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By Andy Argyrakis
Cevelle Chevelle ripped-off - tour delayed
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Chicago rockers Chevelle felt quite a pinch on May 9th when robbers heisted a trailer loaded with more than $200,000 worth of gear and personal items from the parking lot of the Clarion Dallas Park Central Hotel.
The band is now forced to reschedule dates on it's tour. Chevelle is asking anyone who might have information on the heist to call their local police department or email thestolenchevellegear@hotmail.com. The stolen vehicle was a a light gray KZ Cargo Trailer with Illinois plate 57002. A good portion of the stolen items are labeled "Chevelle" which incuded custom guitars, amplifiers, a drum kit, merchandise and much more.
"Any information would be greatly appreciated," vocalist/guitarist Pete Loeffler said. "We want to get back on the road immediately, but obviously need to get our gear back. Thanks for your support and understanding. Let's catch these fuckers."
The trio is currently acquiring replacement gear which will allow the tour to resume in Urbana, IL on May 17th.
(Posted by Phil Bonyata)
Q-Tip Weekend Report: Q-Tip flick, Mavis memories
Friday, May 11, 2007
Though theatres are still splitting at the seams for the box office shattering "Spider Man 3" (featuring an all-star soundtrack with The Killers and Snow Patrol), there's another musical addition to the marquee this weekend. Today is the official opening of "The Hip Hop Project," which seeks to dispel the negative connotations that often surround the culture in favor of a hopeful message. The innovative trailblazer Q-Tip serves as associate producer in a lengthy list of prominent credits that also features executive producers Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah. Aside from the silver screen project, the rapper is also wrapping up work on a new CD The Renaissance (Motown/Universal), slated for a late summer/early fall release. Early collaborators include Common, Outkast's Andre 3000 and D'Angelo, taking a stylistic turn back towards his days in A Tribe Called Quest.

No the world doesn't need another Beatles' book, especially considering the fact that no other artist (aside from possibly Elvis Presley) seems to have more literature on store shelves. Even so, another title has just been added to the exhaustive list and it could be worth curling up on a hammock with this weekend, if only for its slightly different focus. Dave Schwensen turns in The Beatles in Cleveland: Memories, Facts & Photos About The Notorious 1964 & 1966 Concerts (North Shore Publishing), Q-Tip which focuses on key local shows from the band's career. One tale revolves around that latter year, particularly the gig that kicked off the band's final tour. Rather than the traditional accounts of the Fab Four in action, the author traces local radio station politics, the media frenzy, opening acts and fanfare relating to the historic visits.

Soul/gospel star and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Mavis Staples seeks to make history and simultaneously recall the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s during a special pair of concerts on Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15 at Harlem's revered Apollo Theater. The icon turns in tunes from the new We'll Never Turn Back (Anti-) with a highly seasoned cast of session players. For these appearances only, her band includes veteran drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Mike Elizando (Dr. Dre, Fiona Apple, Mary J. Blige) and the album's producer/guitarist Ry Cooder, plus the original Freedom Singers. Tickets for the exclusive engagements are available at www.apollotheatre.org.
Yoko Ono Unexpected Ono chart action, The Horrors' heartbreaker
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Between a string of two CD releases and a recent announcement that she'll be headlining Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival, Yoko Ono's been in countless headlines as of late. Her latest has to do with a somewhat unexpected entry on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart for her single "You're the One," taken from the recent remix record Open Your Box (Mindtrain/Astralwerks). The track features beat drenched retouches from the likes of Bimbo Jones, Claude LeGache, Friscia & Lamboy, plus Morel (aka Richard Morel) and is currently positioned at #14 with a bullet. Other notable artists represented on the album include Pet Shop Boys, Basement Jaxx and Felix Da Housecat.

Though they haven't released the reason and aren't even making much of a statement, London's latest buzz band The Horrors are officially off this summer's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club tour. On one hand, that omission from the coveted bill could hurt awareness for the ambitious outfit,The Horrors which has already garnered comparisons as diverse as the Ramones and Nick Cave. However, the band is trying to make the most of an American invasion, plotting an expansive headlining club run, kicking off Monday, June 4 at Brooklyn's Luna Lounge and wrapping up Wednesday, June 20 at Seattle's Crocodile.

He may be a thirty year veteran who first found fame with the new wave/pub rock/punk combo The Rumour, but Graham Parker remains relevant as a solo artist to this day. The singer/songwriter has been incredibly prolific since signing with Bloodshot in 2004 and is currently touring in support of that label's release Don't Tell Columbus. Fans can catch the old timer throughout a summer run of clubs, pubs and theatres, performing a career spanning set that includes new gems such as the grand "The Other Side of the Reservoir" and the politically charged "Stick to the Plan."
Linkin Park Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution,
Cat Empire in California

Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Taking cues from the annual Ozzfest and Vans Warped Tour, Linkin Park continues its comeback trail with Projekt Revolution. Though the band's staged the tour in the past, this year marks the biggest yet, incorporating a slew of main stage and side stage acts for an all day extravaganza. Aside from the electronic rock/rap headliners, other top dogs include My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, HIM, Placebo and Julien-K. Support slots aren't so shabby either, going to Mindless Self Indulgence, Saosin, The Bled, Styles of Beyond and Madina Lake. The eclectic bill kicks off July 25 at a yet to be announced location, wrapping up September 3 in Denver.

