Music News of the World: Second Tibetan Freedom Concert
ATN Exclusive: Beastie Boy Plans 2nd Tibetan Freedom ConcertAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: Beastie Boys' bassist Adam Yauch has begun contacting musicians about performing at an East Coast Tibetan Freedom Concert tentatively set for June 7 & 8 at RFK stadium in Washington, DC. U2 and R.E.M. are among the artists who have been approached by Yauch, Beastie Boys' tour manager Robert Bennett told Addicted To Noise on Feb. 24. Bennett is "point person" for the event. Yauch, co-founder of the Milarepa Fund, a Tibetan freedom group, was a key organizer of last summer's two day Tibetan Freedom Concert, which was held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park."Both R.E.M. and U2 have responded favorably," said Bennett. "Michael Stipe and Adam have a friendship. They've had an ongoing discussion about it. We tried to have R.E.M. do it last year but it wasn't possible because of their recording schedule. They said they'd love to try to make it work this time. Adam and Bono have been talking. U2 will be in that part of the country at that time and this is a subject they're interested in. Other names have popped up. We got an inquiry from David Bowie..."Pavement guitarist/singer Scott Kannberg told ATN that Pavement expect to perform again. "Yeah we're gonna do it," said Kannberg. "They're putting it together right now. Adam is putting it together. I wish it were here in San Francisco again. That was the best concert experience we've ever had. Just the way they put it on, and the whole vibe to it was really good. It was cool."Bennett says that the organizers of last summer's concerts have put together a long list of artists they'd like to have participate. "We have our list like we did last year," he said. "And we just start working our way through it."Names on that list include: DJ Shadow, Sonic Youth, Neil Young, David Bowie, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Porno For Pyros, Stevie Wonder, Soul Asylum, Bob Dylan, the Chemical Brothers, Public Enemy, Tricky, Patti Smith, Buffalo Daughter, Bjork, Pavement, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Rage Against the Machine, the Beastie Boys, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, the Chieftains... "Would the Police get together for this benefit," wondered Bennett. "Never hurts to ask."The final line-up may not be solidified until early May. "It was shifting last year until a month out, " said Bennett. "At this point we are still on schedule as to how we ran it last year. The response so far has been favorable so we're feeling good about it."But R.E.M.'s manager, Bertis Downs, said fans shouldn't get their hopes up. "It [R.E.M. performing] probably won't happen because the band is taking a full year off," Downs told ATN on Feb. 24. "They're saying no to everything. The problem is that once you make one exception, then you aren't taking a year off anymore. They're spread across the world right now. Peter's been working on some projects; Michael's doing his film company work; Bill and Mike have been traveling."Another artist who has been approached is Patti Smith, according to guitarist Lenny Kaye, who co-produced and played on Smith's recent album, Gone Again. Kaye told ATN on Feb. 24 that he doesn't know if Smith will be able to participate since she'll likely be in the midst of recording an album this summer; however Smith is known to be an active supporter of the Tibetan struggle for freedom. Smith and Kaye performed at the Tibet House benefit in New York earlier this month."It was totally beautiful playing with Allen Ginsberg," said Kaye of that concert, which was held at Carnegie Hall. "And backing Michael Stipe? That's quite a rock dream. It's great when people can step outside their normal routine. It was a real salute to the spirit of the Tibetan people, a magical and spiritual thing. One step further toward them getting their country back. I felt like it created a little space of Tibet in America while the concert went on."The first Tibetan Freedom Festival was organized by Yauch and Milarepa Fund co-founder Erin Potts. It was held in Golden Gate Park's Polo Field on June 15 and 16. The line-up included the Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Beck, the Fugees, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, A Tribe Call Quest, De La Soul, the Foo Fighters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Richie Havens and others. Approximately a million dollars was raised during the two days; the money is being used by Milarepa to raise public awareness about the plight of the Tibetan people.Bennett said the organizers hope that a high profile concert drawing attention to the plight of the Tibetan people in the nation's capital will get the attention of both the public, and the politicians. "One reason we want to take it to DC is just the statement that that makes," he said. "Having it in that location and having access to the people who live and work there."TRENT REZNOR LOOKING TO SIGN EINSTFRZENDE NEUBAUTENAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor is in the midst of negotiations to sign one of his heroes to his label according to a source close to the "Closer" singer. The source told ATN that Reznor is in negotiations with the legendary German industrial group Einstfrzende Neubauten (which translates into "Collapsing New Buildings"), the Berlin collective that have been making a