MUSIC NEWS OF THE WORLD: New U2 Album

NEW U2 ALBUM TO HAVE "TRIP-HOP" FEELThe upcoming U2 album will have a "trip-hop" feel, according to U2's Larry Mullen. The drummer told DJ Times that "I think the spirit of trip-hop has always been in the band. The question is how to incorporate it into what we do and kind of update it in a way." Four of the titles for songs U2 are working on that are expected to appear on their next album have now surfaced. The titles of the songs are: "Super City Mania," "Holy Joe," "Gone," and "MFRR." Thus far, only one of those tracks has been completed. As previously reported in Addicted To Noise, the album, which had been expected out later this year, won't be released until early '97. U2 bassist Adam Clayton told DJ Times that DJ Howie B is now a "fifth" member of the group. "At this point, it's hard to say exactly what's going to be on the record," Clayton said, "but there's been some great starting points. What I get from Howie is the way that he hears music. This thing of having space and not filling it, that's a new way to listen to music for me. In the past, you're always a bit wary of space. There's something about the purity of having the space in the mixes and in the sound of the band and not having to play too much. So I think it's going to have an influence on the record."ODD COUPLE: ALLEN GINSBERG & PAUL MCCARTNEY?Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: In the tradition of William Burroughs and Kurt Cobain, word came that famed Beat poet Allen Ginsberg has teamed up with Paul McCartney, Patti Smith guitarist/producer Lenny Kaye and minimalist composer Philip Glass to record a version of his 1995 protest song/poem, "Ballad of the Skeletons," first published in The Nation last November. Apparently, Mercury Records President Danny Goldberg caught a Ginsberg reading recently and fell in love with the work, and since Ginsberg has long counted McCartney as one of his pals, one thing led to another and this odd quartet got together and McCartney laid down some drums, guitar, Hammond organ and maracas, Kaye added some bass and produced the single and Glass filled in any gaps on piano. Additionally, avant-garde guitarist Marc Ribot is on the track. As you might recall, Ginsberg had previously recorded with the Clash. One of the best known poets from the Beat era, Ginsberg's best-known work remains the epic Howl. Not surprisingly, the new single is slated for an October 8 release, in time to stir up a little presidential election action and maybe create the unlikely scenario of Ginsberg sitting down to some early-morning coffee and chatter with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. Yeah, sure.THE RETURN OF FORMER VELVET JOHN CALEAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Former Velvet Underground member John Cale is set to release his first album of all pop songs in over ten years. Walking on Locusts is due on Sept. 24. The album, produced by Cale, is a 12 song collection that a source who has heard it refers to as "mature pop," that features a collaboration between Cale and ex-Talking Head David Byrne on a song they co-wrote called "Crazy Egypt." Cale describes that song as "about a woman in Louisiana who sells antiques and whose primary aim is to rip people off." In addition to Byrne's guitar work on that song, two other tunes feature percussion from Cale's former Velvet Underground mate, Maureen Tucker, the Cajun-flavored "Dancing Undercover" and "Set Me Free." The CD also features "So What," "Indistinct Notion of Cool," "Circus," "Tell Me Why," "Gatorville and Points East," "Secret Corrida," "Entre Nous," and a tribute to another former VU mate, guitarist Sterling Morrison, who died on August 30, 1995 at age 53, entitled "Some Friends." The instrumentation to the latter was culled from some music Cale had left over after contributing a track to the Basquiat soundtrack. According to a source, the day after it is released, Cale, will make an appearance on the Tonight Show, which will be followed by a limited tour of major cities with a stripped-down, four-piece band.JON SPENCER IS BACK!Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Jon Spencer's music is like Courtney Love's personality, either you love him for being over-the-top and just this side of campy, or you hate him for being loud, sloppy and a big, noisy mess. If the former is your bag, then you won't be disappointed by the Blues Explosions' latest CD, Now I Got Worry (October 15), the inaugural collaboration between indie Matador and their new major-label partner, Capitol Records. The sixteen-track car crash cracks open with the by-now-familiar fuzzy Spencer scream before whipping into a muddy, rumpled blues funk jam called "Skunk" that's as rank as its title. There aren't a whole lot of revelations on this, the band's fifth album, not counting last year's remix CD. But when they do latch onto a different sound, such as the driving punk of "Identify," featuring a rumbling low end courtesy of crackerjack drummer Russell Simins, it's a welcome relief from Spencer's shouting, distorto blues. He serves up plenty of that on the crazed