Australia's The Cat Empire are known for combining a smoldering horn section, danceable bass lines and a turntablist backed by the satirical lyrics of Harry James Angus (think Fountains of Wayne-styled humor). The band recently unveiled "The Car Song," (which chronicles the front The Cat Empireman's problems becoming a grown up) on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" from its American debut Two Shoes (Velour Music Group/Universal). Though a full-fledged tour will follow in June and July, the band's invasion officially begins tonight at San Francisco's The Grand Ballroom, followed by tomorrow's gig at Los Angeles' Key Club.

He may have lived a relatively long life, but 70-year-old blues harmonica legend Carey Bell will be greatly missed. The longtime player for both Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon passed away in Chicago on May 6 due to heart failure. Throughout his illustrious career, the sideman turned solo star recorded for a slew of record labels, though his most recent include Alligator and Delmark, the latter of whom recently released Getting' Up Live. The acclaimed performer fathered fifteen children and is survived by ten, including fellow musician Lurrie Bell, (who joined him on the aforementioned concert collection).
Bjork Street Date: A bold and brave Bjork, Travis time
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
She's never been one for compromise, nor has the chanteuse ever been even remotely predictable during her artistically adventurous career. And as was the case on every single previous project, Bjork's brand new Volta (Atlantic) once again defies convention and leans in several different but generally brilliant directions. The project's lead single "Earth Intruders" has been available online for several weeks, showcasing her quirky vocals and an increase in pop sensibilities (compared to recent years). From there, it's a hodgepodge of over the top grandeur and delicate balladry, including tag teams as diverse as Timbaland and Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale.

For those who think Coldplay was first in the latest revival of Brit-inspired alternative pop, they're wholeheartedly mistaken. The true second coming came from the Glasgow-bred Travis, who turn in The Boy With No Name (Epic/Independiente) today. Though the band is much more guitar driven than the piano Travislaced sounds of Chris Martin and company, expect mounds of glowing harmonies and ethereal instrumentation. At the same time, the band boasts even more muscular sounds akin to Oasis, Embrace and Ocean Colour Scene. Despite flying somewhat under the radar in America, this disc deserves to be the band's latest breakthrough.

The new release palate also includes return outings from several indie rock favorites, starting with The Sea and the Cake, who turn in Everybody (Thrill Jockey). Also be on the lookout for underground rapper Sage Francis with Human the Death Dance (Epitaph) and alternative rockers The Exies come A Modern Way of Living With the Truth (Eleven Seven). And perhaps most appealing to collectors is Elliott Smith's New Moon (Kill Rock Stars), which features twenty-four tunes recorded by the late great brooding heart between 1994-1997.
MXPX MXPX x 8, Korn related concept
Monday, May 7, 2007
Punk rockers MXPX refuse to go down for the count after a sea of label shake-ups and an industry that's changed countless times since the band debuted in 1992. In fact, the band's eighth official studio CD finds the guys going full circle in sound and record company home, returning to Tooth & Nail (despite a dramatic fallout in the late 90s) following flirtations with Interscope and SideOneDummy. The ensuring Secret Weapon CD has just been mapped for a July 17th release, once again comprised of all three original players, plus production by Aaron Sprinkle (Pedro the Lion, Eisley). The title cut will serve as the disc's first single featuring the band's friend and longtime Vans Warped Tour mate Brian Baker (guitarist from Bad Religion).

Korn guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer is balancing his time in the band with launching the brand new label Emotional Syphon Recordings. He recently announced one of its inaugural acts Monster In The Machine will be releasing the hard rocking record Butterfly Pinned on July 10 (to online outlets) and August 21 (to physical stores). But more than merely hyping Bette Midlerthe record, Shaffer makes it clear his company will turn much of its focus towards artistic freedom. "When Korn was on Sony we were so lucky the label never came in and said we couldn't say things on our records," he says. "We were able to have 100 percent creative freedom. One of my main goals is to maintain that. I'm never going to tell artists on my label what they can and can't say. I want them to push the envelope."

Though she falls know where need to the punk or hardcore class, diva Bette Midler has pushed the envelope on many occasions throughout her singing and acting career. She'll continue spreading her highly decorated wings with a Las Vegas engagement, set to take over where Canadian pop star Celine Dion left off. "The Divine Miss M" kicks off her two year contract on February 20 at Sin City's 4,100-seat Colosseum, which is expected to sell out during much of the lengthy run.

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