ATN's Music News Of The World: U2

U2'S "DISCOTHEQUE" GOES UP ON THE NETAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Just hours after the new U2 single, "Discotheque," was aired on L. A. and New York modern rock radio stations KROQ and WXRK during the last weekend of 1996, rabid U2 fans were frantically sending email back and forth trying to figure out how to convert the files and post the song on their web sites. The song is currently available for downloading on at least one U2 fan site, Interference."It's ['Discotheque'] supposed to come out in early January, but stations always leak these things a week early," said a source who works with U2. "And it didn't take very long for fans to start telling each other how to load the recording of it into an MP3 or RealAudio file."If you don't subscribe to The Wire, a U2 fan digest where the file has been available for a few days, you can try downloading it from Interference (http://www.interference.com).SUN SHINES ON GUIDED BY VOICESWith Sunfish Holy Breakfast, Guided By Voices once again deliver the kind of lo-fi pop masterpiece that first got us excited about this Dayton, Ohio combo. How writers Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout keep coming up with cool pop hooks to anchor their minimalist works is a mystery we won't bother to unravel today. Just know that in a year that has already seen numerous GBV releases including "solo" albums from both Sprout and Pollard, this year-end gift does not disappoint."Jabberstroker," the CD EP opener, somehow manages, with just electric rhythm guitar, bass and vocals, to recall London circa 1964. "Stabbing A Star" sounds like something the Beatles might have whipped up in the garage, while "Canteen Plums" is pure power pop heaven. And just try to resist the ecstatic multi-track guitar buzz of "Cocksoldiers and Their Postwar Stubble." Most of this 23 minute EP was cut around the same time as the group's last album, Under the Bushes Under the Stars, was recorded. But it's a much more accessible work. And don't be put off by those three longhairs sitting cross-legged on the cover. GBV haven't gone hippie on us. Yet.Meanwhile, who exactly comprises GBV seems unclear. Work on a new album (working title: Honey Locust Honkytonk) has proceeded. Some sessions with just Sprout and Pollard took place, while others saw Robert Pollard, Mitch Mitchell and Jim Pollard working in Cleveland with two other bands, Cobra Verde and Gem. The next full album is expected out in June, and a tour is being planned.BEN LEE, PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATEAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Australian teen fave Ben Lee just wrapped up work on his new, still-untitled solo album in Los Angeles according to sources at his label, Grand Royal. Lee recorded the 22 new songs at the Beastie Boys' G-Son studios with producer extraordinare Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Veruca Salt) over the past month, laying down most of the tracks in about two-and-a-half weeks including "Ketchum," a song cryptically-described as being "about Hemingway."The list of guests who appear on this all-acoustic, folky set are as offbeat as you'd expect from one of the brightest (and youngest) stars in the growing GR stable: Brad Wood on drums and bass, Beastie Mike D (drums), Hole's Melissa Auf Der Maur (backing vocals on two songs), Petra Hayden and her non-that dog sister (violin, cello), Al Bloch ("My Favorite Martian"), the brother of the Fastbacks 'Kurt Bloch (bass on one track), Grand Royal staff member Jamie Fraser (theremin), Patrick Yonally (Johnny Go!) laid down some slide guitar and avant accordionist Miss Mergatroid squeezed her box a few tunes.Our source described it as a "very folk-oriented record that's definitely more rootsy than the Noise Addict stuff." Lee, who recently turned 18, just graduated from high school and will celebrate the April release of his album by hitting the road in February with Sebadoh. No word yet on who Lee will take on the road (although Brad Wood has been known to sit in with him in the past).HIT THE JACKPOT! THE LAS VEGAS STORYAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: It might be a little late to think about what to get that special hipster on your list for Christmas, but it's never too late to think about what you're gonna get when you go to the store to return that Michael Bolton CD your aunt got you. The folks at Rhino Records know how you feel, and they want to make sure you're not left crying in your martini, but they also want to make sure that you know the Cocktail Nation wasn't