ATN's Music News of the World: Jane's Addiction

Jane's Addiction End Tour On High NoteBand goes their separate ways, leaving the door open for possible future projects.Addicted To Noise correspondent J. Tayloe Emery reports : SEATTLE -- If it was a celebration of the end, then it was a celebration of a new beginning too."This feels so sad, it's almost over," an emotional Perry Farrell told almost 11,000 Jane's Addiction fans Monday night in Seattle's Key Arena. "But it feels good too!" he added about the finale of the "I-Itz M'My Party" reunion tour. "It's never the end," he added, clutching his microphone and drawing his arms, folded over his chest.Many fans were worried that the tour would bring up bad memories of the band's less-than-amicable break-up in 1991. Whether or not Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro could put aside their differences long enough for a 'relapse' tour, as Farrell called it, was the question at hand.But after the final show, Navarro seemed upbeat about the future, saying that the tour blew away any of his preconceptions and adding about Farrell, "We're looking forward to doing more together."The small-framed Navarro (without platforms, about 5'7"), who looks like a giant onstage, came to the band's after-show party at the Key Arena caped in a black velvet, ankle-length coat and carrying a leather handbag. Only a few people recognized the usually half-naked guitarist with his shirt on. Leaving quickly under the guise of night, one can only guess where and when Jane's Addiction will reappear.Will replacement bassist Flea stick around? Can we expect some new material from the band? And how many feather boas actually made it from the beginning of the tour to the end?After turning down offers to tour in Europe and Japan in support of their new album, Kettle Whistle, the band is returning home to Los Angeles for the holidays, according to band publicist Heidi Robinson. "There are no plans yet for the future, but the door is wide open," she said. Because of touring and recording conflicts with Navarro and Flea's other band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins' Porno for Pyros, fans may not see another relapse for more than a year, she added. "The Chili Peppers are actually due into the studio the end of this week," Robinson said, adding that Porno for Pyros are due into the studio in the beginning of the new year, as well.In the meantime, the band can sit back and remember putting on one of the great concerts of 1997. The farewell show in Seattle was no different from the other 18 since the dress-rehearsal gig in Los Angeles.The most-talked-about reunion band of 1997, Jane's Addiction came into the city of grunge like liquid-fuel sprayed on a bonfire. The crowd repeated their chants of "Jane's! Jane's!" and then the house lights dropped. That familiar voice: "Senoras y Senores ... " The whoosh of a curtain and the stage lights went up. There were dozens of lit candles, six-foot silk flowers, Mayan statues and brightly painted parasols complementing the band's usual androgynous-but-fashionable presence.What followed was a rousing, almost two-hour, 11-song set that had fans swarming toward the stage like bugs toward a streetlight.Farrell, bedecked in a tight, shiny, blue two-piece mini, pranced from riser to stage with his hands held high and a set of black-lace wings attached to his back. His hair stuck out like the bristles of an old broom; weaved spindles of hair and neon cord shot out of his head. The world was his. Crooning the opening verses to "Ocean Size" (RealAudio excerpt), Perry bounced back and forth between the aptly dressed -- red feather-boa and silver-sequined miniskirt -- Navarro and the topless, silk sarong'd Flea.Flea's cadence was ever-steady and his presence intense. He leaned toward the crowd and shook his bass at his monitor, soothing out the last note. Across the knuckles on his picking hand was a tattoo of the word "L-O-V-E." He shook his bleached head in time to the music and laid his tracks down hard against Perkins' solid drum work.Farrell clutched his red wine for a quick sip, then reached his hands out to the crowd and motioned as if he were tracing their features. The crowd applauded his every movement.Shaking, contorting, at times grinding his hips into Navarro's face, Farrell was alight. The playful interaction of the band and the six or so scantily clad would-be nymphs on stage added to the heightened arousal in the arena. After a six-song introduction on the main stage, which included "Whores," "Trip Away," and an incredibly long and powerful "Three Days," Farrell took to one of the on-floor scaffolds to sing the slow-building powerhouse, "Summertime Rolls." A fan climbed up on top of the scaffolding and danced with Perry for a few minutes during the number before jumping dangerously to the up-stretched hands of the crowd 15 feet below.Unfazed, Farrell brought the song to a rollicking head before meeting up with the rest of the band on the mini-stage in the rear of the arena floor. Fans in the rear of the arena were treated to an up-close, blistering mini-set that included a slow bongo intro by Perkins into their most popular song ever, "Jane Says," a searing "Chip Away" that saw Flea and Navarro bashing the hell out of more bongos and a fervent "Classic Girl" to complete the interlude.When the mini-set ended, an exuberant Farrell fell into Flea's outstretched arms and the two embraced. Farrell's permi-smile broke only for a "thank you" to his bassist.The band returned to their main stage and the lights dropped for "Ted, Just Admit It," a tune dealing with the story of serial killer Ted Bundy, who made Washington state his own, personal killing-field some 20 years ago. The band finished the night with a staggering "Nothing's Shocking" that basically summed up the mood of the whole tour.The release of the new album and the completion of a successful U.S. tour (San Diego was the only stop that did not sell-out) have ushered in a new wave of fans. Many, such as Trent Shaw of Tacoma, Wash., were only eight when the band released their first, self-titled album 10 years ago. "My older brother used to be a big Jane's fan," said Shaw, now 18. "I took all his CDs since he's married and no longer likes them."But it wasn't all teenagers at the Seattle show; some -- like 35-year-old Sarah Tice -- showed up with their spouses in tow. "We came to see [Jane's Addiction] because it might be the last chance," Tice said. "My husband and I used to listen to them years ago, so it brings back some good memories."