ATN's Music News of the World: Punk Rockin' Pearl Jam

PUNK ROCKIN' PEARL JAM ALBUM NEARLY COMPLETEAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: Pearl Jam is putting the finishing touches on its next album, Eddie Vedder told ATN Sunday."We've just about finished with it," Vedder told ATN from behind the scenes at the Tibetan Freedom Concert, where the rocker did his part for the cause of freedom in Tibet by circulating through the audience with a trio of petitions he asked concert-goers to sign.In contrast to the last album No Code (1996), the release will see the Seattle-based band return to its earlier hard-rocking ways, Vedder said.Vedder also confirmed an ATN report from several months ago that the band has been visiting the studio on and off working on new tracks. He added that the still-untitled effort is close to completion.Vedder, who was somewhat incognito in his newly-dyed dark hair, mini-mutton chop sideburns and goatee, told ATN's crack field reporter David Hyman that the new album will be much "heavier" than the band's last effort, No Code, and that a number of the songs will be along the lines of that album's hardest rocker "Hail, Hail," which showcased the band's explosive and gritty punk sound.Vedder and guitarist Mike McCready opened the Sunday Tibet concert with an unannounced three song set, and later in the day performed with Michael Stipe and Mike Mills (Vedder sang during "Long Road," then left the stage while the others, with Beastie Mike D and Patti Smith bassist Tony Shanahan, played a raw, rocking version of "The Passenger." If the startlingly good hot-wired Stooges-meet-the-MC5-at-Electric-Ladyland guitar work that McCready delivered at the concert is any indication, the new album will be a highlight of '97.Meanwhile, guitarist Stone Gossard is quoted in the currentNew Musical Express as saying that the group has completed seven songs (at his Seattle-based Studio Litho), including one called "Pilate," which is about the ancient Roman emperor of that name. "That's one song that I have just been loving lately," he reportedly said.A source close to Pearl Jam told ATN that if the album is done in time for a fall release, the band will likely play a limited set of live dates at that time.Epic Records does not currently have a Pearl Jam album on its release schedule. However, because of the secrecy surrounding all things Pearl Jam, that doesn't mean that the album won't be out later this year. "The label can't confirm anything, but if you talked to Eddie, that's as good as it's going to get," said an Epic spokesperson. He should know."MORE HOT AIR FROM R.O.A.R. TOBACCO TOURAddicted To Noise Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: When you only sell 751 tickets to an all-day concert at a venue that seats 20,000, you gotta figure out a way to get more people in the seats.That's apparently what the organizers of the Skoal Smokeless Tobacco-sponsored R.O.A.R. (Revelations of Alternative Rhythms) tour have resorted to.The R.O.A.R. tour, which has already had its share of controversy over anti-tobacco forces' accusations that it's just another way to market tobacco to teens, sent out a press release this week through their publicity firm, Rogers & Cowan Inc., that touted two headliner-worthy stories from the tour's June 6 Columbus, Ohio stop at the Polaris Amphitheater, the ninth on the 40-date schedule.First, was the "House Arrest" of main-stage headliners the Bloodhound Gang for public indecency and second, the serious dislocation of headliner Iggy Pop's shoulder after an ill-fated stage dive.But based on interview's with the theater's management, police and Pop's people, no "house arrest" tool place, and Pop's injury was so minor that by the next night he was performing again.The press release states that the General Manager of the Polaris Amphitheater told the Bloodhound Gang members they were under house arrest after they exposed themselves on stage last Friday night."(Bloodhound Gang lead singer) Jimmy Pop does this Silence of the Lambs maneuver where he drops his pants and puts his privates between his legs," explained Geffen Records publicist Dennis Dennehy.He then said that Jimmy's public display encouraged bassist Hennegan to take off all his clothes, after which the band urged fans in the lawn seats at the venue to rush the pavilion and get closer to the stage.Dennehy said the police were then called, and when the set ended, the group were told they were being placed under house arrest on their tour bus, and were not allowed to leave the venue until all the other bands had finished their sets. Furthermore, Dennehy, who wasn't there, claims the band were told that if anybody "incited any more riot activity or took off their clothes," the Gang would be held responsible and booked accordingly.But Polaris GM Patrick Leahy, who was there, says that just didn't happen. "Where I would get the authority to put them under house arrest I have no idea," said a somewhat stunned Leahy. "I'm not a police officer, never have been, never will be, no disrespect to the police. This whole story is completely fabricated."As of Tuesday, the Columbus police had no record of the incident on their log sheets.As for how Pop ended up in an ambulance, Dennehy said it was partly due to the Gang. "Iggy got hurt because the police pushed the crowd of people back from the stage after they rushed it during the Bloodhound Gang's set and there was more space than there should have been."Then during the second song of his set, Dennehy said, Pop took a leap from the stage, expecting to land in a crowd, and, instead, landed on his shoulder, "seriously dislocating" it and