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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Crowded House comeback, Deftones'
Friday, May 18, 2007
The thrashing hard rockers Deftones may not have much in common with the Lonestar State, but the band has so many fans in Texas that they require two San Antonio shows this weekend. The group takes the stage tonight and Saturday at the Sunset Station Lonestar Pavilion (www.ticketmaster.com) in support of its latest CD Saturday Night Wrist (Maverick). The project is full of the band's usual bombast, but there's also a newly developed attention to song structuring details, thanks in part to revered producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Jane's Addiction). Those who can't make the gigs but pick up the disc will also hear guest vocalists Serj Tankian (System of a Down) and Annie Hardy (Giant Drag).
The Windy City welcomes back its local hero and Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Jim Peterik Friday night as he hosts the annual World Stage concert. The festival-styled collaborative event will feature his top hits from Survivor and the Ides of March (whose members will also be performing), plus famous friends such as Night Ranger's Kelly Keagy, Winger's Kip Winger, Triumph's Rik Emmett, The Storm's Kevin Chalfant, bluesman Anthony Gomes and vocal powerhouse Lisa McClowry (amongst many others). The marathon show takes place just outside of Chicago at The Hemmens (www.hemmens.org) and is likely to sell out by show time.
After officially kicking off its comeback at Coachella, Brit-rockers Crowded House just announced a full-fledged reunion tour (marking its first American outing since 1996). The dates run from August 4 in Northhampton, Massachusetts through September 12 in Atlanta, with tickets going on sale Saturday (www.ticketmaster.com) for the first block of shows. The line-up includes co-founders Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, former member Mark Hart and new drummer Matt Sherrod. New music is also expected July 10 with Time On Earth(ATO/Red), marking the band's first studio CD since 1993.
Smashing Pumpkins staying put, Ferry's fumble
Thursday, May 17, 2007
With The Smashing Pumpkins "reunion" (otherwise known as Zwan's core continued with new side players) well underway, Billy Corgan and company are gearing up for two intimate residencies. The first kicks off June 23 and lasts nine days at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, followed by a July 22 launch at The Fillmore in San Francisco for eight shows. The somewhat unusual move hasn't happened since the band set up shop at the Double Door in Chicago well over a decade ago, though this upcoming run undoubtedly comes as a publicity generator surrounding the July 10 street date for Zeitgeist (Martha's Music/Reprise).
Bryan Ferry may be the king of cool, but he's been in hot water for the last several weeks thanks to some comments made to the German magazine Welt am Sonntag. "My God, the Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves," he said. "Leni Riefenstahl's movies and Albert Speer's building and the mass parades and the flags--just amazing. Really beautiful." Following swarms of controversy, the singer's stock lowered considerably, though he has since issued an apology. However, British department store Marks & Spencer just dropped the star from advertising their clothing line, which has led some skeptics to assume the two incidents are related. While that could very well be the case, Yahoo! Music reports his promotional contract expired around the same time.
After being out of print for ages, fans of the Traveling Wilburys will finally be able to purchase the group's two CDs at a reasonable price. All the eBay bidding wars and bootlegging come to an end on June 12 when Rhino releases the first and intentionally mis-numbered third volume of the super group's annals, which consists of the late great George Harrison and Roy Orbison, the surviving Bob Dylan and Tom Petty, plus the lucky to be part of the line-up Jeff Lynne. Aside from the audio collection, this deluxe release features a DVD with music videos and documentary footage.
Rise Against's run, Butler Trio goes green
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
After releasing The Sufferer & the Witness (Geffen) last year, Rise Against embarks on its first headlining tour in support of the project. The three month jaunt launches June 15 in Dallas, Texas, following up an impressive run of opening dates for My Chemical Romance and a split bill with Thursday. The punk rockers recently released the single "Prayer of the Refugee," which clocked in at #7 on Billboard's Modern Rock Chart last week. But the hit parade isn't expected to end there, with the end of May unleashing yet another album cut to radio and television in the form of "The Good Left Undone."
Though the John Butler Trio sometimes gets grouped in the jam band category (complete with a patchouli bearing/unidentified substance smoking fan base), the group's music is a much more complex amalgamation of roots rock, blues, folk and a southern streak every once in awhile. But no matter what tunes the band plays in support of the new Grand National (Atlantic), its tour will be much more environmentally friendly than ever before. For starters, the troupe is using biodiesel to fuel tour buses and also turning to recycled paper and soy-based inks for printed materials. Fans also have the option of buying organic cotton swag, while the show in general will promote echo-friendly outreach.
