ATN's Music News of the World: Tortoise

Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: A Chicago-based indie film with no marquee stars and a first-time director (Bill Ryan), has managed to snag a number of cutting-edge semi-underground bands for its soundtrack. The movie, Reach the Rock (late spring), based on a script by teen-flick champion John Hughes about a traumatic night in the life of a 22 year-old town misfit, was scored by Tortoise's John McEntire in his first such effort and is slated to feature music from Polvo, June of 44, Tortoise, the Sea and Cake, Dianogah and former Tortoise member Bundy K. Brown. A source told ATN the movie is about a "guy who never left his home town, who never went to college and whose best friend drowned in high school, an event everybody holds over his head. It takes place over one night when he is arrested for vandalism and is mainly about the conversation between him and the arresting cop, who has a closer connection than he might like to this kid."McEntire reportedly signed on after reading the script and he and the rest of Tortoise just recorded a seven-minute piece that is directly cued to the action in the movie, described by the source as "very atmospheric." MTV, The Times They Are-A Changin', BackAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: MTV, a network that's made a habit of holding on to bad shows too long ("Road Rules") and good shows not long enough ("Liquid TV"), has announced it's latest step in what was promised as a radical facelift. The bad news, according to a story in "Variety" is that the Jenny-less "Singled Out" will continue it's crusade for the dumbing-down of anyone under 30, and "Loveline," which was much funnier when we could only hear it, will both return for another season. More amazing is the 65-episode order for a pair of shows that sound like Nickelodeon fare at best, Gong Show material at worst. "Oddville, MTV," based on a long-running New York cable access show called "Beyond Vaudeville," is described as one that focuses on "guests with unique or bizarre talents as well as the occasional celebrity." Ready for the wackiness? How about a yodeling pogo-stick jumping champion? Wow! Or a man who sings "Rock Around the Clock," and here's the kicker, in Yiddish! Where are Jamie Farr and Chuck Barris when you need them?The other show is called "Apartment 2F," described as a half-hour show combining "situation and standup comedy." All the action takes place in the basement apartment of a pair of twin brothers from St. Louis. Remember "The State?" Man, I loved that show. On the flipside, if you haven't stayed up late enough to catch the new electonica show, "Amp," which airs on the shadowy side on Friday and Saturday nights, it's time to stay up late. Packed with trippy images and cuting-edge cartoons and graphics, not to mention a welcome break from anything Spice-related, the show is the equivalent of a couch-launched chill-out room. Unfortunately, it's been buried almost as deep as M2, so you know it must be good for you. Both new shows will premiere in July. Pennywise's Full Circle Nearing CompletionAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Pennywise are finishing up work on their new album, Full Circle (April 22), their first release since the suicide of founding member Jason Thirsk last year. The 14-song effort was produced by the band and Eddie Ashworgh (Sublime) and features a new version of "Bro Hymn," a song that appeared on their first Epitaph full-length, Pennywise (1991) that was written by former bassist Thirsk about some friends of his who'd died. A source at Epitaph told ATN the band re-wrote some verses to re-birth the song as a tribute to Thirsk. Additionally, the entire album is dedicated to Thirsk and several songs invoke his memory, which the source said is somewhat of a theme on tunes like "Did You Really," "Date with Destiny," "Final Day," "Nowhere Fast," "You'll Never Make It," "Fight 'Til You Die" and "Running Out of Time." Pennywise have signed up for their second tour of duty on the Warped tour this summer, alongside bands like Blink 182, Millencolin, Royal Crown Revue and the Deftones. Fishbone Member To Release East L. A. CompilationAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Fishbone's Norwood Fisher has a unique notion of community service. His idea of giving back to the community is putting together a compilation of East L. A. bands on his new label, Mexnut. Called Barrio Artistas (early May), the 15-track album is the first from the label started by the high-energy funketeer and his partner, Eddie Ayala, a former member of the legendary early 80's L.A. punk band, Los Illegals. Norwood told ATN the recent Trulio Disgracias show at the Roxy (Feb. 9), which featured a guest spot from George Clinton, was a celebration of the final tracking of songs for the collection, which is being co-produced by Fisher