ATN's Music News of the World

Edited By Michael GoldbergTibetan Freedom Concert Line-up Re-ShuffledAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: The line-up for the June 7-8 Tibetan Freedom Concert at Downing Stadium on Randall's Island in New York has been re-shuffled a bit according to organizers. As previously reported, Alanis Morissette will break her performance moratorium for what is being billed as a "special guest" spot on the 8th, which organizers say will likely consist of a few acoustic songs. (Morissette is currently on hiatus after extensive touring to promote her break-out debut, and, as you might recall, is without a band since drummer Taylor Hawkins joined the Foo Fighters.)The new line-up for Saturday, June 7 is: Foo Fighters, A Tribe Called Quest, Ben Harper, Biz Markie, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Nawang Kechog, Patti Smith, Porno for Pyros (acoustic), Radiohead, Sonic Youth and Yungchen Lhamo.The Sunday June 8 show features the Beastie Boys, Blur, Rancid, Bjork, Chaksam-Pa, Dadon, De La Soul, a rare appearance from dub pioneer Lee "Scratch" Perry with the Mad Professor and the Robotiks Band, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Mike Mills, Pavement and Taj Mahal.Organizers have promised several "surprise guests," none of whom have been announced yet.Tickets for the shows--the sequels to last summer's inaugural event, which drew 100,000 to San Francisco's Golden Gate park over two days to hear the Beastie Boys (whose Adam Yauch is one of the organizers), the Smashing Pumpkins, A Tribe Called Quest and a dozen other acts gathered to publicize the human rights situation in Tibet--went on sale May 2.MINUS 5 PLUS R.E.M.'S PETER BUCKAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: Maybe it's the terminally shitty weather in Washington State that accounts for the prodigious amount of studio time logged by its musicians. Or maybe guys like Peter Buck (R.E.M), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) and Skerik (Critters Buggin'), all of whom appear together on the new Tuatara album and the new Mark Eitzel album, just can't get enough of each other.McCaughey was so eager to release a new album by his other off-and-on side band The Minus 5, he started up a new label just to do it. Called Malt Records, the Hollywood Records-distributed imprint releases its first effort on May 6, the Minus 5's The Lonesome Death of Buck McCoy, and guess what? That's right, it features 11 songs co-written by Buck and McCaughey and instrumental assists from Martin, in addition to sometimes M5 members Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of the Posies, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, John Keane and Jon Crist of the Dashboard Saviors and Jason Finn, Dave Dederer and Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America.Under the M5 banner, a revolving-door project whose only constant member has been McCaughey, joined off and on by Buck, members of NRBQ, the Walkabouts and the Posies, McCaughey has released two EP's and an album since 1993. Calling his imprint a "low-budget, high-creativity" affair, McCaughey has chosen a seemingly high-concept concept album as its first release, although beyond noise about it being a "folk opera about a disgruntled hobo named Buck McCoy," what it really amounts to is a dozen chewy morsels of fully-realized pop goodness, heaped with a little country flair and plenty of playfully obtuse lyrics like "bullhorn lacerated pillar of content/with an unbeliever's mausoleum stare" from the sunny romp "Wouldn't Want to Care."The album is full of firsts for the Minus 5. Aside from the mournful, feedback-bleeding cover of John Lennon's "My Mummy's Dead" and an expectedly lo-fi, multi-layered space jam collaboration with Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard, who supplied vocals and additional lyrics to "Boeing Spacearium," this is the first M5 album on which the very hands-on McCaughey has co-written all the tunes. It's also the first M5 album that feels like one, with strong pop life ditties like the cheery bubblegum of "Popsycle Shoppe," the power pop downer "Empty Room" and the creepy acoustic psychedelia of "Spidery Moon," making for a concept record that's really about, um, pop, actually.The opening tracks, "The Rest of the World" and "Cross Every Line," borrow from many of the same wells bands like Wilco and the Jayhawks are often found hanging around, mixing guitar-and-piano-driven country rock with Beatles vocals, Big Star wide-eyed wonder and Gram Parsons song craft.McCaughey, no stranger to playing with Buck in a live setting, having played rhythm guitar for R.E.M. on their last tour, took his Minus 5 circus on the road with the recently-launched (May 1) triple-threat Mark Eitzel/Tuatara/M5 tour.Rare Tracks From The Police Before They Were The PoliceAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: Chances are the name Strontium 90 doesn't really ring a bell for most music fans. But what if we told you the names of the three members of this long-forgotten mid-70's band were Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers?As part of a 20th anniversary celebration of