Fish In A Barrel | Sept. 06

The above are the opinions of Fish in a Barrel, and not necessarily those of the editors of PLAYBACK:stl. Just the funny ones.

U.S. Bands Tour Europe, Demonstrate Equal but Opposite Brands of Douchebaggery | At a recent show in Switzerland, a fight broke out between the Living Things and Alter Bridge (ex-Creed) after Living Things' Lillian Berlin made onstage comments about the Iraq war and his band's ill-advised invitation to a Republican fundraiser. We'll skip the fact that we can't figure out how the hell these two bands wound up on the same bill and just let Berlin tell his side: "The Swiss were all behind us [ed. note-that's what the Swiss tell everyone, dude], and the crowd was cheering me on…we went into our fourth song, and some goon from that Creed band came out swinging an American flag and then threw it at our drummer." Guitarist Cory Becker was also reportedly choked and beaten about the face by two Alter Bridge crew members and at least one member of the band, who Berlin recognized by his ski cap with "some sports team" on it. Forced to quit their show halfway through, the band said they walked backstage as Alter Bridge & Co. yelled, "We love America," and a woman in their entourage added, "I love where I'm from, and you are shameful." (As shameful as being part of the Alter Bridge entourage?) Alter Bridge initially chose to remain mum on the tussle, but after the story gained steam, they issued a statement saying that they simply "stood up for America that night" and accused the Living Things of initiating the fisticuffs by attacking a guitar tech who proudly pointed at an American flag. Um, sorry guys, but we don't trust bands whose albums sell as well at Wal-Mart as yours do, and we find it hard to believe that the ectomorphic Living Things would initiate a confrontation more physical than a staring contest-they strike us as "curl up and play dead until the bullies lose interest" types. Also, is all this self-righteousness acceptable from a band who watched Scott Stapp strike a shirtless Jesus Christ pose on stage for nearly a decade and did nothing? Not even one cockpunch? You, sirs, are no friends of America.

Yar, This Be Some Crap, Matey | So, we were actually kidding a couple months ago when we said that we hoped to see more odd, historically themed tribute albums like Sting's ridiculous 16th century lute music offering, but it seems that Johnny Depp has taken up our cause anyway. Perhaps forgetting that he is not actually a pirate, Depp has teamed up with Hal Wilner to produce an album of pirate songs and sea chanteys, cleverly titled Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys. Contributors to the double-disc set (yes, that is two full discs of pirate music) include actor John C. Reilly, Bryan Ferry, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Loudon Wainwright III, and a bunch of other people who we thought were dead. Also along for the ride are, of course, habitual contributors Bono and Sting. We'll let you insert your own walk the plank/shiver me timbers joke here.

FIAB InvestigatesTM How Far Did They Fall? (It's Crumbelievable!) | Coming across the sad news of Sleater-Kinney's "indefinite hiatus" (we choose to blame Janet Weiss, who we've heard firsthand is a mean old biddy) got FIAB thinking: What do aging hipster-types do when their bands break up? How do they support themselves? They can't all manage coffee shops or sell their knitted wares online, and Kraft couldn't possibly rework everyone's alternative radio hit into a catchy commercial jingle about very dry cheese. And so, we took to the Interwebs to find out what happened to a few ex-band members we've loved, despised, and/or previously ignored.

We were surprised to find that a few of our subject-bands are actually still together, though we're not sure it counts if only the band and their Webmaster are aware of it (hi there, Ned's Atomic Dustbin). The Violent Femmes denied themselves a respectable death-a friendly message on their site thanks us for three consecutive decades of support-but don't worry, they've branched out over the years. Bassist Brian Ritchie is huge in the world of shakuhachi playing, for example. What? It's a four-foot bamboo wind instrument, duh.

Rob Zabrecky, former Possum Dixon frontman and target of our adolescent desire, has kept busy performing magic around Los Angeles, sometimes in character as "The Ghastly Griffin." Before you even ask, yes, he is available for private parties and events. He's also done some acting, and lent his voice to the animated film Live Freaky! Die Freaky!, an apocalyptic vision of the 30th century in which Charles Manson is lord and savior, also featuring Billy Joe Armstrong, the Madden twins, members of Blink 182, and Kelly Osborne (this right here is why god created Netflix. To the queue!).

Meanwhile, one of the guys from Ugly Kid Joe (oh yes we did) is in Godsmack now, which seems like a natural progression, and another produces those same-y neo-metal bands so beloved by alternative radio, like Mudvayne and Evanescence. Frontman Whitfield Crane doesn't seem to show his face much these days (and seriously, would you?), although our research reveals that he sang "Master of Puppets" on a 2004 Metallica tribute album, which we'll assume was pretty fucking sweet.

Here's what we fear has happened to a good number of the dittybirds of the '90s: Tanya Donelly's (Throwing Muses, the Breeders, Belly) home page begins with a birth announcement, moves on to a description of a book of essays on women "surviving" their 30s to which she contributed, and ends with a note about her upcoming self-released compilation of original children's songs. Jesus, lady, there's losing your edge, and then there's becoming Faith Hill. Think back for a sec: Are the Deal sisters always too busy to talk when you call? That might be a sign that you need to mix it up a little.

Quickies: Former lead singer of Jesus Jones, Mike Edwards, keeps up his writing chops by penning a column for the perplexingly titled U.K. magazine What Mountain Bike. (What, mountain bike? You say you can't believe we remembered the name of Jesus Jones' frontman, yet struggle to recall even the faces of the paramours of our youth? Get lost, mountain bike.) Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries recorded a solo tune for the Spiderman 2 soundtrack, which was eventually dropped from the final album (but Hoobastank and Train made the cut-ooh, that's one cold dinner, Dolores). We also hear she has a cameo in Adam Sandler's new family comedy Click, but we refuse to confirm that or associate with anyone who could. Our sexually ambiguous girl-crush Justine Frischmann of Elastica is living in Boulder, Colo., and studying visual arts and psychology at Naropa University. Sounds a little dull, but hey, if drinking $7 microbrews and walking around in socks with sandals keeps you off the junk, Justine, then more power to you.

For the most part, the musicians we located trudge on in new, if somewhat derivative bands, often with their boy/girlfriends (see: Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland; all the terrifying ladies of L7, including the tampon-tosser; both Veruca and Salt), keeping the dream alive and utilizing ProTools and CD burners like there's no tomorrow. Oh, and judging from their photo galleries, everyone seems to have more than enough chow at hand, so reroute your canned good donations elsewhere. And so, we tip our caps to you, aging, pudgy rockers. May whatever random shit you're doing now bring you years of joy and fewer painful herpes infections.

The above are the opinions of Fish in a Barrel, and not necessarily those of the editors of PLAYBACK:stl. Just the funny ones. And the ones who tried, but failed, to care that the Lemonheads have returned. Fifth time's a charm, eh, Evan?

 

Sporty Spice Redux | No, the person on the right is not Lady Sovereign either, but that's an understandable mistake. Pictured above is Chan Marshall of Cat Power, pre- and post-rehab. Listen up, hipster-endorsed musicians: If "getting clean" empowers you to abandon your beloved overlong bangs, sultry scowl, vintage duds, and pube-revealing (trust us) stovepipe pants in favor of a spandex leopard-print headband, stonewashed denim, satinette windbreaker, and goofy grin, please, for the love of god, skip the intervention, dodge the methadone clinic, borrow someone else's urine-do whatever you have to do to avoid this fate. We suggest you laminate this photo and carry it in your wallet as a handy reminder.

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