ATN's Music News of the World: PJ Harvey & Nick Cave

FAMILY OF JEFF BUCKLEY COPING WITH APPARENT DROWNINGAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: As the search for the body of singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley winds down, his friends and family say they have symbolically let go and come to grips with his probable drowning.The son of famed folk-music troubadour Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley, who gained instant critical acclaim after bursting on the music scene in 1994 with his stunning debut, Grace, was reported missing after he apparently entered dangerous waters surrounding Memphis, Tennessee's Mud Island Harbor for a late-night swim Thursday May 29.The Memphis Police now presume that Buckley is dead, Lt. Brenda Maples of the Memphis Police Dept. told ATN on June 3. Until the body is found, Buckley will remain officially listed as "missing," Maples said, adding that it's up to his family to go to court and have Buckley declared officially dead."At this point the Memphis Police Dept. is periodically searching the banks and the harbor of Mud Island but they are no longer using dogs, helicopters or scuba divers," Maples said. "They are currently just using boats in their search in case the body shows up on the shore."A press release issued Monday June 2 by the 30-year-old rocker's label, Columbia Records, says that "while Jeff is still officially listed as missing, his family, close friends and advisors believe that he has drowned."Memphis authorities have stated that, so far, there is no evidence of drugs, alcohol or foul play in Buckley's disappearance, although it remains unclear whether the area in which the singer was wading was safe for swimming . Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, said of the tragedy, "It has become apparent to me that my son will not be walking out of the river. It is now time to make plans to celebrate a life that was golden. I ask people who cared about Jeff to please be honorable and faithful to his memory, to send their best wishes to Jeff and to all of us who are mourning his passing."Ironically, Buckley's dad, who the singer tried to distance himself from for most of his musical life, died tragically young in 1975 of a heroin overdose.Buckley was hanging out with friend Keith Foti on the night of his disappearance, according to the release. Foti, whose name had not been made public before Monday June 3, called police to report his disappearance sometime after 10 p.m. that Thursday May 29 and gave Memphis police an account of how he and Buckley ended up at the marina.Buckley (who was in Memphis preparing for a much-anticipated and long-awaited follow-up album to Grace) and Foti were apparently on their way to a local rehearsal studio when, after eating dinner, they decided to stop by the marina, he told police, adding that Buckley had previously gone swimming there. After hanging out on the dock and playing guitar and singing, Buckley entered the water fully-clothed, remaining close enough that Foti could maintain visual and vocal contact.But when Foti turned to move a radio they were playing to prevent it from getting splashed by passing boats, he momentarily lost sight of Buckley. Foti told police he shouted Buckley's name for about 10 minutes before calling for help. Investigators speculate that an undertow created by passing boats swept Buckley away from the dock and underwater, causing him to drown.Police continued their search for Buckley's body over the weekend May 31-June 1, using boats, horse and foot patrols, helicopters and scuba divers. But the diving was hampered by rain and poor weather on Saturday and Sunday.Buckley had reportedly been suffering from some personal problems in recent months, which he may have alluded to last December in a handwritten note posted on his official web site. The note read, "I'm in the middle of some wild shit right now... Please be patient. I'm coming soon to a cardboard display case near you and I'll come out of my hole and will make bonfires out of ticket stubs come the summer..."The oft-delayed recording of his sophomore album, tentatively-titled, My Sweetheart the Drunk, had begun on Thursday (May 29) at Memphis' famed Easely Studios. The album was to have been produced by former Television-leader Tom Verlaine, but Verlaine dropped out when Buckley postponed the sessions to work on new material to augment the dozen-plus songs he'd already prepared. The album was slated for an early 1998 release.A memorial service for the singer is being planned, the details of which are not yet available.GET READY FOR PRIMUS' BROWN ALBUMAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: You've heard