born around the time you switched from a leather jacket to a shiny suit a few years ago.Jackpot! The Las Vegas Story is the perfect crib sheet for aspiring hipsters and hipstettes who might be interested in knowing where bands like Combustible Edison and the Squirrel Nut Zippers got their education. Sure, you can go down to the local swing club (which probably used to be the local coffee shop, and years before that, the local disco joint) and act wonderful to the strains of some new, slick-haired bunch of yahoos plucking upright basses and crooning their hearts out until the next wave hits, or you can sidle up to a teenage Wayne Newton sounding like a little girl on his classic, "Danke Schoen."They're all here, Vic Damone ("Something's Coming"), Buddy Greco ("The Lady is a Tramp"), Sammy Davis, Jr. ("I've Gotta Be Me"), Dean Martin ("That's Amore"), Engelbert Humperdinck ("Release Me (and let me love again)"), Tom Jones ("Delilah") and eleven others, all doing songs you might recognize, but from names that your mom can't forget.One of the cool things about this collection is how it gives a hilariously kitschy look at this bygone era, especially on one of my favorite tracks, "Wives and Lovers," by Jack Jones. Over a bouncy beat, Jones warns, "Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your make-up/ Soon he will open the door/ Don't think because there's a ring on your finger/ You needn't try anymore/ For wives should always be lovers too/ Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you/ I'm warning you/ Day after day there are girls at the office/ And men will always be men/ Don't send him off with your hair still in curlers/ You may not see him again." Now get me a chicken pot pie, and clean up this mess!As you might expect from the pinkie-ring-wearin', open-shirt vibe of many of the songs, the female voice is not that well-represented on this set. The exceptions being Louis Prima & Keely Smith doing "That Old Black Magic" and Miss Ann-Margret singin' "Begin the Beguine." Don't let that stop you from diving into campy numbers like Liberace's "Parks & Recreation" mix of "Cherry Hill Park/MacArthur Park/Echo Park" or Mel Torme's "It's Delovely." Besides, it's fun to laugh at old people. But don't forget, you'll be one someday too and when your kids start to think of Bush and Beck as silly nostalgia acts, it might not be so funny anymore.CHUCK D TO HIT THE BIG SCREENAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Chuck D will make his big screen debut in the next Joe (Showgirls) Eszterhas movie, An Alan Smithee Film. Don't worry, he won't be playing opposite one of Eszterhas' patented curvaceous, naked lesbian avenger heroines (for once), he'll be one of the Brothers brothers, along with Coolio, in the Hollywood-spoof flick. The duo will play a Hughes-brothers-like duo of film-making siblings in the movie-about-making-movies-movie, which also features Ryan O'Neal, Richard Jeni and a host of Hollywood celebrity cameos. A spoof from top to bottom, even the title of the film is a play on Hollywood insecurity, making reference to the anonymous credit a screenwriter/director adopts when he/she doesn't want to be associated with a stinker, the film is currently shooting in Los Angeles and marks Coolio's second stab at a screen career, the first being last summer's disastrously stupid, Phat Beach.OFF-THE-(ATN)-WIRE: Raising the specter of the "clean" and "nasty" version of previous 2 Live Crew records, Chicago rapper Da Brat has decided to release a remix album containing "PG" versions of her songs, for the kids. The saucy lass has grabbed tracks from her two albums, the awesome Funkdafied and its recent follow-up, Anuthatanrum for a new, clean set called Anuthafunkdafiedtantrum...The very cool New York club the Knitting Factory is celebrating a 10 year anniversary with an awesome line-up of shows during February and early March including performances by Violent Femmes (Feb. 3), Defunkt (Feb. 7), Bob Mould (Feb. 8), John Zorn (Feb. 9), Diamanda Galas (Feb. 10), DJ Spooky (Feb. 11), Alex Chilton (Feb. 13), Mike Watt & Elliot Sharp (Feb. 19), Yo La Tengo (Feb. 25), Lounge Lizards (Feb. 26), Laurie Anderson (Feb. 27) and Soul Coughing (Mar. 5)...Nearly in tandem with the release of Pavement's stunning new album, Brighten The Corners, the group will play two weeks of club and theater dates, beginning at NYU Loeb Student Center in New York on Feb. 6 and hitting Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle before winding things up in San Francisco at the Bottom of the Hill on Feb. 23...

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