honky blues of "Wail" and the slacker guide to hipster living, "Fuck Shit Up," wisely tempering it with the machine gun guitars and syncopated drumming of Doo Rag's Thermos Malling on "2 Kindsa Love" and the barrelhouse roll of "Can't Stop," whose highlight is the player piano riff that anchors the stuttering song, courtesy of DJ Money Mark of Beastie Boys fame. It is mostly the guests that save this CD from the same-old-same-old. As with their collaboration with R.L. Burnside earlier this year, it's the dredged-up presence of a real blues man that buoys songs like "Chicken Dog," featuring famed blues man Rufus Thomas ("Walking the Dog," "Funky Chicken"). Unfortunately, Thomas' unhinged jive blues is buried under Spencer's chunky guitars, which can't seem to decide if they want to play funk, blues or Steve Miller's white boy hybrid. On the tribute "RL Got Soul," however, the Explosion does just that, in a balls-out percussive jam with an insistent guitar hook and excellent drumming from Simins, which works mainly because Spencer keeps his mouth shut and lets the fiery instrumental chops of the band find its natural level. "Firefly Child" is a neat bit of Hendrix midtempo jamming with more excellent layered organ work from Money Mark and "Get Over Here" is classic Blues Explosion, jam-packed with blues for the apocalypse featuring in-your-face funky drumming, clanging guitars and a mind-melding mix of blues, hip-hop, white noise and the kitchen sink into a rheumy sonic stew. Appropriately, the CD ends with "Sticky," which is as it sounds, a slow-moving, snotty mess that never really develops beyond the sampled vocal loop and Spencer's squealing, overlaid with unidentifiable noise and another hypnotic beat from Doo Rag's Malling. Spencer doesn't re-invent the wheel on this one, but if you liked the ride he gave before, these cracked-leather bucket seats will fit your ass just fine.ALBUM OF THE WEEK: WEEZER GET BACK IN THE GROOVE WITH PINKERTONAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: The upcoming self-produced Weezer album, titled Pinkerton kicks off with a noisy, messy synth-grunge amalgam called "Tired of Sex," that makes it clear that the group's debut was no fluke. The album is cool, catchy and full of the nerdy self-depreciating worldview that made the group's first effort so endearing. "Why Bother?" finds Rivers Cuomo considering not getting involved in a relationship again because "it's gonna hurt me"; sounds like another hit to me. Even more than their debut, Pinkerton finds Cuomo coming off like some garage Brian Wilson, seamlessing mixing melody, noise and lyrics into a sound and point-of-view that is, well, distinctly Weezer. The immediately obvious masterpiece is "The Good Life," which has a chorus to die for; hear it once and you'll need to hear it again and again and again. "It's time I got back to the good life/ It's time I got back/ It's time I got back/ I don't even know how I got off the track/ I want to go back." And then there's the potentially controversial "Pink Triangle," in which Cuomo discovers that the girl of his dreams is, you guessed it, gay. Dig this chorus, set as usual, to the catchiest of melodies: "I'm dumb/ She's a lesbian/ I thought I had found the one/ We were good as married in my mind/ But married in my mind's no good." Leave it to Weezer to deliver late '90s pop songs that deal with the world as it is, not as it used to be. "Fall For You" has some subtle Beatlesque touches; "Butterfly," the album closer, is a touching, intimate acoustic number. For the record, the other songs on the album are: "Getchoo," "No Other One," "Across the Sea" and "El Scorcho." And, as we've previously reported, Pinkerton will be released on September 24th.OFF-THE-(ATN) WIRE: The multi-million-selling Los Angeles hard rock act, Guns N' Roses had been rumored to have broken up, a casualty of bandmember lifestyle problems and changing musical tastes. But the group members recently reconvened after a long time apart, and they're back in the studio, recording their first album of original material in five years. The record will be all up-tempo rock songs ("No ballads," bassist Duff McKagan said firmly) and it will be just 12 songs, with a release planned for next spring. A summer tour would likely follow...The next Morphine album, which at the moment is said to be titled Like Swimming (although we understand that could change), will not be released until late January of 1997. Like Swimming was originally scheduled for an Oct. 15 release. The album is said to feature a new instrument created by leader MarkSandman called "the Tritar," which is 1/3 bass, 2/3 guitar and is played with a slide. The Tritar is heard on "Murder for the Money" and "Eleven O'Clock."...Soundtracks For The Blind, a two CD set scheduled for an October 22 release on the Young God label via Chicago's Atavistic Records will be the last proper Swans album released...Counting Crows played their first show since completing their new album, Recovering the Satelites, at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on Sept. 4...

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