***New Pearl Jam Album Previewed OnlineFirst time songs appearing on upcoming superstar band's album are available online.Addicted To Noise Staff Writer Chris Nelson reports : As a computer engineering major at Syracuse University, Josh Wardell has a few more technical skills under his belt than the average music fan -- but when it comes to taping a new song from the radio, he has to play the waiting game just like any listener. Last week, when Syracuse, N.Y.'s WKRL previewed Pearl Jam's upcoming album Yield (Feb. 3) in its entirety -- without consent from the band or its record label -- Wardell sat glued to his dorm room speakers."For six hours straight I had my finger on the record button waiting for them to play something," said Wardell, 19. "All I could catch was 'In Hiding,' 'Lowlight' and 'Pilate.'"Once he had captured the songs, however, Wardell kicked his technical prowess into high gear. "As soon as I recorded them, I had edited them and encoded them," he said by phone from Syracuse on Tuesday.Within 30 minutes of their airing on WKRL, "In Hiding," "Lowlight" and "Pilate" (RealAudio excerpt) were available for Pearl Jam fans throughout the world on the increasingly popular website known as "Josh Wardell's Pearl Jam MP3 Archive."Due to the efforts of Wardell and several other Pearl Jam devotees, fans the world over can now hear 10 of Yield's 13 songs (some of them live rather than studio recordings and many in near-CD quality) over the Net -- nearly three months before the album is released.The grass-roots nature of the Internet, along with its speed and the recent advent of high-quality MP3 audio file technology, have all conspired to give Yield a world-wide -- and unauthorized -- preview like no album before it.On Tuesday, Epic records spokeswoman Heather Davis (Pearl Jam record for Epic) confirmed that the songs slated for inclusion on the album are "Brain of J," "Faithful," "No Way," "Given To Fly," "Wish List," "Pilate," "Do The Evolution," "MFC" (known as "Many Fast Cars" on the Net), "Lowlight," "In Hiding," "Push Me Pull Me," "All Those Yesterdays" and one song that, thus far, doesn't have a title.Davis also described Yield's cover art as a photograph of a road underneath a bright blue sky with a yield sign on the right-hand side of the photo. The band's name appears in white on a black background in the upper left-hand corner of the photo.Davis said she did not know that Yield's tracks were available on the Net as MP3s. Two weeks ago, label representatives were aware almost immediately when several radio stations throughout the United States began playing "Given to Fly," the album's first single, over the Thanksgiving weekend -- a full month before Epic wanted the song aired. Epic sent cease and desist orders to halt early airings of the song immediately after the holiday weekend on Dec. 1.Syracuse modern rock station WKRL-FM, however, did not hear from Epic for another three days -- after the station decided to air Yield in its entirety. After playing the album straight through on the station's morning program, WKRL continued to play one track every hour throughout the day, offering Wardell and others like him the opportunity to record the songs.When an Epic records representative called the following morning to request the station discontinue its playing of Yield, the station scored a coup on behalf of its listeners by putting the Epic rep on the air. "Our owner went on the air with him," said afternoon disc jockey Scorch. "He finagled a deal for Epic to give us 25 copies of the album to give away to listeners before the album is in stores. He agreed, and then we promised to stop playing the album."Shortly after stations began playing their leaked copies of "Given to Fly," Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis said that Pearl Jam was disappointed at the early airings. "All of us would prefer to wait so it was an equal playing field for everybody out there in radioland," he told Addicted To Noise. "You've got all those radio stations that didn't get it and they probably feel left out."Wardell said he has never received complaints from Epic records, band management or the Recording Industry Association of America.Last June, the RIAA filed lawsuits against three MP3 "archive" sites, or web pages that host MP3 files by a wide variety of artists. "We would only pursue a fan site [like Wardell's] if that was the artist's wish," said RIAA spokeswoman Alexandra Walsh on Wednesday. "We see this as an artist-driven issue, just like bootlegs."Wardell said he maintains his web page, which he began last February, in the interest of both fans and Pearl Jam. He cited his own refusal to host MP3 files of the band's four existing albums, as well as his intention to cut his Yield tracks to 30-second clips after the album is released, as evidence of his support for the band. He noted that most of the 200 songs housed at his site are live cuts and that Pearl Jam has a well-known policy of allowing fans to tape their concerts.Wardell said he's usually unable to listen to the MP3 files himself because playing them will crash his computer when his web server is running. His site, powered from his dorm room on a Macintosh home computer, can accommodate up to 25 downloaders at a time and is typically running at full capacity.Wardell said that he'd be shutting down "Josh Wardell's Pearl Jam MP3 Archive" for the holidays. "I'll be gone for Christmas break and I can't leave my computer running in the dorm," Wardell said. "So in a week it's going to be off-line until Jan. 15."That's two weeks before the album lands in stores.(Addicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman contributed to this report.)***Retailers Push For Warnings On Prodigy LPRadio reports few requests for song while retail chains work with label to sticker album.Addicted To Noise's Randy Reiss reports : While the controversy surrounding Prodigy's latest single, "Smack My Bitch Up," (RealAudio excerpt) caused Wal-Mart and Kmart to pull the album from store shelves, other major retailers and alternative radio stations have yet to follow their lead.Instead, some are waiting for further developments as they work with the label to get warning stickers added to the albums.Brant Skogrand, spokesperson for Musicland Stores Corporation, which has 777 Musicland and Sam Goody stores operating primarily in shopping malls across the U.S., said that the retail chain was taking a wait-and-see approach. "Right now we are working with the label [Maverick, partially owned by Warner Bros. Records] to get the [parental advisory] sticker on the CD," he said. And if they don't? "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."In the meantime, Skogrand said representatives for the chain will remain in conversations with the label and the CD will continue to be for sale in stores.The album is not set to immediately disappear from Target stores, either. In the Dec. 9 edition of USA Today, Target spokeswoman Carolyn Brookter said that the chain "will try to work with Time Warner Inc. [parent company of Warner Bros.] to see if they can put on a parental advisory label. If we can't," she continued, "We may decide to pull it."Calls to Blockbuster Music, Tower Records and Virgin Megastore were not returned by press time.Approximately 500,000 copies of a "clean" version of the album -- which still contains the unedited version of two songs, "Smack My Bitch Up" and "Funky Shit," but doesn't have the song titles completely spelled out -- have been ordered to date, Warner Bros. spokesperson Bob Merlis said.Retailers have had a choice of which album they receive from day one, Merlis said on Tuesday. "They could order either one," Merlis said about albums featuring the song titles spelled out, or with the offending words completely covered up by the band's icon of an ant.The Fat of the Land has shipped 2 million and sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan, although Merlis was unable to say how many of those shipped were clean versions. "I don't expect we'll get more orders for the clean ones since the stores that typically want that are not carrying the album anymore," he said of the band's breakthrough electronica-rock effort, which debuted at #1 in the U.S. on July 1.Wal-Mart pulled The Fat of the Land off the shelves of their 2,337 stores on Dec. 5, and Kmart's 2,150 U.S. stores pulled their 7,000 copies of the album over the weekend. Meanwhile, as a promotional item, the label has mailed 3,000 posters with the song's lyrics to retail oulets, contributing to the controversy, the impetus for which was apparently born of an article by Chuck Phillips in last week's Los Angeles Times.In the story, Phillips quoted a National Organization for Women spokesperson as saying that the song condones violence against women.Radio also has been slow to show any sort of reaction to the controversy. Sky Daniels, alternative radio editor for the industry magazine Radio & Records said that he hasn't heard of too many stations adding or dropping "Smack My Bitch Up" since the controversy flared early this week. "Maybe one or two stations added it, but that's all," he said. "When it first came out, there were probably 15 stations playing it and there are about 30 stations playing it right now.""From what I hear, they're only getting a little bit of negative reaction from radio listeners," Daniels continued. "That's the funny thing about it. You would expect a big outcry from the public, but there hasn't really been any until now. This will probably change now that there is this growing awareness of the song."While Daniels said the small number of markets playing "Smack My Bitch Up" was disappointing, considering all the hype that the song has generated, some of the stations that are playing the single have yet to report a swelling of public outrage.Golden Curtis, programming assistant at L.A.'s KROQ-FM, said that the station had been playing "Smack My Bitch Up" since its release and "hadn't heard any sort of complaints about it at all."Daniels said that his discussions with program directors from coast to coast haven't produced any objections to the song's lyrics but rather to Prodigy's electronica-rock sound, which made its first real push in the States with The Fat of the Land."From the very beginning," he said, "These guys have been marketed as the outlaws of electronica and they still haven't gotten very much airplay. It's been interesting to me that they've gotten so much publicity for their songs, tours and the album and radio still hasn't played them.""I can remember asking someone at a convention a while back about it," Daniels recalled. "And they just told me 'It's electronica, it's not worth it.' Right now, there just isn't the demand, but I'm expecting that to change in the light of this controversy."Merlis' office has received "less than 10" complaints about the album since the controversy erupted last week, he said.Asked why Maverick and parent company Warner Bros. decided not to sticker the album, Merlis suggested "ask Meredith Brooks the same question," referring to the singer's poppy hit-single "Bitch," which did not feature a warning sticker. "This song and album went through the same process as any album, like Neil Young's 'F*!#in' Up' " (off his 1990 album Ragged Glory, on which Young voluntarily deleted the offending word)."In that context it's not sexual or excremental, just like this song isn't," Merlis continued. "Maverick talked to the group, they explained what they had in mind with the song, and it had nothing to do with violence or abusive behavior."(ATN's Senior Writer Gil Kaufman contributed to this report.)


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