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By Andy Argyrakis
Disney leery about Richards' dad's ashes comment
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Rolling Stone Keith Richards' recent statement that he snorted his father's ashes with some cocaine has left honchos at family movie studio Disney a bit nervous. Richards now claims he was joking in the earlier interview. He'll be appearing in the upcoming Disney sequel "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and the entertainment giant's marketing crew is concerned. Dennis Rice, Disney senior vice president, told British music magazine NME, who broke the original news: "When (a senior Disney publicist) forwarded the Richards story to me, I thought: 'How are we going to spin this?'" He adds: "Keith won't be doing a lot of publicity for this movie."
Let's hope that Johnny Depp (who modeled his character after Richards and plays Captain Jack Sparrow in the movie) doesn't trade in his love for rum for a barrel of blow. www.disney.go.com/disneypictures/pirates/atworldsend
(Posted by Phil Bonyata)
Costner sues over dreams of music...
Weekend Report: Family Values Tour launches Flyleaf
Friday, April 6, 2007
Don't let Kevin Costner's "Field of Dreams" confuse you with his dreams of music. The Oscar winner has sued a music promotion company that he says broke its promise to back his fledgling music career, report media sources. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday (April 3) in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuses that Mahee Worldwide Ventures Inc. of breach of contract and fraud. Defendants made numerous promises regarding their capabilities to promote Mr. Costner's music and [their] willingness to pay for the right to do so," states the lawsuit. "Instead of following through on their promises, defendants continued to make false promises and ultimately disappeared ..." The 52 year old Costner plays lead singer for The Kevin Costner Band. He states that he and Mahee entered into a two-year agreement in January that would have his band perform up to five concerts per year. The band's website was also to be maintained by the company. Costner claims that Mahee reneged on the deal. Costner is seeking damages greater than $8.5 million.
(Posted by Phil Bonyata)
With the Family Values Tour line-up announced earlier this week, it's brought additional attention all the bands on the bill, starting with co-headliners Korn and Evanescence and trickling down to the openers. One of the most talked about bands in the newer class is female fronted hard rockers Flyleaf, whose self-titled debut disc on Octone continues flying off the shelves thanks singles like "I'm So Sick" and a never ending tour. Before linking up with Korn and company, the Texas-bred gang spends most of April on a co-headlining jaunt with Skillet, the Wisconsin-based breakout band for Atlantic Records who recently released Comatose (known for the kick off singles "Whispers In the Dark" and "The Older I Get"). Between Flyleaf's bone-crunching sounds and Skillet's saute of alternative arrangements, progressive rock influences and spilt singing duties between male and female co-vocalists, it's truly a tour worth catching, including a stop tonight at Charlotte's Tremont Music Hall.
Ticket holders to classic rock duo Shaw/Blades (composed of former Damn Yankees group mates Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades) will find themselves with some additional free time this weekend. The duo just joined to this spring's causality list due to guitarist/singer Shaw's recent bout with a viral infection and doctor's orders to rest until it heals. Remaining dates affected include tonight's Pabst Theater gig in Milwaukee and Saturday's Val Air Ballroom show in West Des Moines. Fans can either hold onto their stubs for valid admission when the shows are rescheduled or seek refunds at point of purchase. And for those bummed they're missing out on their classic rock fix, there's always the pair's latest disc Influence (VH1 Classic), which is currently at #11 on Billboard's "Top Independent Albums" chart.
Those who seek refunds and have a few bucks to spare can break out their bank books on Monday at 8 a.m. when Broadway in Chicago releases its latest block of tickets for "Jersey Boys." The blockbuster musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons has previously run in the Big Apple, though it sets up shop in the Windy City on October 6. However, shows have been selling out so fast that this current round includes 14 weeks worth of performances, ranging from January 8-April 13, 2008 at www.broadwayinchicago.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
The Cure strikes up collaborative curiosity
Thursday, April 5, 2007
It isn't everyday that The Cure's figurehead Robert Smith works with other artists, let alone disgraced teen pop queens like Ashlee Simpson. As a result, a recent announcement confirming his collaboration on the one time lip-syncer's upcoming CD has come as quite a surprise for the most series Goths to the most casual alternative rock appreciator. But before they get too down on the "Love Cats" crooner, perhaps he's genuinely attempting to reach out and improve the otherwise worthless rock stylings of Jessica Simpson's little sister. And Ashlee herself even seems like she's trying to shed her pre-fabricated pointlessness, also enlisting the likes of Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley, the Neptunes' Chad Hugo and John Legend.
In much more traditional terms, the spring/summer line-up for the annual Tooth & Nail tour was just announced with MXPX leading the bill. As expected, the other acts are also cut from the punk/alternative rock cloth and all happen to be cherry picked from within the label's roster. Aside from a trip to the "Punk Rawk Show," expect to hear the latest from Hawk Nelson, The Fold, and Sullivan. However, be sure to pay extra close attention to The Classic Crime, who are the best selling debut act in T&N's history. The band previously toured with A Static Lullaby, I Am Ghost, A Change of Pace and Quietdrive, not to mention racking up over 1.1 million streaming plays on Pure Volume from its latest CD Albatross.
As if Keith Richards hasn't embarrassed himself enough already over the years (including the infamous falling from a tree incident) he's made headlines with a particularly awkward statement. According to NME, the Rolling Stones guitarist admitted to mixing a lot of strange items with cocaine, including his dad's ashes. "The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," he shared. "He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared...It went down pretty well and I'm still alive." However, those comments were quickly debunked by the band's PR firm, who insisted Richards was joking and attributed the random ramblings to April Fool's Day. True or false, the stomach churning chat has still left fans with "Mixed Emotions."