The Police, Sting's label, Panagea, in cooperation with Ark 21 (run by Copeland's brother, ex-I.R.S. Records head Miles Copeland, who also manages Sting), will be releasing an album called Police Academy (July 29) from the group's pre-stardom outfit.Formed in 1976 by the trio and ex-Gong prog rocker Mike Howlett, Strontium 90 never got a chance to release any albums before the group mutated into the Police, but this 10-song compilation, based on tapes the members had stored and forgotten about for years, collects some never-before-released live material and demos that shed considerable light on the rock 'n' reggae sound that would make the Police superstars.Three of the songs ("Electron Romance," "Lady of Delight" and "Three O'Clock Shot") are from a May 28, 1976 show that took place in a circus tent in Paris in front of a crowd of 6,000 who had come to see various ex-Gong members performing with their new bands. The rest of the songs were produced by Howlett, who also played bass and include "New World Blues," "Towers Tumble," "Visions of the Night," (which appeared on The Police's 1993 four-disc set Message in a Box), studio versions of the live tracks and the first demo of "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic."A source at Panagea said the "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" demo was recorded on a 4-track at Howlett's studio by Sting, who was eager to get the song on tape while it was fresh in his mind. "He went to Howlett's studio and played everything on the song," explained the source. "He recorded it with a cheap microphone, using an acoustic guitar and an African drum because he wanted to get it down as fast as possible."July 29 will also see the release of an all-reggae tribute to The Police called Regatta Mondatta, also on Pangea/Ark 21. The featured tracks are: Aswad ("Roxanne"), Chaka Demus and Pliers ("Every Little Thing She Does is Magic"), Betty Wright ("Every Breath You Take"), Pato Banton featuring Sting ("Spirits in the Material World"), Shinehead ("Jamaican in New York"), Ziggy Marley and Sting ("One World (Not Three)"), Maxi Priest ("Message in a Bottle"), Steel Pulse ("Can't Stand Losing You"), Los Pericos ("Darkness"), Sly & Robbie featuring Amblique ("Walking on the Moon"), Sheila Hylton ("The Bed's Too Big Without You") and Jazz Jamaica featuring Courtney Pine with an instrumental version of "Wrapped Around Your Finger." Seventy-Seven Unreleased Elvis Tracks!!In June, two months before the twentieth anniversary of Elvis Presley's death in 1977, RCA Records, the label that Elvis moved to from Sun Records in 1955 and remained at for the rest of his life, will issue a four CD box set called Elvis Presley Platinum: A Life In Music. The title's "platinum" reference is actually wishful thinking, as 77 of the 100 songs on the collection have never been released.While RCA has already released 15 discs of Elvis material in three box sets covering the 1950s to 1970s, the well is not yet empty. Some of the unreleased tracks on Platinum were discovered by Graceland archivist Greg Howell and Elvis researcher Ernst Jorgensen. The songs were stored among 40 tapes stashed in a locked file cabinet belonging to Presley's father, Vernon.Included in that stockpile were Elvis' version of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind" and a 1954 recording of "I'll Never Stand In Your Way." The latter song, originally by Joni James, is from the second vanity acetate Presley made at Sun Records, before he was signed to the label. Also included on Platinum are a number of songs from the other end of Elvis' career, such as his take on "My Way" from a Michigan concert four months before his death.The rest of the collection is comprised of demos, live tracks, rehearsals, private home tapes, alternate takes, and a few well- known masters, the sum of which spans Elvis' two decades of recording. Notable among the cuts are different versions of songs from movie soundtracks, and three numbers culled from '50s TV variety shows. The set includes a 48 page book of anecdotes and previously unpublished photos.Off-The-(ATN)-Wire: The Federal Trade Commission has begun an investigation into the pricing policies of the six major record companies. According to unnamed industry sources, the FTC last month commenced a preliminary probe into the rules by which record companies provide retailers with advertising cash and free products, as well as into whether the corporations have created an artificial price floor... The sophomore album from Brad will be called Interiors and will hit shelves on June 24...Neil Young's live album, Year of the Horse, will include versions of "When You Can Dance," "Mr. Soul," "Big Time," Barstool Blues," and "When Your Lonely Heart Breaks."...Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan produced four songs--"Crashland Consewquence," "Situation," "Fix On You" and "People We Know" for Rick Ocasek's upcoming solo album, which is titled "Troublizing.""Music News of The World" appears every day in the on-line rock & roll magazine, Addicted To Noise, which can be found on the Internet at: http://www.addict.com/

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