of the Beatles' classic, the White Album, and, of course, both Prince and Metallica have their Black albums. But the Brown Album?Whether you like it or not, that's the name of the latest odd affair from Primus, scheduled for release July 1. It's the first recording with their new drummer (and ex-Limbomaniac) Bryan "Brain" Mantia.Brain, as his friends affectionately refer to him, replaced departed member Tim "Herb" Alexander in the Bay Area weirdo/ prog trio last year prior to the recording of the 15-track effort. With Alexander gone, Primus has focused on its more eccentric side; for the new album they've slipped further into an oddball musical abyss not unlike that of their more conceptual cross-town homeboys, The Residents.Packed with a raft of new characters ("The Return of Sathington Willoughby," "Golden Boy," "Arnie,"), hard-to-decipher scenarios ("Shake Hands With Beef," "Camelback Cinema," "Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread") and plenty of band leader/ bassist Les Claypool's signature nasally vocals ("Fisticuffs," "Coddingtown," "Bob's Party Time Lounge"), the Brown Album is one of Primus' hardest-funking, high energy albums to date.Claypool and Brain connect in lock groove on "Golden Boy" for a meaty, bass-heavy groove, while "Over the Falls"' see-saw tempo is dictated by Claypool's swaying bass and Brain's off-kilter drumming for a song even creepier than their 1993 hit "My Name is Mud." The self-produced album (Primus' seventh) was recorded at Claypool's Northern California compound, Rancho Relaxo, this past March using all analog equipment, which might explain the rich, earthy sound of "Camelback Cinema," a driving, edgy number that features thick, fuzzed out guitar from Larry LaLonde and a metronomic steady beat from Brain or the live, organic jam feel of the hard fusion-like "Bob's Party Time Lounge."Other songs on the album include: "Hats Off," the classic Primus rubber band funk tune "Puddin' Taine," "Restin' Bones," "Kalamazoo," and "The Chastizing of Renegade."Primus manager David Lefkowitz said "the band is the most excited they've ever been about an album and the prospect of touring."Primus will unveil the new creations during a two-week European tour from mid-June to early July, followed by a radio date at WBCM's River Rave on June 7, followed by their summer-long stint on the Main Stage of the Horizons Of Rock Developing Everywhere (H.O.R.D.E.) tour.PJ HARVEY & NICK CAVE SING KURT WEILLAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: The mysterious allure of German playwright/composer Kurt Weill continues to work its magic on rockers fascinated with his classic early 20th-century work. The latest tribute to the Threepenny Opera author is an Aug. 19 Sony Classics album entitled September Songs--The Music of Kurt Weill.The set, based on a 1996 PBS special of the same name, features artists such as Nick Cave ("Mack the Knife"), PJ Harvey ("Ballad of the Soldier's Wife"), David Johansen ("Alabama Song"), classic songstress Teresa Stratas ("Youkali Tango," "Surabaya Johnny"), Elvis Costello ("Lost in the Stars"), jazz giant Charlie Haden ("Speak Low", which features a sample of a Weill performance), The Persuasions ("O Heavenly Salvation"), Betty Carter ("Lonely House"), Mary Margaret O'Hara (Furchte Dich Nicht") and Lou Reed ("September Song").Also included are vintage recordings of Weill's frequent collaborator, Bertolt Brecht, performing an original version of one of Weill's signature songs, "Mack the Knife," and a recording of his wife, Lotte Lenya, performing "Pirate Jenn." The set ends with a dramatic reading of "What Keeps Mankind Alive" by Beat legend, author, poet and sometimes actor William S. Burroughs.The collection, which comes more than 10 years after a similar tribute called Lost in the Stars, which featured Lou Reed, Marianne Faithful, Tom Waits and others honoring Weill, was coordinated by the same man who brought that collection to fruition, avant garde producer Hal Willner. The album is the soundtrack to a 1996 PBS series created by Larry Weinstein called September Songs that, like his 1996 film 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, is a series of vignettes, this time featuring the artists in dramatic interpretations of Weill's work.Weill (1900-1950), who with his wife Lenya, escaped from Germany during World War II, to make his name on Broadway, is considered one of the masters of the cabaret style of operatic theater, a style he refined with several of his later, more commercial Broadway efforts, Knickerbocker Holiday, Street Scene and Lost in the Stars."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:


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