forcing him to bow out of a show for the first time anyone can remember.But Leahy attributes Iggy Pop's injury to an instinctual backing-up reaction from the crowd, not to any effort on the part of the venue to push people back. "It was a pretty stupid thing for him [Pop] to do," Leahy said. "We didn't force anybody back because there was no reason to.Iggy Pop's publicist at Rogers & Cowan, Karen Bell, told ATN that, after a trip to Riverside Hospital in an ambulance, Pop was released that same night and was able to perform at the next night's show in Indianapolis, albeit with his arm in a sling. "He's fine," Bell said.Leahy said that "most of what that tour is trying to do is fabricate some publicity on anything," suggesting that the poorly-selling first-time outing (of the 3,300 attendees at the Columbus date, only 751 had paid for their tickets, the rest being concert promotion winners and others with free tickets.) was desperate for a lift."That's a funny story," Leahy said about the alleged house arrest, "but frankly, I'm a bit offended by it."As for the "riot" the Bloodhound Gang allegedly caused when they encouraged kids to jump the breach between the grass and the pavilion, Leahy said, "There were (already) plenty of kids down front because we weren't keeping them from being in front, and frankly, there weren't a lot looking to get down front."Neither the Bloodhound Gang nor their tour manager could be reached for comment at press time to offer their version of the story.Thus far, attendance at R.O.A.R. tour dates has been abysmal. Pollstar's (a concert industry trade magazine) Gary Bongiovani told ATN that the poor turnout for the Columbus show "was not an aberration."R.O.A.R. is in its first year and represents the first time a tobacco company has tried to sponsor a major rock-oriented tour. "They're competing in a very crowded marketplace this summer, and fans always have lots of other options, and not just concerts," said Bongiovani about likely explanations for the poor ticket sales. He added that from what he's heard, the Pine Knob, Mich. date sold about 4,000 tickets to the 15,000-capacity venue.And that's Iggy Pop's hometown.K RECORDS EXEC PRODUCES BLUES EXPLOSIONAddicted To Noise Staff Writer Chris Nelson reports: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and K Records owner Calvin Johnson are becoming quite a little recording team, with Johnson taking the helm.First, the Blues Explosion let Johnson's Dub Narcotic Sound System work over "Flavor" for the 1995 EP Experimental Remixes (Matador). Now in return for that remix, the JSBX has recorded with Johnson and is letting him have the tapes.Blues Explosion guitarist Judah Bauer told ATN that on their last tour, the band took a couple of days off to hang out with Johnson at his house in Olympia, Washington, where they recorded the new material. "It was pretty mellow," Bauer said, "Kind of funky white jams. It was a lot of stuff. It's his to do with what he wants."Johnson estimates that he's got about a dozen tracks, none of which as yet has a firm release date. "We're working on them still," he said. "I'm singing on some of them. Lots of great tunes there. They were like, 'Here, finish these,' so I've been working on them. Probably a lot of them won't end up being used for anything."The former singer for Beat Happening did confirm that one of the tracks is being saved for a K collection called Selector Dub Narcotic to be released this fall. "It's a compilation of different stuff recorded at our studio [which is also called Dub Narcotic]. It's gonna have the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Black Anger's on there, Kicking Giant, Versus. Lois [Maffeo] has a little band that she does with Carrie [Brownstein] from Sleater-Kinney called Tommy, and they're gonna have a song."Meanwhile, Johnson and Bauer can look forward to eventful summers. The Halo Benders, another Johnson band, heads into the studio to make its next record in July, which is right about the time the Blues Explosion will be hitting their stride at this year's Lollapalooza festival."It'll be fine," Bauer said of the mega-tour. "Playing outdoors is kind of apain in the ass. I think we're playing pretty early in the afternoon, like 3:30. I'd rather play later, 'cause then the sun isn't so high up in the sky, but it's fine. It'll be good. It'll be worthwhile regardless."COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT SUITS FILED AGAINST WEB SITESAddicted To Noise Staff Writer Chris Nelson reports: The music industry has fired its latest salvo in the war to maintain copyright protection on the Internet.And this time the impact will likely be felt around the U.S.On Monday, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed lawsuits against three owners of music archive sites headquartered in cities from New York to California, charging that the Web pages violate federal copyright laws by reproducing and distributing copyrighted sound recordings without authorization. "This is pretty much our top concern at the moment," said Alexandra Walsh, the RIAA's vice president for media relations.The offending sites feature databases offering scores of songs, presented in their entirety, which can be downloaded with the click of a mouse. One of the sites, Parsoft.com, includes songs by Alanis Morissette, Garbage, Tom Petty, the Cranberries and dozens of other artists.Walsh said that none of the sites named in the RIAA suits is a "fan page," or site typically created by fans that's dedicated to a particular band. Last month, Oasis ordered web masters at its fan sites to remove all copyrighted material within 30 days or face legal