As previously reported, song siren Sinead O'Connor is gearing up for her brand new double disc Theology (Koch) on June 26. And while even the thought of an album sends faithful listeners into anticipatory overdrive, the artistically intricate troubadour just announced she'll come out of concert hibernation for a world tour. Though the show will lean heavily on the new project, O'Connor also promises her greatest hits, which she's largely left off set lists in recent years. A preview kicks off with two intimate concerts in New York City and Los Angeles in late June, followed by a full blown itinerary.
Street Date: Wilco wait is over, Rufus finally ready
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Like any album Wilco ever releases, there have been leaked samples online, plus mounds of chatter amongst its faithful fans. Anticipation is high for today's Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch), especially considering the band's last release was a live project and it's been three years since its last studio CD. Early snippets indicate the band doesn't disappoint, sticking close to its earthy and experimental centering, while also dipping back to the early 1970s folk/rock scene and occasionally jamming out with organic insistence. While shopping for this disc, consider picking up the self-titled release by The Autumn Defense released in January, which is the recurring side project for band members John Stirrat and Pat Sansone.
Rufus Wainwright may be on his fifth album, but he seems to be on the cusp of a creative rebirth on Release the Stars (Geffen). Though the singer/songwriter/pianist has never had a problem writing tender hearted pop songs, he earns some additional leverage from sessions in Berlin with executive producer and Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant. Expect several moments of grandeur, complete with choirs, orchestrations, horn sections and his own glorious vocals, along with deeply personal and poetic lyrical reflections.
After being pumped up online and on the airwaves for what seems like forever, Linkin Park finally bows with its heavy handed rap/electronic rocker Minutes to Midnight (Warner Brothers). Country bad girl Gretchen Wilson is also back in the saddle again with One of the Boys (Sony), which features the John Rich (of Big & Rich fame) duet "Come to Bed." The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan strikes solo with Are You Listening? (Sanctuary), while metal mavens Megadeth return with United Abominations (Roadrunner) rounding out the incredibly diverse release week.
Bad Religion releases, John Lee Hooker reissues
Monday, May 14, 2007
Recurring punk powerhouses Bad Religion are gearing up to release its latest single "Honest Goodbye" to major download services on June 12. The tune is inspired by the murder Perry Smith, the main character in Truman Capote's novel "In Cold Blood." "The song questions how a man with seemingly gentle and artistic sensibilities comes to commit brutally heinous crimes," explains co-writer and Bad Religion co-founder Brett Gurewitz. "It's an emotional song to me that delves into the humanity of forgiveness and retribution." The ambitious tune is take from the band's forthcoming full-length New Maps of Hell (Epitaph), slated for a July 10 release to coincide with the band's dates on the 2007 Vans Warped Tour.
Shout! Factory has just announced its ongoing reissue campaign for John Lee Hooker will continue July 17 with yet another pair of classic albums. The label first dips back to 1987 for the Jealous CD, which came after self-imposed hiatus and reunited the revered guitar slinger with his touring Coast to Coast Blues Band. Next up is 1997's Don't Look Back, which is peppered with several Van Morrison collaborations, who also served as the album's co-producer. Both discs include bonus tracks, along with new liner notes by Rolling Stone journalist Jas Obrecht.
Like any new buzz band trying to break themselves to the public at large, These Arms Are Snakes continue its endless stretch on the road in support of last fall's release Easter (Jade Tree). Following dates in the U.K. with Pelican, the Seattle foursome is hitting up America all month with Mastodon, Cursive, and Against Me. In either recorded or the live format, expect a complex amalgamation that includes neck snapping punk, thrashing hardcore and highly detailed "math rock" as the members often coin themselves.
May 7 - 12
Apr. 30 - May 4
Apr. 23 - 27
Apr. 16 - 20
Apr. 9 - 13
Apr. 2 - 8
Mar. 26 - 30
Mar. 19 - 23
Mar. 12 - 16
Mar. 5 - 9
Feb. 26 - Mar. 2
Feb. 19 - 23
Feb. 12 - 16
Feb. 5 - 9
Jan. 30 - Feb. 2