and Ayala. "We brought a bunch of mostly new bands, probably 22, into the Fishbone studio, the Nuttsack," Fisher said, "and we got some amazing stuff from them." Fisher described the range of styles on the album as "all over the place." But Fisher emphasized that all the bands in some way reflect their East L. A. environment. "They all have a neighborhood influence. That's the appealing thing to me," Fisher said, "It's what we try to do in Fishbone. We try to make it a mix of what we listen to, what we're into and mix it with the influence of our neighborhood and the music we grew up with." To that end, Artistas will have rap, rock rap, funk, punk, punk hybrids and an intriguing surprise turn Fisher described as "beautiful vocal stylings like Alanis Morissette and Poe." Bands scheduled for inclusion are: Motita, Marble, Calazera, Quetzal, Lisa Flores and Ayala's new band, Cactus Flower. Fisher also said Fishbone have tracked 11 songs for their next album with R&B producer Dallas Austin, their first for Rowdy Records. Tentatively-titled "The Nutcase Scenario", Fisher hopes to have it out by summer. Rappers Melle Mel & Scorpio Return To ActionAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Former Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five members Melle Mel and Scorpio couldn't have picked a better time to resurface with a new album. Hot on the heels of the just-released, mind-blowing Sugar Hill five-CD box set, the old-school duo are ready to release, Right Now (March 14), their first album of all new material since an ill-received Furious Five reunion album six years ago. The album, their first full-length effort as a duo, was described by a source as varying between "pop, upbeat stuff and straight-up OG style stuff. It's got their old-school rapping style laid over the new sound of the tracks, some of which use that dark, East Coast piano loop sound." The first single is the poppy "Mr. Big Stuff," which will be followed by the moodier track, "Mama," whose chorus uses a sample from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."Bowie Sells Out Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: David Bowie, who's made a career of outrageous moves, has one-upped even himself and guaranteed a lifetime of "sell-out" jokes by issuing what some are calling "Bowie Bonds." Bowie has offered investors a chance to profit from future sales of his back catalog by buying the bonds, which are expected to mature in about 10 years and top out around a 7.9 percent yield (which is about 1.5 percent higher than current rate on U.S. Treasury Bonds.) The unusual offer, made possible by the fact that Bowie owns all his master tapes (including classic albums like The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust), has already reportedly netted the chameleonic singer a cool $55 million, with more to come once the principle on the bonds has been paid out, sometime before Bowie's 70th birthday. By then we fully expect he will have permanently replaced himself with a robotic facsimile. Investors have cautiously given this Bond issue a thumbs up, mainly because a handful of Bowie's classic albums still sell nearly a million copies every year. Once the principal on the bonds has been paid out, all future royalties will go straight to Bowie, who mined a different kind of gold on Wednesday (February 12) when he graciously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Dapper as always, Bowie had his supermodel wife, Iman, in tow, as well as right-hand guitar man Reeves Gabrels to share his honor, which he described as "a very nice thing." Like his bonds, Bowie's star is sure to get a lot of action, based on its primo placement on Hollywood Boulevard outside the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. Electronica Soundtrack For City Of Industry Addicted To Noise soundtrack seer P.R. Flack reports: As far as John Irvin (Dogs of War, A Month By the Lake) is concerned, electronica is the sound of the City. In his new film noir, City of Industry (March 7, soundtrack Mar. 11), Irvin uses the dark sounds of the electronic ether to guide his central characters -- Harvey Keitel, Stephen Dorff, Timothy Hutton and Famke Janssen -- through their dramatic paces, with the help of soundtrack compiler Jason Bentley (Pop Fiction). The 10-song soundtrack album contains unreleased/previously unavailable mixes from Lush ("Last Night"), Bomb the Bass and Justin Warfield ("Bug Powder Dust") and Butter 08 ("Degobrah"). Also included in the collection are tracks from Massive Attack ("Three"), Tricky ("Overcome"), Death in Vegas ("Rocco Sings for a Drink"), Palm Skin Productions ("Walking Through Water"), Lionrock ("Call A Cab"), Photek ("The Hidden Camera") and Mr. Jones ("Red"). Estrus Records "Fireshock" BenefitsAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Washington's rock community has quickly mobilized to set up