action."We've never pursued a fan site," Walsh said. "We've never been asked by a label to pursue a fan site. I'm pretty confident that that is something that the labels are going to handle on their own, and not ask us to intervene."Dennis Petroskey, vice president for corporate communications at BMG Music, one of the labels named as a plaintiff in the suits, agreed that fan pages were not the target of the labels' legal action."There's a huge difference in having a fan doing a brief audio clip of some kind that, through their enthusiasm for the artist, they want to share with the rest of the world," Petroskey said. "As opposed to someone who, in a very concerted, organized way is trying to exploit the works of artists all over the world -- that's obviously of deeper concern to us."Walsh said, "We litigated against music archive sites because they are proliferating faster than anything else on the Internet that's using our members' copyrighted sound recordings without our authorization."The RIAA filed its suits in the federal district courts of New York, Texas and California (the states where the sites are maintained) on behalf of the United States' six major record companies: Sony, Time-Warner, Universal Music Group (formerly MCA), Polygram, Bertelsmann and EMI. The three defendants have not been named as yet, because so far the RIAA has been unable to determine the owners of the sites. Subpoenas have been issued to the servers hosting the sites ordering them to reveal the archive maintainers.Temporary restraining orders were issued in all three states, preventing the archive sites from offering copyrighted songs for download. By Tuesday, it appeared that two of the sites had been taken down, and the third, though still present, had removed its sound files. The RIAA is seeking a preliminary injunction that would continue the restraining order until the parties go to court.Walsh said that daily 'Net surfing by the RIAA found that a large number of music archive sites are attached to university servers, but the current suit names none of these copyright infringing pages as defendants. "We've started a whole campaign working with university administrators to reach out to the students," Walsh said.The current suits should pave the wave for more involvement on the Internet by the industry's major labels, according to Walsh. "The pressure is here to clean up the marketplace, to make it safe so that labels and artists feel that they can use this to distribute their music without being ripped off the moment they turn around."Off-The-(ATN)-Wire: Details about work on the next Guns 'N' Roses album may be slow in coming, but ATN did receive official confirmation Thursday that both Moby and ex-GN'R knob-turner Mike Clink are working on the production. Former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna's name has been bandied about as a possible collaborator with the band, but his participation is, at this point ,only speculation. "With Guns N' Roses you can't be sure what's going to happen until after it already has," said a Geffen spokesperson. "They like it that way" Meanwhile, the Gunners mourn the death of West Arkeen, the co-writer of such songs as "Bad Obsession," "Yesterdays," "The Garden," and "It's So Easy." Arkeen died last Friday from an accidental "opiate overdose." The 36-year-old had recently issued an album in Japan with his own band, the Outpatience...Boston band Letters to Cleo have just entered Longview Farms studio in Massachusetts to record the long-awaited follow-up to their 1995 album Wholesale Meats and Fish with producer Peter Collins (Jewel). The album is expected out around October. Drummer Tom Pulsey has replaced Stacy Jones, now of Veruca Salt...British electronica duo Leftfield(Paul Daley and Neil Barnes) are in a London studio working on the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed 1995 debut, Leftism. Expect an October release and a track with Planet Rocker Afrika Bambaataa on vocals...Prodigy tour guitarist Graham Butt (aka Gizz Butt) has re-formed his on-and-off punk band, The English Dogs, and signed a worldwide deal with hardcore label Earache (Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Anal Cunt). Following some European festival dates with the Wu Tang Clan and Foo Fighters (and just prior to Prodigy's Lollapalooza stint), the Dogs will enter an English studio for two weeks in July to record their new album, expected in early 1998...Forty-nine-year-old Erasure fan Danny Lehner suffered a fatal heart attack during the acoustic portion of the synth pop band's show at New York's Radio City Music Hall last Thursday (May 29)...Former Monkee Michael Nesmith (the talented one), has eschewed hitting the road with the rest of the wrinkled chumps, ah, chimps in order to work on the still-untitled sequel to their movie debut, 1969's acid-dipped Head (written by a then-unknown Jack Nicholson)...Country hatman-turned-movie-star Dwight Yoakam releases Under the Covers on July 15, on which he tackles interpretations of the Clash's "Train in Vain," The Kink's "Tired of Waiting for You" and The Rolling Stones' "The Last Time," among others... Radiohead have done their Capitol Records brethren in Spearhead one better by sending out a promotional item that puts Michael Franti and Co.'s "Michael Franti & the Spearhead Factory" chocolate bar promo to shame. In advance of their OK Computer (July 1) album, the band sent out a limited-edition AIWA walkman with a cassette of the new 12-track album superglued inside for maximum attention-span fixation."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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