Music News of the World
LOLLAPALOOZA '96 According to an Addicted To Noise exclusive, Metallica is at the top of the Lollapalooza brain trust's list to headline this summer's traveling festival. The dream lineup would also include Patti Smith, a reformed version of the original Stooges (featuring the one and only Iggy Pop, natch), Soundgarden and, get this, Waylon Jennings. While a Lollapalooza spokesperson tells us that no formal offers have yet been made to any artist, we understand that feelers have been put out to the appropriate parties. We also hear that Metallica are being courted heavily, and that if they agree to sign on for the tour, they want to pick two of the bands that will appear on the main stage. And who do the boys in black want to perform with? Soundgarden and outlaw country star Waylon Jennings. "That very may well turn out to be the lineup," said a source close to the action. "On the other hand, remember last year everyone was talking about Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, and a reformed Clash and it never happened."RED HOUSE PAINTERS TOUCH THE HEAVENS Addicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg writes: The next Red House Painters album will contain some of leader Mark Kozelek's best writing yet, based on five not-yet-mixed recordings that I've now had a chance to hear. A standout is the epic "Make Like Paper," which Kozelek performed acoustically at the Addicted To Noise anniversary party this past December. The recording I've heard is an intense rocker that somehow mixes the earthiness of Neil Young's "Down By The River" with the ethereal Red House Painters' sound. The song features a dramatic extended electric guitar solo from Kozelek that slowly builds, before igniting into a cacophony of ecstatic noise. Another highlight is "Song For A Blue Guitar," which finds Kozelek dueting with a female singer. Occasional country-tinged steel guitar also adds a freshness to the Red House Painters' sound. Clearly Kozelek is intent on evolving his music, and these tracks indicate that he is on the right path. I can't wait for the whole album. The Red House Painters, who released four albums and an EP on 4AD, parted ways with the company last year over a disagreement regarding this new material. Let's hope that a smart A&R person signs the Red House Painters soon. It's a crime that one of America's best songwriters doesn't have a record deal.SPEECH EMERGES FROM ASHES OF ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Maybe we were too busy sniffin' glue or somethin', but we missed the part where the innovative rap group Arrested Development broke up. The group's leader, Speech, says in a statement released to the press: "We never looked at each other and said, 'Let's break up,' it just happened over a period of time..." Anyway, point is that Speech, the group's engaging lead rapper/songwriter, is back with a solo album due out in late January. The 15-track album, titled simply Speech includes the same mix of social commentary, upfront politics, street poetry and heartfelt optimism that won fans over when Arrested Development's debut, 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days In The Life Of..., was released in 1992. Speech produced the album in Atlanta, where Vagabond Productions, his multi-cultural production company, is based. Songs on the album include: "ask somebody who ain't (if U think the system's workin'...), "let's be hippies," "ghetto sex," and the first single, "like Marvin Gaye said (what's going on)." Vagabond has been promoting concerts featuring alternative black artists like Digable Planets, The Pharcyde, Ben Harper and the Roots during the past three years. SEX PISTOLS TO REFORM? Those persistent rumors abound about a possible Sex Pistols reunion were further fueled by a UK report that the group will play a July festival in Glasgow, Scotland. We understand that if John Lydon transforms himself into Johnny Rotten, the label most likely to land the group will be Almo Records, headed by Lydon's buddy Howard Thompson. And, if this farfetched scheme comes to fruition, the group would consist of the original line-up: guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook, bassist Glen Matlock and the Rotten one. Meanwhile, we know for sure that Lydon has been working on another solo album for over two years. To tell you the truth, we hope this Sex Pistols reunion thing is someone's idea of a bad joke. Although actually, if they can nab a big enough advance, it might actually make sense in the right way. You know, take the money and run. Just like the Pistols did the first time around. ALBUM OF THE WEEK: RUBY TUESDAY Ruby's debut album Salt Peter is out now and it's pretty