cross-country benefits for Estrus Records, the surf/instrumental/garage rock label whose warehouse was gutted by fire a month ago (January 16). Already one benefit show took place on February 8 in Stockholm, Sweden that featured The Nomads and Dee Rangers.According to an Estrus website (http://www.auburn.edu/~ratlimc/Estrus.html), a string of Estrus Appreciation "Fireshock" benefit shows are in the works, with more to come. A source who's helping set up the shows told ATN that the Estrus brain trust thought it would be a better idea to do a bunch of regional shows than try to get everyone in the same place at the same time. Here are the confirmed shows thus far:*Chicago Fireshock: March 1st, at the Empty Bottle, featuring: The Goblins, Crown Royals, Chinese Millionaires, The Pokers, Bouncing Balls, Thee Phantom 5ive.*Houston Fireshock: March 7th, at Mary Jane's, featuring: Sugar Shack, Lord High Fixers, The Motards, Kiss-Offs (part 1.4.5's), Junior Varsity.*Dallas Fireshock: March 8th, at The Orbit Room, featuring: Sugar Shack, Lord High Fixers, The Motards, Kiss Offs, Mullins.*St. Louis Fireshock: March 8, at the Hi-Pointe (matinee show), featuring: The Bent Scepters, Prisonshake, The Delstars, The Geargrinders.*Seattle Fireshock: March 22nd, at Moe's, featuring: The Galaxy Trio, Black Jack, Madame X, The Statics, Boss Martians, El Dorado.*Boston Fireshock: March 29th, at The Middle East, featuring: Sex Bomba, X-Ray Tango, The Itchies, The Strangemen.T-shirts, posters and other benefit items are in the works and supporters are hoping to get a benefit CD together soon, in addition to a Mono Men tribute double-7". Rage, Indigo Girls To Meet Zapatista Leaders Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: On February 28, Rage Against the Machine singer Zack De La Rocha will make one of his frequent pilgrimages to Mexico to meet with leaders of the embattled Zapatista movement, only this time he will be joined by the Indigo Girls and a 25-member delegation hoping to sway the opinions of Mexican government officials. De La Rocha is no stranger to the plight of the Zapatistas and their shadowy leader, the masked rebel, Subcomandante Marcos, who have been battling the Mexican government in a fight for the rights of indigenous peoples for several years. The delegation, who hope to meet with Marcos himself, will be made up of the musicians, community leaders and representatives of indigenous peoples groups, all part of a cultural exchange program that will set up camp in the town of La Realidad, the last place Marcos was seen. According to a source, the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray and Emily Saliers got involved in the program when they met with a representative from the El Paso office of the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico, the same person that De La Rocha was briefed by, after which Ray made her first educational trip to Mexico. Both Ray and Saliers have championed Native American and indigenous peoples' causes for years, culminating in last year's "Honor the Earth" tour, a month-long benefit tour that raised $300,000 for Native American grass roots organizations. The duo's next album, "Shaming of the Sun", which features cameos from Steve Earle, Lisa Germano, Andy Stochansky (Ani DiFranco's drummer), the Atlanta band Smoke and hip-hop producer Dallas Austin, will be released on April 29. Off-The-(ATN)-Wire: Thanks to an L. A. radio station and always intrepid webheads, another new U2 song has been made available far in advance of its official release date. Even though "Pop" won't be available until March 4, you can check out the U2 Pop Archive (http://www.illume.com/U2/) to get a RealAudio peek at "The Playboy Mansion" a song "Q" magazine described as a "touching tale of lottery-playing average Joe fantasizing about gaining entry to Hugh Hefner's private Disneyland."... Cake Like, the female trio who went from not knowing how to play any instruments to indie darling superstatus in nine months, culminating with their 1993 debut, Delicious on John Zorn's Japanese Avant label, have been signed to Vapor Records (the label owned by Neil Young and his manager, Elliot Roberts)... Jeff Buckley, whose debut album, "Grace", was a highlight of 1994, will played an intimate 200 capacity club within the New Daisey Theater in Memphis February 12 and 13. The dates were to "warm-up" Buckley and his band before they entered a Memphis studio to begin work on the follow-up to "Grace", which is being produced by former Television leader Tom Verlaine, who was most recently scene on-stage as part of Patti Smith's touring band... Garbage tell us they plan to head for a cabin in the woods where they will write songs for the follow-up to their killer debut... If you dig DJ Shadow, don't miss the upcoming debut from Lateef and Lyrics Born, titled "Latyrx."...

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.