MUSIC NEWS OF THE WORLD: 100,000 Fans At Tibetan Freedom Concert

100,000 ALTERNAROCK FANS TURN OUT FOR TIBETAN FREEDOM CONCERTAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: The alternative rock nation came out to support a political cause the weekend of June 15 and 16 at the rock event of the year, the Tibetan Freedom Concert. Held at the Polo Field in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, some 100,000 rock fans turned out over the two days to hear outstanding performances from 20 artists including the Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Pavement, Sonic Youth, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rage Against the Machine. The Chinese invaded and took over Tibet in 1950. Since then, over a million Tibetans have been killed. Many have been imprisoned and tortured. According to Tibetan monk Palden Gyatso, who was jailed for 33 years, the torturing of Tibetan prisoners with electric cattle prods and other devices continued to this day. At a press conference held at the beginning of the day on Saturday, June 15, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who is a co-founder of Milarepa, the organization which organized the Freedom Concert, said the concert was about "supporting the Tibetan and Chinese people in their struggle for democracy." Yauch and others including Yoko Ono, fashion designer Anna Sui, members of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Bjork, members of Sonic Youth and members of Pavement all call for the boycott of Chinese made goods until Tibet is free and there is democracy in China. Although one was never allowed to forget the cause during the two-day event, the high quality of the music was simply overwhelming. Pavement performed a number of outstanding brand new songs along with simply incredible covers of Echo and the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon," and the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On." Foo Fighters delivered a savage performance, igniting the moshing crowd with "Big Me" and "I'll Stick Around." Smashing Pumpkins careened through "Zero," before playing the gorgeous ballad, "Tonight, Tonight." Sonic Youth blew minds with "The Diamond Sea," while Bjork's trip-hop set was mesmerizing. And Rage Against the Machine blew everyone away with possibly the most explosive set of the two days. Concert organizers said they were much more interested in the consciousness raising they hoped would be the result of the concert, than in the funds that are being raised; still, Milarepa grossed $2.5 million. All of the artists were donating their time. Backstage, one could see Tom Waits hanging with Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and daughter Coco lying on the grass, chatting with Foo Fighter's Dave Grohl. Adam Yauch seemed to be rushing back and forth for most of the two days. At one point John Lee Hooker stood outside his dressing room (tents for each artist had been set up), the sun glinting off a diamond-encrusted musical note pinned to his gray fedora looking like the elder statesman of the blues, which he is. But perhaps most interesting was the fact that many of the artists that ATN spoke with really seemed to have been touched by the plight of the Tibetan people. During an interview, Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan said he could hardly comprehend the torture being inflicted on Tibetans. Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo told Addicted To Noise, "The whole educational aspect of this thing that's going down is great."RARE SEX PISTOLS TRACKS TO SURFACE SOONAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: Everyone knows that the Sex Pistols are flogging a dead horse this summer, reuniting for a "Punk Summer of '77" reunion tour to rake in the cash and play oldies like "Anarchy in the UK" and "God Save the Queen." The real news is that three obscure early Sex Pistols studio recordings will be released this August on Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin label. Dig this: in May of 1976, the Pistols entered a recording studio for the first time with producer Chris Spedding and recorded the first versions of "Problems," "No Feelings" and "Pretty Vacant," with original bassist Glenn Matlock. Matlock was later replaced by Sid Vicious, who certainly looked good, but didn't know an A note from a C note. Those three songs -- recorded and mixed by Spedding in five hours--are the goods. "They actually sound cleaner than the later stuff," says Kozik. "These are the original demo recordings, the first recorded versions of those songs." "Pretty Vacant" has never been released, and "No Feelings" and "Problems" have only been available on a hard-to-find German bootleg. Each song will be the a-side of a 45 RPM single that will feature new "punk rock style" artwork by Kozik, and there will be a limited run of 