MUSIC NEWS OF THE WORLD: Lollapalloza '96 Kicks Off
LOLLA '96 KICKS OFF NEAR KANSAS CITYMetallica guitarist Kirk Hammett introduced the Cocteau Twins as his "favorite band," Soundgarden, Rancid and the Ramones hung out together in the backstage trailers, and at one point Rancid were pelted with mud during the first day of Lollapalooza '96 on June 27. The first band to perform this year was the superb Australian combo You Am I, who hit the Second Stage at about 1:40 P.M. Some 20,000 fans, for the most part a regulation (if there is such a thing) Lolla crowd turned out for the coolest tour of the summer. With the weather in the mid-'90s, things were both hot and sweaty for the crowd pushing up against the Main Stage. The first day of Lolla '96 took place at a grassy park off Longview Lake near Kansas City, MO. While most of the audience hung tight at the Main Stage, the Second Stage attracted a crowd that, throughout the day, ranged in size from 500 to over 1500 fans. There was good reason to be at the Second Stage. In addition to You Am I, brilliant sets were turned in by Cornershop ("Wonderful," said one fan about that performance), Girls Against Boys and Ruby. Screaming Trees pounded the Main Stage audience with the help of former Kyuss guitarist Joshua Homme. Joey Ramone was in fine form, joking to the crowd that "We're the Ramones, not the Shrimp Cocktail Twins," a somewhat cryptic reference to the Cocteau Twins. Surprisingly, the Cocteau Twins ethereal sounds were well received by the audience for the first 40 minutes of their set. Unfortunately, the power went out briefly, and that inspired the fans to begin slinging mud at the band. Particularly outstanding was Soundgarden's set. Apparently well warmed up from recent club and theater dates in Vancouver and Seattle, Soundgarden dove into their new album including a killer "Pretty Noose." With a line-up that also included Metallica, there was a serious mosh pit in effect. Despite all the carping that Lollapalooza organizers have gotten from the media this year over the so-called mainstreaming of the festival, Lolla '96 is off to a great start. Not convinced? Just ask a few of the fans who were slamming into each other as Metallica roared.FORMER NIRVANA BASS PLAYER SWITCHES TO GUITARAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: After two years and too much time spent testifying before congressional committees in a suit, former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic is ready to get back into the studio. Following the lead of Dave Grohl, whose Foo Fighters have proven, at the very least, that the "grunge Ringo" (as one British mag referred to the drummer) had more going on than just muscular drumming, Novoselic is switching to guitar in his trio, Sweet '75. Although Novoselic has kept busy with his JAMPAC duties, our sources say he is eager to enter a studio with drummer Bill Reiflin and bassist/vocalist Yva Las Vegas, and has worked up 30-40 songs for the sessions, which will begin in early August. Paul Fox (XTC, Victoria Williams) will produce. Meanwhile, Sweet '75 has played several gigs in Seattle including one last week opening for the young noise-pop band, Muzzle, who have just had a debut album released.INCREDIBLE! "BUZZKILL" SLIPS COOL MUSIC ONTO MTV Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: When MTV announced earlier this year that they would be launching a second channel that would concentrate on, get this, airing nothing but music videos, fans of Road Rules marathon weekends sighed in relief. No more sitting through those boring music videos between episodes! But when the channel launched its latest non-musical programming, the hidden-camera farce Buzzkill," who would have guessed it would actually stray from the tired-and-true MTV programming pattern, i.e., pack a show with good-looking young adults, score the thing with the hits of the day and watch the cash roll in. Thanks to Second City alum and Buzzkill maven, Dave Sheridan, Buzzkill has the dubious distinction of actually lending the channel a modicum of street credibility. While Sheridan says he lost countless battles with MTV brass over how far he could take his on-air pranks (for some reason they nixed him dressing as a pinata and crossing the border with a group of illegals trying to see if he could get border police to beat him like a, well, pinata) the one thing he wouldn't give ground on was the soundtrack. So, rather than watching the Buzzkill crew dupe serious New York actors into trying out for a fake Unabomber musical called Manifesto to the sounds of Van Halen or Hootie, you can do the same while listening to Gaunt or Gastr Del Sol. In fact, it is Thrill Jockey's Gaunt who recorded the spastic theme song to the show. Sheridan says he was able to wrangle free music from a number of cool indie labels, including Skin Graft, Amphetamine Reptile, Thrill Jockey and Drag City. In keeping with the "who gives a shit?" attitude of the show, however, Sheridan says viewers shouldn't be surprised if they hear a snippet of Tortoise butting up against "Y.M.C.A." or some other "cheesy" song, because, hey, that is a buzzkill isn't it?TIBETAN FREEDOM CONCERT NETS $1 MILLIONThe Tibetan Freedom Concert raised a little over a million dollars, according to Milarepa Fund director Erin Potts, one of the concert organizers. Potts told the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday that the a quarter of the money -- $250,000 -- will go directly to benefit Tibetan causes including the education of refugee children living in Nepal. The rest of the money -- $750,000 -- will go to Milarepa itself and will be used for the non-profit organizations operating budget ($200,000 will cover an operating deficit) and education programs. Some of the remaining Milarepa $550,000 will go to:* Students for a Free Tibet, a grassroots college group.*The Tibetan Freedom Coalition, a Milarepa offshoot that includes artists, athletes and people in the film and fashion biz, whose purpose is to get out the word regarding the atrocities in Tibet and China to those in the entertainment business.*Promote a boycott of Chinese goods.*Fund a documentary about Tibet which will include footage from the concert.According to Bill Graham Presents, the concert production company that produced the two-day event, ticket grosses were slightly above $2 million. If that is the case, it means that concert attendance was below the 100,000 figure that has appeared in most news coverage of the concerts. Individual tickets to each day of the concert were $28.50 (plus a ticket surcharge). A two-day pass went for $50 (plus the surcharge). If everyone who attended the concerts paid $50 for a two day pass, Addicted To Noise estimates that attendance was about 80,000 for the two days. However, since many people purchased a single $28.50 ticket, ATN's estimates that actual attendance was below 80,000. Potts has continually insisted that the concert was primarily about raising public awareness regarding the plight of the Tibetan and Chinese peoples, and only secondarily about raising funds. "It wasn't Live Aid or Farm Aid, where the main motivation is to raise money," Potts told the Chronicle. "Our main motivation was to put it on as a message concert." OFF-THE-(ATN) WIRE: Joey Ramone joined Cheap Trick at their Rockford, Illinois Lollapalooza performance to sing "Surrender."..."Don't Dream It's Over" became an ironic epitaph for Crowded House in Toronto on the night of June 24 when the underrated pop quartet played its last show ever to 350 appreciative fans at The Horseshoe, a legendary club nestled in the heart of the city's artsy Queen Street district...With Stone Temple Pilots' singer Scott Weiland back at the Pasadena drug rehab center that he walked away from Wed. (June 26), the warrant for his arrest has been canceled. Weiland phoned MTV on Thursday and explained that he was not on drugs, and had left the clinic for personal reasons including a need to speak to his wife. Weiland appeared back in court on Thursday and the arrest warrant was withdrawn at that time...Frente!'s new CD entitled Shape produced by Dave Allen (Cure) and Cameron McVey (Massive Attack) comes out July 16. The band will celebrate their return to action in a grand style, by opening seven dates for Alanis Morissette in Canada...Spacehog frontman Antony Langdon has directed the new video for the band's song "Cruel to be Kind."...A television series called "Zoo TV" is expected to show up on MTV shortly, but don't expect to see U2 on any of the shows. While U2 came up with the concept, and have a financial interest in the series, they hope it will stand on its own.