great. Singer and co-creator Lesley Rankine has been garnering all kinds of attention with the first single, "Paraffin," which has its own steamy story. (You figure it out.) What's so interesting about Ruby's songs is that they are not poignant love songs (although you might be tempted to call them poignant) but they each have a steamy little story, like the next single "Tiny Meat" (which is actually about the human heart, an arguably small piece of meat). Lesley left her last band, Silverfish, two years ago, because it was so macho and misogynist (to wit: their t-shirts read: Hips Tits Lips Power) and created this band with the help of studio-meister Mark Walk (a Seattle native and producer of former Skinny Puppy member Ogre's new project, Welt). Ruby was so named because Rankine's and Walk's grandmother's were both named Ruby--something they both considered a good omen. Coincidence, perhaps. Without missing a beat, Rankine left her home in London (she's originally from Scotland) and moved to Seattle in 1994 in order to work with Walk, whom she had collaborated with when she was involved in the industrial supergroup Pigface. Some of you will be able to see exactly how raw, and dynamic this outfit is when Ruby performs five showcases next month in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and L. A., breaking in the new touring band.1996 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS MORE OUT OF IT THAN EVER You know that old cliche about kickin' a dog when it's down. Hey, we're not so sure about it either. But anyway, the thing is, kickin' sick dogs is what comes to mind when we think about the Grammy awards (something that's really painful to do--think about the Grammy awards, that is). Year after year the Grammy thing is so out of it, so unrelated to great music, as to truly be an embarrassment for the entire recording industry. This year, things appear worse than ever. Consider that Hootie and the Blowjobs are nominated for "Best New Artist." Hey, how about Silverchair? Ever heard of Toadies? Or Korn? Or Built To Spill? Or, say, the Mermen? How about Foo Fighters? Elastica? Everclear? Veruca Salt? Mike Watt? Ah, but of course not. It's clear from other nominees that the industry geezers who cast their votes listen to Eagles albums when they want to listen to "rock" music. (We figure someone tunes to a Modern Rock station once in a while, 'cause Foo Fighters and Presidents of the United States did get nominated in the "Alternative Album" category. That would be a category created to differentiate from the "Rock Album" category. Anyway, we won't bore you with any of the other nominees (yes, Alanis Morissette did receive a zillion nominations -- must have something to do with that line about going down in the movie theater) because winning a Grammy means absolutely nothing. In fact, it's hard to think of anything less cool. The only good thing about winning a Grammy is that it gives one the opportunity to get up in front of millions of people and make a statement. Of course hardly anyone does that 'cause they're too busy thanking their record companies and management firms. This year, we hope someone does say something worth listening to. We have an idea: how about asking the viewing audience to contact Congress and express outrage over the proposed Internet censorship language in the telecommunications bill that will soon cross President Clinton's desk...The best thing about the Grammy telecast is that it can be kinda amusing to see what people wear, and to see which suckers are willing to read the lame words off the TelePrompTers with a straight face. Sometimes the show is good for a laugh. But by the end you feel like you ate a lot of too greasy Chinese food. Still hungry, and definitely nauseated.Off-The-(ATN) Wire: The outrageous Iggy Pop album, Naughty Little Doggie,"in which the Igster lusts in the most specific way after teen jailbait in a little number called "Pussy Walk," has been delayed a month and will not be released in March...The folks behind the Warped tour are talking to Bad Religion, Social Distortion and Jawbreaker for this year's traveling festival, which is expected to begin May 24 in Phoenix...Sonic Youth are touring Australia before returning home and beginning work on the follow-up to "Washing Machine"...Counting Crows have completed pre-production chores and will spend the next three months recording the follow-up to August And Everything After...Giant Records will be changing its name shortly. The name was something of a joke, as the label is headed by Irving Azoff, who is on the short side...As soon as they finish their current tour in March, Korn head into the studio to record to their hard rockin' debut.