big noise on anything in sight since 1981.The group, notorious for their use of "found" instruments, most of which were not originally earmarked for music-making, including power drills, glass, boulders, metal pipes, sledgehammers, power lines and water towers, have released material sporadically in the 90's, due mainly to a raft of side-projects, including Blixa Bargeld's work with Nick Cave's Bad Seeds and the group Stein, percussionist F. M. Einheit's solo work and collaborations with guitar deconstructionist Caspar Brtzmann and guitarist Alexander Hacke's work with the postmodern country outfit, the Jever Mountain Boys. Their most recent album, Faustmusik was released on Mute last year.Reznor is also involved in on-going talks with former Judas Priest leatherneck Rob Halford (whose band Fight thankfully met an early demise) and the artist known as Plug, aka Luke Vibert aka Wagonchrist, who did some remix work on Ruby's 1996 remix CD. Reznor is trying to sign all three to his nothing label, and insiders expect the Neubauten deal will be concluded within a few weeks. The source also said Reznor continues to write new material for the next NIN record, although it's unclear when that release will surface.Guided By Voices Unveil New Line-Up LiveAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: Robert Pollard picked a pretty unusual event to unveil the latest version of his song machine Guided by Voices this past Saturday (February 22). The venue was the East Village's Westbeth Theater and the event was the wedding reception of Matador Records founder Gerard Cosloy.Pollard, the only original GBV member in the current line-up, was joined by the Cleveland band Cobra Verde, with whom he's been recording GBV's next album, Nag Earwig (May 20) for an hour and fifteen minute set of new and old material in the band's first live show ever. "It was pretty fun," said Verde guitarist John Petkovic, who was joined by his band mates, Doug Gillard (guitar), Dave Swanson (drums) and Don Depew (bass), for a set that included seven new songs from Earwig. "We didn't have to play 'I Love You Just the Way You Are,' or anything," Verde said. "But when it comes to wedding parties, Gerard definitely took it to another level. There was really good food and an open bar, which is not necessarily the best combination when Guided by Voices is playing."Petkovic said the band only practiced the 27 songs they played three times before the gig, which they were asked to play at the end of last month, at which point they'd never practiced at all. "People said it was really energetic and they commented on how tight it was," according to Petkovic, who also told ATN he expects that most of Verde will be along for the ride when GBV hits the road for some warm-up shows in May and June, followed by a three-week west coast tour in mid-June and a two-and-a-half week midwest/southern tour in mid-July.Petkovic also said that the song likely to be the first single from the record, "Bulldog Skin," is a real departure for GBV. "It's really pretty different from what people are used to," he said. "It has sort of a layered noise intro with crickets and synths and some short-wave radio noises and then it turns into as rock of a song as Guided by Voices has ever done. Sort of an Exile on Main Street Rolling Stones angle." Here Come Yo La TengoAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: One of the cool things about being a Yo La Tengo fan is you never have to wait that long for new music, right? Well, with barely a chance to breathe after their last full-length record, 1995's Electr-o-Pura, which in turn was followed by two EP's that same year and a two-CD set of rarities and B-sides, Genius+Love=Yo La Tengo in '96, Yo La is back with I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (April 11).The 16-track album, which, like all Yo La material, is all over the place, from spooky cricket-and-slide-guitar-driven ambient instrumental "Green Arrow" to the awesome Beach Boys surf rock splash cover of "Little Honda," was recorded in Nashville, TN with long-time collaborator Roger Mountenot.The first single, "Autumn Sweater," will hit shelves on April 8 and will feature a host of remixes of the song by the likes of Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), Mu-Ziq, Sebastian Buttrich (18th Dye), the Automator (Dr. Octagon) and Tortoise. Although relative to, say, the lag between Stone Roses albums, the wait hasn't really been that long, trust us when we say it's been well worth it. DJ Shadow Goin' LiveAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: DJ Shadow will be taking a few members of his Solesides Records crew on the road when he starts his first-ever headlining U.S. tour on Sunday, March 30 in Vancouver.Shadow, considered one of the most innovative DJs/record producers of the late '90s, released Endtroducing...., his debut album, to thunderous critical acclaim late last year.Shadow will be co-headlining with Jeru the Damaja in a set that will find him re-creating some of the head-tripping songs from the awesome Endtroducing in the first half, followed by his mixing and scratching behind Solesides mates Lateef and Lyrics Born in the second half, whose equally trippy debut, Latryx (which includes several tracks produced by Shadow) will be released on the Solesides label in mid-March. On the California swing of the tour, the rappers will be joined by De La Soul. Plans call for local DJs/MCs to appear at most dates.