Play.Stop.Rewind. | April 2006

Isaac Hayes, the Decemberists, Sonic Youth, and the Sex Pistols


Legendary soul man Isaac Hayes has officially requested a release from his contract with South Park because of what he feels is inappropriate ridicule of religious communities. “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others begins,” Hayes said. “As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.”

VH1’s concert series, Decades Rock Live, will pay tribute to Elvis Costello at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City May 19. The program will include tributes by Death Cab for Cutie, Fiona Apple, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Costello himself. Costello is spending this month on a symphony tour supporting his classical ballet score Il Sogno.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer continues to go after radio companies for their payola schemes. This time, it’s Entercom Communications, the country’s fourth-largest radio company, in his crosshairs. In the past, companies such as Clear Channel and Infinity have been subpoenaed in relation to the investigation.

April showers are also bringing plenty of musical flourishes, with releases by Morrissey, the Flaming Lips, Elefant, the Dresden Dolls, Pretty Girls Make Graves, and Rainer Maria at the top of the list.

Bruce Springsteen is also releasing an album toward the end of the month. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Columbia), is his 21st full-length record and stands as a tribute to folk singer Pete Seeger.

In what is becoming a sad recurring event for indie bands, San Francisco’s Film School embarked on their first full U.S. tour, only to have their van full of equipment stolen in Philadelphia.

The brilliant Don’t Look Back concerts are returning to London for a second year, and the recently announced first acts promise another intriguing summer. The series revolves around the idea of having bands perform classic albums in their entirety. Last year saw the Stooges playing Funhouse, Belle and Sebastian doing If You’re Feeling Sinister, and the Lemonheads performing It’s a Shame About Ray. This year’s initial sets include Low with Things We Lost in the Fire, Tortoise performing Millions Now Living Will Never Die, and composer Ennio Morricone conducting his film scores.

Braden Merrick, former manager of the Killers, is suing the band for $16 million, claiming the band breached his contract when they fired him last May with two years left on his contract.

The Decemberists, flush with all their riches from signing with Capitol, will at some point start recording their next album back home in Portland. Death Cab’s Chris Walla will helm the production.

Sub Pop has landed two bands recently, adding Allentown’s Pissed Jeans and Brooklyn’s Oxford Collapse to the label’s roster.

Arcade Fire’s Funeral picked up favorite album at the Canadian Independent Music Awards.

A recent Associated Press article warmed many hearts when it reported plenty of bands are just fine spurning the big loads of cash thrown at them by Hummer. One band, the Thermals, who the article terms “a rambunctious rock band from Portland,” got a call from their label, Sub Pop, saying that Hummer wanted to appropriate the band’s song “It’s Trivia” for a commercial for the healthy sum of $50,000. The band declined. The article also features Washington’s Trans Am, who turned down $180,000 for permission to use their song “Total Information Awareness,” and the band LiLiPUT, which hasn’t been together for over 20 years, who passed on the $50,000 dangling carrot for their song “Heidi’s Head.”

The Los Angeles Times reported five people were injured and 15 arrested early last month after police responded to a stabbing at a punk-rock concert in San Bernardino. The police clashed with concertgoers, and when all was said and done, 190 officers from 10 agencies ended up at the scene. Two police cars were destroyed and four others damaged, while concertgoers also shattered windows and ransacked businesses in the vicinity. Dubbed British Invasion 2K6, the concert started at 2 p.m. at the National Orange Show Events Center, and included such bands as the Addicts, Vice Squad, and GBH.

The offbeat humorist, cult poet, and musician Ivor Cutler died at the age of 83 in early March. Cutler’s fans included luminaries such as Billy Connolly, John Peel, Bertrand Russell, and the Beatles. He made regular appearances on Peel’s radio shows and was given a part in the Beatles’ film Magical Mystery Tour. Cutler’s 1967 album Ludo was produced by George Martin and garnered a re-release in 1997 by Creation.

Thurston Moore has taken his pet record label project, Ecstatic Peace, to the mainstream by inking a deal with the Universal Music Group. The Sonic Youth frontman has been issuing limited pressings of little-known artists since 1981 through the Ecstatic Peace brand; now, the works will be distributed through Fontana, Universal’s indie-styled arm, which also has deals with labels such as Absolutely Kosher and Vagrant. According to the press release, Moore will also “sign and develop artists in joint venture with Universal Records proper.” Some of the first releases slated for Universal include work by Boston’s Black Helicopter and actor Michael Pitt’s band Pagoda.

Having already played some dates in the United States this year, Scottish act Mogwai will be heading back over for Coachella, and embarking on another month of U.S. shows.

Liam Gallagher, never at a loss for words, recently commented on England’s chances in the upcoming World Cup in Germany this summer by calling David Beckham and his teammates “gay boys.” The always-entertaining Oasis frontman also had a few words for a couple of iconic bands, saying of the Rolling Stones: “I respect them but their songs are a pile of crap,” then adding, “As for U2, I don’t understand what they’re doing. For me, they don’t say a lot. They don’t seem like normal people.”

Another blunt and outspoken act, the Sex Pistols, announced they would boycott last month’s Twenty-First Annual Induction Ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was held at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The band posted a hand-written note on their Web site, gracefully explaining their position: “Next to the SEX-PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. Were not coming. Were not your monkey and so what? Fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table, or $15000 to squeak up in the gallery, goes to a non-profit organisation selling us a load of old famous. Congradulations. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges, but your still music industry people. Were not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem is a real SEX PISTOL.”



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