5,000 copies of it. The songs will also show up on a CD to be released on the Toronto-based Other People's Music label.ROCKERS FIGHT ANTI-GAY INITIATIVEAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Not content to stick with the traditional, "We're here, we're queer, deal with it," and "hey, ho, Jessy Helms has got to go!," queer activists have once again joined forces with the recording industry to battle anti-gay ballot initiatives. Following in the footsteps of Fiddlehead Salad, a 1995 compilation aimed at publicizing the Maine Won't Discriminate campaign, Sing Don't Sign, brings together gay/lesbian and straight artists in opposition of the anti-gay initiative Proposition One on the 1996 Idaho general election ballot. With contributions from Ani DiFranco (Not a Pretty Girl), Extra Fancy (Seven Years Ago), Fred Schneider (Whip), Pansy Division (I Really Wanted You), Phranc (Bulldagger Swagger) and others, the cassette is, according to a source at Reprise Records, "aimed at combating the right-wing goons trying to pass anti-gay legislation." According to the source, like the first compilation, all tracks were donated by the artists and labels and the Decline to Sign organizers are free to do whatever they want with the 10,000 tapes, whether they sell them or give them away. "This a general service to the people who we work with, the people who buy our records and the people who care about defeating this kinds of ridiculous laws," said our source. "Besides, generally speaking, rich, fat, white Republicans aren't buying our music anyway. Well, okay, maybe some are." (Tapes are available for $10 from Decline to Sign Campaign, P.O. Box 797, Boise, Idaho 83701).STRANGER THAN FICTION! ALICE IN CHAINS TO OPEN FOR KISSAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: With the Stone Temple Pilots out of commission and off the Kiss reunion tour due to singer Scott Weiland's well-publicized drug problem, guess who's going to open for Kiss? You can stop guessing 'cause it's Alice In Chains, another band with a lead singer who has had some trouble with the Big H. Alice, who haven't performed more than one show in a row since 1993's Lollapalooza, will play an hour's worth of music at the first official Kiss show in Detroit on June 28th, as well as at three other shows: one in Louisville, Kentucky on June 30th, another in St. Louis on July 2nd and yet another in Kansas City, Missouri on July 3rd. When we asked a source close to the band if this meant we might soon see Alice hit the road again for a full-fledged tour, we were told that "it only means they'll be opening for KISS at those dates."ATN ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BECK'S ODELAYAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: Sometimes when I'm in L.A. I find myself walking along Sunset Blvd., past a hamburger joint and these pimp-type dudes. There's this 7-11 where the hookers pick up their snacks, and the dealers make use of a convenient pay phone. Lots of greasy characters tryin' to pick your pocket. Down on Melrose you find a pseudo hip version of these same slimebuckets. Beck's totally brilliant whiteboy beat poet-meets-rap is so L. A. that the moment the lead-off track on the soon-to-be-released Odelay, the amazing "Devil's Haircut," begins, palm trees and decaying swimming pools, crack-head losers and junkie West Hollywood actors who are temporarily "between parts" and down on their luck come to mind. "Something's wrong 'cause my mind is fading/ And everywhere I look there's a dead-end waiting..." is the way this album begins, and it never lets up. Anyone who thought Beck a one-trick pony after "Loser" made him a Gen X star has another thing coming. Like the Beastie Boys, who turned to L.A.'s Dust Brothers after scoring their first major hit with Licensed To Ill, Beck too checked in to The Dust Brothers House to record most of the album. The chorus to "The New Pollution" finds him singing about a girl who is "alone in the New Pollution," which actually sums things up quite accurately for all of us trying to get through another day that finds our senses bombarded with trash media from all sides, along with the air pollution, food pollution and other insanity. As Beck puts it, "Cyanide ride down the turnpike." Let me outta here.OFF-THE-(ATN) WIRE: Guided By Voices' guitarist Tobin Sprout is not only a family man, but a new family man: Sprout's got a 14 month old son named Turner plus twins on the way... Porno For Pyros began their North American tour on June 12 with a show at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, B.C. According to our man on the scene, Gerry McConkey, the group delivered a powerful, but all too short, performance... Pavement's next album will be recorded in the South with Mitch Easter, R.E.M.'s original producer, working the board...

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