immediately to mind. And maybe it's just because I've been listening to the Ten reissue, but I'd like to see a Pearl Jam musical (like that'd ever happen). Post your thoughts in the comment section.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Who do you want to see on Behind the Music?

Behind the Music is coming back. Scott Weiland and Blink-182 are already ticketed for two of the 10 episodes ordered; who would you like to see for the other 8?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This week in break-ups... Smashing Pumpkins

* Jimmy Chamberlin, the one non-Corgan original member of the Smashing Pumpkins, has left the band. This is the first time he's done so of his own accord (he was kicked out due to a heroin addiction in '96, but came back to the fold eventually). Corgan still plans to record and tour as the Smashing Pumpkins.

* Nothing concrete, but John Frusciante just released a solo album, and Chad Smith is now drumming for Chickenfoot, the new supergroup featuring Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, and Michael Anthony. And I haven't heard much from Flea or Anthony Kiedis in awhile. Are the Chili Peppers still together?

* Don't expect to see more Rage Against the Machine dates this summer, as Tom Morello has a new band called Street Sweeper that'll be opening up for Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chris Cornell vs. Trent Reznor

In feuding news, Trent Reznor posted on twitter that Chris Cornell's new album is embarrassing, and then Chris Cornell responded with a Jesus reference.

The fact that two men in their late 30s are using Twitter to have a fight is neither here nor there, I guess.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Coolio gets busted

Coolio, who was one of the most famous men in the world in 1995, was arrested for possession of crack and battery in Los Angeles last week.
Anybody else remember when he got busted in Germany in 1998 for shoplifting at a mall? That was funny. This is fairly sad.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This week in reunions... Sublime?!?

* The big (and inexplicable) news of the week is that Sublime are getting back together, minus (of course) deceased singer / guitarist / songwriter Brad Nowell. Now, on one hand, I can see why the two surviving members of Sublime would want to do this. They never got to tour behind their phenomenally-popular self-titled album (three hit singles, five-times-platinum), because Nowell died of an overdose shortly before it came out. So they left money on the table that tribute bands like Badfish and Wrong Way are now taking (seriously; Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime comes through Atlanta fairly regularly and plays pretty big venues. There's a market for this stuff). But at the same time, how can they possibly need the money? This is a band who have released three greatest-hits albums this decade, all of which have charted in the Billboard Top 200, and two of which have gone gold. Their spin-off project, the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, released two decent-selling albums and did the theme song to Joey. This is worse than Alice in Chains getting back together, because Jerry Cantrell's harmonies and guitar work were at least half of the appeal of that band. This is more like watching the Jimi Hendrix Experience without Jimi.

* No Doubt don't want you to consider this upcoming tour a reunion. Because they never broke up, you see. Although since 2002, Gwen Stefani has made two platinum solo albums while the other three guys backed up Scott Weiland, and No Doubt didn't tour or record. But it wasn't a break-up. Cause it was never official. This is like if your wife moves out and you see other people, but after she moves back in, you don't want to call it a reconciliation, because you never got divorced. Meanwhile, you can get the band's entire catalog in digital format if you buy a "premium ticket" to the upcoming tour.

* Meanwhile, Mr. Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, is embarking on a solo tour beginning in late March, and apparently has been making noises about a Bush reunion at the end of 2009. This is a little surprising, given that Rossdale's solo career is just now gaining traction (after his debut album looked like a flop, "Love Remains the Same" caught on as a single around Christmas).

* And the Jayhawks are reuniting to do some shows, though not under the name "The Jayhawks."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Superdrag ... Industry Giants

I have no idea how I didn't learn about this until today, but Superdrag's first album in 7 years (and first with the original lineup since 1998's classic Head Trip in Every Key) is called Industry Giants, and it's out today. If you're at SXSW, they have six shows in Austin between now and Saturday. Go here for details.
Newbury Comics has autographed copies of the new CD, if that's your thing, or you can get bonus tracks at iTunes or Amazon if you buy the mp3s. If you want a sample, the Superdrag merch store has a free mp3 of the opener, "Slow to Anger."
The band do a short east coast tour (and a couple of dates in and around Chicago) in April.

I can't embed it, but if you want to see a video for the band's angry new single, "Aspartame," visit Spin's website.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Links roundup

* Chris Cornell, whose Timbaland collaboration only came out Tuesday despite all the pre-Xmas hype, is on tour. Get dates here.

* You can listen to a new Oasis b-side which finally goes whole-hog with the Beatles-influence over at Spin.

* A tribute to Mike Watt's 1995 solo album Ball-Hog or Tugboat?, which featured an all-star cast of alt-rock luminaries, including Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and Evan Dando, among others. Check the comments section for fond remembrances of the supporting tour (the Foo Fighters opened up).

*If, like me, Jimmy Eat World didn't come anywhere near you on their Clarity 10th-anniversary tour, you can live vicariously with the Clarity Live album, which is out in April in a digital-only format.

* And Lamestain has a bunch of mp3s up right now of obscure tracks from 7-inches put out by various early-'90s Seattle bands.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This week in reunions... Limp Bizkit

* Limp Bizkit have returned... somewhere in South Dakota, there's a guy throwing a party because of this news.

* Jane's Addiction are back together for sure, and are spending the summer touring with Nine Inch Nails, this according to Trent Reznor.

* No Doubt have announced a 45-city reunion tour, beginning May 3. Expect to hear the hits, as there's no word that a reunion album will be out by then.

* Faith No More (minus original guitarist Jim Martin) are reuniting for a European tour, their first major run of shows since the band petered out in 1998. No US dates, though.

* Just to whet the appetites of everybody for this summer, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon appeared on stage together at the NME Awards last week and performed "This is a Low," their first joint appearance since 2000. This makes a great excuse to post "The Universal":

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More on the Tinted Windows

Watch this video, which has been making the rounds:
Tinted Windows

I might be able to get behind this Tinted Windows thing. Not sure what to make of Iha's platinum hair, though.

Want to buy a multimillionaire punk's house?

Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz is selling his house in LA. If you've got $3 million, it's yours. No word on whether or not the Rancid and Offspring gold records can stay with the house.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cover of the day... Steven Page does Radiohead

Somewhere in the numerous posts around the web about Steven Page parting ways with Barenaked Ladies was this link. Click on it, and you can listen to a broadcast of Page performing covers of his favorite songs with a classical ensemble live on CBC Radio 2 last summer. I highly recommend Track 12, "Paranoid Android."

Yes, the dude from Barenaked Ladies doing a chamber-music cover of a Radiohead song. It's just as awesome as that sentence makes it sound.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Day demo leaks

The title track from Green Day's forthcoming "21st Century Breakdown" leaked over the weekend. It sounds like the band built on their American Idiot sound by listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen and Queen. I doubt this is going to be the first single off the album (which isn't due until May), as it's more than five minutes long and goes through three distinct movements.

I would post a direct link to the mp3, but I am led to believe that could get me in some legal difficulties, so I will just say if you youtube "Green Day 21st century breakdown" you can find where it's being hosted. Let me know below what you think.

Breaking... Page leaves Barenaked Ladies

The chubby dude who sings better than the rapping dude in Barenaked Ladies is out of the band. Whether or not this has to do with his cocaine bust last year remains to be seen. Also, he's working on a solo album. The remaining members of the band plan to go into the studio in April.

This really isn't helping the Barenaked Ladies' good-time, happy-go-lucky Canadian image. Back in December, they were supposedly working on a boxed set. It will now apparently serve as the epitaph for the chubby-guy singing / skinny-guy scatting Barenaked Ladies.