A different type of Roky movie
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Some rock writers call him a legend who never fully got the credit he deserved, though hopefully that's all about to change for Roky Erickson thanks to the new movie theatre and DVD release "You're Gonna Miss Me" (Palm Pictures). As the lead singer of The 13th Floor Elevators, the electrifying artist helped coin the term "psychedelic rock" and even influenced the likes of Janis Joplin. But like that late great howler, he also turned to a manic lifestyle, struggling with heroin and LSD binges, not to mention schizophrenia. The film addresses these episodes, plus time spent in a minimum security mental hospital, an insane asylum and subsequent shock treatments. Rather than portraying Erickson as a pathetic figure, the project points to his underground legacy and hopeful future, which includes a summer tour to support this June 8 theatre/July 10 DVD release.
Australian alternative rockers Youth Group are earning American acclaim this month with a tour supporting its third studio CD Casino Twilight Dogs (Epitaph). The project is produced by Wayne Connolly (Vines, You Am I) and has already been presented on the road with Coldplay in the land Down Under. Yet no matter what the region, there's no ignoring the band's hit cover of Alphaville's "Forever Young," which took home "Best Breakthrough Artist - Single" at the 2006 ARIA Awards ceremony in Sydney (previously awarded to Jet and The Vines). While purists may complain over the updated version of the 80s classic, at least Youth Group's rendition beats the pants off Laura Branigan's stab at the same sang.
Fueled By Ramen punk rockers are also running ragged on the road, including support dates with This Providence, followed by a headlining run and then a main stage slot at this summer's Vans Warped Tour. The group is pumping up a yet to be titled effort, which was produced by David Bendeth of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Killswitch Engage fame. The June 12 release marks takes the Tennessee-based band to the sophomore level, and according to early reports, it's sure to beat that period's dreaded slump.
Street Date: Love for Leon, Krauss collection
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
After wearing Aha Shake Heartbreak (RCA) out on the road with two years of solid touring (including dates with U2 and several of the globe's most meaningful festivals) Kings of Leon are ready to kick up some new dust. The garage rockers return to the same label home for Because of the Times, a raucous affair loaded with reverberating guitars, foot stomping choruses, bluesy undertones and snippets of southern rock. The third time out is sure to be the charm for a band that continues to grow by leaps, bounds and rock n' roll brashness with each effort released.
Vintage influenced country queen Alison Krauss pulls together a somewhat random collection of her career with A Hundred Miles or More (Rounder), tracing her time with Union Station, soundtrack appearances, duets and other tracks that never popped up on one of the singer/songwriter's standard CDs. Highlights from the expansive track listing include "The Scarlet Tide" and "You Will Be My Ain True Love" (from the film Cold Mountain), plus tag teams with "How's the World Treating You" (James Taylor) and "Whiskey Lullaby" (Brad Paisley). Oddly enough, the tunesmith also turns in a cover of "Missing You," sung as a duet with the original artist John Waite (Bad English, The Babys), though she strips away any 80s staining for her own acoustic earthiness.
Another one of today's notable releases is the latest Fountains of Wayne studio CD Traffic and Weather (Virgin), which comes nearly four years after the global smash "Stacey's Mom." Hard rockers Chevelle again mix the ominous shades of Tool and Helmet on Vena Sera (Epic), while Black Sabbath continues to squeeze out every dollar of its catalogue with the haphazard The Dio Years (Rhino) to promote a summer tour. In hip-hop contexts, Timbaland presents Shock Value (Interscope), stepping aside from the production ranks to showcase his latest artist endeavors.
Revolver reloads, Suzuki scores new label
Monday, April 2, 2007
After several on again/off again stints in rehab, former Stone Temple Pilots singer turned Velvet Revolver front man Scott Weiland says he's officially kicked drugs (yet again). After loosing his brother to an overdose early in 2007, he quit cold turkey and says sessions for Revolver's new Libertad (RCA) were the first ever when he was clean. Though the group's original plan of teaming with Rick Rubin never came to fruition, its back-up of Brendan O'Brien (Bob Dylan, Red Hot Chili Peppers) made for a worthwhile replacement. Along with guitar god Slash and a few lesser known "super group" members, the gang kicks off a South American tour April 10, followed by a short American run May 4 and a summer jaunt through Europe. And unlike Slash's former band mates (whose decade in the making Chinese Democracy has yet to see the light of day) the new disc will hit streets this spring to coincide with the concert block.
Despite the seemingly random decision for V2 Records to clear its current roster and focus on back catalogue releases, The Mooney Suzuki didn't let the drama get them down. Instead, the garage rockers shopped its already completed Have Mercy CD and will become the first signees to Elixia Records (an imprint of the newly formed Templar Label Group). Though the company name may sound somewhat unfamiliar, it promises an artist friendly approach free from the corporate clutches of the major leagues. Given the guys' tireless touring and dedicated fan base, the signing should suit them just fine, while also mounting additional anticipation for the June 19th release.
Though Ricky Martin's dodged questions of his sexual orientation for years, he sure did give the tabloids plenty to talk about during a recent interview with The Associated Press. The Latin pop star/heartthrob echoed his support for gay pop stars coming out of the closest, specifically Christian Chavez from Mexican sensations RBD. However, he still avoided answering which side of the fence he shakes his bon bon for, through perhaps these aforementioned statements suggest a more specific unveiling is around the corner.
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